DragonFly BSD
DragonFly kernel List (threaded) for 2004-03
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Re: Unionfs etc Re: Packaging

From: James Frazer <jfrazer@xxxxxxxx>
Date: Sat, 13 Mar 2004 11:15:33 -0800

Right, I agree completely. There's a lot of imperfections that come along with having an OS on a regular PC. It's just that I'd like to install a *nix type OS for my parents/gf/average-friend without them stumbling into system-files and getting confused (it's not like they'd know how to do anything with them anyway).

A type attribute set to 'system' or something could mask out all that stuff easily enough. From a UI perspective most users never need to venture outside their home directory. For them it's easiest if the world stays flat.


Matthew Dillon wrote:
:I was speaking from a more theoretical level and not so much practical :in relation to what we currently use.
:I mean for example -- OS's on much older computers -- lets say the :Commodore 64 (maybe not the best example) -- the user did not know the :OS was running. They interacted with it without having to know about :any of its underlying structure. The point is that no unnecessary :complexity is around to make simple tasks confusing.

Well, being an old hand at the Amiga/C64 I certainly see where you
are coming from, but there is a very important difference between something like the C64 and a modern computer.

    The difference is that the core of the C64, and the Amiga, was
    basically in ROM, and all the hardware was uniform.  The lack of
    variation in hardware and the limited flexibility of the software UI
    components greatly simplified all aspects of those systems.

    But that doesn't exist with PC hardware.  Take the hard drive interface
    for example, or the graphics card.  Dozens of manufacturers, hundreds
    of variations in system configuration.  90% of the problem consumers
    have with desktop systems are related to hardware and software

If we had a single platform and provided DragonFly on an auto-installing
CD we could do wonders... the CD could boot into a GUI, just like the
Amiga, for example, and it would work every time. But we don't have a
single fixed hardware base and will never have a single fixed hardware
base, and that unfortunately means that users have to be aware of many
aspects of how their systems interact with operating system software
no matter how sophisticated we (or anyone, MS included) makes the software.

The absolute best we can do is to try to provide an infrastructure
that makes the diagnosis of problems easier and possibly even automatic, at least in regards to package installation and operation,
and to make the packaging system reversable and bullet proof.


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