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Reports of Corel's Linux Distribution 92

An anonymous reader sent us a link to a CNet story talking about Corel's Linux Distribution. The story talks about a lot of things from GNOME to a few other Linux companies as well as Corel's Linux plans.
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Reports of Corel's Linux Distribution

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  • by Anonymous Coward
    Rumors abound. The Corel distribution will use qt, then it will be Debian based, etc. Any or all of that would be good, but don't count on it.

    I can only go by my own experience with Corel, or
    rather the Word Perfect division of Corel. Word Perfect had an excellent DOS word processor. The 5.x version is still a classic and very usable
    today. However, that's it.

    Efforts to port Word Perfect to other systems have been half-hearted and misleading. Witness the ports to Amiga and OS2 which were never maintained and helped contribute to the decline of these two systems and the rise of MS Windows. First, these ports created false expectations which discouraged other developers with more experience with native applications development on these platforms. Who can compete with the world's leading office app developer, which Work Perfect certainly was at that time? Secondly, the pullout by Word Perfect and "going back to its roots" in DOS and Windows will never be forgotten or forgiven by millions of paying customers who were left high and dry. Many were given little choice but to reluctantly migrate to Window 95.

    I downloaded the 5.0 Linux port this week. Motif based and ugly as sin, and clumsy to work with. For heavens sake, the open dialog box makes changing directories a convoluted, cumbersome chore!. Just like the Amiga and Os2 ports - crude hacks of the Windows version with little or no feel for the native system, in this case Linux and other free unixes like the BSD's which long ago abandoned motif for KDE and Gtk or how about an inoffensive gui toolkit like Forms or fltk which is plain but not ugly.

    I'll be very surprised if Corel releases anything anytime soon which is not a crude hack of an existing distrubution (without giving proper credit to the distro it will be modeled after) with some washed out, motif-based ports of Corel apps thrown in and a proprietary setup program which automatically installs Corel apps even if users don't want them. Without source code, of course.

    These people should be taken out and shot, and their ashes scatterd on the Microsoft campus in Redmond. Might make good fertilizer for the rolling lawns there, but that's about all they are good for.

    Corel, please die and get out of the way of others who like Kde, AbiSource, etc, who are making a good faith effort to develop native office suites and desktop systems for Linux with some feeling for what Linux is and can be. Please don't do to Linux what you did to Amiga and Os2.

  • Yeah I think most of us here will agree with you. But I dont think the "linux community" is their real target, they are trying to make it easy for windows users to switch to linux.

    Maybe once they cut their teeth on corel's distro newbies will be able to switch to a real distribution.
  • Sorry to do this but "I told you so."

    And just a few weeks ago all these flamers were saying it would be redhat based.. HAH HAH
  • Yeah... gee i wonder why redhat is first, the packages come straight out of cvs nearly ready to be packaged. Debian has to actually do some work first, making it comply with policy and whatnot.

    If the debs in the "staging area" are a little old they will be updated RSN.

    IF you are running debian-potato use this line
    deb unstable main

    for slink use this
    deb stage-slink unstable main
  • Hmm, well I think they are saying that because it will be "as easy to install and use" as windows, without all the shitty things to go along with it.

  • by Gleef ( 86 )
    Don't forget KOffice []. Also, other office-type projects are moving along nicely, like GNOME's spreadsheet and word processor, AbiWord and Siag Office.
  • The link to the WINE project provided in the article points to [], a site about fermented grape juice. More top-notch reporting. It also refers to WINE as an emulator. Ye Gods! Can't these reporters be bothered to do at least five minutes of research?!

  • Configuration is the big thing we know Corel will be working on with us. This includes X (which I have been saying has only pathetic configuration tools for a long time), and yeah if I get my two cents in as everyone is probably certain I will, the result will be task based with the ability to fine-tune the results safely. That's how it Should Be anyway.

    Simple defaults like "Configure the network for a dialup PPP system" and "Configure the network for a workstation on a LAN" type things? Yeah, that goes back to task based config you mention above.

    PCI device detection should be in every dist RIGHT NOW. It's there, it's easy, and it's 100% safe. All the dist has to do ir read /proc! PnP ISA is something we're talking about.

    "Real" apps? All I can say is Freshmeat's daily update is approaching mailbomb status. There are apps. And there are starting to be some pretty useful ones for people who think they are stuck with windoze because they can't get the kind of app they want for Linux. It's happening, believe me.

  • Posted by Gates of Borg:

    Ever since they made that bonehead decision to compete with microsoft (Office versus WP) they have piled up their financial losses. Every year they make the same empty promises to do better but as long as they stick with linux they ain't going anywhere. The CEO claims to have 30% of their revenue coming from the internet this year, when it was only 1% last year. If this company doesn't dump linux soon, Adobe might attempt a takeover because they are so financially weak
  • >To really do a consumer version of Linux, there are a few issues that simply need to be addressed:

    And horrible as they are, I think WinModem support in Linux would be useful. Having to spend $100+ for a new modem is a real deterrent to people who are considering trying it out.
  • Corel has a chance, but it's a long shot. A more user friendly Linux distro is a good idea, but Caldera may beat them to the punch -- it depends on how good (or bad) Lizard turns out to be.


  • All well said. I just have a few things to add.

    I found that Debian has (IMHO) better defaults than Red Hat, and things tend to work better "out of the package". I mention this because Corel is basing their distribution on Debian, not Red Hat like everyone else (and cheers to them for it).

    There also needs to be more concern for security, because there will now be a bunch of people with no knowledge or interest in security issues running systems with giant potential holes. Most distributions tend to install all of the daemons you could possibly need, and run them by default. My mom shouldn't have to dig around to disable rsh and FTPd, even if there's an easy tool to do it. Servers should be off by default, because it's pretty easy to tell when a server you need isn't running, but hard to tell when a server you don't need is running.

  • This is a brilliant move. If they base on RedHat they will be forever playing catch-up. Even Mandrake is sean as a second rate distribution.

    However with a Debian base and all corel developed modification GPLd they will get near 100% debian backing. The debian developers have always said they wanted someone to do an easy to use Linux based on Debian.

    Best of all if they like anything from this Corel Linux thingy they will probably use it. The print system or the fax program come to mind. The back end is already solid and WordPerfect knows print drivers better than anyone ( Including printer makers ).

    Expect a distribution that uses both Gnome and KDE too. Gnome for looks and KDE for work. No flames please it's just how they both work these days.

    The only remaining question mark is RPM. Quake ships as a tarball and an RPM. Some other commercial software ships only as RPM. Has Alien been improved to the point where it's transparent on Debian?
  • SPI, Inc. (or whoever the makers of Debian are)

    Debian is made by it's developers []. The Debian project isn't a formal legal entity, but a self-organising group of volunteers under the Debian constitution [].

    SPI [] was orginally created as a legal entity to foster Debian development (e.g. for companies to have something to donate equipment and money to). SPI nowadays supports other free software development projects besides Debian.

  • (Anyone have a clue when Debian will get some 1.0 pkg's?)

    There's an aptable staging area for the GNOME packages under construction:
    deb unstable main

  • are they still making netwinders?

    The sold [] the NetWinder division to Hardware Canada Computing.

    what distro does the netwinder run anyway?

    IIRC, a modified Red Hat 4.2 port.

    One of the things that made Corel look at Debian was the Debian-ARM [] port, by which they were impressed [].

  • One of Debian's goals is to provide a good basis to base other distributions on.

    What makes this great IMO is that Corel has the guts not to take the easy way and join up with a company, but has genuinely listened to its techies, and chosen to cooperate with a bazaar organisation.

  • Jeez, kid. Drop Quake and read some Sun Tzu or something. If you want some sort of standard-bearer to go into battle against the Evil Giant, don't pick Corel, RedHat or Caldera. They're too busy doing business to do battle.

    If you need a war metaphor, MS=US, Linux=NVA. Use your knowledge of the locale, keep chipping away at 'em, steal their weapons and keep 'em scared and on the defensive. They'll flail themselves to death.

  • If y'all'd been paying attention, you'd know that there are 3 shipping RedHat LinuxPPC distros and an alpha (no bootdisk) Debian LinuxPPC. LinuxPPC Supports PCI PowerMacs, PowerBooks, iMacs, PReP (IBM & Motorola NT-PPC boxes) and CHRP (some IBM boxes). Work is proceeding to broaden support to older NuBus Pmacs, IBM RS6000's and anything else with a PPC CPU.

    Ye gods! Linux gets around so much that it's tempting to start a porting-topics newspage called Anything That Moves. (After all, the name's up for grabs; the magazine's now called Black Sheets.)

    That said, it'd be nice if Corel, among others, would port their apps to non-x86 platforms.

  • We actually *have* a servicable office suite called Applixware. It's payware, but on my system it as a whole is a lot more usable than Star Office.

    I'm seriously underwhelmed with Star Office. Sure, it's free, but I can't imagine actually paying for software that is *that* poorly written. If I'd bought SO5, I'd have returned it.

    As for Wordperfect, I've never really been a fan of that program anyhow, but I still would like to see what the whole suite looks like before damning the package.
  • Cowpland said: "It's going to be like windows but without the tax"...... Hmm... As you can see, he didn't got it right. People don't want another windows even if it's free of charge. I think a good balance of several Os's can be a good thing after all... It would force/help the computing industry to build standards we can work on...
  • That's sad but that's really it's out there.
  • Wow! I initially thought that this new distribution from Corel was nothing but hype. But since they are basing it on Debian, technologically the best distro, they might be on to something! Looks like they do know what they are doing.
    I'm anctious to find out what they are cooking...
  • I never tried it myself. Do they have a demo I can download? I want to see what it's like.
    I absolutely agree with you regarding the non-free software. I'd pay if it's a good product. But I can't justify paying for something that is poorly designed and written.
  • THAT is what I want to know. Hate to say this, but the current WordPerfect for Linux is crap, much worse then the Windows version. Star Office is even worse. It's even more bloated then Windows itself -- a perfect example of poor design. However, as soon as Corel releases an office suite for Linux that is as good as their WP Suite 8 for Windows, I will have no reason to boot winblows any more.

    Are you listening, Corel?
  • Compaq lets people download a basic version of WordPerfect for Linux for free, and is planning to release most other software for Linux as well.

    This must be a reporter in training or an intern.

  • Debian would be a good distro to start with they/me encourage basing other distro's on it.

    It should be easy, for one it's easy to seperate church and state EG Corel packages (Non-free-corel, the state) from the base install (free, the church).

    What will really shine in all of this is is dpkg apt and the .deb format. Dselect might be quirky I rather like it.

    I know the there is a arm port I bet that will help too.


  • No, you read incorrectly. Corel's using KDE but that doesn't mean they won't bundle the Gnome libs as well.
  • SPI, Inc. (or whoever the makers of Debian are) does not operate a for-profit business that may be considered a competitor to Corel.

    Corel's approach to several other free software groups is quite benign (so far). Some Corel employees join e.g. Wine as developers and contribute code according to the same rules as everyone else. They also go out of their way to implement the ugly but really useful stuff (OLE support for Wine, anyone?). There's no reason to expect Debian to be corrupted just because Corel wants to contribute to it.
  • The GPL is incompatible with a number of patents held on MP3 encoding. There will be no GPLed MP3 encoders in countries that honor such patents until they expire.
  • by Zygo ( 8449 )
    Ummm...I hate to have to point this out, but the office suite code is significantly larger than that of the Linux distribution required to run it. It only makes sense to add a basic Debian system to the office suite, not the other way around.
  • There are three kinds of Linux distribution:

    1. Linux for Unix users,

    2. Linux for people who want to be Unix users someday, and

    3. Linux for other users.

    Windows users _like_ to pay for every single feature in their systems--if they get too much at once, they demand the product be broken into cheaper pieces or pieces with less "learning curve."

    Note how most corporate Windows machines are used: as office equipment, just like a cash register (sometimes _as_ a cash register), photocopier, etc. The machine has to do exactly one thing and do it over and over again. Even a home Windows user just loads one game after the next. People in corporate environments actually _demand_ _reduced_ functionality from Windows boxes (e.g. no possibility of even accidentally running a web browser) for kiosks/point-of-sale/photocopier-with-pentium-iii- processor applications.

    It would be very _difficult_ to screw up Linux to the point where you can't remote-login to the box and do remote administration (although you might have to install your own sshd, but if you're doing remote admin then presumably you can do that anyway) without disabling the entire box. Corel (or anyone else) would have to go out of their way to break that, e.g. by changing the binary formats so the standard Linux dynamic loader doesn't work.
  • Sigh. Prepare for an onslaught of "Linux is only for people who can't afford Microsoft" FUD because of this. Thank you, Mike, you've just undone six months of hard work by Linux advocates in a single sentence. :-(

    I don't generally perceive Windows license fees as a tax, mostly because I've never actually paid the Windows tax. My employers have purchased the copies of Windows that I have used at one time or another, but I haven't done so myself. I've never had Windows at home except on machines loaned to me by my employer, so I haven't avoided the "tax" through piracy either. It's only in the last three months that I've even considered the Windows license fees as a "tax" (which means that the consumer-awareness campaigns are working--keep it up, guys! :-)

    I did buy a 386 in ~1992 that came with MS-DOS but at the time I only wanted a program loader for a Borland C compiler. My _real_ work was done on my OS-9 box at the time, so I consider that MS purchase an ordinary consumer purchase, not a tax payment. Six months later the same 386 was running SLS Linux 1.01. I have an image of that machine on a CD-R somewhere...

    I do object to the shoddy quality of Microsoft software, which is why I refuse to pay for it, or even use it if it was paid for by someone else. I use Linux because it is materially better than Microsoft software, not because I don't want to give money to a particular corporation. I give my money to big corporations all the time. Big corporations pay my salary. I don't have a problem with this.

    Besides, it actually costs _more_ to get the lowest of the low-end Linux-based systems because the dirt cheap hardware (WinModems et al) isn't supported by Linux.

    So if you're just looking to avoid spending money, look elsewhere.
  • There's something about cooperating with a commercial organization that you're in direct competition with.

    The nice thing about Debian (from a corporate-executive point of view) is that they don't compete with _anyone_, so there's no risk of having conflicting interests.
  • If it's done right, Corel's distribution will be a subset of Debian with a different logo.

    Think about it: why make your own distribution when you can just slap your own logo on top of Debian?

    If Debian is not good enough, then contribute to Debian until it is good enough.
  • by Zygo ( 8449 )
    Every vendor that builds a distribution solves a number of integration, configuration, and "user experience" problems, cleans up a few bugs, and provides redundant services (two FTP servers are better than one, three are better than two, etc). If those bug fixes and enhancements are propagated back to the component packages then everyone's experience is improved.
  • I'm just excited to see that they're porting CorelDRAW. Plus I'm glad they're basing it on Debian. How much different will that make it from the official distribution of Debian though? Or is that really a question that anyone can answer?
  • Ha!

    Emacs. Ever hear of "major modes"?
  • The only question I have is. Who is more suited to battle MS...Corel, or Red Hat?

    Neither. You need to be 10% pure evil to beat them.

    Ignore or break the rules until someone makes you stop. That is the way of business. Everything else is charity.
  • I downloaded the 5.0 Linux port this week

    I don't know where you've been living, but Corel released WP8 a few months ago...perhaps you intended to write 8.0, or maybe you mistook StarOffice for WP (StarOffice 5.0 being the most recent version). StarOffice is a bloated piece of junk, and I was happy to expunge it once and for all. WP8 is also a bit bloated (who really needs a "Program" window when you're not launching anything besides WP?), it's much more economical than StarOffice ever was, and I dare say quite a bit prettier. It accepts the usual legion of proprietary file formats, but will access directories in linux in a manner no worse than that of, say, netscape. It can even print with lpr :).

    Of course, I try to go GTK and GPL whenever possible, so one of these days I'll download AbiWord and be done with WordPerfect. But I WP is definitely one of the most sincere, respectful ports of a proprietary piece of Windows software I've seen.

  • You've hit the nail on the head right there. Various projects are making very good progress on developing a fully functional user environment for Linux, but it still seems that the system administration tools are lacking, when in fact the system admin (WinGeek) audience is probably more likely download or buy Linux than a normal user.

    Someone above pointed out that there are Linux users that don't want to be Unix users, and that certainly is a valid market out there. The problem is right now, you can't be sure that the system admin tools that exist (RedHat stuff, LinuxConf) are actually working properly without breaking the "legacy" (from their point of view) unix stuff.

    On a Windows or Mac system, after you've made a configuration change, 99.5% of the time you don't need to go into the configuration database to make sure that it's right. And if you do, it's rightfully labeled as a bug. Linux needs to strive for this level of functionality.

    The only tools which sounds like their close are YaST (haven't tried it yet) and IBM AIX's thing.

    (MasOSX may have a good solution -- A binary config database that you can dump out to standard Unix config files, which you then edit and import back.)


  • Don't forget that a good portion of the "Windows Tax" is actually end user technical support. The actual cost of Windows-with-no-support to OEM customers is only $25.

    Any preloaded Linux setup is going to have a "RedHat tax" or a "Corel tax", just to pay for the tech support. Sure a clone shop could give you Linux and send you to the newsgroups when you have a problem, but don't expect Dell or Compaq to do that.

    Admittedly, that $25 is significant with a $400 computer, but fogeys like myself still think computers cost $2000, and that $25 is probably insignificant in that scope.

  • An interesting tack. Take the "purest" distro and add proprietary components to it.
  • I went to a presentation today done by the Corel folks here at Uniforum NZ and what I heard sounds very encouraging. One of the guys doing the presentation was directly from Ottawa so this should be pretty accurate.

    What follows is a more or less verbatim of what I remember (it's late).

    The new distro is supposed to be called Corel Desktop. They have yet to finalise whether to base it on KDE or GNOME. They are aiming for a Windows-style look and feel with a user-friendly GUI install. The distribution will come bundled with a bunch of Corel Apps (Wordperfect at least) and will be targeted at end users and OEMs for bundling with new PCs.

    Corel plan to make Betas available for testing (as has been mentioned here) and they put a lot of emphasis on feedback from their users. So let these guys know what you, the users, would like to see in a user-friendly Linux.

    The other major point I got confirmation on is that all the work will be contributed back to the Linux Community (i.e. it will all be Open Source).
  • I have the best HTML editor for linux.
    It is GNU, and I like it very much.
    I think it comes with every distribution.
    Besides emacs, vi is a good editor too.

    From my very humble experience WYSIWYG HTML editors give crap results.
    (Not to mention "Microsoft/MSIE style" html by frontpage).

    As for mp3 encoding.
    There is a good encode called BladeEnc.
    I ran it on a PII350 and much faster than a windows equivalent i saw.

  • At least, they said, they would do it. But I haven't found a link on this on the IBM-website.

    so long
    Ray ;-)
  • Ok, we've had this debate before. Which is more important native apps or WINE. This is simply a chicken-egg problem. I agree it'll be a long time before every new game or cool application is released on Windows and Linux at the same time so WINE is important especially for the games because all office suites are the same for the most part but no two games are alike.
    However, if I'm a Windows user why would I switch to Linux if the only applications are just Windows applications emulating on Linux? Yes I know that Corel is developing wine gtk to make them native Linux apps, but still you do need to have applications that are native to Linux to get the Windows user to switch even to a dual boot.
    So yeah, that's it. Wow it just hit me! You need the native applications to get them to even install Linux on a secondary partition, but WINE to get them to remove Windows altogether. So I guess you're kind of right.
  • Microsoft will not be beaten by anyone one company. Anyone who has witnessed the slaughter of Apple Computer by Microsoft can attest to that. The /only/ reason Apple is doing better is because of the cooperation of Microsoft, which is trying to keep itself out of hot water.

    There are a combination of factors that are consipiring to defeat Microsoft.

    1) The DOJ Lawsuit. Certainly something bad will happen to MS because of this. If they haven't lost already, they are definitely losing.

    2) The growing public discontent with Microsoft. This discontent extends well beyond the Open Source community. People are fed up with broken operating systems and 800-pound gorilla tactics.

    3) The current growth of Linux and Open Source software in general. People are finally realizing that Open Source software /is/ superior in many ways to proprietary crap. Apache is the number one Web server on the Net. Virtually every piece of e-mail is touched at one time by sendmail. Netscape is still the number one browser, despite all the doom and gloom about IE being built into Windoze. Linux is well on its way to becoming a serious threat to the Microsoft juggernaut.

    4) Serious and intense opposition from industry rivals such as Sun Microsystems, Oracle, and IBM.

    These factors are combining together to bring down the Microsoft juggernaut. Neither Corel nor RedHat, nor Apple, nor even Oracle, Sun or IBm have the capital, inclination, or profit incentive to bring Microsoft down. Even if they tried, its likely that they could not. But all of the forces that are conspiring against Microsoft will eventually eliminate Windows as a "monopoly." Windows will still be immensely popular, but consumers will have real choice and many will choose Linux systems over Windows.

  • I'm glad to see another distribution based on Debian -- there's enough redhat-based dists already :) And hopefully they'll integrate apt nicely and everything will be good...

    I'm also glad to see that RH is going for GNOME (did I read that right?). After all, they did manage to come out with some stable GNOME packages before Debian. (Anyone have a clue when Debian will get some 1.0 pkg's?)
  • Ever use vi to format a document you need to submit to your employer?

    Not exactly. I've used vi to create the text -- but troff to format it.

    Since no two browsers/HTML engines format HTML exactly the same way anyway, with a WYSIWYG HTML editor you're just fooling yourself.
  • Nope. I read an article t'other day that came right out and said most tech reporters are fairly clueless about what they're reporting on, the tech changes too fast for them to even hope to keep up, and the need to scoop the competition keeps them from checking sources and doing research on stories.

    Basically, it confirmed what everyone on /. has suspected about tech reporters for quite some time now. :P

  • think about it:

    Red Hat has momentum, there are runner ups(article mentioned TurboLinux as #2- I would have thought Caldera would lay claim to that), but no distribution has an office suite like Corel's.

    There are problems with Corel's suite, Paradox is a poor database (but no worse than MSAccess), but the word processor is dynamite.

    Yes, there are many dists out there, maybe too many, but they have two good things going:

    1> they are basing it on Debian
    2> they have real, time-tested, user-friendly GUI applications that the market wants

  • The part I didn't like the where it said that it had an "All-graphical environment". Of course it's nice to be able to do most things graphically but one of the major strengths of unix/linux is that it's possible to do everything via a command line and configuration files.
  • The problem is that it becomes difficult to do anything without using the GUI interface. For example setting up a printer in redhat is really simple with the GUI interface they've written, but they don't really document anywhere exactly what the interface does. Of course you can still set up your printer yourself, but it's hard to know if you've 'broken' anything that the user interface did. You have to stick to using one or the other.

    Lets just hope corel do it right.
  • It appears not. They also linked to [].
  • I agree the reporting is pretty sad, but think the reporter can be forgiven for saying WINE is an emulator. Afterall, the newsgroup for WINE is, and from what I understand originally came from WINdows Emulator.

  • If you bought a machine with Windows or DOS preinstalled, you paid the Microsoft tax--just implicitly. How many people buy Windows in the box compared to Windows in the case (complete with RAM, drives, CPU, etc.). Actually, it costs less to get the lowest of the low-end Linux based systems. I figure that Microsoft bloat accounts for one full generation of computer. That is, a computer that costs $2000 today and uses Windows is comparable to a computer that cost $2000 eighteen months ago (and thus costs about $1000 today) Linux. Sure, the WinModems won't work, but you make yesterday's hardware perform like tomorrow's.
  • The only question I have is. Who is more suited to battle MS...Corel, or Red Hat?
  • This is what Linux needs. For the last 2 years everyone has been saying that the key to linux is to get major apps (like WP) on linux. I use Wp on linux, and I can see that it needs some work, But this is what we need, even without the source.
  • are they still making netwinders? they were running at like 233mhz last time i checked...any faster ones? what distro does the netwinder run anyway? whew, enough of twenty questions
  • The Win9x's will never completely go away because of the length and the breadth of developers creating apps for those OS's.

    The PC literate, knowledgable person can, on a lazy weekend evening, jump to and find THOUSANDS of different apps and games and minutae to toy and tinker around with. This does not exist in the Linux camp.

    Before you go "FLAME ON"---listen carefully at what I said. Everything you can do witn Win9x you can do most certainly under Linux. NO DOUBT. But theres soooooooooooooooooo many more apps for the Win9x's and thats what will keep them afloat. Compatability for the newest games (rainbow six anyone? Flight simulator? Madden 99? just an example), for the little diddies people put togather (a neat South Park snowball game being passed around the company email last week) and the like.

    Until people can say "I just got this neat little program----" and a linuxer can ask confidently where or ask for a copy-----win9x will live. Many of you may not need it----but those who don't yet Linux WILL WANT IT.

    Thus---the WINE project is AS important, if not more so, than the easy use Linux distro. But me-thinks theres no market for an easy use distro anyway. if you know about Linux enough to want to try it----you're obviously smart enough to dig through some books and get through an installation process.

  • To really do a consumer version of Linux, there are a few issues that simply need to be addressed:

    1. X Configuration - there is nothing "consumer" about current X configuration tools. Even some of the commercial tools could use some work. X configuration would hopefully be worked into the basic Linux configuration.

    2. System configuration tools that are more task-based. Most consumers think in terms of a task they want to perform, not a particular tool they want to use. Consumers are not going to know that /etc exists nor do they want to. You have to develop tools that mask this from the user and focus on accomplishing tasks.

    3. Even more mind-numbingly simple defaults. If you wish to cusotmize nothing, you should still be given a workable system. RedHat approaches this, but still needs work.

    4. Simpler methods for dealing with devices. Floppies, Zips, Sound Cards, etc. Plug and Play is probably too much to hope for, but you have to aim for it.

    5. More real apps. WordPerfect porting would help, and a v 5 browser.

    In the face of all of this, I am still smarting from Corel's last attempt to "kill" Microsoft, which was Java based and a complete laugh.

Loose bits sink chips.