[linux-elitists] Can we woo you first? [Was: How MS could woo me]

Jeff Waugh jdub@perkypants.org
Wed Dec 24 01:39:34 PST 2003

<quote who="Aaron Lehmann">

> On Wed, Dec 24, 2003 at 04:42:41PM +1100, Jeff Waugh wrote:
> > Okay, so, throw a desktop-wide message bus into the mix (D-BUS,
> > which is being taken very seriously by freedesktop.org contributors
> > and the kernel community),
> I hope you weren't implying that it would have kernelside support,
> because that would be a bad idea.

There is significant interest in d-bus as a message bus for the kernel to
talk to user space for events, etc. See the FC2 2.6.x patches for some
initial support for RAID and... something else, forget what... events.

> > and you get a stream of context that any application can listen and
> > contribute to. No more dashboard-specific cluepacket patches, everyone's
> > on the same bus.
> Sounds like a cool proposition but I think the security implications
> should be discussed.

I didn't even mentioned the P2P stuff. But you're welcome to discuss that

> Needs Google integration ;).

Current Dashboard has a Google plugin.

> A big problem would be doing this would be performance. Most desktops seem
> sluggish on older hardware, so this would not be easy to do efficiently
> even on very powerful machines.

Despite "hey, you can run Linux on your 486" pseudo-features, who really
wants to design software for the computer you hand down to grandma? The
cluepackets themselves won't be a horrific problem, just have to make sure
the query plugins do things sanely. Consider that relevant stuff is stuff
you want all the time, so highly likely that it will be cached. (And before
someone says "but won't you think of the <second-world-country>ians?" it's
worth pointing out that there's a heck of a lot of choice out there.)

> Unfortunately, this kind of thing sounds like it could get much more
> annoying than Clippy very quickly.

No one knows what the UI will be like.  Some people think IM clients are
worse than Clippy.

> A C API is certainly a good start. I expected that any project of this
> scale would be doused in .NET, C# XML, CORBA, and whatever else is in
> fashion for desktop systems nowadays. I'm pleasantly surprised that such a
> traditional, accessible, low-overhead API will be available.

Evo uses CORBA internally atm. But I know how you like to rant about these

> > The most important thing to remember about all of this is that we can
> > make *massive* infrastructural, cross-desktop improvements at a fraction
> > of the time that MS can.
> In fact GNOME specializes in making infastructural changes. ;)

The 2.x series is fully API/ABI back compat from GTK+ up through the GNOME
Developer Platform stack. Sure, stuff will be deprecated, but it's "This Is
Serious, Mum" tactics now.

> On the first read I found the Dashboard idea quite attractive; now I'm
> not so sure. The big problem will be filtering results effectively.

We have the best minds of our generation working on it in the lab RIGHT NOW.

- Jeff

linux.conf.au 2004: Adelaide, Australia         http://lca2004.linux.org.au/
     "The Irish were next, being the only people who could credibly be
    accused of lowering the tone of a society of convicts." - Guy Rundle

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