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SEUL: "Just write it!" and plans

Reply-to: omega@seul.org

On Mon, 5 Jan 1998, Paul Anderson wrote:
> Maybe if you guys can list what you want the software to do we can
> actually get something done and start writing this stuff?  You guys gripe
> and gripe, saying Linux has no end-user apps, why don't we write some?!

Please, *please* stop telling us this.  We know this.  If we need
something, we have to write it.  That's how Linux works.  Everyone already
knows that.  But we have to do this in the context of SEUL and its goals. 

What I disagree strongly with is your suggestion to just go and hack
something together.  While hacking things together is what builds good
ideas in the first place, it is *NOT* what builds a quality product that
is self-consistent.  The *only* way to do that is to plan carefully for
complete inter-app integration. 

My friend does the hack thing, to a point.  He wanted a simple file
manager, so he wrote one.  It's a good program, as far as it goes, but it
doesn't go very far, and it cannot be used, really, by anyone else, as it
was designed to fit his usage model, nothing else. 

Do this with 200 people all writing things to solve their own personal
problems with the system, and you have a completely unworkable mess of
duplicate software packages with narrow focus and very little usefulness. 

Another week, and I will be steering this list into the appropriate
threads, with pseudo-team leaders to gather information.  They will
hopefully be able to present *all* the options, with pros and cons, as
well as what the consensus is.  This will be gathered together, and a
draft system specification will be made available for review. 

As these pseudo-teams gather information, they will have to try out
various software packages, research distribution issues (licenses), and
learn all they can about them.  Once they have reported their findings,
they can begin to implement that particular piece of the system. 

The system specification will be the document upon which SEUL is based. 
There are many things that are fully cross-functional that must be
addressed, such as the use of CORBA or (shudder) COM.  Once these are
hammered out, we can truly begin development. 

Trust me, we will be coding within a month, and coding in earnest within
two.  I want to get this releasable by the end of this year, so believe
me, things will get moving RSN. 


     Erik Walthinsen <omega@seul.org> - SEUL Project system architect
       /  \                SEUL: Simple End-User Linux -
      |    | M E G A            Creating a Linux distribution
      _\  /_                         for the home or office user