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Re: [debian-knoppix] Open accounting and Open source



  I'm replaying here to you and Christian Perle. I don't want to repeat
  twice the same in the same thread :)

  First of all, I have tryed Knoppix and it has impressed me a lot. I'm
  also (as much as I can) whatching Metadistros
  (http://metadistros.hispalinux.es) development, as we presented here
  some time ago, and I'm also trying to see as much as this effort
  integrated back into Debian, as I see that Debian, Knoppix,
  Metadistros and other third parties will benefit from this. As Klaus
  says a bit below, one thing that Debian developers make quite well is
  Debian packages.

  Said this, let's see the main points of Knoppix:

   1. Hardware detection: 
     This is very needed for median users to
     newbies. Also power users want to use it if available.
     New Debian installer will have hardware detection, so this gap will
     be saved.
     One very important issue related to this is having a nice database of
     components, so this detection software works well with that card
     released yesterday.

     I know that in Hispalinux association some people were working in
     this, trying to integrate the datasets provided by different
     detection libraries and also with the experience they have got with
     LinEX (installed in a great number of computers). Also something as
     Debian's popularity-contest software was being thinked but for
     hardware, so people could send their new configured hardware to the
     database.

   2. Installation:
     Debian and Knoppix instalation aim to different spaces. Debian is a
     generic installation system, which let's you select which packages
     do you want to be installed, and which not. Knoppix offers you a
     set of packages yet installed, and you have the opportinuty of copy
     that to the HD.

     In my opinion Debian installation is useful for the user who knows
     what he wants installed (I'm talking here about the way Debian or
     other distros like Red Hat are installed, not the software being
     used for that, which I have said before, is being rewritten)
     Knoppix way of installing a system is useful for people who don't
     know what programs thay want, but knows what they want - or
     somebody, as the company's sys-admin can know for them.

     Here appears the concept being pushed by Metadistros. In this
     concept there is a Metadistros Base System (SBM) which provides the
     basic packages installed with some modifications in configurations
     and a "loader" which allows you to run the system as a Live Cd or
     install it as Knoppix installation makes. Over this, you can build
     you own distribution, suited for your users. There will be more
     generic ones (as Gnome desktop users) or more specific ones
     (put_your_company's_name_here distro). And I personally feel that
     this SBM must be part of Debian, as tools needed for configuring
     specific distributions.

     With this concept, Knoppix will become a distribution built over
     this base system. And also Debian subprojects will be able to
     easily release CDs with Debian subsets, only what they need, with a
     Live CD and the possibility of it being installed on HD (Debian
     flavors?)

     I think that the most things can be integrated in Debian, the best
     is for everyone. For example, with this approach, Klaus will be
     able to focus in what they do very well: making live systems, but
     bugs specific to packages will reach easily to Debian mantainer,
     which knows better how to deal with it. And this has the benefit of
     getting a great FEEDBACK which is always very useful. Only to show
     some figures: a system built over Metadistros (and such, over
     Debian) will be installed in 20,000 computers in schools in Andalucia
     (the region most in the South of Spain). So imagine how much
     feedback to Debian and following the chain to Free Software in
     general can be generated from children who has been using Debian
     based systems since they were 6 years old in a little gap. This
     will really make Debian the "universal OS".

     What I want with this is start seeding how I see Debian in some
     time, and how Knoppix have opened a door that can make Free
     Sortware improve a lot. But this must be done for the people who
     know how to do it. And Knoppix people and Metadistros people (and
     those other building live systems as Morphix) know very well how to
     do it. And cooperating, each one doing what they know best, will
     make things go faster.

     Of course, this won't mean that Knoppix will vanish. Of course not.
     Knoppix will be a very good live system for desktop users, for
     example. But people wanting to make a firewall with a live system
     (as I have seen here) won't have to hack Knoppix, but they'll have
     all tools they need in Debian.

     And this is not vaporware at all. The main expample is Knoppix
     itself. And Metadistros has also software developed yet.

     You have Metadistro's whitepaper at
     http://metadistros.hispalinux.es/archives/whitepaper.pdf

     And there are also a document with the current status of SBM at
     http://metadistros.hispalinux.es/documentacion/sbm/index.html but
     only in Spanish.

     And as what it's better understood is code, metadistros CVS is at
     http://cvs.hispalinux.es/cgi-bin/cvsweb/?cvsroot=metadistros
     ("paquetes"  and "scripts" dir)

     Thank for your attention, and sorry for the so long mail.

-- 
  Jose Carlos Garcia Sogo
     jsogo@debian.org

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