Today I have installed Foresight Linux, which is based on rPath Linux. I have not seen much, yet. But sound works, there are no crashes and it is much faster. The community seems to me much more open and looking for developers and users instead of ambassadors. What does not work is the ndiswrapper driver. Have to look into this issue.
So far most things went smoothly. Also I could set the laptops resolution without having to edit the modelines. It also has Firefox on board. The overall feeling is more responsiveness of the GNOME desktop.
Why did I choose this? Well, because I like to work with software appliances in the near future and I also liked the idea of distributed package management. I think most distributions have a very conservative structure and try to establish a control system that in the end reflects in poor software handling.
Maybe what also make Foresight an attractive distribution is because it is a much smaller community and no big vendors behind it – also no tradition – so very open for new ideas. Every distribution has to built its own culture of sharing and working together. And the developers and user look at it and decide each day if this is what they actually want. I like distributions that welcome you as a contributor if you want to share but also leave you alone if you want to do things differently. I don’t believe so much in ESTABLISHING a distribution but more in NURTURING the conmunity. Distributions are like alive animals. If you put them in jail, they can die and also do not behave naturally.
What is difficult is to preserve the positive culture if such a thing gets bigger. I think thats what often made old distributions boring or bueraucratic: They tried to organize and lost momentum.. they “tried to make sure” and lost culture. Sure if things get bigger you must adapt, but is is essential to try to preserve the core of the culture, the openness as good as possible.
So right now I am on the Foresight waggon and like to encourage others to join us. my desktop still is Fedora Core 6, because I am not able backup all private data now and do not want to buy yet another har disk. I also always like to have one stable system.
Oh one more: I now can finally print on my Fedora desktop via notebook! (ThinkPad T23). I never got his working under FC6! Isn’t that stupid that two Fedoras are talking to each other not as good as Foresight with Fedora? Strange, but my feeling is that a lot small issues are not getting fixed in Fedora because they are always at hard work to get the big issues solved and to get the new major releas out in time. Thats just my private impression – I dont know any statistics…
I am quite optimistic that I can handle many problems with Foresight, but I think I also gave up the idea to find the ONE last distribution that I use in my life. Progress is fast in Linux and so … it is more important to be able to move the own data – instead of trying to preserve a working environment for years. At least thats my priority now. On my notebook I onely had some copies of data, so I could qickly erase the old distro. Only thing I think it is bad is TomBoy, becauseyou can not backup these notes.