The Linux world has a great diversity of distributions, which is certainly a sign of health of its ecosystem, but also has some drawbacks. These include :
To solve thess problems, I have decided to use a technique that has proven very effective in other domains : publish a standard, without imposing it. More precisely, I have published guidelines that all Manux distribution have to follow, but the only effect of breaking them is that the distribution is barred from calling itself a standard Manux distribution.
This, I hope, should allow the simultaneous creation of a reasonably unified technical base and of a reasonably unified user interface, as well as the exploration of alternative approaches and the adaptation to specific needs in non-standard distributions.
By the way, a remark about commercialization. I think it is a good thing, not only to allow the sale of free software, but even to encourage it. But one of the difficulties of this commercialization is that, for any strictly positive price, nothing prevents another seller from selling the same software for a lower price, which leads to a very unhealthy dynamic. To avoid this, in the future, I may add a rule in this standard like "you may give standard distributions for free, or sell them, but in the latter case, charge at least a price of X" or something of the like. Again, the only effect of a non-respect would be the loss of the "standard" denomination.
A last point : yes, I know, all of this is currently not very realistic, and even very optimistic, since there are no Manux distribution at all in the first place. That's true, but I felt it was better to publish such informations before they became useful, rather than after they could have been...
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