[RULE] Proposal/Vision: The Rule Desktop

M. Fioretti m.fioretti at inwind.it
Fri Feb 20 00:34:14 EET 2004

(sorry, long but important message ahead)

On Thu, Feb 19, 2004 11:23:34 AM +0100, Ingo Lantschner  ingo.lists at vum.at  wrote:
> We are still happy with the ruleified PCs their, and we advanced in
> installing new applications and making the desktop more usable. I am
> already thinking about a "Rule-Desktop" as something like a "product" in
> the line of Rules. I mean a rulified RedHat (or Fedora) with
> add-on-scripts for installing a filemaneger (mc), Abiword, Gnumeric, a
> Webbrowser, mailclient, firewall (Shorewall). Actually it means switching
> the so called vumBOX to Rule-Desktop (a means of nameing), putting the
> knowledge we have and which is documented in the vumBOX handbook into a
> script and burning anything on a CD. What do you think about it?
> Reagrds, Ingo.

I'm not sure to have understood what you mean. Please correct me if
I'm wrong.

My general "vision", if you will, about what RULE must become is:

a method to always install the *current* Fedora Core (now that RH
Linux ceased to exist) which:

1)       uses as much as possible official FC packages
2)	 can install on everything with at least a 386 and 12/16 MB
3)	 uses as little disk space as possible (base at 200/250 MB)
4)	 doesn't give up functionality (yes to IMAP, gnupg, the next
	 kdrive, fontconfig...) if the bare minimum ram and Hd are
5)	 makes it easy/teaches how to tweak and configure apps for
	 maximum performance

6)	 can give you a nice, fast and safe server, but is primarily
	 focused on desktop for home, student, schools, NGO, SME
7)	 contributes, by giving new life to old computers for the
	 users above, to reduce pollution and digital divide
8)	 supports, giving a baseline product, people working in the
	 field to bring Free SW and in general equal opportunities to
	 the users above

Points 1-5 are the "hackish" face of RULE, and are enough to make it a
damn good pet project, just for the sake of it, for any hacker. The
others are what personally interests me the most, the reason why I
took the time (and hope to start again) to put the project together
and make it grow. All this without denying for a second the fact that
*Michael* is the one who actually wrote all the code and made it work,
and being really grateful to him: without Michael we might just be
still here looking at our navels.

VUM has built on RULE a desktop for schools speaking French and
Lingala. Richard Kweskin (Richard, are you still around?) did
something similar in Greece (another alphabet!!). I've been asked if
RULE could be used for hospital and lab inventory workstations.

My opinion is that RULE proper should be the foundation to build all
such projects, and provide by itself some kind of english desktop for
students/one man businesses (Ingo, is this what you called
"Rule-desktop" made from vumBOX?). Starting from there, VUM, and all
other groups could build their semiautomatic "ISO customization

To make this happen we need to make more documentation available, make
website contributions easier (both pages and packages) and make the
whole slinky/iso creation process more modular, so the base is more
solid and customization is easier.

The lack of the first two things, docs and website, is mainly my
fault. I got an offer from a guy to help with PHP and MySQL, and I'll
contact him immediately. If VUM can help RULE merging back all what
they did, it would be wonderful, and then we might start building the
next version.

Ingo, is this what you had in mind? If I was just so sleepy tonight to
have read one thing for another, don't hesitate to scold me. Any
feedback is welcome.

Thanks for your patience,


Marco Fioretti                 mfioretti
Red Hat for low memory         www.rule-project.org

We shall serve God, family and country, in that order, because without
the one before it, each would perish.

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