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Re: Fedora core suggestions

On Fri, 2006-04-21 at 10:42 -0400, Alo Tsum wrote:
> Fedora Core 5 is a truly amazing OS and one I think has the potential
> to really do great things. Looking forward to what the Fedora Project
> has the potential to do, especially with its new focus I decided to
> give some suggestions as to what could possibly be done starting with
> Fedora 6 and onward. Some of my suggestions are definitely based on
> the OS itself but others are also concerning the general focus and
> outlook of the Fedora Project itself. I hope my suggestion are not
> regarded as offensive in anyway and they are only meant to highlight
> the greatness of Fedora as well as to reflect my strong desire to see
> this project take off and propel the Linux OS to new heights.
> First suggestions has to do with the software side of things. We users
> need a competent software installer which is graphical based. One that
> functions much the same way that the windows installer works. 

Oh, no we don't!
Each Application in the Windows world uses it's own installer; The OS
itself has no control over what each installer does and how it registers
itself... or even worse, if it's even capable of uninstalling itself.

> This installer should track dependencies naturally and place icons on
> the desktop or give the option to have icons for the software just
> installed to be placed on the desktop of the user as well as in the
> applications menu.

A. Most Windows installers -do- no track dependencies. At best, they
just blindly copy required DLL into the application directory. (Or
worse, into System32 and/or common, causing the lovely "DLL Hell"
B. Most/all Windows installers are in-capable of downloading
C. Most Windows installers do no ask you if you want desktop icons (I
don't!)... nor do they ask you where you want to installer the icons, or
even the application itself.

No, we really, -really-, -really- don't want to mimic Microsoft's crappy
install system.

> Also when watching the Boston Linux conference the suggestion was made
> to offer a hard disc manager much like windows offers for formating
> and receiving hard drivers etc after installation. 

Anaconda already has such tool.
Same goes for lvm. (system-config-lvm)

> My second set of suggestions will deal with the over all focus and
> structure of the fedora project. I was listening to a pod cast
> interview with the head of the fedora project where in, the topic came
> up of some how generating revenue to put back into the project and
> make it more self sufficient. So I have a few suggestions which I
> think the Redhat company itself should take note of. Firstly Redhat
> while promoting Linux among enthusiast is also in the business of
> making money. On that front I believe that they should not only
> attempt to evangelize Linux in the government, education, and
> corporate sectors; they should also attempt to get Linux in each and
> every home. The reason being is if people are starting to use Linux in
> their homes and they are comfortable with it, employers will be more
> likely and willing to deploy a operating system which is different in
> many ways to windows on the interactive level. Reason being is when
> people have to stop to learn new technology this cuts down on
> productivity and as a person who works for a IT department in a major
> university I can also vouch for the fact a IT team will not be willing
> to suggest an infrastructure restructuring when they know, supporting
> users on something foreign to them is going to increase their workload
> 10 fold. So bottom line, more users both advanced, intermediate and
> beginners need to be converted to the Linux faithful but now the
> question becomes how?

I doubt that Linux will be joe-six-pack ready any time soon.
Come to think about it, I doubt that Windows is joe-six-pack ready.

Having said that, pushing Fedora into the hands of home users, is a
-great- way to push Linux into enterprises. (and vice versa)

> The Fedora project is the perfect tool for this and here is how. The
> fedora team should focus SOLELY on making the operating system run as
> smoothly and as fast as possible, interacting with a HUGE number of
> hardware configurations. Installation needs to be as smooth as silk
> and upgrading needs to be fail proof from version to version.
> Previously installed drives 

As long as open source drivers are being used, upgrade can/should
preserve them.
Once close source drivers are used, it's PITA. 

BTW, same goes for Windows; MS can hardly use Windows ME drivers if you
upgrade to XP....

> with personal user data needs to be able to be retained without fail
> from upgrade to upgrade if the user isn't doing a clean install. 


> Now I would like to move on to "partnerships" Fedora project should
> look into making "partners" or some other creative term to define
> other Linux projects and organizations. In this partnership Fedora
> will tightly enforce standards which will ensure that any software
> created to run on fedora is following say the OIN and the GPL
> standards to the letter to ensure an user friendly and secure/stable
> operating system that runs smoothly. Many people in the Linux
> community may grumble about this suggestion however life is about
> progression and when things do not change and evolve and progress to
> new levels then they are doomed to become extinct (think dinosaurs
> here) or at the very least remain niche applications.

Enforcing people into doing things never works... especially when it
comes to FOSS.
FOSS is built around being a thriving ecosystem with multiple competing
projects... In my view KDE vs. GNOME, OpenOffice vs. koffice, Opera vs.
Konq vs Firefox, etc  is a -good- thing. Trying to enforce it will only
create yet-another Microsoft... I doubt that we want to create such a

I do agree on full GPL/OIN, though.

>  If Fedora project implements such a model, they do not have to worry
> about making certain software for the OS which would take far to much
> time and man power to create. Prime example would be the hard disk
> manager or even the software installer.


>  This sort of work could be left to groups who's soul purpose is to
> make such software and by following strict guidelines they would
> become Fedora project "partners" and in turn they would be promised
> that their software will be included in the fedora core release. Also
> by following strict guidelines this software could be implemented in
> other Linux distributions which are also following said guidelines.
> This would take the pressure off of Fedora and they can then focus on
> whats important which is making their OS run like silk. Again let me
> stress this approach is keeping in mind that projects such as Fedora
> and other Linux distributions desire to penetrate more into the home
> desktop market, which then also means more users will or could
> eventually equate to greater adoption of the platform in other
> industries as a result of user awareness and user comfort with the
> Linux platform. I should also mention that those software development
> groups that do not comply could be offered as Fedora extras so the
> community still has choices which is really part of the appeal of
> Linux.

I semi agree with you here... do again, I rather have 6 projects trying
to achieve goal X, each taking a different route (with the best project
wins) then a single, enforced way of doing things.
I doubt that FOSS would have been if only GNOME would have existed. (and
vice versa)

> Okay so with all that said how could this generate income? Well lets
> say Fedora project comes up with one of the first 100% standard
> enforced distributions which is as user friendly or even more so than
> MS windows. Now say a "ambassador" from Fedora can start making the
> rounds to Dell and other companies and attempt to get them to start
> offering this FREE Linux distribution on some of their PC models,
> which would also allow for lower prices on the retail side for them
> (ie Dell, Gateway etc.) as the OS is FREE and that cuts down on cost
> which the end user ends up incurring. But we still have not addressed
> revenue for the Fedora project, and this can be done by following the
> Redhat model of offering technical support. Fedora project could
> basically offer technical support certification and training to Dell
> staff as an example so they (the PC manufacturer) can then take over
> supporting the platform for their end users, which also equates to
> revenue for these companies in the long run because they can offer
> extended tech support to end users at a premium. Fedora core could
> charge a VERY minimal fee for this training, so say charge enough that
> it would generate revenue that can then be pumped back into the
> project and at the same time would still make it cheaper for Dell and
> other companies to go with Linux on some desktop offerings as opposed
> to having a windows only offering.

Umm.... You are suggesting RedHat drops RHEL and uses Fedora instead,
returning to the old "RedHat Linux" model.
I can't see what RedHat has to gain by dropping RHEL.

> The future of Linux if to be taken seriously should not be relegated
> to just the business, government, and education world as far as
> standards, reliability, and software / hardware vendor support is
> concerned. The brand will grow far more rapidly if consumers are
> adopting the standard at home and at work so basically this is a
> bottom up approach. This of this, more desktop users in the home also
> means more software sales for major companies because you will have
> more people buying video games and other such things which will also
> mean more companies willing to adopt the platform because software
> offering become greater. 


> There needs to be a consorted effort on the parts of all parties
> involved to take Linux to that next phase of existence other wise
> Linux as a brand, while it may grow some what will not see its full
> potential. With the software being a open and free model we still have
> to realize with a flurry of hodge podge coding and no standards
> insight the end user ends up losing at least as far as the home front
> is concerned. Most people are forced to run duel boot Windows and
> Linux systems because software makers and hardware manufactures have
> not fully bought into the Linux model and we as a community only have
> ourselves to blame for that. 

Not that again... Sigh....

The FOSS community cannot force hardware manufacturers to release open
source drivers.
The FOSS community cannot even make sure that they build compatible
closed source drivers.

More-ever, as an ex Microsoft Beta tester, I can vividly remember the
first release versions of Windows NT (3.1, 3.5, 3.5.1, 4) and 2000 which
were just as troublesome (driver support wise) as Linux is today.

If you wanted to run Windows NT 3.1, you needed NT 3.1 support hardware.
Same goes for Windows 2K (when it was released...)
And the same goes for Linux.

> This approach will also take some evangelizing to the software makers
> of such things as yum and KDE however I believe that those who do not
> see the need and importants of doing such things will render
> themselves obsolete in the long run. Just look at the Unix model, and
> we can see what the disasters of not doing this can incur. 

Doing what?
Dropping GPL?
Freezing the kernel API by moving into stagnant development mode just so
nVidia/ATI won't be required to keep up?
What are you suggesting?


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