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Re: Distibutions (was KDE Debian distribution)

On Wed, Feb 20, 2002 at 12:17:01AM +0100, Gregor Zeitlinger wrote:

> On Mon, 18 Feb 2002, Ron Johnson wrote:
> > On Mon, 18 Feb 2002 11:33:28 +0100 (CET) Gregor Zeitlinger
> > <zeitling@informatik.hu-berlin.de> wrote: If you are asking about a
> > Distribution, try http://www.libranet.com.  Just started shipping
> > v2.0.
> I was reather looking for something KDE only to save disk space and to
> increase ease of installing. Not for myself actually, as my skill was
> sufficient to to install debian with dselect, but I'd like to
> recommend people a linux system where you can upgrade with one
> command, but which still is not too complicated to install, doen't

Corel Linux. It's KDE based, base installation (including KDE) is under
400MiB, has graphical frontends for EVERYTHING, and Corel has dumped it.


Well, there's Caldera, which has the same advantages but a very weird
license. There's SuSE which has a graphical update feature that (I
heard) is actually supposed to work, YaST is decent enough for package
management (because SuSE doesn't have 9000 packages, only about 2000)
and, you've got to admit - a newbie can install it really quickly.

> Why KDE and not Gnome? It's the consitent look'n'feel which KDE can
> certainly deliver. Gnome has a couple good apps like StarOffice (or
> are they still using AbiWord?) and Evolution, but the integration is

Staroffice is not Gnome based, it's Starview based (their own cross
platform class library, which was developed in 1990 when Staroffice was
still Windows + SCO Unix only, and later OS/2).

> terrible.  Some are even using different widgets=different
> look'n'feel. Does it bother? Yes, it bothers if open file dialogs are

The default Gnome file dialog SUCKS. I'm really happy that xmms supports
drag&drop, I would rather kill than use this file dialog. Its usability
reminds you of Windows 3.1 - on drugs, at night, without glasses, with
only one hand, and a broken finger.

> "Great game you've got, what does it need?" "95, 98, Me or XP" "Ok".
> That's already the limit of what most people can handle. I'd already

Win95 is out. Most apps don't support it any more. Same for NT4. 

And before anybody says "Unix is forking" (which is true, fork() doesn't
exist under Windows because Win32 is dog slow in creating new tasks,
that's why they had to invent threads ;) the compatability between CE,
98, 2000, XP, Server, Advanced server and Datacenter server is much
worse than between Linux (runnin on an IPAC, a PC, or a S/390).

> have trouble telling my mom that versions is a issue at all but four
> labels... it might give it a try. Now compare two what to the linux
> world. "You either need Red Hat 6.0-7.2, Suse 7.0+, Mandrade 8+ ..."
> or "Here's a document I've done in Suse 7.2" "Hey, I can't open it"
> (he was using StarOffice rather than KOffice....)

So? People are using Lotus Wordperfect stuff in Windows, or Staroffice
(Staroffice has about a quarter of the office market in Germany, this
mostly due to Deutsche Bank, and Allianz, using it exclusively IIRC)
> That's not going to win us the desktop battle any time soon. We need

Nothing other than PRELOADING is going to win the desktop battle. People
tend to stick to what they got with their computer. "Hey, it was free,
so what?" (Never mind if the computer without system would have been
€100 cheaper.)

As long as MS has gagged all distributors with licenses that forbid them
to install anything BUT MS software on the machines they sell (no matter
what the customer wants), Linux will not really thrive as a desktop OS -
no matter how good, fast, stable, cheap or whatever it is.

> to have one thing and versions of that one thing. That means one
> office suit, one browser, one look'n'feel, one distro. Economically

"One World, One Web, One Browser" -- Microsoft commercial

You want this? Really?

> That's no exaggeration: The most most people ever see from *nix is an
> ugly fvwm or CDE and they'll avoid it from then on if they possibly

Yes. That's a basic problem, Windows is more "fotogen". The biggest web
space provider, Puretec/S&P in Germany, recently toured through Germany
for promotion and distributed CDs with walkthroughs of their computing
centre. Now I know for a fact that just about EVERYTHING they run is
Linux-based. They do have a few Win2k-Servers but they don't really
count, the infrastructure and 98% of their servers (about 2500 of them)
are all Linux.

What did you see on the movies? dozens of monitors showing Win2k login
screens. It just looked better than a text mode console login prompt.
> Well, I'm pretty sure this is the way to go, if Linux will get the
> desktop mass market ever, but I'm not very optimistic if looking at

Two things need to be done:

	A) Preloading. Persuade Dell or Compaq to load Linux on *ALL*
	   machines (and sell Windows as an optional upgrade).

	B) Games. Kids had absolutely no problems spending WEEKS trying
	   to customize CONFIG.SYS, installing new memory managers,
	   hacking their system to get more free RAM, just for DOOM to
	   be 0.2% faster.
	   They will become the ultimate Linux cracks if the goal is
	   there. You just can't impress a 13-old with an ultra-fast 
	   and stable Apache.

	   I couldn't care less about games, but I know a LOT of people
	   who would switch to Linux today if they could play games

> the distro wars. I mean, if there was one distro, all current

The same problem with Windows. What version are you gonna take? 98,
2000, XP? 

You want XP? Which one? XP Home, XP Pro, XP.Net, XP.Net Server, XP
Advanced Server, XP.Net Advanced Server?

> distributors could contribute to it (not fork it) and they'd have less
> work each. They'd still be selling the support, which is the main part

There's LSB, which does this (kind of). Other than that, there actually
-is- a standard distribution.

	SuSE: for Europe.
	Redhat: for USA.
	Debian: for professionals and power users.
	TurboLinux: for number crunchers and highend servers.
	IBM: for IBM hardware.

etc.  I think this is standard enough.

> Am I too optimistic?


If you want to "dumb down" Linux to Windows level you will have millions
of power users and zealots biting your neck. If you keep Linux as it is,
"dumb" users will not have an entry.

But all that is completely irrelevant until distributors start making
agreements with BIG eggheads, like Compaq, Dell, IBM (already done),
Gateway, etc.

And THIS is not going to happen until Microsofts gag contracts are
forbidden (my computer dealer is not ALLOWED to ship anything BUT
Windows XP on new computers ATM).

mfg, Jens Benecke  /// www.hitchhikers.de, www.linuxfaq.de, www.linux.ms
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