Monday, October 26, 2009

Feeling Marginalized by OpenSolaris

The OpenSolaris project team has elected to leave my favorite shell (/bin/tcsh) out of the default installation media. There is "bug" on this, but I don't think it is getting any traction.

I'm feeling marginalized... it means that when folks first upgrade a system on SWAN to OpenSolaris, I won't be able to login unless they also remember to "pkg install SUNWtcsh". (This also creates a PITA for me on my network, but I've added a secondary user account ... "gdamoreb" with bash as its login shell to my NIS passwd file just so I can work around this.)

Anyway, compared to other decisions that this team has made, I definitely feel "marginalized". Look at some other stuff on the LiveCD:
  • Not one, but two different e-mail packages (T-bird and Evolution)
  • A number of "gnome" games that simply don't work at all.
  • Two different versions of "vi" (/usr/bin/vi != /usr/xpg4/bin/vi)
  • Unuseful "esd" (enlightenment sound daemon, not used by default)
  • A number of not terribly useful device drivers ("pcelx", "pcram", etc.?) I'm going to work on EOF'ing some of these ancient device drivers.
I definitely feel like a 2nd class citizen, as a tcsh user in OpenSolaris. (zsh users, feel free to have the same opinion.)

If you feel the same way, please go ahead and put a comment in the bug report.


trs80 said...

There was talk on desktop-discuss last week about dumping Evolution from the LiveCD.

Binary Crusader said...

The original target audience for the initial distribution meant focusing on software and drivers instead of shells.

Currently, the LiveCD is 100MB+ overweight, so they're trying as best as they can to *remove* unnecessary software so that they can get back to CD size, and then at that point, I'm certain they'll look at the possibility of adding these.

I completely agree about the email software thing though. That's been a very difficult choice for them as Evolution is fully integrated with the GNOME calendar, etc. and is part of the GNOME platform and has a significant userbase (due to exchange support), while Thunderbird is also very popular but not integrated, etc.

I personally use Thunderbird, but I think hard choices are going to have to be made here.

Es Que said...

I would love to see Evolution being dropped from the default install. Unwinding the dependencies seems to be a problem with this however. zsh and basically every other shell should be added. Really what harm could it do just to have them there.

frankiii said...

I can understand leaving tcsh and other antiquated software out of a modern distribution.

But what is this you say about zsh? Surely that must be an oversight!


Garrett D'Amore said...

tcsh "antiquated"? You must be kidding. Just because the other shells under active development (bash, ksh93, can't speak to zsh) are still trying to catch up with where tcsh has been (at least for interactive use) for over a decade hardly makes tcsh antiquated!

Glynn Foster said...

As Shawn mentioned, we're 100+MB over at the moment. The current plans for what gets removed include -

- Evolution
- GNOME Games
- Additional localizations for a given locale
- GNOME Image Organizer
- Python 2.4 (Python 2.6 will be default)
- Medialib
- LP (CUPS will be default)

If there's any space after that, we'll happily look at it. Right now, adding more stuff isn't an option. Nice rant though :)