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Re: SEUL: Installation steps

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   Date: Mon, 09 Jun 1997 17:11:42 -0500
   From: Michael Peck <mjpeck@mailhost.rsn.hp.com>
   Organization: Hewlett-Packard
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   jfm2@club-internet.fr wrote:

   >    > 4)Add needed drivers
   >    How does SEUL handle drivers? Suppose the user wants to use an
   >    experimental driver, that we have not prepackaged. How would they go
   >    about doing this?
   > Not by recompiling.  All official Linux must be in the kernel or in
   > modules.  People trying experimental things are not our public.  And
   > they are good enough to be able to recompile the kernel without help.

   I'm not talking about kernel hackers and weekend Radio Shack warriors.
   I'm talking about people (like myself) who have a new Intel 10/100Mbps
   ethernet card and need an experimental driver just to use it. I'm
   talking about people (like myself) who need to add sixteen characters to
   one specific line in the ne.c driver to make it autodetect their Linksys
   PCI NE/2000 card. I'm talking about people who have hardware that
   doesn't work with a stock Linux distribution, but could otherwise work

But you work at Hewlett Packard and I do not think you work as a
lawyer or an accountant.  Sorry but I think you are not the kind of
people needing help.

The person I am thinking is my niece.  She is 14 years old,
intelligent, not a computer illiterate but she is not a hacker, not
even a programmer.  She lives at 400 km from my help.  I want her
becoming a Linuxer.  Making her recompile the kernel is out of the
question.  I want Linux becoming usable by people like her (a long
term dream), because if Linux remains in the hacker's niche soon or
later it will stop growing.

   The number of people who fit that description is staggeringly large. Too
   large to ignore. Linux doesn't sit on top of commercially-written device
   drivers; it's based on contributed efforts and a lot of guesswork with
   regard to hardware support.

So they have to download the patch, apply it, recompile the kernel,
install it, run LILO.  Wouldn't it be simpler to provide them with a
compiled kernel or module for people having hardware not supported in
the stable version of Linux?

   >    One thought is that we might have a generic "kernel compiler" interface
   >    program. It would let the user configure a kernel safely, then compile
   >    it with some sort of GUI front-end and install it (a la make zlilo).
   > No!!!  Modules is the way to go.
   >    Another idea might be to have a totally generic compiler interface.
   >    Instead of Makefiles/Imakefiles/autoconf, we could have a simple API
   >    that allows developers to specify simplistic compile-time options. Many
   >    portability problems come from not knowing the specific configuration of
   >    a particular box; with SEUL, we could (in a limited sense) control that,
   >    and at least keep track of it. This would be a rather ambitious
   >    undertaking, but it's worth looking into. Compiling programs is a Linux
   >    way of life; can we make that more understandable to end users?
   > There are people who do not want lose time compiling kernels.  What
   > they want is WORK with Linux.  Why spend so much effort on making a
   > kernel compiling interface aimed to end users when it is so easy to
   > provide a few lean kernels with modules for everything and write a
   > simple program for configuring kerneld?

   I guess I'm confused as to the purpose of this project. Are we trying to
   slap a Win95 interface on Linux? "Same GUI, doesn't crash so much"? Or
   are we trying to independently develop an end-user system for *Linux*?
   If all we're trying to do is shoehorn Linux into a classic desktop OS,
   then I misunderstood from the announcement. Sorry.

I do not like Win95, not even its GUI.  But they are two kinds of
armies: the ones who learn from the enemy, and the distroyed ones.

I think the screen configurator in Win95 is a good thing.  And one of
the reasons I like KDE is than it provides us with a screen
configurator, while being nicer than Win95 and allowing us to run
Linux with Linux power.  And I do not think than forcing people to
edit resource files (and finding these files) just to choose their
screen saver, adds power to Linux.  It justs restricts the people
competent enough to run Linux.

   Because if this is *really* about coming up with a way to introduce
   people to Linux without extraneous distractions, I think it could be
   fruitful to start wondering what kind of things might make Linux easy,
   rather than making Linux into Win95.

God forbids it!  Linux is better.  The goal is to KILL Win95 (a very
long term dream I know :).  One of the steps in this path is to make
Linux usable by 14 years old nieces.  And yes, we have some apps who
could interest her because the equivalents in Windows are expensive
and inferior.

			Jean Francois Martinez

==================== The Linux.  Use the Linux, Luke! =======================

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