March 2, 2004 (Tue)
Various people are starting to point at Ian Murdock's “Toward a new kind of
`Linux distribution'”, which I found myself last week. and have
been exploring this week.
The most important component is Progeny's Componentized Linux Platform,
an LSB-compliant distribution. At the moment it's
sarge with a port
of Red Hat's Anaconda
installer, plus some other bits. As Debian's main drawback from my
perspective is its installer (although the new installer is lots
better for individual installs, it still doesn't support multiple
installs well), and Anaconda and Kickstart are so good in that role,
CL may well be the answer I was looking for at work.
Unfortunately, UserLinux, led
by Bruce Perens, hasn't been impressing me. The mailing lists seem to
be populated by people who think that Red Hat is too hard to
use, and that UserLinux should be producing a distro for Grandma.
And here I thought it was about producing a solid corporate desktop,
where you'd expect to have professionals doing infrastructural support
to make it all work for the end user.
Similarly, Fedora seems to be
making big, big jumps along the bleeding edge, which makes it look
like a lot of fun to run from my perspective, but not much fun at all
to try to whip into shape for widescale deployment.
Fedora Legacy, on the other
hand, is suffering from being too far outside of the mainstream
security community. Thus they find out about security issues the same
time that the average Joe does—when the big distros release new
packages. That automatically puts them behind by days to weeks,
especially since they still need to do some testing before unleashing
new packages on the world. And right now they're mostly still able to
take advantage of the close relationship between the packages they're
supporting and those in Red Hat's supported products (RHL 9,
Enterprise Linux 2.1 and 3). As Fedora Core skips further and further
ahead, I'm not sure I believe that they'll be able to keep up with
Meanwhile, it's election day again. As the Democrats seem to have
learned absolutely nothing from the last couple of major elections, I
was forced to vote for Dennis
Kucinich the only candidate left who seems to say anything that
even comes close to approaching my views on the issues.
Kerry, of course, is pretty much as bad as Bush. Take a look at his
website. Some of his positions on defense and “homeland security”
are positively draconian.
And what's with this John Edwards creep? Where did he even come from?
One minute he wasn't there; the next, he's neck-and-neck for the
lead. He's also big on the draconian security measures, and,
apparently, not all that fond of queer folk, either (at least based on
how easy it is to find information about the topic on his website).
In any case, it's looking pretty clear that Kerry will be the
Democratic Party's choice, which means that I won't be voting
Democrat for President yet again. I'm tired of rolling up my sleeve
and diving into the muck. If the Democrats won't learn that they need
to listen to the people who vote for them, then they need to just pack
they bags and go away, and make room for someone new.
It sounds like I might be voting for Ralph this year. Back in 2000, I
was pretty down on the guy, but a couple of my friends called me on
it, and, after much thought, I agree with them. Gore lost the
election with the help of his party, by moving so far toward the
middle that they were crowding George Bush even further toward the
right than he'd have been on his own. Screw 'em.
Groklaw has been doing a great
job covering the whole SCO vs. sanity story for quite a while now.
Recently, however, they took a break and posted a transcript
of a talk that Eben
Moglen gave at Harvard for the Harvard Journal of Law &
Technology. JOLT also has video
(Real Media) and audio
(Speex) of the talk.
Moglen is a very impressive speaker. He believes in free software as
much as Richard Stallman, and he does a fantastic job of elucidating
why free software is important and why it's only part of a larger
picture. Well worth reading, watching, or listening to.
Okay, that was a cheap shot at Eric Raymond. Yes, CUPS is a
pain in the neck, especially if you fall for Red Hat's enticingly
simple appearing print configuration tools on RHL 9 and Fedora Core,
which I, myself, learned weren't remotely compatible with using CUPS
in a networked environment the hard way. But I knew enough about how
CUPS worked to be able to find information about the problems and work
around them without having a major hissy-fit on the 'Net.
Still, if he can get the CUPS folks to get their acts together, it's
Guh. Woo-hoo. Kerry for President. Bush must be shaking. At least
Edwards seems to be out of the running.