In the long run, we’re all dead. Meanwhile, can we still enjoy life and computers, or should we bend to the new religions, including the containerization of everything? Containers might look optimal, but they can sometimes be the wrong solution—just look at the container congestion in the US ports (they all come from Asia).

In Why Linux on the Desktop is Irrelevant in the Long Run, I mentioned some aspects of this trend that bothers me. The various virtualization, containerization, and sandboxing technologies are not new, and they’re not necessarily bad, but I strongly disagree with their use in personal computers. Especially AppImages, Flatpaks and Snaps remind me of the old “fix” to “DLL Hell” that meant each program was installed with its own set of DLLs, so that there were countless duplicates of the same libraries on a single PC. I don’t care that disk space is cheap; what I care of is that such solutions are no true solutions; they’re “brute-force” solutions and, to use something Greta Thunberg would say if she weren’t so dumb, they’re unecological. They’re the opposite of “less is more,” for their governing principle is “let’s use a bigger hammer” (sometimes masquerading as a set of smaller ones, nicely wrapped in environmental-friendly, plastic-free damping material, so they can’t hurt you).

While browsing Planet Fedora, I ran over this post by Máirín (sort of Maureen) Duffy: A new conceptual model for Fedora.

I first heard of Máirín back in 2006, when artwork for Fedora Core 6 and 7 were discussed. What surprises me is that, despite not being a software developer, she’s all into the new directions promoted by Red Hat, and she seems enthusiastic about them.

Maybe I tend to panic too easily, but here’s the picture for the Fedora “F” Model meant to improve the web presence and to clarify the message, as in “what is Fedora and what can I use it for?”:

And here’s the comment I wrote on her post (still awaiting moderation as I’m writing this — UPDATE: my comment hasn’t been approved, but deleted! There is no such thing as intellectual honesty.):

«They come to Fedora looking for a great Linux-based desktop operating system. Ideally, by default, this would be the container-based Silverblue version of Fedora’s Desktop.» — Well, if you want to scare away the users, do it, make Silverblue the default. If you want them to stop using Fedora, or to stop using Linux, please do.

People need a replacement for that bloated crap that is Win10/Win11, but most people do not need an immutable core OS, and they don’t need Flatpaks. They do not want Flatpaks!

Most people (myself included) want a traditional OS with a traditional package management.

With all due respect, I know who you are since 2006 (FC6), but precisely because I know who you are, I hope they won’t listen to you.

Your Fedora “F” model looks to me like the traditional Desktop user is “the retarded user who is so passé because they don’t want to go for the more modern technologies”! I understand what Silverblue is, and this is why I don’t want it for me. As a power user of everything I own, I want to do whatever I want with my OS, I want to be able to royally screw it. Heck, I am so much of a luddite that I’d very much want to be able to run a Linux desktop like I was doing it back in 1995-1996, i.e. with a 66 Mhz CPU and 4 MB of RAM. I want minimalism, and Silverblue is anything but.

Let me give you an example from another distro, from what I encountered back in July:
– Sublime Text, package-based: 16.2 MB to download, 49.1 MB of disk space required
– Sublime Text, Flatpak-based: 1.0 GB to download, 3.3 GB of disk space required
Now, try to persuade me that I need Silverblue + Flatpaks. I’d rather use Windows 11 or kill myself rather than resorting to that kind of library duplication.

The Desktop User is not central to their model; it’s peripheral and prone to become irrelevant. Even if this won’t be the case too soon, let me copy here from the synthetic description I gave to Fedora Silverblue:

a hybrid image/package system is still possible, but it is recommended to avoid package layering, except for a small number of apps that are currently difficult to install as Flatpaks. This might be the future, as it makes the base OS unbreakable, and it uses packages as an exception to Flatpaks, instead of using Snaps, Flatpaks and AppImages as an exception to packages.

Not in my house.