Thursday, September 6, 2012

Tartare Source

I've been horribly remiss. There have been a few mistakes I've made recently really... but this one in particular I can do something about. As a lot of you know, I'm a huge fan of Free software. There are multiple reasons for this - I'm not criminalised for fulfilling a customer's needs for example. I'm free to learn things. etc.

So why then, have I not been more active in promoting the source code for the bits that I've been writing for Manaiakalani? Sure, you could download the code. But that's completely different from trying to develop a community around it.

It turns out I'm going to have a lot of time in the very near future. In which case, now's the time to do it. I've started to write the notes for a web page even. So what is it that I'm proposing?

The name, Tartare Source kind of says it all. If you were to think of Ubuntu as the mayonnaise (the fat, the median), then you still need the interesting stuff - gherkins, capers, lemon juice etc. All of that stuff that makes it interesting. So... Tartare Source is a brilliant analogy. The deployment system - gherkin (with sweet gherkin being a rescue partition?). What I've been referring to as "Initial Login" would be Capers. A rebuild of the Ubuntu Software Centre allowing for things like a black list of applications backed up with conflicting packages to enforce such restrictions - Lemon Juice. Perhaps a unobtrusive update system ... Lime Juice?

Basically, a suite of tools for developing a "deployment mode Ubuntu".

Ultimately, I'd love to extend this to an interface system. i.e. the proposed modifications to Gnome-Shell (and by extension, gsettings) I referred to in another post. Basically, the ability to point a gnome session to a folder of javascript scripts that could then allow for multiple interfaces via different sessions. So you could have a Mac OS X style interface, Unity, Default Gnome Shell etc. sessions all co-existing on the same system but using the same core. Hell, I got a couple of ideas looking at the Windows 8 interface - what would it take to be able to switch sessions within the same session? i.e. go from a MATE interface (gnome 2 kind of) to a more tablet orientated interface. The best of both (multi?) worlds all in the one. I've got to admit, there are problems. Gnome-shell seems to get slower the more javascript you use (as expected. I wonder how hard it is to do it in C instead). But completely doable.

In fact, I still don't understand why Ubuntu/Canonical didn't do this in the first place. The name Unity just seems ironic.

Look for more on this in the coming months.... I'm aiming to have Tartare Source up, at the very latest, by the end of the year.

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