Re: Are we losing users to Gentoo?
On Wed, Nov 20, 2002 at 12:41:19PM -0500, Mark Mealman wrote:
> Debian has always been a rock solid stable distribution. I rarely had
> problems 5 years back running production servers on unstable, and when
> testing came into existance the "bleeding edge" of Debian got even more
> reliable. I'd place the unstable versions of Debian above any release
> version of Red Hat, Mandrake or SUSE when it comes to stability and
Yep. Unstable has had its share of glitches (such as the infamous
libc5->libc6 breakage, the infamous Perl 5.005 -> 5.6 fragile upgrade, and
a few others), but overall, it's a LOT more stable than any Windows I've
ever used. I haven't tried other distros that much, although I did install
Mandrake for somebody before. At least Debian is sane enough to NOT start
network daemons like ftpd, apache, and *telnetd*, by default.
> But Debian's bleeding edge really tends to lag. What's KDE up to on
> testing, version 2.2? Mozilla is 1.0? Java's at 1.1? It takes a lot of time
> for developers to gather the sources, compile binaries across all of
> Debian's supported platforms and make sure they play nice with other
> Debian has always lagged behind other distributions as a desktop platform.
Well, depends on what you mean by "desktop". I use Debian on my home
desktop all the time, and other than the odd package that requires
hand-compilation, it's pretty good for me. But then again, I'm one of
those hardcore VTWM users who despises KDE/GNOME, so perhaps I'm not
qualified to speak on this point.
> There's also an appeal to powerusers for having their software optimized
> for their system. Even if the benefit is mostly psychological, it's nice
> having every binary on my system compiled specifically for my Athalon XP's
I've never seen a real need for these so-called "optimized" binaries. They
*are* mostly (completely?) psychological. The few exceptions such as
encryption software is already (AFAIK) pre-compiled for several
> And then there's the political BS that's been with the Debian scene since,
> well, about forever. I really don't miss that or the occasional elitest
> attitude that crops up. Last I checked no one on the Gentoo forums called
> anyone who used Debian a moron. So I suppose in that respect it really is a
> superior distribution.
Once you have a truly open development team, you'll always find a few
elitists among them. I suppose my upbringing makes me indifferent to being
insulted by such people--I look at the quality of the software, not so
much the behaviour of the people behind it--but I know some people can get
really turned off by it. I don't think there's a true solution to this,
because it gets into that unresolvable tangle of free speech, censorship,
and all that mess. And some people here can really get rabid over these
Too many people seek freedom but are enslaved by their seeking.