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SubjectOSDL and the Linux kernel community
I've just read about Greg Kroah-Hartman (one of the 17 kernel 
developers) proposal about what OSDL could do to improve the kernel
work. As a none-kernel developer I think it's important to look closer
at some of the issues.

First I have to mention that the kernel is an important but only _one_
part of a Linux system a user may buy in a shop. There are many more
parts which have to fit in until a system is bought. IMO the OSDL's task
is to care for all of these parts, not only at the kernel. Nobody will
buy a computer if it only has a superb kernel but the rest doesn't fit
equally well.

Second the breakthrough of the Linux desktop system has been predicted
so many years, it's hard to find the correct number. It's not worth to
discuss this much, just think the OSDL thought it necessary to start a
survey about it last year. The results of this survey can be read here
(http://www.osdl.org/dtl/DTL_Survey_Report_Nov2005.pdf). Besides the
usual points as e.g. hardware difficulties, there is one single point
which stands out. Doesn't it strike you odd when you read that these
users still ask for applications not available on a Linux system? Even
if the majority had Linux deployed? Can you imagine what the first top
inhibitor of the Linux desktop adoption means?

Well the answers is quite simple, it means a low market share! A market
share so low that manufactures don't care about providing drivers, even
so low they don't even provide documentation. Too low that vendors don't
care for using parts which have Linux drivers, let alone selling Linux
systems even if it's cheaper for them. Don't you think it is much more
important to raise the market share above a minimal necessary level?

So the number one priority to solve many of the problems of the Linux
kernel is to increase the market share above this minimal level. To fix
the first top inhibitor of the Linux desktop adoption. I guess very few
of you have an idea how this can be achieved. Neither had the desktop
architects at ODSL before I mentioned it to them. Even then they are
reluctant to listen to me (see
http://lists.osdl.org/pipermail/desktop_architects/2005-December/000349.html)
albeit they finally seem to agree (see
http://lists.osdl.org/pipermail/desktop_architects/2005-December/000369.html).
At least they and most probably you don’t know any alternative.

So if Linux should finally become widespread used by everybody my
“cross-platform development” initiative (see
http://wyoguide.sourceforge.net/index.php?page=Cross-platform.html) has
to succeed. Only then becomes a Linux system attractive for the ordinary
users and therefore for the vendors and the manufactures.

You may ask now why do I tell this here and wonder what you have to do
with. Well first it was Greg Kroah-Hartman proposal to the OSDL and
second because I think my proposal will solve many of the limitations
you currently face in your work. I think you are well advised to
advocate this to the OSDL so they finally look for a desktop architect
in their fellowship program
<http://www.osdl.org/about_osdl/Maintainers/document_view>. You may
further advocate the use of the wyoGuide guidelines so the Linux desktop
only has just one set of guidelines instead of several. And you are free
to participate in wyoGuide so it’s not only a good but the best for the
Linux desktop.


O. Wyss

--
Application guidelines: http://wyoguide.sf.net/

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