Saturday, 30 January 2010

A possible roadmap

First do a SkinnySqueezey, then do a SkinnyLucy.

SkinnySqueezey

SkinnyDebbie off Squeeze (alternate names: SkinnyLGM. SkinnyGreenie). This will probably have a slightly different motive than SkinnyLenny. Whereas earlier SkinnyDebbie versions had a “the absolutely lightest alternative for getting things done” motivation, it’s probably safe to assume that really old (i.e., RAM-limited; i.e., less than 256MB) hardware for which the above makes the most sense will be essentially nonexistent by the time Squeeze is released. This gives the project a bit more leeway to be nicer. So the new motivation may be, “Light, standard, effective, with as little Gnome as possible.” Probably something based on Openbox+fbpanel — and therefore resembling Crunchbang Linux, but with even less Gnome dependence and easy config for newbies.

Potential wins:

  • Debian is more solid in more places than Ubuntu.

Potential fails:

  • No PPA-ish alternative for newer packages.
  • Font rendering not as nice as Ubuntu.
  • Mixed su and sudo may confuse some interface issues.

SkinnyLucy

Adapting SkinnySqueezey to Ubuntu Lucid should be pretty easy once Lucid is released. This could start now, except the current Lucid installer doesn’t seem to work for command-line systems.

Potential wins:

  • Ubuntu’s PPAs
  • Lucy is an LTS
  • Ubuntu’s lovely font rendering
  • sudo only simplifies some interface issues

Potential fails:

  • Ubuntu’s sort-of odd/arbitrary maintenance habits for non-mainstream packages
  • Identical basic config in Karmic and Squeeze leaves Karmic many tens of MB larger