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RE: State of the distribution (edited)

Have you planned to announce this in freshmeat, slashdot, etc, or only
in the web page at the moment? Only asking, thanks.

- yiyus

>------- Start of forwarded message -------
>They were forgotten words in previous message so here it is a fixed
>At this point we cannot deploy a complete distrib due to lack of disk
>space.  What we have is an upgrade kit allowing to go from RedHat 5.1
>to Independence  It allows testing, proof of concept, CD
>building but nothing more.
>What does Independence has Redhat does not have?
>1) ADEQUATE NETWORKING: People accessing the Internet with modems
>   ever been treated as second class citizens in most distribs.
>   Consider the fact that RedHat installation only provides for LANS,
>   that in RedHat's manual the chapter about PPP configuration comes
>   after the chapter about kernel compiling.
>For a home user networking is not just a nice thing.  It can be his
> only source for help.  Provding him with adequate tools for mail,
> news and IRC can make the diifference betwween success and failure.
> While curses based software can be necessary for emergencies (in
> X does not work) for day to day use it will give a bad impression to
> people used to GUIs.  In addition we must not assume the user lives
> in a country where phone is cheap: connections must be made short.
> We get this by providing offline readers for mail and news and a
> cache ftp and http server (wwwoffle) who is in our opininion
> to squid for home use and simpler to set up.  Small companies could
> want servers intead of offline readers but for them software like
> sendmail or INN is an overkill.  That is the reason we provided
> leafnode and Newscache.  I am not too happy about providing qmail
> I think in replacing it by Zmailer in future releases.  As a news
> server leafnode is simple but far too rigid so we have to provide
> NewsCache in addition.  This is still an area I am unhappy (that
> makes us three news servers if we count INN) I hope we will find one
> combining Leafnode and NewsCache qualities: could that be Leech?
> Shortcomings: We still don't have a half decent X-based Ftp client,
> still have not integrated PPP into the install, we still have not
> integrated notifying the servers when PPP is up in order they ship
> traffic: the cron based mail and news traffic does not work in
> dial-up sites.  Of course we don't have our own manual.  :-(
>2) GUIs: We have a plug and play KDE integrated to the distribution.
>   If you uninstall KDE (it is pretty heavy) you find the classic
>   FVWM/Afterstep user interface you had in RedHat 5.1.  In addition
>   we have Enlightenment although it is not really integrated (E
>   cannot be made the default WM due to its weight).  In addition
>   installing fonts, font servers and toolkits needing resources like
>   neXtAw is transparent in Independence.
>   Shortcomings: The plug and play system is far too rigid.  Only way
>   to switch between KDE and Gnome is unistall one of them.  That
>   precluded putting both in the distrib.  In addition the Gnome we
>   have in the site is old (will try to replace it by the version
>   shipped today.  I want we keep neutrality on GNOME versus KDE and
>   in addition I am disapointed by the fact X+KDE is nealy 32 Megs.
>   hoped KDE would thin for 1.0 due to removal of debugging code and
>   inted of this it fattened still more.  Matt Ehrlich saying
>   yesterday in linux-center that KDE is lean must have been joking.
>   We haven't solved the problem of bad fonts making xdvi, gv and
>   providing nearly unreadable ouput.
>3) "REAL LIFE SOFTWARE": Normal people are not mad hackers whose life
>   centers around their C compiler.  They have non computer-related
>   hobbies, pay taxes, have moms or children.  They need different
>   software.  We tried to include a sample of sotware for real life:
>   small and attractive database for managing collections or a wine
>   cellar, an UI for elmectronic cameras, software for Astrology,
>   personal finance, WYSYWYG word processing.  Unfortunately we don't
>   have a half decent Spreadsheet we can put on CD (there is WingZ in
>   the NoCD section).
>   Shortcomings:  We need more of it.
>4) ARTISTIC SOFTWARE: Here is the software for fascinating people
>   specially those with artistic tastes.
>   We include a "Maximal" Gimp.  One compiled with every option
>    on.  We have a low quality RPM of experimental GIMP plugins.  I
>    to modernize and improve it but this week I learned a new GIMP is
>    imminent so I am waiting. We also have a Modeller (moonlight),
>    a ray tracer (povray).  I have heard of other modellers we could
>    use but could not review them.  We also have some sound
>    composition and playing software.
>    Shortcomings: There is a site for 3D software for Linux and one
>    sound.  They have material but I cannot explore them and still
>    try what they have.
>6)  GAMES:  What other use for a computer?
>Mirrormagic (small facinating Amiga game), xkobo, FlightGear (Flight
>simulator) but we need more of them.
>- -Doc.  The best software in world is useless if the user is using
> other software.  If we don't document then people will use the user
> hostile but traditional sofware they heard about in nesgroups.
>- -More Doc: It is diificult to find what you need in the general
> doc.  Also at times people use other systems because they don't know
> Linux has software for the job.  That is why I want to put Woven
> Goods in the dsitrib.  It is more attractive than classic doc and it
> also includes a database of available software.
>- -Another attitude to the doc: RTFM is a brain damaged concept.  It
> si based on the paradigma of the person having had Unix and system
> administration training before being shot in anger by the system.
> But for spreading Linux we must think in people who have to manage
> _all_ the box from minute one: they don't know where is the doc or
> how to look at it, perhaps have deadlines to meet and they have real
> problems to solve.  In addition people whose interest in life is not
> computers.  When there is a FAQ intead of flaming the poor newbies
> should realize that in fact there is a FEP (Frequently Encountered
> Problem).  That means a problem to be solved or at the very least
> having the info popping under the user nose.  Many persons ask why X
> works bad when the X config software could have flatly told them:
> "Your card is not supported.  This server is old.  Look for an
> upgrade".
>- -A manual: The RedHat one is not comprehensive enough and in
> sometimes it is completely unadequate (see above for the PPP
>- -A better install: The importance of installation is far too
> exagerated.  Real problems begin after that.  However I would like:
> the user being assisted for partitionning, sofware selction
> to use (home, server, hacker), PPP networking
>- -Different user interfaces for different users.
>- -Translations: Outside English speaking countries, most people are
> not fluent in English.
>- -Volunteers
>- --
> Jean Francois Martinez
>Project Independence: Linux for the Masses
>------- End of forwarded message -------