So, ponder this: it is now easier to set up and configure an Ubuntu desktop box than it is to configure an Ubuntu server. I can install, configure, and update a consistent Ubuntu desktop without ever touching a command line; why can’t I install*, configure**, and update a consistent*** Ubuntu server without touching a command line?
I suppose in some ways what I’m asking for is perhaps best done at the level of drupal or another good pluggable CMS, but for some reason that feels like overkill. (And I’ve still yet to see any such system as easy to use as, say, wordpress, which is really closer to what I want.)
There will likely never be as much demand for this as there are desktops. Still, there are literally millions of people setting up blogs these days, and hundreds of thousands of flicker users, so there is some demand for personal websites- it feels to me like there is definitely a 37 signals-style small, self-sufficient startup waiting to happen in this space. So who is making it happen? :)
* install applications; obviously there won’t be a web GUI for distro install any time soon.
** for example, creating and configuring krissa.org and tieguy.org on the same box was way harder than creating and configuring krissa’s user account and GNOME install and my user account and GNOME install.
*** i.e., integrated: wordpress, mediawiki, hula, and gallery all sharing the same user access DB and theming, for example
Update later: in re-reading, I realize this may have come off as a criticism of Ubuntu, which was not my intent- I only mentioned Ubuntu specifically because they do such an excellent job of making the desktop manageable sans-terminal. No Linux distro (as far as I know) does what I’m talking about here, and all of them should be thinking about it, because it is an opportunity for someone.