Re: Danger Will Robinson! Danger!
On Sun, Mar 12, 2000 at 03:53:41PM -0600, Steve Greenland wrote:
> On 12-Mar-00, 10:56 (CST), Ron Farrer <email@example.com> wrote:
> > I disagree! (surprise ;) I personally know of about ~4 people who
> > were turned away from slink because GNOME and KDE were so OLD. I
> > personally got around this by running potato (unstable then), but
> > most people don't WANT to run unstable!
> Which is it? Do your friends want the newest bleeding edge stuff, or
> do they want stability? They can't have both at the same time! Oh, I
> see, the want the newest, but they want us to call it "stable".
> Why is is this basic distinction so hard to explain to people? Testing
> and reliability take time. During that time, new features are going
> to show up in various parts of the system. Along with those new
> features come compatibility and reliability problems. You can either
> have the new features, or you can have a tested, stable, reliable
> *system*. *YOU* *CAN'T* *HAVE* *BOTH*.
IMO, the "problem" (for want of a better term) is that unstable is
not as accessible as the stable release - only those who have fast,
reliable, and cheap internet connections can get it. functionally,
"unstable" is every bit as good (if not better) than "stable"...it may
not be as well tested, but there are rarely any major problems when
keeping a machine, even a production server, in sync with the latest
the solution, therefore, is two-fold. first is to have regular (monthly?
bi-monthly? quarterly?) snapshot CD images of unstable. clearly label
them as "unstable", "untested", whatever - the point is to make
"unstable" much more accessible to everyone.
(every 3 or 4 snapshots, do the full testing thing and come up with a
the second part is user education - make sure that the users know what
us developers already know...that "unstable" doesn't mean that the
system is flaky or unreliable, it means that it is subject to rapid
change - and that because of those rapid changes there are occasional
problems requiring a bit of a clue to sort out, but mostly debian
"unstable" is just more of the same only newer and better. i believe
that this second stage will occur as a natural result of making the
regular snapshot CDs.
this will get our latest and greatest stuff in the hands of most
end-users (rather than just developers and the most enthusiastic users).
in addition, more users mean that each package will be tested more
the overall effect of this is to take advantage of our biggest advantage
- if you compare "unstable" with any of the other dists (commercial or
otherwise), then we are way ahead of them for most programs/packages.
the perception that debian is behind is only true for those stuck with