Which Distro?

Carsten Haitzler (The Rasterman) raster at openmoko.org
Thu Jul 17 14:05:59 CEST 2008

On Thu, 17 Jul 2008 00:46:15 -0700 Ken Restivo <ken at restivo.org> babbled:

> > i repeat... why ONE? why does everyone think we HAVE to support just ONE?
> > why?
> 1) reliability, bugfixes, fit and finish
> 2) critical mass of applications
> 3) usability
> 4) it's a smartphone, I want to be able to actually use it, not just load
> distros endlessly on it

no - i'm talking toolkit. you are equating distro WITH toolkit. there is no
need to do that. OM will ship with 1 image and will be building and supporting
an official OM image. other people may build and support their own - this is
distros here i am talking about. hey have the freedom toand more power to them!

> > does your desktop linux distro ONLY run gtk apps? you can't use kde or qt
> > apps? or SDL based games? or java apps? the desktop distro must also just
> > choose ONE widget set and then all apps must use it? NO! this is wrong.
> > please stop thinking this way. it's a limiting way of thinking. we have
> > available to
> I agree with you about the widget sets. I think it's foolish to try to lock a
> distro to only one widget set, and thus ignore all the great apps that would
> otherwise be available using another widget set. That said, I want only one
> distro, which uses all the widget sets. My Debian system is loaded with apps
> that use every widget set ever known to mankind (Tk, Gtk, Qt, KDE, FLTK,
> whatever).

that is what OM is working on - remember this is openembedded. you can install
any package from an OE package feed you like! its not fixed.

> > developers their FAVORITE languages and FAVORITE toolkits - they dont NEED
> > to go learn anything! that is the whole point! use what you already know!
> > 
> > > Unless you really don't aspire to make anything beyond phones for
> > > systems techies, you will have to pick just one distro that the phone
> > > will ship with, won't you? You surely cannot switch distros from time
> > > to time, since your existing user and developer base will expect to
> > > see some continuity.
> > 
> > switching distro is up to you. OM will ship a distro by default we work on
> > one. the content and flavor of that distro is aiming at the above - support
> > as much as possible so we dont alienate people. if we said "only gtk apps
> > in c" then all the python, ruby, java, c#, qt, c++ etc. devs run away, or
> > HAVE to change.
> Again, I'm very glad that the phone lets me program in Python, or C, or
> whatever. It was a great thrill to sit here in my terminal and be working
> with an interactive Python interpreter on my telephone. But, again, as a
> user, I want one distro that has *everyone* pulling together to make it great
> and solid-- using whatever programming language, widget set, etc, that
> pleases them. Diversity in the service of unity. The two always exist
> simultaneously in tension, and the great art is deciding where to apply the
> diversity and where to apply the unity. I'm suggesting diversity in toolkits
> and languages, in the service of unity of finished product.

ALL the distros are based on openembedded. they are all compatible (same
package manager, pakcaging systems, same base core os packages etc). they just
all give you a different starting point.

think of it as ubuntu vs xubuntu vs kubuntu etc. its the same os. just
different starting point.

> > same if we said qt/c++ only, or phython only, or java only. why should you
> > be boxed into a single box and a distro is only allowed to have 1 box? why?
> > just because every other phone maker works this way does not mean we have
> > to.
> > 
> > > So perhaps I can clarify: what distro do you intend to ship with to end
> > > users?
> > > 
> > > If it is ASU, and I must wait, thats just fine with me, but your
> > > response above seems to contradict that.
> > 
> > ASU is what openmoko is working on.
> > 
> > > I'd appreciate your helping us out here since I'm probably not the
> > > only one confused ... what am I missing?
> > >
> Then ASU is the one I will work on too. I'm glad to be running it now. It
> seems excellent. All I need is to get the matchbox keyboard to replace the
> quite awful and useless keyboard that comes with ASU, and I'm all set to
> really enjoy this thing.

the default keyboard is just as usable as the matchbox one. there is a full
qwerty layout file available for it. keyboard layout is just a config file.
unlike the matchbox keyboard it is also usable with a finger not just a stylus.

Carsten Haitzler (The Rasterman) <raster at openmoko.org>

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