I take the post of Adam: Don’t be afraid to dream as a reason for my post. So I am talking about the “distribution of my dreams”. First I like to question if the focus on a distribution is really a good thing? As long as distributions work like they do – sure we have to accept there existence. But: I like focus on the user and some freedoms. So first thing I want (but this strangely is more a distribution view maybe?) is user that get good software working BUT this software also should be free. This is why many distribution do not ship non-free software. The question is if this tie is ok. Do users get more freedom if they do NOT get free software? I think not really. The other motivation on not shipping non-free or patent-realted software are the legal aspects. I think this really is an issue. OTOH – without any non-free or patent-related software user do not get a system that they can easily use. They then need to find the HOWTOs to configure the 3D cards or MP3/MPEG. don’t misunderstand me: I understand the motivation and I am all for free software with no patent relations – but in fact users still have to deal with such things – or they want MP3 or 3D graphics.
The big question is if we really help free software if we say that with an Linux distribution you will not only NOT get any Windows compatibility but you also have to do much more work which you don’t have to do on a Windows or Mac system. I think with these strict ties we indeed also make distributions which many people wont use – so they wont use Linux and other free software because we exclude SOME software.
Same is true for flavors of software or usages. A GOOD distribution accepts that users have different needs and usages. It might have its focus (maybe to be a good desktop distribution), but it should not try to block some uses of its users. It should have a away to allow them different uses.
Personally I like a desktop, a distribution to give me freedom and also to allow me to add additional packages easily. An easy üackage management system like conary allows me to package my own packages and also share that with others. This is just cool.
Coolness also is an important factor for me. A distribution should be cool. It should be cool to use it – so it should look and act cool. Thats not very scientific – I know but I think thats indeed what I like. Ok it should not break too often – by accept if some things break if it moves forward.