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Debian and the User Friendlies

I've been reading the developers list as a newsgroup for a while. but
reading some of Manoj Srivastava about user friendliness and the
motivation for being a developer, made me think perhaps I can
contribute in planning and policy even though I can't code.

My background is product management and marketing. I now run
Melbourne's Binary Bar, a free access licensed internet cafe running
entirely on Debian Linux. That was a shameless plug, but I'll justify
it by saying it provides me with the opportunity to speak to a great
many people about computers, the internet and linux.

It seems to me that Debian and Redhat are the main distributions. Of
course there are others, but I'm attempting to be simplistic. 
Debian is run by volunteers so they have to enjoy it. Redhat is trying 
to bring linux to the masses and make a little money while they're at
it. Debian strives for technical excellence, Redhat trys to grow
market share.

This is a good thing, because it makes people happy, and grows the
installed base for linux. So how about a bit of niche
marketing. Position Debian as the distribution you grow into, when you 
want to learn, you want to strive for technical excellence, and you
want to be able to say, yeah I started on Redhat, but now I use

So lets stick with functional text based install programs, and perhaps 
work on a conversion script to make the eventual switch from redhat to 
debian easier. Lets rise above all the squabling over KDE/Gnome,
Distibutions and personalities. Debian developers are not in it for
the money, perhaps pride, recognition and interest. Build on that. Be
good at what you do, let Redhat have the market share, and welcome people
that want to belong, aspire to learn and are prepared to RTFM. 

I'll leave it here. This isn't everything I have to say on the 
subject, but as a first post I don't want to ramble on more than I
have. If you'd like to reply either to the list or personally I'd be
interested to here your opinions.
Binary Bar - Australia's first free access internet bar/cafe/gallery.
243 Brunswick Street, Fitzroy, Melbourne, Australia. 3pm - 1am

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