Debian: contempt for "end user" values has to stop!"

Liam Proven lproven at
Sat Aug 22 14:03:33 BST 2009

On Fri, Aug 21, 2009 at 10:48 PM, David Gerard<dgerard at> wrote:
> 2009/8/21 Liam Proven <lproven at>:
>> On Thu, Aug 20, 2009 at 8:27 PM, David Gerard<dgerard at> wrote:
>>> 2009/8/20 Liam Proven <lproven at>:
> One day I'll actually try to re-Frankenbook the TiBook ... in the
> meantime, Arkady's enjoying the mirrors G4 running 10.5. Very nice.

/me is slightly jealous.

> More to the point: Ubuntu for one is good enough to largely replace
> Windows as is. Netbook Remix wins.

I have only tried 1 instance of field-testing it on a noob. He stopped
using the machine and his wife sold it. No further consultation with
weird Linux-evangelist mate. :¬(

> The problem is (a) installed base (why Silverlight will never replace
> Flash) and (b) Microsoft using every trick fair or foul to keep Linux
> the hell off computers. Giving XP away for FREE to manufacturers, or
> even paying them, rather than put Linux on a laptop.
> While they're doing that, the only reasonable action is to wait for MS
> to collapse under their own weight (probably when Windows 7 sucks as
> much as Vista except that machines are a bit bigger now) then you'll
> see more Linux and less Windows tax.

True. Altho' I think that MS will keep imposing weird rules as to what
sort of machines you're allowed to put XP on for a while, and then
kill it. They /need/ the world to go to Win7.

> Trying to bend Linux out of shape is singularly pointless in such
> conditions; work to its strengths (endless evolutionary variety, runs
> on more hardware than anything, costs $0) rather than weaknesses
> (endless evolutionary variety, including complete dead ends and really
> bad ideas like imitating Windows ... the shitty thing MSI put on the
> Wind, anyone?).

Well, yes, true, but here's the thing:

I feel, very strongly, that there is *not enough* diversification happening.

There are hundreds of distros but most are just the same old same old,
over & over again.


 - CORESYSTEM is a RedHat spinoff, a Debian spinoff or a Slackware spinoff
 - PACKAGEMANAGER is RPM, DEB or possibly something source-based
inspired by FreeBSD
 - DESKTOP is KDE or GNOME or one of a handful of slightly lighter
efforts, often either Windows-like or just minimal - Xfce or Lxde, say

Mac OS X is doing great. It's based off NextStep. We have a GPL open
version of NextStep: GNUstep. Where are all the GnuStep distros,
trying to outdo Mac OS X?

There's ROX-Desktop, a very usable Acorn RISC OS-inspired desktop. Not
a single distro uses it, AFAIK.

I'm sure there have been efforts to make Amiga-like and BeOS-like
desktops for Linux. Nobody's using them.

There is a big hole in the distro market for the floods of old
low-powered "legacy" kit in the developing world: the tens of millions
of Windows98-level PCs that are too slow to run anything based on KDE
or GNOME. All there is for them is 2 liveCDs, DamnSmallLinux and
PuppyLinux. Both are very flawed. Where is the proper, installable,
upgradable distro for them?

How come the distros for Windows CE smartphones are so rudimentary?

How come everyone just runs with the System V-style Init? The BSD one
seems to be almost forgotten. Gentoo is meant to be infinitely
customisable but there's no option for a BSD init.

Even in the world of the small one-man distros, there's an awful lot
of me-too-ism, not enough daring departures.

Well, I reckon, anyway. I shall stop wittering now.

Liam Proven • Profile:
Email: lproven at • GMail/GoogleTalk/Orkut: lproven at
Tel: +44 20-8685-0498 • Cell: +44 7939-087884 • Fax: + 44 870-9151419
AOL/AIM/iChat/Yahoo/Skype: liamproven • LiveJournal/Twitter: lproven
MSN: lproven at • ICQ: 73187508

More information about the sounder mailing list