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SEUL: Re: One end-user distribution?

> Hi all,
> First of all this message is written to Seul and LaetOS, and I am Dennis
> Leeuw from LED. This is so you know to whom this is send and to inform
> you (a bit) about who I am :)

Can you give us a brief summary (with URLs) of each of these groups, given
that most of us don't read French very well?
> I am with two friends working on an end user distribution based on
> Slackware. Since I am the one responsible for the inclusion of the
> 'right' software I was surfing the net and came across your efforts.
> Since we just started (atleast to my opinion) we haven't invested too
> much yet in software development, although we are working on a graphical
> install interface.
> Okay, so now the reason for this mail. What I find very difficult to
> cope with is all the different distributions around that seem to
> disagree more then should be. After all we want is to promote Linux,
> don't we?

I have cc'ed this response to the Project Independence list
(http://independence.seul.org/). I'll give you a very brief history of
SEUL as it relates to creating an end-user distribution.

We started out in 1997 as a project to create a good end-user distribution,
because there wasn't one around. In June of 1998, we finally gave up on
that: http://www.seul.org/archives/seul/announce/Jun-1998/msg00000.html
We have lots and lots of discussion about it in our list archives, though.
(http://www.seul.org/archives/, most notably in seul-project)

The simplest reason for why we dropped that goal was because other people
(most notably Redhat) were doing it better by that point than we were.

Project Independence appeared in May 1998 as a reaction to the fact that
SEUL wasn't making any real progress in actually putting out a distrib. A
couple months after they started, their site became unreliable enough (and
relations with SEUL were good enough) that we re-merged the two projects,
so SEUL continued to do non-technical things and Independence continued to
work on their distrib.
> Well since I see popping up some efforts now to bring Linux to the
> desktop and even to the user who just want to work, I think we should
> end the different distribution problems. When we want to build a system
> that is end-user friendly we should provide them with easyness and
> clearness, not with troubles and fighting people over which system is
> best.

In general I agree; but keep in mind that not all end-users are the
same -- people need different solutions for different problems, and it's
more difficult to come up with something that solves most of the problems.
> So my question is is there a way for us all to join one common project
> to bring Linux at the desktop? United, as one open solution?
> If you are all willing to get one version out and thus give up each
> single effort, then take the following questions allong with your
> answer:
> Do we decide to base the distro on a previous one or do we decide to
> start from scratch?
> I think we have to use RPM as the standard package format as defined by
> LSB, objections?
You will hear some objections from the Debian people (of course), but you
won't hear any objections from Independence. The reason why they're based
on Redhat (currently 5.2) is because Redhat has already made a lot of
progress in hardware recognition, easy install, good packages and packager,
Starting from scratch is insane when you can start with (for instance) Redhat.

> Next we will have to decide what we want to support (libraries,
> x-server(s), window manager(s), desktop environments(s)...
> BTW as you might or might not know, there is one more effort which is
> called EasyLinux (www.eit.de). It seems to me a commercial version, so I
> didn't write this to them. Neighter did I contact Caldera.

Also, look at Mandrake (www.linux-mandrake.com) and Berolinux (I believe
the author of Berolinux recently merged with Mandrake). In general, there
are quite a few commercial distribs coming out. The point of Independence is
to have an entirely free distrib, created not for profit by a group of
volunteers -- for the people and by the people.
> Well I hope I didn't steal too much of your time. Hope to hear soon from
> you all.

I'll let the Independence group address the technical issues you raise.
> With kind regards,
> Dennis Leeuw