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Re: RH and GNOME

Manoj Srivastava on Thu, Jul 23, 1998 at 01:57:42AM -0500:
>  Petra,> we have to maintain a user base greater than 'us' (meaning
>  Petra,> developers) in order to survive,
> 	And I think that user base has never been in jeapoardy,
>  really. After all, IMHO, this is the best darned distribution out
>  there. I think there are enough people out there who feel the same
>  for us not to be running in fear of the sky falling.

I have never heard of a Debian user "defecting" to RH.  The reverse, is

New users are almost certain to use RH.  This is not necessarily a bad
thing, but it does mean that RH has a higher growth rate.  When Debian
growth rate goes *down* then there is a problem; I don't see this
happening, it's not even plateaued.

RH is largely for new users and is the obvious choice -- I still
recommend it to new users.  Debian is the obvious choice for the mature

> 	I think I do not want to be busting my chops for such, pardon
>  me, idiots. Any one who refuses to learn how to use their tools
>  effectively is being short sighted. I have no problem in accepting
>  that Windows 98 is the perfect OS for such people. 

It's a matter of efficiency.  People that have no interest in computers
but just need certain apps for productivity should not have to worry a
whit about their OS.  This is the place for Windows and while some
aspects could certainly be improved and refined, it does a damned good
job.  Somebody who actually works with computers, operating systems,
networking, should obviously invest so as to acheive greater efficiency
later and be able to manipulate their computer on a lower level, have
greater modularity, flexibility, et cetera.

I think that RH, GNOME, KDE, et all are attempts to make Linux viable
for people that don't want to learn about their computer, and while this
is a valid goal -- it's really not what Debian is about, from what I
gather from the people here.  Debian has no need to rid themselves of
the assumption that the people using it care about their computer and
are here to learn and use for the long-term pay off.

> 	Not every OS is meant for everyone. 

Well, Windows tries to be :) This is its failing.  Imagine an NT domain
admin who really just...doesn't understand networking.  It's not all
that uncommon :)  Windows wants to make it easier for these people to
not understand.  Supposedly this makes it easier because other people do
your admin work for you, but IMO people in charge of this stuff should
be highly proficient and capable, they have no business having the keys
to things that they don't understand.

But then MS wouldn't be able to sell as much software -- the human
tendancy among many is to be lazy.

> 	I think the problem is that the solutions we espouse are not
>  close enough to windows for your liking. 

To this I would say, "use RH, or Windows" :)  No need to clutter the
Debian project

>  Petra,> "We (Debian) should put forth the effort to care for our
>  Petra,> users, just a little bit more than we do.
> 	Really? How? By abandoning the users who do not run a GUI?
>  Half of my machines do not run X. 

I really don't think anyone is suggesting that.  GUI is superfluous in
many instances and the developers here are aware of that.

> 	By making it harder to adminster a system remotely? A text
>  based system works under telnet. I refuse to abandone those users.

These are underpinnings of UNIX.  No one is suggesting to make things
inaccessible.  It sounds like you're just making this a personal

>  Petra,> We should not, comprimise our software standards, for
>  Petra,> "freeness". We should work to write a "Debian Standard
>  Petra,> licence" that is basicly gpl, without the bugs.
> 	What bugs? I find the GPL to work exactly as it should. We
>  need a strong license that ptomotes and actively propogates free
>  software, and the GPL does that.

GPL is largely inflexible and makes commercialization difficult.  This
is great for some -- not for others.  I think pragmatists realize that
refusing to acknowledge commercialism, especially in our capitalist
economy, is simply fanaticism and will get nobody anywhere.  This isn't
to say that the GPL does what it sets out to do, hence the bruhaha when
people don't like just how well it does its job.

> 	Why do you think a X based system is better? That would
>  immediately abandon people who do not run X.

How do you figure? How does having GUI admin tools preclude having CLI
tools? They are not mutually exclusive...

>  It would make
>  adminstering a workstation harder. It would restrict what one can do
>  to whatever the GUI programmer has provided buttons for. 

I think you're a little too used to MS' incarnations...there are ways to
make GUIs flexible and such, scripted, etc.  Some people actually prefer
a GUI...you and I do not.  No need to abandon those that do, and no need
for closed-minded zealotry.


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