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Where am I going?

December 18, 2015 — BarryK
I have been thinking about Quirky Werewolf 7.4. The direction I have taken is to make Quirky more Puppy-like. That is, improved frugal installation, more viable ongoing running from live-CD, even support for multiple SFS files.

This has been done from scratch to be simpler than Puppy. So, a reimplementation of the concepts in Puppy, but simpler underlying scripts. Still using a zram for live-CD and frugal, which is different from how Puppy does it.

However, all of this Puppy-like behaviour is what I got away from in the original Quirkies. They were full installations only.

The reasons for that original decision were:

1. No initrd
A full install means that there is no need for an initrd. I see the initrd, or initramfs, as an unecessary extra step at bootup. It is complicated, slows down bootup, and file duplication bulks up the size of the distribution.

2. Speed of solid state drives
The whole Puppy running-in-RAM thing is (mostly) due to the slowness of reading from drives. Mechanical magnetic-platter drives specifically, but also solid state drives that are choked via slow serial interfaces such as USB2.

I saw the future as computing devices with internal solid-state drives, with very fast read times. Thus, a full install will be fast, and there will be nothing (such as SFS files) cluttering up the RAM.

3. Optical drives on the way "out"
More and more computing devices are being sold without an optical drive. They are still hanging in there with desktop PCs, however, increasingly they are becoming legacy devices that only serve an occasional use.

My next computer will not have an optical drive. Actually, I own an external USB optical drive, that will serve my needs on the rare occasion that it will be needed.
My next laptop, that I need to tote around, including take as cabin luggage on flights, will not be burdened by the extra space and weight needed for an optical drive.

Summing up
All of the above, is, I think, a good argument for why I created Quirky. The direction it is going now, introducing Puppy-like features, is, well, not appropriate.

Let Puppy continue, doing what Puppy does well. I reckon that I will take Quirky back to full install only.

Future thoughts
In 2016, I am thinking of purchasing a new laptop. With solid-state drive and touch screen. The latter is another thing that may become pretty much standard.

This means that I will need to develop Quirky with a touch-enabled user interface.

These are my thoughts about the direction of Quirky, but not necessarily what I will end up doing.
Who knows? -- maybe Canonical will finally deliver Ubuntu Touch with true convergence, and it will be so awesome that I will forget all about Quirky...

Tags: quirky, linux