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Re: SEUL: Is it too soon for me to comment?

> And I avoid using mine at every occasion possible.  Mice are a pain, to
> type this e-mail I've moved my hands half the distance it would take for
> me to even start netscape with a mouse!
Then again, you probably have things set up so you don't need to.  Most users 
won't have thought of doing so, and even fewer would spend the time.

> I downloaded TkInfo, and it works a lot better...  It defies imagination
> how someone could concoct such a cryptic interface...
Quite.  I've been in info twice, and barely escaped alive each time.  Why 
they abandoned man pages in favor of info I will never understand.  If 
there's one thing to keep above all others in a stock Unix system (given that 
people read docs from the shell, not the case in SEUL), it's the man pages.  
I can't imagine why they thought people would go for info when man is so 
simple.  Ah well, the minds of the FSF apparently know better than I, so I 
leave them to their info.  All I'll say is that it'll be viewed in TkInfo or 
equiv, if every, by SEUL users.

> As far as typesetting languages go, HTML is braindead.  Compare HTML to
> TeX, LaTeX, Lout, groff, postscript, and you realize that HTML is that
> visual basic of text formatting languages.  And for printing, -*GAG*- is
> it UGLY!  There's no way a web page can beat a nice dvi.
Then again, we aren't necessarily going to be printing out help pages very 
often.  The system we're working in (twoducks, arma, and myself) will also 
allow the information, which will be in a customized (and active, hopefully) 
html to be converted into other formats with only the addition of some perl 
code to convert html tags into whatever.  More later, when I become un-hosed 
enough to actually write some documentation on it.  8-}

> What if there's someone without a modem?
That's the thing.  What ships must be stable enough, and must have been 
tested thoroughly enough before actually releasing it to the 'public' so we 
have very little updating to do, if any.  That's a good argument for starting 
with an existing distrib, such as RedHat 4.2.  It's stable, most of the bugs 
and kinks have been worked out, etc.  Else we have to do all that ourselves.

> > Perhaps we *should* assume everyone *will* be doing email from their SEUL
> > box, and therefore will have *some* sort of 'net connection, at least
> > during the install (must dock the portable, etc).
> Some people just don't have net access.  It would be a Bad Thing(tm) to
> require it to install.  IIRC, RH5 takes an entire DAY to do an FTP
> install!
Worse.  It took me several days over a fairly lightly loaded, *dedicated* 
33.6 to get all of mustang.  Granted, that's more than most users will need, 
but it's still 'suboptimal' to do that.

Requiring a net connect is the best way to limit our market.  As I've heard 
several people mention (here and on other lists), the rest of the world 
doesn't have 3 ISPs per person, as is here in the good ol' U S of A.

> Perl has a very unique relationship to the shell...
> UNAME=`uname -a`
Actually, the above is shell.  In perl it'd be:

$uname=`uname -a`

> You don't want to do that, Bad Idea.  RedHat does that, and consequently I
> don't use their admin tools.
For the end-user we're targeting, I think it's most definitely safe to assume 
X.  Like people have mentioned before, building Yet Another Distribution 
where the default (or even one of the choices) is text-mode is going to make 
people think: "Gee, this looks familiar.  Hmmm, I'm thinking DOS here...".  
It's simple enough (well, kinda) to get someone going in X, in VGA at the 
*very* least, that doing otherwise would be suicide.

> > With enough SEUL users, whoever gets to the question first and answers it wins.
> > (Maybe some central server sends the question out, round-robin, to everone
> > who left the "I volunteer to answer questions" set in the default "on"
> > position, say  sending out a question to the next person on the list every
> > 5 minutes until *someone* answers).
> > 

> They won't like that.  Remember, this is a distribution targeted at the
> moron-newbie crowd - those that don't have a clue, and don't want a clue.
That's what the above system (which I've though a lot about too) does: it 
hides the whole process from the user.  They have a question, they send it to 
support@seul.org, where the program takes over and starts trying to find 
someone with an answer.  They get a reply within 30min tops (assuming even 
world-wide coverage, etc...), and they're happy.  Try to get an answer on a 
tough question from a Microsoft engineer.  Try to get the time of day from a 
Microsoft engineer.  I wish you luck. ;-)

> Which is something it could use.  Spam and crossposting morons has made it
> useless for anything serious.
Yup.  But here's where we can help, somewhat.  It's trivial to add code to a 
newsreader to refuse to send a message if it's cross-posted to more than N 
groups.  If the person really wants to send it, they can look through the 
docs (don't volunteer the workaround, obviously), and find that they simply 
have to send to a few at a time.

> Why is it that whenever I read 'orthogonal' I think of dental fixtures???
Hehe...  Means something like 'at 90 degrees to'.

> Managing programmers is like herding cats.
MEOW!!   :-)

> If you TELL him to make it more user friendly, he probably wouldn't just
> because you wheren't willing to help.  I know I wouldn't.
That's why we have to work closely with all the projects we incorporate into 
SEUL.  As I mentioned in a separate e-mail destined towards seul-dev-distrib 
(still to seul-project, but...), if we can make changes, either ourselves or 
in partnership with the original authors, we may be able to get those changes 
incorporated back into the main code base.  A large user base wouldn't hurt 
either... ;-)

> I have my doubts that a number of people on this list have never
> programmed, and don't understand how programming works.  It shows:)
I'd guess that a fair portion have, but I won't give figures. :)

Hopefully the upcoming re-announce will help matters significantly.  There's 
also word-of-mouth.  If you have a friend or co-worker (cow-orker? [as per 
Dilbert?]) who has 'spare time' and sounds interested, get them involved!  As 
soon as we get a little more organized personnel-wise, we can probably use 
all the people (especially coders) we can get.

I should sleep,

     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