Foresight Linux is dead?

The popularity of Foresight Linux has decreased in the last years, just as I had predicted. And the problems have not stopped. In October the next release was predicted by OgMaciel as being just around the corner. That would have been the end of October or start of November, but not January. The big problems had started when developers started not fixing current bugs of Foresight 1.x but instead focused on the new and great Foresight 2.x which was based on rPath 2.x. In fact it was a real mess. As I had tried it out, things were just worse than ever – and the reviews in the internet and user reaction also got worse. Instead of fixing the users problems one tried to fix this as a marketing problem. That dies not mean that those bunch of Foresight folks are not great people as humans or developers. But I dont look so much into what time they have spent and to how some things might be a cool solution – I just look at the state of Foresight – is it now more usable than some years before and did it gain more popularity. It didnt. Right now, this week it is on place 157 in DistroWatch or place 80 when you look at the last year. This had been very different. From my perspective a good distribution solves the users problem. This means things that dont work are fixed and sometimes new features are added. The goal has to be that users are satisfied and come back or continue using a distro. This is not always easy, but unfortunately many software projects take the route and try to make it all right and better. And the result is that the new status is not accomplished, timetables get delayed, users get more frustrated, people leave the distro, developers find new grounds, the support is shrinking and the software project or distro is dying. I fear Foresight will not continue to survive 2010. Not because the underlying technology is bad, but because a lot of bad decisions were made. I think this is sad, because I really liked it for a while. What would be needed is to reduce the overall work which needs to be done in order to be able to focus on the important things which are the users problems. Not even commenting on blocker issues isnt a good sign, really.


Filed under Free Software, Linux, Technology

2 responses to “Foresight Linux is dead?

  1. I know this article. Its from 2007. Many things have changed. Nobody ever assumed that the stats are acurate, neither are those from Google Trends. DistroWatch is much aware of it but has pointed out that it does not do much more than count the hits. Actually my point of Foresights decrease was not DistroWatchs statistics at the start, but that it has become quiter and quiter. In February 2009 the main developer has joined Canonical Ltd.. ut also he says that this changes nothing it makes clear that Foresight Linux or Rpath Linux is not where he sees his future now. And the delayed releases and no new dates also indicate that something is wrong. I might be wrong, too. If this post leads to a “hey no we are not” – so be it. DistroWatch shows some relation of pupularity, but popularity is not everything. For example: OpenBSD is not near the top. But it is relatively stable on rank 50 and has a lot of committed followers. Linux distributions come and go and depend more on popularity than a distro like OpenBSD. A Linux distribution must find its niche. If it wants to be recognized as important it must become one of the top 20 distributions at least. If it fails to accomplish its nothing more than a funny hobby project. But I think thats not what Foresight wanted. It really wanted to be No. 1. my point is that the strategy failed, that I could see this coming and that now is the point where it is becoming obvious.

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