Bazza:I DO agree with that... Ubuntu and Fedora and SuSE and all those, are very easy to INSTALL
What you don't seem to get in my suggestion, is this:
COMPILING the kernel, EDITING the config-scripts.... while oldtimers are comfortable with it, the vast majority of new Linux users comes from the Redmond wannabe OS. And they've never realised that compiling a custom kernel can have HUGE advantages for their system. Because the wannabe only comes with one kernel, and "one kernel fits all" according to them.
For us enlightened people, one kernel is what it takes to install, after that, we compile a custom kernel, useable only on my computer, and noone elses, unless they've got the EXACT same setup as mine.
I compile my own kernel. But I do realise, that (in Ubuntu) pressing CTRL+ALT+F1, login as me self, type su, enter root password, then "make menuconfig" do my things in the menus, then typing "make modules_install install" and wait for however long it takes to compile the new kernel, can be somewhat of a challenge for thos who don't realise it's actually easy. And far preferable to the wannabe approach (well, IMO, of course).
Or if you add another HD to your system, trying to figure out /etc/fstab and all that.... getting the HD partitioned and formatted with the right filesystem(s) and mount the partitions in the right places.... _I_ know how to do that. _YOU_ know how to do that.
And while the Linux-community is helpful, GPartEd can be somewhat dauting to someone who's used to "new hardware detected, please wait" --> "new harddrive detected, please wait while configuring" --> "New harddrive available as drive G:" --> "Your new hardware is ready to use"
You see, I've got a feeling that some basic tasks, like adding a new HD to your rig, is not as easy for a Wannabe converted person, as it is for you and me and most other people who's been playing around with many different computers for 20+ years.
The wannabe has ripped off other UI's and other systems' approaches since day one. Time to implement their "wizards" as they should've been.
I'm thinking something like the Amiga's "Installer" programme.... one binary doing the behind the scenes work as instructed by the script, as in adding the neccessary line(s) to fstab, hosts, manpath, and all the other scripts in /etc that might need editing, running partition editors, format drives, and all that.
And not just for the kernel compilation. using it for the script-editing, installing new programmes, etc... would be helpful for the Linux community as a whole, have ONE way of installing a programme, instead of tarballs (slackware), sourcetarballs (Gentoo), RPM (Redhat) or DEB (Debian) packages.
One system which automatically (because the actual instructions is an "installer script" if you think AmigaOS3.x), does the correct handling of dependencies and paths and scripts, rather than what it is now, at least 4 different ways of handling all that. Plus, while you can use Debian .debs in Ubunutu, I've been told you can ue Ubuntu .debs in Debian, as Canonical has slightly changed the format to work with Ubuntu, rather than be "backwards compatible" with Debian.
This myriad of packages formats and compatability in between them, is also a reason why most software vendors can't be a***d making software for Linux. Far too much diversity in our packaging system. And if they only make .debs.... then the RedHat (and derivatives) will cry foul. And the other way around.
so my Wizard-ish idea still holds water as an allround installer/configurator, the software vendors can then just make ONE script, and it should work on ALL distroes.
PLUS, it'll make the wannabe-converts less afraid to do things that might break their system