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SEUL: Where to start and where to go (distributions)

> > It would be nice if we could avoid having to make changes to *everything*.
> > If we're lucky, we might be able to get away with just writing a new set-up
> > program(s) to make it more hands-free, but when new .rpm red hat packages
> > come out, still be able to use them automatically.
> We're going to write new install code no matter what, BUT the basic system
> RPMs will have to be our domain.  
I've been thinking about this, and discussing it some with a few people.  
Here's what our options are:

1) start from scratch
2) start from RedHat/Debian/Slackware(ew!)/SuSe/LST/whatever/ad-nauseum
   and try to keep up with them (i.e. update to rh51, then rh52, etc.)
3) start from RedHat/... and divorce completely
4) start from RedHat/... and sync only to end-of-major# stable releases

I'm leaning towards 4, some think 3, a few for 1, and haven't heard very many 
for 2.  The reason I'd go for 4 is that after a certain period of time, 
without syncing every once in a while, we loose sight of whatever 
technological gains have been made in the base distribution.  Even if we were 
to keep up with everything, doing it all ourselves would be a useless waste 
of effort, as RedHat will have already done much of it.

There's the issue that we will be touching a vast majority of all the 
packages we use.  Again, there are a few ways to deal with it.  We can make 
them ourselves, keep them 'private', and just maintain them across base 
changes, or we could submit patches to appropriate people (either RedHat or 
the original authors) to try to help them with their code, so next time 
around we don't have as many of our own patches to apply.  After a certain 
period of time, the package may evolve into exactly what we had in the first 
place, and we've done *everyone* some good.

This discussion belongs in seul-dev-distrib, and I'm actually going to split 
this out of the main reply I'm doing to facilitate that.  Please send all 
replies to the seul-dev-distrib list.


     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