On the main page, as usual, I started looking for a summary of the "under the hood" (USA)/"under the bonnet" (UK) information. Not much, but an FAQ or something with the key info that would interest the kind of person likely to want to take up ROS. This is what I found: Nothing.
Perhaps that can be improved by adding a "learn" item to the home page menu? So I've added below, the kinds of answers I would most want to find easily, and which I'd expect to find under FAQ or under a "Learn more" / "Technical FAQ" menu item on the home page. I'm sure most are answered in the forums, but a person newly interested in ROS will often turn away and not dig answers like these out, if they aren't easy to find.
- State of development / roadmap: What state of development is it at? "Alpha" doesn't really help to get an idea. For example, what's the roadmap, and how advanced is work on it or major things to be done? Is there a roadmap / achievements / stuff to do page (possibly JIRA but perhaps a wiki page or changelog) that's updated from time to time, that I can come back to periodically?
- Design / codebase: What's the engine behind the statement "from scratch"? I'm pretty sure nobody recoded HDD drivers, an entire kernel, NET, SMB, X or other windowing system, or similar so I'm guessing it's well known FOSS components held together with glue - but which kinds of are area are being coded by the project and what sort of subsystems are being deployed from other projects? Presumably it's based on some well-known variant of FOSS kernel (Linux? BSD?) and other FOSS projects but just saying "it's not Linux" doesn't hack it for telling me what it actually *is*, and in simple terms how it differs from just being a custom Linux/BSD build with Wine and a Windows styled GUI (or whatever).....
- Performance (even in alpha): Where can I find some sense of performance metrics or testing stats/expectations (even in alpha)? I don't want to adopt it if it's going to be 10x slower for even basics. I'm sure it isn't, but there should be some kind of way to see performance as a desktop by comparison.
- Software compatibility (Windows architectures/versions): What is the position/aim with compatibility? For example, x86 vs. x64, or XP/Vista/7/8/10? Can it run software for all these (even though latest Windows often can't run older stuff), or is it narrowed down to specific compatibility?
- Software compatibility (well known "problem software"):Are there any widely used and "well known major compatibility issues" that are hard to overcome and shouldn't be counted on for a long time? For example Wine has long-standing difficulty with some of the MS Office software, and if Wine or similar is being used then presumably the compatibility lists could be checked up on whatever project is involved. Where should a user look for a heads-up on application compatibility info, if some software matters especially to them?
- Software compatibility (low level applications): What about system and what one might call low level software, that probably needs access to low level API compatibility? For example, disk imaging software (used for system backups), remote desktop, VMWare workstation and other hypervisors for Windows, anti-malware (if needed)? Does the way that ROS is designed mean they should work when it's released?
- Users with a specific focus (gamers and sysadmins): These two specific groups of users come to mind as having a less certain ability to use ROS. Is ROS likely to be "desktop only" (seems likely) or to what extent is it likely that a Windows Server user could reasonably hope to escape Microsoft as well? Is it likely that there will be some ability to run ROS in different modes or with different sets of tunings, for example to bias it towards better performance for desktop / 3D graphics / file server+sharing? (This would be very beneficial and helpful to users, I suspect). What about the position for gamers?
- Antimalware? Even on *nix these days, it's advisable to have antivirus/antimalware software. Will users be able to use their Windows antimalware software, or if not, will they be able to find a reputable and appropriate open-source anti-malware package that will run on ROS, when released? (As an aside, if a default is actually built in to the builds, and simply needs enabling/disabling, that would probably be seen as a big "plus" for simplicity as antimalware is a major area where software can cause collateral problems - integrated might ensure fewer issues.)
- Wiki and similar links: The forum mentions a wiki but I didn't get that info from the FAQ and it wasn't linked on any home menu I saw. It might be better to change the "Forum" menu item to "Support", and add "forum" "wiki" and "learn more" (or "technical faq") under it. That would be much easier to navigate.