Gentoo Archives: gentoo-desktop-research

From: Karl Trygve Kalleberg <karltk@g.o>
To: gentoo-desktop-research@g.o
Subject: [gentoo-desktop-research] Future focus area for the project
Date: Sun, 30 Nov 2003 23:07:13
Hi all.

We discussed on the IRC channel today. One of the things that came up
was which major problem area we should try to tackle, that is, which
setting are we focusing on?

The alternatives we came up with was

) Corporate desktop

Typically, one fairly trained administrator has full control over every
desktop, and does all the program installation and upgrade. Thus, we must
consider admin tools, deployment to many (nearly) identical machines, 
security and stability.

) Home user/End-user

In this setting, the ease-of-use would be the primary problem. We want
as much as possible be plug'n'play. If a user inserts a new hw device,
it should just work, or a menu should pop up (ideally, a tray icon should
start blinking), so that the user can start configuring the device.

In this case, we must take a lot of care to shield the novice from the
iron, and make certain it's hard to break the system. At the same time,
it should be possible/easy to fix/diagnose a problem for savvy users.

We do not want a "dumbing down", but we want "easy to use".

) Embedded systems

Not really mentioned, but as Gentoo is meta-distro, we should perhaps
spend some time thinking if it would be a good idea to spend time
adding tools for people who deploy desktops in PDAs, old intel hw
(think 3rd world countries, poor schools in the US)

We realise that we don't have enough manpower to solve everything, so
we should probably start by picking a somewhat suitably sized problem and
attacking it.

Examples of "suitably sized problems" may be
) Printing for home users
) Deployment of Gentoo on 50+ identical desktops
) Proper plug'n'play support for USB devices
) Nicer package upgrade and installation
  - I want a directory of packages that the user can peruse before
    installing. In that directory, I want for each package:
    - a screenshot
    - a long and thorough description, including license, deps
    - a link to the package's home page
    - a link to the package's currently open bugs, who's the 
    - suggested accompanying packages

Kind regards,

Karl T

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