Easiest desktop BSD distro

Polytropon freebsd at edvax.de
Tue Mar 29 22:00:10 UTC 2011

On Tue, 29 Mar 2011 17:39:36 -0400, Jerry McAllister <jerrymc at msu.edu> wrote:
> Just a nit here -- I would think of BSD as less cluttered 
> rather than simpler.   

The definition of "simple" is individual, it depends on
present knowledge and the ability of thinking (concluding,
deriving, understanding).

Simple things SIMPLE, complex things POSSIBLE. FreeBSD
utilizes this approach by providing small "units" that
fulfill a certain purpose and that can be combined to
do something more complex, instead of trying to build
a "one size fits all" complex that denies the simplest
choices. Sadly, such things are more common in software
than you want them to be...

> Those that have all the extra built-ins with no thinking required
> tend to be more complicated, not simpler.  They just cover it up
> by allowing fewer choices -- as you imply above.  

A good preconfiguration does help. If common tasks are
already well prepared, built-ins can be very helpful.
Instead, you often find a "pile of garbage" in software
that you're forced to pick what you intend to use, always
hoping it will work as intended. If problems occur and
you want to diagnose what's wrong - well, big problem.
As nobody thought of doing so, you don't have the option
to diagnose anything.

Is THAT simple? I don't think so.

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The often called attribute "simple" does take the opportunity
to LEARN. As it has been initially mentioned, the OP wants
to learn BSD. So how can anybody learn if there is no way to
do so, because the "simple" concept states: You'll do it THAT
way. You can't do it differently. If it doesn't work, it doesn't
work. Period. Reboot and try again.

There's also the belief (as in church) that certain systems
or programs are simple because WHEN problems occur, they are
ignored, or solving them is delegated to somebody else who
has the knowledge and experience to do so. For the user, the
mystic "It's so simple, it does anything on its own!" prevails
and gets communicated to others, although it's just wrong.
Aggressive advertising also uses this approach. After all,
I'll repeat my statement: PCs are not simple. Face it, it's
a fact. :-)

Magdeburg, Germany
Happy FreeBSD user since 4.0
Andra moi ennepe, Mousa, ...

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