Linked by Adam S on Wed 30th Apr 2003 07:26 UTC
Linux Lately, we've all read a lot of articles about desktop Linux - so many that it's getting hard to tell them apart. One says "Why Linux Sucks," the next "My Success With Linux." Even Michael Robertson of joined the fun with his "Why Desktop Linux Sucks, Today." But very few people have proposed anything radical, and I believe that's what's needed to take GNU/Linux to the next level.
Permalink for comment
To read all comments associated with this story, please click here.
How Radical?
by Michael A. Clem on Wed 30th Apr 2003 17:57 UTC

The first question is how radical do you really want to be? As some keep pointing out "Linux" is just the kernel. Everything else could be changed or replaced, and it would still be a "Linux distro".
I would dump X and use an entirely different GUI system, preferably one closely integrated with GUI system tools. Nowadays, there are even several different choices of file systems: Ext2, Ext3, XFS, ReiserFS, UFS, etc. Pick one that would work best with your GUI design.
Of course, the more "radical" the distro, the less compatible it would be with other Linux distros. However, POSIX is not LINUX or UNIX. I would stick with a high degree of POSIX-compatibility unless you had very good reasons for not doing so.
File system hierarchy? Again, it's a matter of how compatible you want to be with other Linux distros, or how well you can compensate for the differences. But I wouldn't put too much faith in symlinks to solve the problem.
Of course, to make this a reality, you need some good developers who can actually create the code, because the more radical the distro, the more new code that will need be to generated. Some existing software could probably be used as a shortcut, but you don't want to restrict or lock in your vision, do you?
The first thing to do would to take a look at [i]already existing[/] projects and make sure somebody isn't already doing exactly what you want. LinuxStep has already been mentioned, and I believe there are a few different GUI projects like Fresco around. And Blue-Eyed OS is another project that is using the Linux kernel, although their intention is not really a Linux distro.
But the first step is really to have a good idea about what you're trying to achieve.