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Re: Nicholas Negroponte challenges: Give us lightweight Linux

>From Knut Yrvin on Wednesday, 2006-04-05 at 16:03:35 +0200:
> * Project proposal 
> (by Knut Yrvin April 5th 2006)
> Linux has bloated is the message from Nicholas Negroponte, the MIT
> professor who launched the "One Laptop Per Child" solution. We need a
> fully functional version on a laptop with 500MHz AMD processor, 128 MB
> RAM, and 512 MB flash memory "harddrive". We need Linux to be more
> lightweight he says at Linux World. This Norwegian articles reports
> from Negropontes speech at Linux World April 4th 2006:
> http://www.digi.no/php/art.php?id=298814
> We have experienced the same thing in the
> Skolelinux/DebianEdu-project. Some software programs uses a lot of
> memory in runtime, and also when it's installed.  The OpenOffice.org
> office suite and FireFox demands a lot of memory in runtime. Windows
> environment is also "bloated" (GNOME, KDE). When running a lot of thin
> clients i a LTSP-nettwork this programs demands more server memory.
> My impression is that the amount of RAM is increased from 2 GB to 4 GB
> when using OpenOffice.org, FireFox and the most common Windows
> managers on 50 thin clients. Because of memory usages and speed issues
> some municipalities runs ICEwm as Windows manager on all their thin
> clients (500-600 clients in 9 schools).

... but on the other hand people are unwilling to make compromises
on functionality.  Thus we have the often-heard statement that
Skolelinux/Debian-Edu would be nothing without OpenOffice.org --
it is hard to reconcile these points of view.  Flash is demanding, 
but people demand Flash ...

> In my view solutions that Damn Small Linux does not give the required
> applications for use in an educational environment:
> http://www.damnsmalllinux.org/

This is also my complaint with DSL.  It is nice with a small system,
but if you really insist on going this direction you should go with
Tom's Root/Boot http://www.toms.net/rb/

> Therefore I propose: 
> * A project to make a de-bloated OLPC-profile for DebianEdu
> -- It should investigate the memory usage on todays standalone-profile
> -- It should de-bloate kwin windows manager and investigate
>    replacements as xfce and ICEwm.

Good choices.

> -- It should look to the municipality of Kongsvinger solution with use
>    of Konqueror as a file-browser and possible replacement for FireFox
>    as a web-browser
> -- Look at Koffice as a replacement for OpenOffice.org (this is meant
>    for kids, and they do not really need a fully fletched office suite
>    when they uses computers for learning. Then browser applications
>    with teaching tools are the thing to use e.g Moodle and
>    http://mathforum.org/mathtools/cell/a,ALL,ALL,ALL/)

Problems.  As soon as you introduce any KDE applications, you are
going to have 150MB of libraries, and a certain degree of bloat.

I would prefer the abiword/gnumeric solution for a minimal system.
Abiword has committed itself to supporting .odf as well as .doc, 
and gnumeric for a long time was considered to be a *better* 
spreadsheet than Calc -- maybe it still is.


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