[openbeos] Re: news: development mailing list, distro guidelines

  • From: "Jorge G. Mare (a.k.a. Koki)" <koki@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: openbeos@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Mon, 21 May 2007 11:33:18 -0700

Simon Taylor wrote:
From: "Urias McCullough" <umccullough@xxxxxxxxx>
It is very unfortunate that there's no base "distro".  But even if
there was, what software would be included? Has anyone even started
thinking about this? Has it even been discussed? Is there a list being
maintained somewhere that community hasn't seen?

I think the answer to what would be included is "not much" - in a similar vain 
to R5. I actually think that's a good thing, but maybe that's just me.

In the case of a CD produced to demo at a single event, say SCaLE, the distro could be 
called "SCaLE 2007 Demo", and then lower down on the CD it could include the 
"This CD is based on pre-release Haiku code. The Haiku project will release an 
official distribution of the OS when it is ready. For information about the official 
Haiku project, please visit http://haiku-os.org.
This software is work in progress and has missing functionality as well as many 
(known and unknown) bugs. Use at your own risk.
We are not affiliated with Haiku, do not contact them for support."
That's very interesting - marketing to developers and technical users
with a demo CD and then treating them like average users... That seems
like an effective way to turn away potential developers.

Sorry, I just don't get that. I was demonstrating how the case Koki was talking about 
(pre-release CD for handing out at conferences) could be accommodated within the current 
guidelines. What do you mean by "treating them like average users" - just 
saying on the CD that it is pre-release code and won't necessarily be a good indication 
of the quality of the release? Surely that's a sensible thing to say, whether to 
developers or users?

The disclaimer is fine - but I would replace the last line with
something to the effect of: "We support Haiku's efforts, if you are a
developer or otherwise interested in improving the quality of this
fledgling OS, please contact Haiku to help!" You get more flies with
honey right?

People would be free to add that within the current guidelines.

Applying the general distro guidelines to demo CDs or VM images misses a couple of important points inherent to demo/promotional material. Let me try to explain in practical terms.

For a group of people wanting to create a distro with it's own identity/branding, development/support team, and eventually community, the existing guidelines are a burden commensurate with the goal, and very reasonable therefore.

But if you all you want is create a CD or a VM image to promote Haiku, these guidelines have the following (negative) effects:

* They put an excessively high burden on the individual or community wanting to create Haiku promo material.

* The resulting compliant promo/demo material does not fulfill its goal of promoting Haiku, as it cannot bear it's logos and branding.

This not only conflicts with the only purpose of the material (which is to promote Haiku), but it can also cause confusion by forcing a simple demo to be identified as a distro when it is not.

I know and understand the reasoning behind the distro guidelines. But to subject a demo to the same gudelines as a distro seems to be just a case of overprotection applied in the wrong place, with no real benefits and but some disadvantages.



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