My 2 cents on the whole Fedora to succeed as global wide deployed desktop are...

Les Mikesell lesmikesell at
Mon Sep 3 17:02:05 UTC 2007

Jeroen van Meeuwen wrote:

>>> Restrictively patented software may, in your and many others' 
>>> opinion, still be Free; I my opinion, it's not. It may be FOSS, but 
>>> it isn't Free in the most pure sense of the word; If I can't share 
>>> what I use, freely, with someone else just because there so happens 
>>> to be an ocean in between and my buddy is living in the states; that 
>>> to me isn't free.
>> But surprisingly, nobody makes any effort to share the burden of 
>> system administration, which is why so few people use unix-like 
>> systems and why there are endless discussions like this of what 
>> packages should and shouldn't be installed or bundled in some small 
>> set of configuration choices that aren't going to fit everyone or be 
>> exactly right for any purpose.
> I'm sorry, you should not have read "If I can't share what I use" as:
>  "If I cannot publish a list of my installed software and their settings"
> rather then
>  "I'm using something that is free here, but once I start using it 
> elsewhere it may be illegal or I might get sued."

My take on it is that there is a lot of work that can be shared with no 
legal interference and no one bothers to do it.  Why not solve the 
problem that can be solved easily first?

>> What we really need is a push-button way for anyone who thinks they 
>> have built a system that is well configured for some particular use to 
>> publish his installed package list - and perhaps add a repository in 
>> the odd case that he needed something not in the usual repositories.  
>> Then anyone else should be able to read through the descriptions of 
>> the purposes for these configurations and why the admin that created 
>> them believes his setup is the best, pick one, and automatically get 
>> the same set of packages installed on his own computer - and 
>> periodically repeat to track the updates.  This would eliminate about 
>> 90% of the reasons for having multiple distributions with confusing 
>> differences and give the effect of having an expert system 
>> administrator tuning each installation for its intended use.
> If you're gonna build profiles of what software is suited for what 
> purpose, along with the ideal settings, I'm curious what a user would 
> think of a 3-million-profiles-website he can choose the most fit profile 
> from.

It's approximately the same problem as deciding what song to listen to, 
or what news story to read next, something people do all the time, and 
more useful than wading through the gazillion different distributions on 
distrowatch, each trying to be a general purpose solution not really 
matched to any specific use. I doubt if there are 3 million people 
arrogant enough to call themselves experts, though.  There are probably 
a few hundred configurations that an expert sysadmin would build for 99% 
of uses and the good ones would sort themselves out by reputation and be 
improved by user feedback.  The base distribution could then just 
concentrate on getting all the programs into a repository and keeping 
their interfaces compatible so you didn't have to throw everything out 
to update.

   Les Mikesell
     lesmikesell at

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