thanks for your intriguing post.
a few observations; 1) this is one instance of the use of
a GNU/Linux system which may seem to be at odds with the
very premise of free (in the GNU sense) software, and that
is; to NOT limit the ability of users to do things. so your
use cases may seem odd at first, but you have a valid and
2) many open source programmers may not be familiar with
commercial software products (and may not want to be), so
you might have a better chance of getting an answer if you
do the groundwork of listing the features you are in search
of yourself, rather than asking the list to go learn them.
3) it seems that a good desktop linux distro would allow
an administrator or programmer to create a system (based on
the existing pieces you mention) that might consist of a
some shell scripts, perhaps a "lite" database, a web server,
and client- and server-side scripts to accomplish the
features that you list, and then provide hooks for that
system to be made into a distributable package (e.g. Ubuntu).
i wouldn't be surprised if your listing the desired features
explicitly might seed some capable programmer's mind to suggest
(or even spend some time coding something up) which may help
you right away. or, it may just prompt someone to remember
that something _does_ already exist that answers your needs.
(i think Francis' LibPrint suggestion seems very helpful)
just keep in mind that the very nature of the linux system
is organic, and the workforce is distributed and lasseiz-faire.
it doesn't seem to be very agile in responding to monolithic
deficiencies (just look at how we ended up with the linux
kernel vs. hurd :).
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