About a month ago an article written by Mathew Garret, The Desktop and the
Developer, was published which made some
ripples throughout the community (or at least was referenced through various sites).
Here is a summary of his observations:
Majority of deployments of OpenStack (for what the conference he was attending
was all about) are Linux-based
The most popular laptop vendor at the conference appeared to be Apple
Macs are aesthetically pleasing
Developers don’t want to use different hardware and operating systems for work
The new generation of developers are more interested in the overall user
And here were some of the revelations:
Why migrate to Linux where at best they would have a comparable experience?
Developers need an environment which gives them access to the services they use
on a daily basis
Current workflows are broken or cumbersome having to go through multiple mediums
and applications for monitoring and interaction
Time is lost or wasted bouncing between different web applications/services
I’ll be the first to admit the polish is probably going to be the last thing
being focused on. Why? Because being a minimalist means only the base
requirements are necessary and anything else is just fluff and getting in the
way. However, this doesn’t mean good ideas may not come out of this venture.
First things first we put forth some ideas we’d like to see in a final product.
These can be viewed on our Trello
Board. To highlight just a few:
Continuous polling for incoming commits with notifications
Central issue tracking capabilities
Simplify the version control system use by wrapping them in to one common
Automated build and continuous integration systems installed and configured by
For each custom program we want to make it available by itself but to have it
mesh very well within the intended suite. What this means is people can pick and
choose what they would like to use as well as make it accessible to anyone not
using the distribution.
It is also important we maximize the use of open source technologies. For the
first go-around we want to have functionality there. If something deviates or we
decide we want to simplify an item we can go about and do it, but really we
don’t want to re-create the wheel if at all possible.
One interesting decision made early on was to follow the KISS principle. This
falls right in line with our favorite distribution Arch
Linux. Not only is it
extremely customizable and rather light weight, but the rolling releases are
great for bleeding edge development.
The Intended Target Audience
While we do intend to focus on developers in general we realize we also want to
promote collaboration and contributions to open source technology. With that
said more than likely a lot of the tooling given priority will be those focused
on workflows of developers who contribute to open source (i.e. issue tracking on
GitHub or BitBucket will come before internal issue management systems).