[sword-devel] Re: Christian Debian distro talk / Report

Raphaël Pinson raphink at gmail.com
Wed Mar 30 16:48:59 MST 2005

Hello guys,

The talk held today as planned (and even before the time it was
planned). There were unplanned guests to it too.

Took part in the chat : 
- biblix : head of the biblix project
- daga : bug finder for the sword project (joined later)
- glasseyes : administrator of the crosswire mailing lists
- jansorg : head of the BibleTime project
- pastorEd : head of the iXthus project
- raphink : head of the ichthux project
- scribe : head of the sword project
- tee : head of the GnomeSword project
- _mg_ : programmer of the BibleTime and Sword projects

Were here as observers :
- AnglX
- n1637

Presentation of the various linux distribution projects :

* Biblix :
Biblix is aimed to be a linux live CD easy to use and running on slow
computers, so people with few money can run it.
biblix : "Biblix started with sysresccd so that it was small and could
be used by people who do not have big pc so poor people could study
the bible by themselves. Then onto kaella because it saves me time to
frenchize the distro [raphink : kaella being a french localization of
knoppix, thus a Debian based distro]".

* iXthus :
The goal of the iXthus project is to create a whole Christian
Debian-based distribution.
pastorEd : "The iXthus Project is a Linux distribution intended to be
an OS replacement for MS Windows. It is designed to be immediately
usable by non-Linux users. Based on Debian, NOT a LiveCD (yet). We are
working on a Kanotix - LiveCD version, but nothing released so far.
iXthus Project has Sword Project files (Bibletime, Gnomesword), as
well as regular Linux tools [...] The iXthus Project iso is really
just SystemRescue CD with the iXthus system as a .tbz2 file on the

* LateDecember :
Davy, the head of the LateDecember project, could not be part of the
talk unfortunately, but he let me know that he was interested in the
project, and I presented his project myself.
raphink : "[LateDecember] is a DamnSmallLinux (Debian knoppix again)
with quite the same goals [as the other projects] running christian
apps under fluxbox".

* Ichthux :
Ichthus is a very recent project I started last week. It is a live CD.
raphink : "Ichthux (almost as Pastor Ed's iXthus, although I didn't
know about it at all) [is] based on knoppix 3.8 (CeBit version, as the
official version is not out yet). It has many goals :
1) providing a nice live CD with christian apps for christian geeks
used to knoppix
2) providing a nice way to christians to get to linux
3) providing a way of installing a full Debian system on churches' computers 
4) hopefully, converting some non christian geeks that would download
ichthux for a try and discover the Bible at the same time".

The immediate conclusions are obvious :
- all these projects are based on Debian
- all these projects plan to include Christians apps (including
obviously the sword project and GUI such as BibleTime and/or
- all these projects have too few developers and lack means of hosting
their work

It seems everyone agrees that merging the projects would make it a
stronger one without modifying the goals of each one.

The first question that comes is whether this project should be a
whole independent distribution, or rather a distribution derived from
an existing one (such as Ubuntu for Debian). Everyone agrees that this
is not the goal to improve the technical aspects of the distribution,
that the project should use an existing technical basis to build a
Christian project with Christian apps. Debian is chosen as the core

Because of the different needs that various end users (young
believers, old people, ministers, missionaries, etc...) might have of
such a distribution, there comes the question of the existence of
various subprojects aimed to different people. There is no answer to
it yet. [Personal opinion : a live CD should be able to be used by any
user, and a whole distro should leave the choice to install a system
for various needs, during installation]. Everyone agrees that the
distribution should contain also non-Christian apps for a general use
(although they might be ``christian-tuned'').

Once this is set, there is a need for :
1) a website to manage the project
2) a staff with tasks for everyone
3) a place to host the products (ISOs and packages)

Scribe says crosswire is willing to host such a project and provide an
official webpage, a ftp for the hosting, plus mail, servlist and ssh.
For the organization of the project, the ichthux wiki
(http://ichthux.free.fr) can be used as it is already set for this

The last point is the name of the project. In the less than 10
gathered so far, at least two have a named derived from the greek word
Ichthus. Linc Fessenden from the L4C project seems to have thought
about Icthux aswell
IXthus, Icthux or Ichthux are very powerful names [in my opinion and
agreed with other people]. It is both meaningful for christian users
(ichthus meaning Jesus Christ Son of God, Savior) and not
``agressive'' for non-christian users (as Jesux would be) so it can
serve a mission goal aswell pretty easily.
After a quick search on google and dynonames, we find out that iXthus
domains are already bought (most of them at least) by a company named
``Ixthus Instrumentation Ltd''. Since such a project needs at least to
own the .com and .org DNS of its name, it is safer to not use Ixthus
as the name of the project. No vote has been held on what name to
choose yet. Biblix reminds us that prayer is important in taking
decisions to set such a project aswell :)

Glasseyes says he will create a servlist for the project, and the
other tools can be created later.

Looking forward to your comments, and we'll set a new chat in some
time to plan things further.

God Bless


Links :

http://www.crosswire.org : Home of the crosswire project, hosting
Sword, BibleTime, GnomeSword, etc...
http://www.latedecember.com : Home of the LateDecember project
http://ichthux.free.fr : Home of the Ichthux project
http://daga.dyndns.org/projects/backpack : Home of the Backpack
Programmer's LiveCD (headed by Daga, although we didn't talk about it
during the chat)

More information about the sword-devel mailing list