What I want from my Linux system

I need to build myself a new system. This one’s feeling the pinch a little; it’s got lots of configuration done that I’m no longer sure about. In my head is a list of stuff that I want my new software to do. I was going to write this list down on a piece of paper, but it occurs to me that I could put it here instead. Expect this list to change over time. This is probably not of interest to you, whoever you are, but I’m happy to hear comment and tell you why I don’t agree with it. :-)

  • All the applications I use as AppDirs, and the ROX Filer to manage them (the underlying libraries might be Debian, though, rather than RoxOS and LibDirs, because they doesn’t exist yet)
  • Patches to GTK to use ROX saveboxes rather than a filepicker
  • Zeroconf networking enabled as default, with Apache and so on declaring services
  • udev managing all my devices, and no static /dev
  • Something like Project Utopia, so when I plug my camera in it starts up my photo management application (whatever that is; I’m not finding anything as good as iPhoto for Linux; digikam is the best so far, but it’s KDE/Qt, and I’d rather be Gtk only (no Gnome, no KDE) if I can)
  • AppDirs available through ZeroInstall—possibly my own ZeroInstall repository which I’ll make available to the world, not that the world will be using it
  • Mail stored in Maildirs, not mboxes, so I can use a GUI mail client when at the console, and mutt when sshed in. It does not seem to be possible to have an inbox mbox at /var/mail/aquarius and mboxes for saved mail at \~/Mail and have a GUI mail client and mutt co-operate over them; the GUI clients steal the mail away and store it in their own structure. IMAP is too slow. So, Maildirs it is.
  • A decent GUI editor (which will probably be NEdit, since it’s good and configurable and scriptable—I just don’t like its Motif nature ‘cos it won’t fit with other stuff). I want something I can script easily and as powerfully as NEdit, is Gtk-based (_not_ Gnome!), already has Python syntax highlighting (and code hinting? might be too much to ask) and isn’t bloody Emacs or Vim. NEdit is top of the tree atm.
  • A working news setup, so I can read newsgroups, and a working mail->news->mail gateway so I can read mailing lists as newsgroups. Alternatively, since I’m not actually reading any newsgroups atm (broken news server, again), a mail client that handles mailing lists properly (threading, etc). I want a nice GUI one as well as mutt, though, so they both have to do this (mutt does, I know). Possibly an NNTP->mail gateway so I can read newsgroups as mailing lists? I am sick of inn breaking, and I don’t understand it to fix it.
  • Mozilla Firefox, working, and with patches so I get ROX saveboxes when saving things, and I can drag stuff from a Mozilla window to a ROX Filer window.
I'm currently available for hire, to help you plan, architect, and build new systems, and for technical writing and articles. You can take a look at some projects I've worked on and some of my writing. If you'd like to talk about your upcoming project, do get in touch.

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