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Re: Further meandering thoughts on Debian Desktop

[ Moving this to -devel with permission of Luke ]

On Tue, 2002-10-22 at 03:22, Luke Seubert wrote:
> 1.  Easy software updates

In this area, we really need to make GNOME apt work, and work well.  I
haven't personally looked at the other GUI alternatives like Synaptic.

> 2.  Tweaking default desktop GUI configurations

Definitely!  One thing I think would be good is to have links to the
Debian web pages, and the Debian security site on the default desktop. 
We could also link to apt-howto, tons of stuff.

> 4.  Installing a really responsive kernel as part of Debian Desktop

I added this to the todo list.
> 1. Red Hat, Mandrake, Lycoris, and SuSE have all tried to come up with a
> really easy way to install security updates, and bugfixes.  They have all
> come close, but haven't yet succeeded. Debian can succeed where they have
> failed.  (And where Mac OS 9.x has succeeded quite well.)

We also need secure security updates.  That's been on the todo list for
a long time.

> Using dpkg and apt as a backend, all Debian has to do is to create a menu
> entry titled something like, "Security & Software Updates".  It could also
> be a desktop icon in addition to a menu entry.
> Selecting that menu entry brings up a brief dialog box, asking the user if
> s/he wants to install the latest security and bugfix updates.  User clicks
> "Yes", goes through a GUI sudo and types in root password, and apt runs off
> and gathers up a list of software to be installed, and this info is
> presented to the user along with total size of various downloads, and maybe
> an estimate of time to download. User clicks "Download and Install" and apt
> takes care of the rest.

I think it would be better to just improve a GUI package manager so that
it knows about security updates, and will make them a high priority. 
This would be fairly easy to implement in the backend; all we'd need to
do is add a Priority: high field or something to the Packages file. 
Then the frontend could just color those red, display them separately,

> 2.  Something that SuSE does very well, and which Red Hat is trying to do,
> is tweaking the default configurations of Gnome and KDE to make it a really
> easy system to use.  There are a lot of settings to play with in the various
> GUIs - mouse focus, key repeat rate, click versus double click to open
> desktop icon, etc. 

GNOME 2 is much better in this regard.  With respect to stuff like
unifying GNOME and KDE, let's just not go there.  We have too much other
stuff to work on.

> 3.  As you correctly pointed out, much of the work for Debian Desktop is
> already done, or will be done in Sarge and Sarge+1.  DD mostly involves
> tweaking stuff, and implementing various ease of use features.  And frankly,
> a lot of DD will involve politely asking various Debian Developer package
> maintainers to change this or that config file, etc.  As such, DD will have
> to be polite and play nicely with these folks if it wants to achieve its
> goals.  Good working relationships and cooperation are very important - it's
> not like DD can go off and just do its own thing like Deb-Med can do, more
> or less.

I agree completely.

> That said, I suspect that there will be a fair amount of good will towards
> the Debian Desktop effort on the part of some key developers.  I think Bdale
> and especially Branden will be supportive, and those two are some heavy
> hitters in the Debian world.  The trick is to win over the newbie hating
> elitist developers whose favorite refrain is, "RTFM".

Definitely true.

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