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[desktop] Two "desktop" approaches

First can i please Thank Colin Walters for all his hard work on the Debian
Desktop project.

I have a few concerns/ideas on the direction of the project. In my opinion
there are two kinds of desktop environment, each with distinct needs. These
are the managed and unmanaged environments. (Sorry these were the best terms
i could think of)

A managed environment is one in which a system administrator sets up
(usually) a collection of workstations each with identical software setups
(e.g using FAI), central login (ldap/nis) and storage (NFS). Here the
administrator is going to be (usually) competent in the configuration of the
operating system. However his (or her) life could be made easier by tools
that facilitate the automatic installation and configuration of hardware on
the whole cluster of workstations. Tools to manage the central
authentication system would also be advantageous. Obvisouly here he does now
want the user to worried with configuration programs for the system. 

This is the environment found in universities and enterprise situations and
one in which Debian does a reasonable job, however this could be improved.

The second environment is the one where the primary user of the system is
setting it up and configuring it himself. ie in general a home user or
generally individual desktop machine. Here pretty gui configuration tools
are an advantage.

My slight worry is that too much attention is being placed on the latter
rather than the former, however i think both are equally important. My
interest lies particuarly with the former and i am working on solutions for
mass installation and configuration and management (which is lots of fun!)

What do other people think?


Rob 'robster' Bradford

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