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Re: SEUL: Partitioning

> How big of a performance hit do you take going through a loopback device?
> I haven't looked at the code, but I assume every io syscall requires two
> trips through the VFS layer: one for the initial call and one to perform
> the operation on the underlying file system.
Basically, yes.  This could theoretically be dealt with by writing some more 
kernel code, but that gets ugly.  Not our domain, IMO.

> but I think my real worry is philosophical.

> Trial mode, while a nice idea on the surface, makes the assumption that
> 'ordinary' users spend lots of time trying things on their computers.  I
> think it is hard for us a Linux users to imagine not wanting to tinker
> with one's computer to get the best possible performance out of it.  If
> you make installation a two stage process (trial mode and full install),
> the set of people who perform the 'safe' trial mode install may be larger
> than if you had forced them do deal with repartitioning initially, but I
> think the subset of that group that goes on to the second stage will be a
> good bit smallers since most will have gotten fed up with the install by
> then.  Put more simply, I think it is better to get the complexity of the
> install out of the way in one fell swoop rather than trying to dilute it
> by spreading it over multiple stages.
True, but remember that the users of a trial install will probably be those 
like that idiot Times writer who got the CD with his magazine. (the Times guy 
went on to slander everyone in all technical fields)

Our main user-base will be people who either buy a new computer with the 
intent of putting SEUL on it, buy it with it pre-installed, or are so fed up 
with M$ that they are just toing to switch.  Trial installs will be done by 
only a few people with the time/patience to spare, and those people are few 
and far between.

In summary, I agree that a trial mode initially (perhaps always) will likely 
be a waste of our time/resources.

> I think we should remember we are competing with NT Workstation, not
> Windows 95.  Our pontential users are those that are savvy enough to know
> that they can get more from their machines than Win95 can provide, but who
> don't know exactly how to get at it.  Based on general good press, these
> people may go into their local software retailer and buy a copy of NT
> Workstation (maybe OS/2 Warp) to replace the copy of Windows 95 they came
> preloaded on their machine.  Our job is to make SEUL a viable alternative
> for these people who have already made up their mind that Windows 95
> doesn't give them everything they want.
Quite true.  I haven't thought of that.  But is that really our target user?  
It's kindof been decided (unofficially) that our target user is the "home 
user", which puts competing with NT Workstation one step higher.  Our selling 
point will be that SEUL, which is free, can give you better performance and 
more features than WinNT, while replacing Win95.

> Our ultimate goal should be for major computer manufactures to preload
> SEUL on their commodity systems.  To accomplish that goal, we must create
> a significant body of users who want SEUL and nothing else.  I have argued
> previously that the best place to generate such a body is among
> corporate/organizational users.  Barring that, we should concentrate on
> users really savvy enough to appreciate what they are getting with SEUL.
Exactamundo (sp?).  I personally would argue against making our target user 
the "home user" for first release.  The home user is fickle and hard to sell 
to, making our job harder.  If we release to commodity systems operating 
out-of-the-box, both to savvy consumers and the corporate environment, we'll 
build up a large user-base fairly quickly, and create market pressure to 
"persuade" app providers to start building for Linux.

This brings up YAIP (yet another interesting point): where do we draw the line 
on the free distrib?  I know we want to provide a complete operational system 
for free, including Office-style apps, but where do commercial apps fit in?  
If we follow the theme of killing M$, we would provide everything M$ provides 
for free, and let companies, like Lotus and Borland, compete directly with us. 
 This may be the wrong tactic, I dunno.


        Erik Walthinsen - Programmer, webmaster, 3D artist, etc.   __
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