[gobolinux-users] user-friendly Gobolinux

hisham.hm at gmail.com hisham.hm at gmail.com
Mon Jun 25 16:18:07 UTC 2007


On 6/22/07, Paul Dann <pdgiddie at googlemail.com> wrote:
> Hi all,
> 
>   Whilst searching for info on Listener I accidentally stumbled across a
> post from "kenneth marken" in 2005:
> > here is a blog or something that was posted on osnews the other day.
> > while the first page is stock "whats wrong with linux" filler, the next
> > couple of pages are interesting, mostly when he gets to talking about
> > mounting /home as a database file system.
> >
> >
> http://akaimbatman.blogspot.com/2005/06/linux-desktop-distribution-of-future_15.html
>   I was shocked to discover that there were no replies to this.  This is
> one of the most spot-on articles I've ever read on Linux usability in my
> opinion.  What's more, I think that a lot of what this guy is suggesting
> could be implemented reasonably easily in Gobolinux, except for the new
> database filesystem.

I did exchange some emails with the article author back in the day. As you can see, the general problem of getting "user-friendliness" covers many layers of the system. Some of these layers are within the scope of our project, some are beyond. Still, there are many ways to obtain the desired end results -- one can add another layer on top giving a consistent look to how things are handled, or one can tweak things in the lower levels. To the end user, as long as "it's simple" to them, it makes no difference (hence the stance of many Gnome developers in abstracting away the FS at UI level, for example). 

We're focusing on consistency at filesystem hierarchy level right now -- and yes, for some things it would be probably even be better to go to an even lower level, at filesystem structure level. I have worked with FUSE for a while and I see a lot of potential. For a long while GoboLinux was very much a "research distro" in which we tried different approaches to things, breaking stuff along the way, but always improving its design in the long run. Now, we still maintain some (or maybe a lot?) of that, but at the same time, both users and developers like our current design enough so that we want to be able to use it efficiently, so getting it to "work" is becoming more and more a priority over research-oriented, conceptual tinkering.

It's always a challenge to keep these two approaches in focus (even more when "getting a Linux distro to work" is a moving target, as evidenced by recent udev woes), but we try.

-- Hisham

ps: Congrats on your marriage. :)



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