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Re: Ubuntu and CDDs

On Tue, Sep 28, 2004 at 12:57:23PM +0200, Miguel A. Arévalo wrote:
> El mar, 28-09-2004 a las 11:50 +0200, Sergio Talens-Oliag escribió:
> > El Fri, Sep 24, 2004 at 09:35:40AM -0400, Benj. Mako Hill va escriure:
> > >    Now as a few people know, I'm complicit in this whole
> > >    [2]Ubuntu Conspiracy. When Mark Shuttleworth first approached
> > >    me about the project, the first thing I thought about was
> > >    Custom Debian Distributions. I wasn't, and am still, not
> > >    exactly sure how those things relate exactly.
> > 
> >   I also thought about this when I learnt about Ubuntu, manly
> >   because it had a lot of DDs working for them and it looked like
> >   they were proposing to do things the Debian way, at least much
> >   more than other prior Debian Derived Distributions I've seen.
> I also thought that, as I though with UserLinux and tried to bring
> them to the CDD camp but, as Ubuntu, they seem to like repeating
> previous errors.

What are those errors? Just the release cycle thing?

> Debian Myth #1 - Debian is too slow. Debian is right on time for
> stable user, the problem is that most users aren't stable
> users. Companies' servers and desktops are stable users (most of the
> still running W2K Professional or NT4 Workstation on the desktop
> side for example), basic home users are stable users. The other
> problem is that the Linux desktop only now is on the edge of beeing
> mature and stable.
> A release cycle of 6 months is a PITA for stable users. Stable users
> need a release cycle of, at least, 1.5 years and security updates
> for, at least, 6 month more to plan the upgrade.

I think this is close to accurate in my case but not the case for
everyone. I can't remember when I moved my machines away from testing
but a year and a half seems right. I hold on as long as I can but when
a year and half becomes two becomes three becomes more, even most of
the people you define as stable users feel the need to jump ship at
some point.

> For non-stable users you can use testing, and testing is fast, the
> problem is that debian freezes "inside" testing. If Sarge wouldn't
> be freezed GNOME 2.8 would be hitting testing this very week.

I do use Debian testing. Also, I suspect that a chunk of the work that
helped this happened came from work that was done in Ubuntu. :)

> I think that most of the CDD starts (like UserLinux and Ubuntu) in a
> hurry to release a CD soon. After CDD is released on a stable Debian
> release there is less need to do it, I think they can stick with the
> Debian stable release cycle. Just my 0.02€ on this.

Clearly, not everyone agrees with you. People like regular time-based
releases. People (especially companies) like *predictable* release
cycles. The fact Debian can't say when the next release will be is
worse than the fact that it might be 3+ years away in the eyes of many

I don't think Debian-the-blob-with-15k-packages is particularly well
suited to provide either of these things. Politically independent, and
independently financed organizations can provide a good answer to both
of these. Internal projects that bring Debian to a manageable size
offer another technique.

Now the fact that not everyone -- or even you and I -- agree about
what they want in an OS is not a bad thing -- it *can* be great. The
fact that we want different things out of our OS -- and out Debian --
is the *reason* we're talking on -custom in the first place!

You may not think that there needs to be a separate project for
Debian-NP -- why don't we just use Debian-Desktop? You won't be the
first to voice that opinion. You may not think that UserLinux or
Ubuntu or Progeny's raison d'etre is a particular solid one and that's
fine. Obviously, the developers and users of these distros disagree
with you.

I see distro proliferation (and custom distro proliferation for that
matter) as only problematic insofar as it divides up resources and
reduces collaboration. I think that in a goal-oriented sort of
perspective, CDD is an attempt to allow for this sort for of
proliferation and diversity while providing a framework for those
groups to channel more developer energy back into Debian than would be
otherwise and to gain from the developer energy of others in the

You don't have to agree with Ubuntu's idea of release-cycles to work
on ways to collaborate within the CDD infrastructure or otherwise. :)


Benjamin Mako Hill

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