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Re: Are we in this for ourselves?

bruce@va.debian.org writes:

> It's for this reason that I've just resigned as president of SPI. I want
> no part of this rat pack any longer. I'm going to become a Red Hat user.

Bruce, I seriously hope you shall reconsider.  You mention that RedHat 
has 100 times more users (which I think is probably just a random
guess).  That may well be true -- RedHat caters to new users and
people moving over from Windows, which are probably more numerous that 
people familiar with Unix (who would be at home with Debian more than
RedHat).  RedHat's things like the Configurators cause me to
reccommend it over Debian for new/"clueless" people.  However, I do
still believe that Debian is far superior in almost every way (except
installation and initial configuration) to RedHat.

I remember when the Official 1.3.1 CD came out, how many sales there
were of that and how excited you (and the rest of us) were about
that.  Debian is an excellent platform for servers and heavy computing 
-- it is more secure and less buggy than RedHat despite having between 
3 and 4 times the number of packages that RedHat does.  I haven't had
to download any packages from sunsite since 1997 (except the ones I
maintain myself) -- hamm has so much software, it is a Linux archive
in itself -- and it is all tightly integrated into the system.  From
what I hear of deity, it souhds great.  I am enthusiastic about it,
and my boss is even more excited.  Where I work, at the CS department
in Wichita State University, I started working there a little over a
year ago.  At that time, most computing was done with SunOS 4.1.3_U1,
with file and mail servers running RedHat.  There was no Debian in the 
department at all.  In the past year, we have gone from SunOS to
Debian on all our main servers, using Debian for almost all of our
computing needs including research, student logins, X servers with 50+ 
simultaneous users logged on, etc.  All of our RedHat machines have
switched to Debian, and we hope to switch some Sun machines over to
SparcDebian when it matures.  The administration time for the Debian
machines are significantly lower than the Sun ones and a good deal
lower than the RedHat ones were as well.

In short, I think that Debian is a VERY good distribution.  I agree
that better management could be needed; however, that is not
necessarily a reflection on you.  I think that Ian ought to make his
presence felt a lot more than he does now.

On the topic of doing things for "me" instead of for "us" or "others", 
I don't think that is a big problem.

Here's why I am a Debian developer.  I wouldn't want to speak for
others, but I suspect others have similar reasons.

1. I was struck with the quality of Debian and I wanted to "give back" 
to it.  I wanted to do what I could to improve it.

2. I have, for a long time, been a big fan of free software.  No other 
Linux distribution is commited to it like Debian is; and some, such as 
RedHat, seem to go against it by putting commercial software alongside 
free software, thus making the difference sometimes unnoticeable.

3. It has provided me with valuable Unix experience.  One is always
learning with Unix, no matter how much you know already.  This was not 
an original reason for becoming a developer, but it is a benefit I
have realized since becoming a developer.

Again Bruce, please don't let a few rotten apples spoil things for
everyone (including yourself).


John Goerzen             | Developing for Debian GNU/Linux (www.debian.org)
Custom Programming       | Debian GNU/Linux is a free replacement for
jgoerzen@complete.org    | DOS/Windows -- check it out at www.debian.org.
uuencode - < /vmlinux | mail -s "Windows NT security fix" bgates@microsoft.com

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