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Re: kick starting debian desktop - Why do you call it a "release"?

Per Olofsson wrote:
On Wed, Apr 28, 2004 at 10:25 -0700, Daniel Cardenas - AZ wrote:

What do you think of the idea of having a debian desktop release real soon? In order to get it out real soon the only difference would be a different set of packages or additional set of packages installed by default. I would ask the install team, Joey Hess, to ask during installation if this is for a server or desktop(unstable). (I'm sure there is a better way of asking that.) If it is for a desktop then the default installation would include gnome and KDE.

Well, there already is a desktop task which includes Gnome and KDE. If
there's a package which you think desktop users need but isn't in this
task, you should start a discussion on debian-devel about adding this
package to the desktop task.

There are a bunch of other simple changes we could try for example soften the security model. Debian does a bunch of things to prevent a normal user from abusing the system. Details: root can't access the screen without executing xauth (blah) command. On a single user system is this desired? Perhaps we could eliminate the need to execute xauth. Do you have other simple changes to propose?

I think this has worked before. It's just a matter of setting the
XAUTHORITY variable, really. Probably a bug.

I think having a desktop release would generate lots of interest in the desktop and help get it off the ground.

Why do you call it a "release"? Why is it different than a normal
Debian release?

Good question. I am thinking of Debian Desktop as something bigger than most people. (Although it doesn't mean it can't be broken down into small pieces.) In order to make Debian Desktop very successful, I envision something much different than the current server "want to be" desktop too version. The other major players: Red Hat, Suse, Microsoft, etc... have separate products for desktop and server. For Debian I think this makes sense.

Major changes for Debian Desktop:
1. Separate package maintainers for desktop versus server. (Would help with the problem of a backup maintainer also.)
2.  Separate versions of the build systems: test and unstable.
3. Separate release cycles. Are we targeting the Enterprise or the home user desktop? The home user desktop would probably prefer more frequent releases of stable.

An example of the advantage of separate products:
Edward Bloch mentioned a separate package to configure Debian for the desktop as in security and preferences. If I'm a developer and someone sends me a bug report, I would probably want to know whether it is a desktop or server system. A package that changes security and other configurations for the desktop, will change many aspects of the system, and it will often be of interest to bug researchers.

Obviously there are significant disadvantages to a separate product. One of the biggest is increased resources required. I see plenty of people eager to sign up as package maintainers, so I'm guessing this is not a big problem.

Why call it a release? Marketing. To make it sound more than what it is. To generate enthusiasm. To describe a vision of a separate product, which has focus, priority, and attention.

Daniel Cardenas

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