Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 28th Aug 2006 18:15 UTC, submitted by anonymous
Linux "How many distributions does the Linux world need? And what exactly is a distribution, as opposed to just an edition of another distribution? Why is it that there are so many developers who feel inclined to start their own project instead of joining another, more established one?"
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RE: There are many reasons...
by orfanum on Tue 29th Aug 2006 12:33 UTC in reply to "There are many reasons..."
orfanum
Member since:
2006-06-02

Admittedly going off at a bit of a tangent here (I suppose I could be replying to a number of posts in this thread) but just to apply the frequently used car analogy to the last paragraph - is it true to some extent to say we should distinguish betwen the kit car and and the custom car "model"?

The kit car you may assemble yourself, based on standard parts that are known to work, according to a standard plan that is clear. The builder of a kit car may have a number of reasons for not buying a "standard" production-model car, but the kit car system works because the parts relate to the plan and the plan to the parts - it's standardised in that way. There may be different types of kit car model for different types of motoring. You can even buy kit cars that are assembled by other folk.

The custom car model allows an owner to radically alter the appearance of a production-line car (or even a kit-car, come to that). It can be as excessive or as modest a change as the owner feels, but basically after all the changes, the car still runs because literally under the hood it's a standard car - you may still turn the key in the ignition and it works.

Sometimes I get the feeling that there's confusion in the Linux world between the kit car and the custom car - the custom car is taken to be the basis for "another distro" when it should be the kit car, which is what in my very humble understanding a true distribution should consist of.

For all the geeks, hackers, and savvy folk out there, no-one whining about an apparent loss of overview or potentially unnecessary dissipation of effort is going to stop you creating your own custom jalopy - you have the technique, technology and can rebuild - you are not going to lose out.

On the other hand, the 'ordinary user' would probably in my view win a great deal of confidence if, in being able to chose an alternative to a standard production-model OS (say, Windows), he or she could at least recognise it as a car, expect it to work according to the plan, and apply their ordinary driving skills to it.

just my 'bear-of-little-brain' view...

Edited 2006-08-29 12:35

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