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

  • From: "Jorge G. Mare (a.k.a. Koki)" <koki@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: openbeos@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Sun, 20 May 2007 01:10:17 -0700

Hi Michael,

Michael Phipps wrote:
Jorge G. Mare (a.k.a. Koki) wrote:
 > Let me give you an example.

Let's say that a user group in country X will be attending an open source conference, and they want to hand out either a Haiku live CD or a CD with a Haiku VMWare image of their making with some customizations like, say, a few additional apps, fonts to support their language, a little localized documentation, and perhaps branding/contact info specific to their user group.

Given that Haiku is a complete system and doesn't require you to mix and match like Linux does, I think that we have to consider pretty much any additions/removals to be a distro.

Still, a Haiku build from the repo not only has too few apps for a demo to be palatable, but it would also benefit from some additional stuff and changes when the target audience of the demo is not English-speaking. The inclusion of a few apps like BeShare or Vision, for example, would make the CD/image much more interesting from a demo standpoint, and stuff like additional fonts, a changed default keymap, an input method, and localized documentation, could also be used to make the demo more accessible to non-English speakers.

These changes would not be intrinsically intended to create a separate distribution from the official one, but simply to make the Haiku demo experience more accessible and interesting, and therefore enhance its promotional effect.

The above example is not a clean build from the repo, nor is it official, but it's not meant to be anything beyond a CD for demo or promotional purposes. As a matter of fact, it may most likely be a one-time thing created for a specific event.

Would this still be considered a third party distro?

I think that it is. Otherwise, what is, for Haiku, a distro? If you can add apps and fonts and documents and still be the official build, where do you draw the line?

The interpretation of what a distro is could may well vary depending on who you ask.

I think that considering a non-installable demo CD or VMWare image with very limited practical use beyond demonstration and promotional purposes a distro is a bit of a stretch, plus it could have the effect of limiting the ability of local communities to effectively promote Haiku at conferences, seminars, etc. by forcing them to create a distro even if all they want to do is hand out a demo.

I am hoping that Haiku will consider less stringent guidelines for this sort of demos, in order to empower the regional communities to promote Haiku a bit more freely and effectively to their local audiences rather than creating a burden to them. Considering that the future localized versions of Haiku are most likely to come from those same communities, this would be a move that fosters cooperation between the communities and the project rather than the opposite.

Either way, it would be good to include a definition of what Haiku considers a distro to be in the guidelines, so that it is not left open to interpretation.

BTW, is the "Haiku Operating System - Alpha Release" VMWare appliance official?


Or is this considered a distro too?



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