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

Les Mikesell lesmikesell at
Mon Sep 3 20:51:11 UTC 2007

Simo Sorce wrote:
> On Mon, 2007-09-03 at 12:02 -0500, Les Mikesell wrote:
>> 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. 
> You have heard about how Fedora has built an infrastructure to allow
> very easily to create "spins", what do you think that has been built
> for ?

You don't get it - I'm not interested in yet another limited set of 
choices on a custom CD that is already outdated by the time you download 
it.  I'd like to see a framework to track an expertly-maintained system 
with little extra effort for the person doing the maintenance and none 
on the ones following it.  If the admin adds or updates packages, the 
next update of the tracking machines should do the same.

>>From another email:
>> If free software distribution was really about sharing instead of 
>> providing a complex base to sell support and services,  I think 
>> something like this would have been done long ago."
> Can you spare us this ridiculous rhetoric ?

It is an overgeneralization, but not ridiculous.  You can choose between 
distributions funded by support/service subscriptions or ones that don't 
care much about the user experience and just warehouse the code.  I 
think we'd be better off with a way to share the support/service work 
and make user experiences reproducible in any quantity.

> Fedora is now built to make it easy to build spins. Just publishing a
> list of packages and let it die in oblivion is not going to help
> anybody.

Yes, that's exactly my point - the mechanism must permit tracking the 
continuous changes and updates made by the expert.

> An expert willing to help others can instead build a spin and
> really benefit other people, by providing them with a targeted
> distribution without caring about packaging, but just about how to
> select and put together packages and making sure you can build an
> installable system, which is what your are asking for.

No, that will be wrong by the time it reaches a user's hands. The 
mechanism I want is a minimal install that gets yum or an equivalent on 
the internet.  From there you pick an expert and a purpose for your 
machine and automatically get the set of packages installed in a tested, 
known-to-work, configuration just like an enterprise IT department might 
build for their desktops.  Don't like it? Just pick a different one and 
the package manager would adjust the installed packages to match.  Even 
if you have to try several know-working setups to get something you like 
it will be vastly easier than individually testing thousands of programs 
in all possible combinations yourself, and once you find a working 
master system you could always have an equally nicely working copy of it.

   Les Mikesell
    lesmikesell at

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