Future of Rainbow + Sugar?

Michael Stone michael at laptop.org
Tue Feb 24 14:13:31 EST 2009

On Tue, Feb 24, 2009 at 03:45:33PM -0300, Daniel Drake wrote:
>Hi Michael,
>2009/2/24 Michael Stone <michael at laptop.org>:
>> In my view, it's up to the SugarLabs folks to use Rainbow or to drop it.
>How realistic is it to make rainbow something generic that all environments
>and applications could use? 

I consider it a realistic goal, with a few caveats.

The rainbow-0.8.* redesign takes a big step in this direction by introducing an
exec-wrapper interface which can be embedded in fd.o .desktop launchers, used
from the CLI, and used by custom launchers like Sugar with equal ease.
Privilege is acquired from a setuid helper; e.g. sudo. The design and
automated tests now support limited concurrent multi-user operation, though
the implementation needs a bit more work in order to operate securely in a
multi-user environment. The only notable dependencies so far are on python and

The caveats are: 

   a) Usability sucks at the moment. For example, I need to implement some sort
      of garbage collection and some kind of "user-facing" UI, which might just
      be a simpler CLI wrapper. I probably also need to write a man page and to
      introduce more diverse error codes.

   b) We're going to need recent kernels for the fancier containerization stuff
      that I'd like to work on in the future. (Fortunately, upstream seems to be
      making good progress on the features I want :)
   c) I don't have any good idea how well or poorly the current design scales. (I
      think it will work fine for desktop use. I'm just not sure how far beyond
      that it will stretch.)

More questions?


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