Joined: Feb. 2007
||Posted: Mar. 12 2007,23:41
|Quote (dougz @ Mar. 12 2007,17:56)|
|I have great respect for the tremendous technology that goes into DSL, but it may become a victim of its own success.|
I disagree. DSL fits a particular niche that other small distros don't. And never will.
...has nothing to do with minimal Linux distributions. It has to do with the pace of bleeding edge technology, specifically the rate at which transistors can be -- and are -- added to circuits over specific periods of time.
|DSL is technically brilliant, but the other small distros are far easier for *nix newbies. Most users don't want to have to deal with configuring backup/restore and persistent directories, let alone .uci & .unc. Great technology of speed & space efficiency, but not newbie-friendly.|
I disagree. Everything has a learning curve. DSL has plenty of documentation available for anyone to understand how to get the most out of it. DSL is also a lot more versatile than Puppy (since you mentioned it) in that DSL can make use of Debian's apt-get, and it also gives the user the option of loading to RAM (Puppy does it by default, doesn't it?). And "newbie-friendly" is pretty subjective. If that includes auto-detection of hardware, DSL is on par or even ahead of Puppy and Vector (I have hardware DSL has detected right off the bat that the latter two took some manual configuring).
|Further, the DSL app repository seriously lags the other distros. While this may (occasionally) be for size reasons, it makes DSL somewhat less competitive when open source apps go through relatively rapid function & security updates. E.g., DSL 3.2 has Firefox 1.06 while current is 2.02. How to install that on a (recommended) Frugal system, should the user have the resources & desire to do so?|
They do. Let them develop it themselves if they seek to be on the bleeding edge. This is an area where I wonder what people are smoking. DSL can be extended to include any update any user wants. No? Take a look at which versions of SeaMonkey (almost the most recent) and Opera (latest) are available. Concerned about security? Take a look at the following link and note two things. First, the greatest number of vulnerabilities are with x.0 -- major -- upgrade versions. I don't want 2.0 -- which was the latest available at the time of the last DSL release -- and its bugs on a STABLE (old stable, heh) system. Second, note that the severity of the vulnerabilities increases proportionally by release -- 1.5+ has many more vulnerabilities to patch than 1.0.6, etc.
|DSL has been very successful in the ultra small system area and the system rescue area. Now that Gparted, SystemRescue, and BackTrack are moving into the rescue area, one has to wonder if there will continue to be enough interest in the ultra small distro or whether there needs to be something a bit bigger & friendlier for newbies.|
"Bigger" is a problem for those who want an embedded system to run in Windows or Linux, or who want to boot and run Linux completely with a USB thumbdrive.
|Let me emphasize that this is said with the utmost respect for the authors and the knowledge that I'm in the minority in the DSL user base. I'm concerned that the user base won't grow if the emphasis continues to be primarily on the 50 MB user. Moores law may start passing DSL by.|
Moore's Law has nothing to do with this issue.
The number of computers that will reach obsolence or a dead end with respect to XP over the next few years will make them as much candidates for "bloated" distros like Ubuntu, Mandriva, etc., as for smaller ones. Anything capable of running XP comfortably will just as comfortably run Ubuntu.
What you expect is DSL to try to keep up with the Fluxbuntus, UbuntuLites, Vectors, and Puppies. I think DSL has its own niche that the others can't compete in, and that DSL should stick to its guns by cramming as much function into as little space as possible. The user base for DSL isn't necessarily the same drawn to the antialiased eyecandy of something like Fluxbuntu, which is quite similar to DSL-N in its approach to things. DSL is a choice among many -- changing it into just-another-distro with more bloat than function would be a bad thing.
"It felt kind of like having a pitbull terrier on my rear end."
-- meo (copyright(c)2008, all rights reserved)