WE ARE THE HACKERS OF TODAY; LET US REMIND THE WORLD HOW FUN AND FAST COMPUTING CAN BE.
1) Computer/ Electrical Engineers/Scientists/etc are not hackers... You can have all sorts of hackers that are not "educated" ... i.e. that 14 old kid that's owning us all right now b/c he doesn't have a job and will out code us in our sleep.
Ok, At least it used to be that any good 'Coder/Programmer/Software Engineer' was considered a 'Hacker'.
2) I'd like to amend your statement to read: FUN OR FAST. Fast == microprocessors and flashing of ram, Fun == OS'es (media/games/interactivity). Sure you can always use links and play zork, but OS's with a GUI is what made computing what it is today.
OS + Multitasking + Memory Protection can be both fast and fun.
Ok there is a very small sacrifice in the time it takes to map in more memory, or use the correct module to copy a pixel mapped image to the screen, or parse the clipping rect list when updating a window, though with a well thought out OS this can be less than 0.2% of the time.
I personally think some of the previous comments are unrepresentative of the true issue at hand: Why n*x? Because it's free, runs on near everything, and HAS AN OS with A GUI.
This is true and the very reason for raising the issue in the first place. This never had to be the case.
I'm a mentor to ~8 local high school kids, and command line/terminal activities is like pulling teeth b/c they've (my self included with Windows 3.1 ) have never NOT had a GUI.
Well then give them a GUI. How much time does a GUI take away from the system? Not much.
Show me an awesome, OOB, OS, that can support a GUI, that's FREE, and has the generic activities like "the internet" and "a music/video player" and I'll point back to n*x. Oh, I forgot it also needs free licensing, a huge support base, and can run on ARM.
This is currently true. We can not change the situation if we just settle for it because it is there.
So having the previous target market, with the current platform, the absolute requirement of FREE, and you have n*x. I encourage your efforts, but it's kinda like stating you want to reinvent the internet to work on the IPX protocol...
No. It is more like the development of MiNT (which is a GOOD n*x). Also I should note that the problem sited at the start of this thread is not n*x in and of itself, though rather the bloated variants that we currently have. Unfortunately creating another n*x is just an invite to port all the bloat to another n*x.
A note on security:
It's NOT the kernel's fault. Security is a constant battle between itself, speed, and accessibility (ease of use). Thus, with this tripod security will ALWAYS lose out. Another part is security is ALWAYS an afterthought: "we'll patch/fix/plug a finger in the dam later". Ease of use demands the lack of security to be universal, because if you release to everyone what your super-secret-password-code-thing is anyone will be able to bypass it and the security has now failed.
The security questioned here refers to memory protection, semaphores, etc. These things have to be built in from the bottom up (for just patching them on top creates Bloatware and does not work correctly).
Security needs to be a part of the design, yes, BUT if the other two parts win out security will be dropped in a moments notice (see RasPi's debian image with no netfilter/iptables). However, that doesn't mean the sky is falling, rather you now need to determine how to security that black box.
As stated wrong meaning of security.