Very contented user/?extension packager? for about a year. 3.6 or so I think. Thanks and appreciation for everyone's hard work which makes Core suck less.
My journey was Tinycore->Microcore->Core. And I will very contentedly continue to use Core how it is now and conceivably into the future. I am in general enthusiastic agreement with Core's principles. And I understand it takes a certain willingness to say no to things in order to produce something in accord to those principles.
A distribution has a balance of qualities - off the top of my head - flexibility(across use cases, hardware, setup), size efficiency, speed efficiency, extendability, user-friendliness(to beginner, intermediate, expert), and community-openness(support). Sometimes, of course tradeoffs must be made between them. I am not interested in marketing Core/Tinycore/Coreplus, but if I was I'd examine these qualities and the continually changing environment in which they are being presented and make those tradeoffs accordingly.
All this to simply say, my statements are suggestions and not criticisms, and if these points have been considered and thought about already, chock this post up to forum noise. I am not interested in any negativity, only in fun, freedom-loving, and functional software/UX's/DX's(developer experiences).
I suppose there might be lingering confusion about what is actually considered "base". One of the three ISO's being offered is ostensibly labeled Core, which would lead most people to believe that this provides all the base functionality. But earlier in this thread, "a frugally functional GUI" is asserted as part of "a solid base". So which one is it? Is the Core team focused on the Tinycore iso or the Core iso as the base? Again, I don't have a dog in this fight. I'm just pointing out that this will lead to subtle differences in design priorities, usage patterns, and developer actions.
The second question that comes to mind pertains to community openness. It seems to me that the OP is motivated by a positive and enthusiastic desire to help improve Core. To what extent are the current Core developers willing to support or collaborate with people like him?
This control panel for example: Some of the press about this distro does mention aesthetics as a barrier to wider adoption. What if the OP managed to make a cpanel that was just as functional and frugal, if not more frugal, but slightly prettier? As it is currently, say he packages that up as the extension cpanel**.tcz, for all practical purposes, users who want to use that extension would have to install it alongside the current cpanel. Thereby duplicating functionality, resulting in 'bloat' for them. This leads to the deliberation of the first point, the result of which would determine what use cases are best served by this distro.
I very much admire the OP's creativity, energy and enthusiasm, I'm not sure I'm a big fan of his aesthetic taste.