Re: Thinking about Dogfood

On Mon, Aug 13, 2001 at 04:44:52PM +0800 or thereabouts, Malcolm Tredinnick wrote:
> On Mon, Aug 13, 2001 at 12:24:48AM -0700, Seth Nickell wrote:
> > > Please remember as we are going through this process that there are a
> > > lot of refurbished computers out there just waiting for Linux and GNOME
> > > to come and brighten up their lives. Keep it looking swish and wonderful
> > > on the latest hardware, but make it runnable on the little boxes as
> > > well.
> > 
> > Run an older version of GNOME from the same era as the hardware. I think
> > its silly to be constantly insisting on the latest software when older
> > software was actually designed to run on those systems.

Exactly how old are you suggesting? A trimmed-down Gnome 1.4 runs 
on my MediaGX ("sort of a pentium") with 32M. It doesn't run perfectly, 
and trimmed down means "no file manager", switching all bells and 
whistles off, and having to mess with a lot of defaults (dammit, 
the defaults should be for _low_-spec machines: ever tried to wade 
through mud switching funky bits off? Far faster for the people on 
the fast boxes to switch the extras on). 

But I am not insisting on the latest software. I have no problems
sticking to stable stuff, especially on old machines. My problem is
when I report bugs in stable stuff and am told to upgrade to the
latest version for the bug-fix, and the latest version suddenly
requires another eight packages. 

We told _lots_ of people "we're never going to fix the 'can't change
the font on the gmc icons' bug: nautilus will be the new file manager
and it will allow this". We effectively told them "you must get a
different file manager, a newer one, a bigger one, and one which
requires more horsepower than the old one does. For a bug-fix."
There are many more gmc bugs we told people "nautilus will solve
that" for, but that's one example that came up a lot. 

That's not the user insisting on the latest software. That's the
user being told s/he has to get it to get a bug fixed. 

> It should be possible to run a sort of Gnome 2.0-lite setup. You won't
> be able to run things will all the bells and whistles turned on, but

I agree completely. 

> that's ok. I really hope this will not become an issue of "this is my
> dead horse and I reserve the right to flog it", over the coming months.
> I am willing to do some of the work myself to work out how to make this
> happen (I bought a machine of those sort of specs just for testing these
> things recently, but haven't set it up yet). 
> /me draws line in the sand.

/me stands behind it. 

I wish I could help fix it. The best I can do is to offer to post
some numbers, if anyone can tell me the correct way to produce numbers
which are _meaningful_. By 'meaningful' I mean: "doesn't start the 
'that's the wrong way to measure memory use' thread again; and "has
results which are useful to hackers". 


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