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Re: Article criticizing Linux in the Economist - large need of software


From: Riccardo Mottola
Subject: Re: Article criticizing Linux in the Economist - large need of software support time
Date: Wed, 04 Apr 2012 18:04:59 +0200
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; NetBSD i386; rv:8.0) Gecko/20111219 Thunderbird/8.0

Hi,

to me, the article looks like the typical rant you read on many blogs or which we have written often ourselves. Just subsitute the distribution name with your distribution and the applications with your applications.

Open Source gives diversity... diversity is unmanageable.
People want new stuff, new features (useful or useles). Some people wnat to see change at every release, some people hate change and want things very gradual.

In our small ecosystem, we see how different view we have for GNustep itself!

Ubuntu has a filosphy many love, other despise... etc etc.

I fear that the concept of a "linux desktop" is somehow hopeless. It will always be a mess. From time to time, someone "extracts" a more unitarian view.. In the past it had been redhat or Linspire or whatever.. Right now perhaps it is Ubuntu... but it will appeal some, last a little until something new comes out.

This is why I work so much on gnustep and GAP: I shape my own little world and don't care about the rest. It will never really be!

Your article however doesn't cite a solution and.. I don't think "testing" is the only response.

Althoug surely, delivering high quality software, tested, which doesn't break at every new release what you had in the past will appeal to more professional users and will, with time, help gaining some popularity. I think tha tup to now GNUstep went into this direction quite well. But we have a very limited application pool... most of them are essentially in maintenance mode and managed by few people. Few people menas few conflicting ideas!

Riccardo

On 04/04/12 16:06, Gerold Rupprecht wrote:
Hi,

I found the following analysis most interesting:
http://www.economist.com/blogs/babbage/2012/03/desktop-linux

Then I got to reading about your involvement with the automated testing
software called Eggplant.

The key to success is to reduce the support time needed to work with any
piece of software. Would the testplant people be willing to make their
software available on an open-source basis, or better yet the GPL ?

I really think there is a need for more/improved regression testing
throughout the linux software stack in general, but this last year shows
how difficult it is to keep GNUstep stable while adding missing
features. I think the Eggplant software might be just the right kind of
tool to do the job for GNUstep and its offspring.

What other tools are developers using for testing? Any reccomendations?

How else can we reduce the support costs for GNUstep and its
applications?

Can some projects be merged to widen the appeal of GNUstep?

I am thinking of the fork that Niklaus Shaller has been working with all
these years. His major need was to support floating point operations on
machines that did not have a FPU.

The other thing that we talked about at FOSDEM was better cross-compiler
support. Niklaus has been supporting an older tool chain (gcc 2.95 if I
remember correctly) when David Chisnell suggested Clang might be a good
replacement candidate for mult-platform compiler support. Does Clang
support the ARM chip yet?

Thanks,

Gerold



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