Re: Base distro + Requirements definition

<quote who="Mikael Hallendal">

> RPM's is imho better. It's a nicer package system to work with, and
> since I don't think we will be able to use the packages out-of-the-box
> anyway I think that we should choose with respect with what will be the
> easiest way to manipulate the packages/add new ones.

I don't think that's entirely true. A few examples of packages that we (as
the GNOME OS distribution thing) should have little to no interest in

  - X
  - PAM
  - openldap client libraries
  - most of the basic GNU stuff that should always be there
  - most application packages, say evolution, etc.
  - glibc, basic system stuff

This is all stuff that other people can, and should do. We don't need to
have people who either know about this stuff, or people who attempt to
fumble through it. Building from, and working with, an established
distribution provides network effects that we shouldn't just waste away. We
have better things to do.

[ Yes, some stuff we'd want to do ourselves, and some packages we'd
customise to a certain extent. That doesn't mean we can't have a good,
thorough platform to work from. ]

> >   - infrastructural elegance
> Which elegance? :)

/etc/network/interfaces, packages that 'just work' (restarting services,
good init scripts, configuration file handling, etc), Debian has a lot of
very well thought out infrastructure, and some that isn't all that well
finished off, but it would be a senseless waste of time to reimpliment

> The way we would have to go would be further if we were using Debian
> than Red Hat.

Only in some areas. The usability issues we'd want to address both ways, but
I think Debian has the infrastructural stuff mostly worked out. RH gives us
some short term positives, with a lot of mess, whilst Debian gives us tidy,
long term benefits. Plus, contributing our usability/sexiness work back to
Debian will give them more reason to be interested and helpful with our

> Using Bagheera would be even further _but_ we get the freedom of having a
> system where we can do pretty much what we want (as long as it's
> reasonable).

That's not freedom - that's a metric fuckload of work.

> >   - people working on stuff that may not be in our direct interest (fixing
> >     bugs in X, etc)
> We get this stuff anyway, without having the people on our team doing
> the actual fixing.

Sure, at the code level, but not at the distribution / integration level. If
we're doing all that work ourselves, we're wasting time on solved issues
when we should be looking at the ones that *haven't* been solved. Let's
concentrate on our areas of interest, not the basic building blocks of a

- Jeff

   I used the word 'infrastructure' when describing her cooking style...    
                   and she didn't speak to me for a week.                   

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