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If I had to define Indy's goals in one sentence I would say:
"A free distribution for the people by the people"
It tells why Indy is different:
It is free so we can disregard commercial considerations and do what
is right: an impressive installer increases sales but we could
consider that making the distrib user-error tolerant is more important
since there are people who have to administer their box with zero
training both in system administration but also in plain Unix. In
that case we would pick robustness over flashy installer.
The other point is that Indy is not an aristocratic distribution whose
authors and public sneeze at everything who is not "manly" enough and
look up-down to those who use GUIs or config software. Indy's spirit
is trying to help people with their Linux problems perhaps because
some of us have experience what it is to learn Linux unassisted and
the others have some empathy about this. Finally because we want to
break the mold where people using Linux in server roles get all the
attention: printing, font setting (for Wysywyg wordprocessors), sound
card configuration, configring ISP access still nowadays get inferior
treatment respective to say ethernet configuration.
Jean Francois Martinez
Project Independence: Linux for the Masses