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Answer to critiques of RULE on Slashdot

Shortly after the initial announcement the RULE project was discussed on Slashdot. This is what I posted in that Slashdot thread:


I have just finished to read all your comments with great interest as the RULE project leader, I would like to answer some questions, and clarify some points.

Our project is not only for very old hardware. Many people (including myself) can afford much more than 16 MB of RAM, but are tired to see them all busy in drawing nice window borders. Nothing against those who like it, we just want another choice. And PLEASE look at what the LJ article (A Modern, Low Resources Linux Distribution and All the Real Reasons Why We Need It) says about internet appliances, PDAs and cell phones. Remember that most of what we want to do is about packaging, and smart configuration, something EVERY DISTRO CAN BENEFIT FROM (see FAQ).

Somebody said “don’be so cheap, you can have PCs for 300 USD”. I thank all those who immediately reminded to such lucky guys that 300 USD or lower is average YEARLY income in most of this planet.

The “use your 486 just as a thin terminal” doesn’t work too well when the 486 is the most powerful PC around (or the only one…)

We know that specialized distro already exist. Debian and Slackware are good too, but we think, as explained in FAQ that is time that low needs must become characteristic of every MAINSTREAM distro. Even more, that a lightweight install must be fully functional as a desktop from the first boot. Today, whatever distro you install in the minimum configuration, you have still to tweak a lot of things, because it has always been thought for server use by already expert sysadmins.

To those who said “Moore law will vanify all your effort before you are finished” I can only say that if we don’t do something, many Linux distros of 2004 will probably pretend 512 MB of RAM just to install…

We ruin economy? If more people (not only those who can buy a 2 GHz 3-d game console and use it just as a typewriter) start getting a decent education, can start a modern business, and so on, is that bad for the economy? Especially considering that after getting a job with the practice they make on RULE computers, they will have the money to buy something to play quake? I have nothing against that, is “buy game level HW or nothing” which is wrong.

We are not going to work on non x86 HW, there is too much work to do as it is already. You are welcome to do it, especially, let me repeat it, because MUCH OF OUR WORK will be reusable on other distros/platforms.

Our position w.r.t. Red Hat: they obviously know of the project, and some of their engineers are on the RULE list. We will make all RH compatible, in the sense that if your HW allows it you can start with the RULE setup, and add/upgrade with any standard RPM you want. If Red Hat will include it in its official CDs, very good, I do hope it, otherwise it will be available anyway, so what’s the problem?

RULE = Run Up to Date Linux Everywhere
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