Personal suggestion for fixing the Linux situation
palcibiades-first at yahoo.co.uk
Fri Jul 16 02:25:19 CDT 2010
Here is how I would go about tracking down these things. Just to recap,
the things we are seeking to track down are these four:
-- not all and only installed fonts are visible and useable
-- revPrintField does not work properly
-- virtual desktops don't work
-- editor slows down, freezes and crashes
Are there other priority areas? There are other niggles, but are there
other real basic functionaliry showstoppers?
My suggestion for going about tracking this down is quite different from
what most people here will instinctively want to do. The general view here
is that Linux is an enormously complex mix of components, so the thing to
do is pick some large general purpose distro and standardize on it. I do
not believe this to be the solution. In fact, it is a wrong diagnosis of
the problem. This approach, which regards each distro as a distinct OS, is
actually part of the problem.
Were I in charge of the effort I would proceed in EXACTLY THE REVERSE WAY.
I would seek to find the minimum installation set, and within that, the one
closest to the way packages are released by the developer, that will allow
the reproduction of the problems.
You can argue about which distro will most readily meet these requirements,
but if you want to start from something fairly simple and mainstream and
not start compiling the whole thing from scratch, the contender that leaps
out at you is Slackware. I accept, there could be an argument for going
even further down, like Slitaz or TinyCore. Maybe that is worth a try as
well, but they are not, as Slackware is, deliberately as untweaked as
So I would propose doing a minimal install of slackware, with nothing but
the basic system and the most basic window manager, probably OpenBox.
Maybe Metacity without Gnome desktop environment, if you want to be as
close as possible to mainstream what it will have to run on. But no
Firefox, no OpenOffice, no apps at all.
If you can reproduce the problems on this sort of minimal install, then you
are much closer to the source, because you have basically ruled out all
distro specific issues. If not, then start to add stuff until you do get
I understand that on this list there is a, well, a precoccupation, with
Ubuntu as a distro for use. This is not about use however, this is about a
tool to get to the source of the problems.
I'm prepared to do serious work on this, but am not capable of writing
patches to the IDE myself, and before getting started on the project, would
welcome comment, and would like us to have an agreed approach, so what do
you all think of the above? It would also be nice to have some feedback
from Edinburgh, to the effect that given contributions from us, they will
do their bit also.
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