Comment 27 for bug 148454

@Jonathan Rogers --

There are at least two major flaws in your analysis. First, your analysis presumes to know ex ante the configuration of the computer and the use to which the package will be put. Second, it does not take into account the need for simultaneously managing multiple users and multiple hardware connections to the computer, in both graphical and console modes.

Various configurations--

Using Linux as a desktop platform provides a degree of flexibility and power that was hitherto simply unavailable. The significant advances in software technology is fueling the explosive growth of recycled, mobile, and embedded devices, most of which are running or are planned to be run on Linux.

The overall efficiency gains are attributable to much more than just the kernel. Because open-source developers have a penchant for eliminating inefficiencies and wasted resources, the entire software stack is significantly faster and lighter than legacy operating systems. It is true that resource-restrained systems must make often difficult choices, but part of the work we do is to give the community more choices in order to solve common problems.

One example of an effort to deliver the desktop to low-resource systems is the Xubuntu distribution, which is specifically designed to run on systems with 256M of RAM. Other low-resource desktop solutions are, e.g., DSL, Puppy Linux, Fluxbuntu, aLinux, Zenwalk, DeLi Linux, Wolvix. My company is currently developing a desktop solution to manage servers with a graphical interface.

In such use-cases, every megabyte of wasted resources makes a difference, and eliminating the waste is a never-finished project. Eliminating 2.5 MB of resource usage from one process is often a terrific improvement. In addition, each freed thread reduces state usage, which can make a significant improvement in performance in many situations.

Console-kit is intended to solve in a platform-independent manner several problems related to the management of multiseat configurations. See http://lists.freedesktop.org/archives/hal/2007-January/006996.html. As desktop environments are coalescing around the DBUS architecture, common solutions such as console-kit will be invaluable to interoperability among applications and among desktop environments. Because the common solutions will be used in such disparate situations, resource utilization must be zealously optimized throughout the stack.

Happy Trails,

Loye Young
Isaac & Young Computer Company
Laredo, Texas
http://www.iycc.biz