Every Linux Distributor in the world is hard at work reinventing the
interface and making the Linux as user friendly as possible but we're still
dogged by turn of the century hassle with our FreeBSD.
Here is what I would fix:
1. Reinvent the installer and interface.
Fundamental thing like system installer is still phenomenally arcane. There
is no excuse for FreeBSD developers not to upgrade the system installer and
why not using disk imaging technology like Norton ghost or Acronis
TrueImageinstead of the traditional installation.
To my experience, especially with application installation, linux has
still yet to approach FreeBSD, let along Windows in this manner. As
for the OS installer, ok, it's not pretty to look at, and it's far
from perfect (fdisk needs a lot of work for one - it has issues with
some hardware, but it's well beyond my skill level to work on sadly).
As for the disk imaging technology... Do you have _any_ clue about
what goes into installing an OS? To my knowledge, no variant of Linux,
Windows, etc. uses disk imaging technology. There is a very good
reason for this - it doesn't allow for a lot of necessary
customisation without a lot of extra complication in the installer.
However, while a GUI installer would be nice, as stated to me in a
previous email, a lot of people know this would be useful, but the
manpower required for such a project is immense compared to what is
available from people with the required skills.
2. Integrate a PHP shell into the core of the system.
PHP is by far the most popular computing language in the world. Why not
have a shell called PHP shell. So lots of web developers out there can
easily create shell scripts in PHP syntax to automate and run programs on
Who wants to learn bash or sh scripting? They are by far the least popular
and ugly programming language in the world.
It is astounding that FreeBSD developers have not clued in to the fact that
millions of backend webmasters could easily migrate and adopt FreeBSD as
their O.S of their choice because of PHP.
No offense, but, it doesn't even integrate BASH. I had to install the
bash package so I wasn't stuck to CSH, and BASH is much more popular
than any PHP shell. (Wait, is there a PHP shell? I know there is a CLI
interpereter, but that's different). Regardless, if it's in ports
(which it probably is if there is such a thing), then just install it,
not very difficult at all.
Also, PHP is extremely large and slow compared to things like CSH and
BASH. Thus, if only one is being chosen, PHP would be a pretty low
choice: the idea of BSD is to start with something relatively minimal
and build it up to what you need, so you aren't stuck with excess
clutter you don't need, as you often see in most other operating
systems. Integrating such a shell would be very contradictory to this
philosophy, and waste a lot of resources for people who don't want
that waste, or don't have them to spare.
Also, just because you can't see a reason to use/learn SH doesn't mean
others can't. I knew PHP long before SH, and I still prefer it for a
lot of things, but SH has a lot of important advantages that cannot
easily be chaned (for one, it is almost ubiquitous, except in windows
and Mac OS < X).
Also, can you actually pull numbers to support your statements about
popularity and lack thereof? There are less popular languages than SH
(which, by the way, is the glue of UNIX), and to be honest, last I
checked, C and Perl were more popular, by far, than PHP.
Oh, and I use PHP for my websites and run some on BSD without issue.
All I had to do was take one trivial step after syncing ports, which
is the first thing I do in FreeBSD:
$ cd /usr/ports/lang/php5
$ sudo make install clean
VIOLA, PHP in no time!
3. Content Management Website
Your current website looks very ordinary and doesn't make any impression for
anyone visiting your site for the first time.
Yeah, it's great, I don't have to deal with a lot of crap and clutter
to find what I need. Personally, I think it could be simplified more,
but hey, nothing is perfect. No matter what the website is, it will
always have some people that don't like it. To be honest, I think it's
far enough away from the BSD philosophy as is, and your suggestion
would only move it further.
To be honest though, the simplicity and lack of crap made an
impression on me and a few that I know, and a good one. Remember, not
everyone is like you, and just because something doesn't appeal to you
doesn't mean it won't appeal to others.
One thing to remember, I've been in BSD for only about 6-8 months, but
I figured it out pretty quickly: the idea behind BSD is to have a
minimal and functional operating system that allows a user to easily
build up to what he or she needs to do a task effectively. You do have
to put some effort in, but this helps keep machines secure (by not
having unknown and useless [for the user] things on them that could
open vulnerabilities), and keeps the system resources from being
wasted by things that aren't needed.
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