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Should you think of Rivendell as just another program to run on the computer or as an appliance?

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Comment: When I first started playing with Linux, I was upgrading every 6 months. It didn't take long to realize I was playing whack-a-mole.

Answer: Yup. Real easy trap to fall into. I've done it too.

For years, I had always thought of Rivendell as an application, designed to fit in among other applications on a Linux system. As such, it was important that it obey certain conventions so as to 'fit into the ecosystem' in a smooth way and play nice with all the other applications on the block.

I've since come to the conclusion that this approach is a mistake. Rivendell is a classic 'vertical' application, not something that needs to run on Aunt Millie's proverbial e-mail machine. As such, it is NOT one application among many on a system, but rather it IS the System; everything else that's there is there solely inasmuch as it helps Rivendell get its task (i.e. running the radio station) done reliably.

I've found that this approach can clarify one's outlook wonderfully. For one thing, things become a lot less distro- and desktop-centric. The window manager need be little more than an application launcher; most of the 'desktop' crud supplied by projects like GNOME and KDE become simply irrelevant and can be removed, yielding a markedly nimbler system. Likewise the distro: so long as it runs Rivendell properly, there's really no reason to replace it. Paravel still has sites under commercial support that run quite well on SuSE 9.2 (though that will be changing when RD 2.0 ships -- the dependencies have changed too much).

Frederick F. Gleason, Jr.

Chief Developer

Paravel Systems