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Re: SEUL: Is it too soon for me to comment?
I have been 'listening in' for a short
while. From what I see it appears that the discussion behind this project
is a little confused (I think thats the correct set of terms).
If I may, I believe that the aim of a usable
UNIX (er sorry Linux) for the masses is laudable.
When I had a go at Linux initially, whilst I
could install a sort of working system, compile a kernel and get an X server and
client to meet halfway (having followed those superb HOWTO things) I still feel
out of my depth, even allowing for the OS switch from DOS/Win. OS/2 dabbling
wasn't half as bad !
Why don't my fonts seem to work ? (where's
Control Panel with its collection of settings to be set) why must I edit the
equivalent of .ini files or .cfg files with arcane incantations.
Sadly if I want to do productive work, I end up
using a DOS/Win interface. I must hastily add that 'productive' does'nt
say include DHCP or DNS servers or setting up a Netware emulation server and
then logging into it from the same box (why ? - because I can - *this is
If the only aim of this project is to produce a
sort of easier to set up Linux then the best course might be to educate the
writers of the systems that make up Linux. Encourage a sort of code of
conduct. This might be virtually impossible at first sight, however it
could take the form of "Compiled for SEUL"-TM.
There is a perversity of standards that afflict
IT, some of them good for all and sadly many that merely differentiate
products. That notwithstanding another standard that defined what
constituted a 'good' set up could be as efficient as coding a new OS.
*One* of the reasons why Windows has been efficient in dominating the
marketplace is because Windows has come from one company. It has a standard (of
sorts), configuration in an .ini file, running a program called setup.exe (OK,
or install.exe) and picking option from a menu to set up and the rest almost
transparently, pull down menus - in short a consistent interface. Yet
Windows does'nt go far enough.
There is no reason why an operating system and its
applications should be a nightmare to configure, unless it is due to laziness on
the part of the programmer, a desire for exclusivity or a lack of ability.
I would have to discount the last as a real reason because anyone capable of
programming an application that others would wish to use could hardly be
described as lacking in ability (in the general sense). A programming team
in a commercial house will have access to a collection of usability testers. In
the case of the Internet Explorer team they had access to the entire planet it
seems with the preview release ! as did "Chicago"
If on the other hand you want to create an
"easy to use" Linux, then again, where do you start ? What the
blazes is an easy to use system ? Well the only answer to that lies in the
question "What do the end users want ?" and sadly I don't think that
anyone in either the commercial or the public domain has ever managed to answer
it conclusively. The hacker in the traditional sense is probably already a
UNIX/Linux user who revels in the complexity for its own sake. The
business user is wandering if the expense is justified. The home user is a
more complex combination of the other two.
The above ramblings say to me, what are your
'real' goals ?
Personally I would go for the "a simpler
Linux" and a simpler Linux is one understandable by more people with a
shorter learning curve. There is no reason why Linux should lose any of
the sheer creativity of its myriad creators. Linux seems to consist of so
many "this is what I wanted so I dug out my gcc compiler" - this is
the spirit that should never be lost but must be brought to a wider
In a previous answer to a message on this server
there was the answer along the lines 'why not configure an AI filter to remove
the ...' - this is the sort of talent that is the spirit of Linux. If he
can do it then do so, however if he can give me the tools to do it then even
better. I will take his tools and perhaps I will be able to do something
for him in return. Surely that is the spirit that we all wish was
In short what are you doing ? Are you creating a
better or an easier Linux ? how ? I really don't think that another collection
of applets and a kernel source is going to do much good. I see your
1) "Merely" setting to define a
set of standards of what would make a good set up and putting it together,
including re-writing any offending parts.
2) Starting from scratch - but I suspect that
all "new" OSs start like that and end up getting bogged
Finally I don't think that a discussion of the
relavent merits of vi ("is my shepherd. I shall not font") v. emacs is
really going to help your goal.
I hope the above is of use to your
The "only" input I can provide is as
an end user (albeit a fairly technical one). If you require a tester -
then please call.
Yeovil, Somerset, UK