you got point there. the thing here is that you can drive linux in fact the way you want. i'm driving linux the LFS way meaning i completly compile my system from scratch and only source based stuff gets on it. this is the hard way but a satisfactory one too. for those who still want the power there is gentoo automating the process. if you only can say: "install me this" and the os downloads, compiles and installs the sources itself it's not really a hazzle for the user. but this requires the os to implement this facility in the system structure (in obos case as a server, kinda like the package utility already there, only at source level). so there could be a layer above the source which hides it or shows it to the user depending on his taste.
"Obviously Roland knows, understands and likes these things."
:=) obviously i'm a coder and thus like very much fiddeling with the make tripple: tar -xvjf ... ; make; make intall... LOL
anyways... i point up to the reply to Linus: there is a way to deal with it. it just is a bit more tricky than simply use binary install.
beos apps are indeed much smaller. has been one of the first things i noticed back then in beos r5 times. the main problem here is also that in a windows system so many components are linked in a cubersome way that patching one usually unrolls a rat tail which causes an ackward lot of subsequent patches needed. beos has the chance to be different... please don't mess it up guys ;=)
you stated here you gonna test this heavily to avoid the need for patching. i donno what to say but... i hope you've been just kidding. there's nothing like the perfect code and especially in a os where lots of components speak together and the user is the most unstable factor one can imagine (DAU does not exist for nothing) that a simple hidden bug can greatly cause headaches. i would not rely on the dev team beeing that perfect to not letting slip in a mean bug. i expect you to deliver much more sophisticate code than it is in linux but do not think that the possibility for patching does not have to be dealt with in advance. i definitly not want to see OBOS crank up because once upon the time a really mean bug hits daylight without the devers having taken into account this possibility.
just my two cents.
so don't get me wrong. the dev team is good, real good but you know... it is the small arrow at the right place that fells the giant ;=)