My views on software, programming, Linux, the Internet, government, taxation, working, and life.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

What's New in GNU/Linux and FLOSS

Yawn. The recent LinuxWorld Expo was a yawner. There is like nothing going on right now. It's like everyone must be furiously coding something right now?

And this AJAX stuff. Jeesh -- that's overhyped too much. Here, let me write a piece of code that will more than likely break in your browser. Or, let me give you thousands of lines of Javascript/ECMAScript so that your page is even slower to download. No thanks.

Instead, here's my ideas for a big splash in the Linux community:

* A unified FLOSS-based software project installer. Using this, you can easily build an install wizard on the various platforms for your software. On Windows, it uses VB6. On GNOME/Linux, it uses Python, PyGTK, and Glade-generated XML GUI files. On KDE/Linux, it uses Python, PyQT, and QT-generated GUI files. At Linux command-line, it uses Python and VT100 escape codes to provide an almost Yast-like experience.

* A GNOME front-end to VPNC. It's just long overdue.

* A GNOME distro that dumps Nautilus and uses Thunar instead. Nautilus is just too much frippin code.

* A VB-like language and IDE that takes your stuff and converts it to Python, PyGTK, and Glade-generated XML GUI files. It almost looks like a complete ripoff of VB5's look and feel.

* An "alphalanguage". Using Perl and special alphalanguage libraries, you can create hundreds of new, fast, scripted computer languages. As Perl grows, so do your other computer languages. And the new language should run just one second slower (at the start) than Perl runs.

* For all the annoying things in Bluefish and Screem to be fixed. What's annoying? Bluefish needs Screem-like autohighlighting and needs to do character matching for parentheses and curly braces. It also needs to stop with the HTML autocomplete, or at least remember that I turned this off. Bluefish also badly needs a Find in Files feature. Screem just needs to load faster and quit dying while I'm in the middle of something. Of both projects, Bluefish looks the most salvagable. Screem keeps crashing over the stupidest stuff. Unfortunately I have to use both to get my work done.

* A new 2U rackmount server designed for the Reseller to the SOHO market. You can put your label and OS on it. What's interesting about this, however, is that it has an extraordinarily cheap price, using 3 drives. One is mirrored to the other, and the third is used for nightly backups. It should come with a DVD burner that can handle the largest GB size. That way, a script could be run to backup stuff to DVD. It should come with 2 cheap NICs that one can use separately or aggregate together as one virtual NIC inside Linux.

* A webmin replacement that actually looks attractive and not like an old Lotus Notes app!

* An iptables firewall script generator wizard. You run through it and it places a Bash script in your home directory (which you can move or symlink to).

* Something that's better than Horde and more like EdgeDesk for providing the SOHO market with a web-based office email/calendaring/task list/etc. environment. And it needs to be FLOSS.