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Re: [offtopic] Earth calling Steve... (was: Re: Naming of new 2.0 release )

On Thu, 27 Aug 1998 08:02:47 +0100, Philip Hands wrote:

>Would you be bitterly disappointed if you found that you had received 2.0 
>instead of 2.0 r1, or would you just shrug, and think ``oh well, that >probably means half an hour on Internet'' ?

    Neither, I never have and most likely never will have a Debian CD.

>If your answer is ``bitterly disappointed'' then you apparently know little 
>about Debian, which explains why you persist in your point of view.

    Quite the contrary, I installed Debian completely off the net.  That
means I know more than the fictional average joe the 2.0r1 is targeted for.

>If on the other hand you answer ``shrug'', then you should agree that the 
>right emphasis for the revision information is on the back of the box, in 
>small type (like a sell-by date) rather than emblazoned across the front of 
>the box.

    No, I do not.  2.0.1 places no more emphasis on it than 2.0r1.  The
difference is the latter was decided upon for marketing reasons and breaks
away from the standard numbering scheme that has been in place for years.

>You are wanting us to indulge in the sort of deception that washing powder 
>manufacturers indulge in, when they plaster ``New and Improved'' across the 
>front of the box, when the contents are to all intents and purposes 
>indistinguishable from the old one.

    No, I want the truth plastered on there.  The truth is it is 
Major: 2
Minor: 0
Revision: 1


>content of 2.0.1 and 2.0 r1,  but for some reason you refuse to accept the
>fact that the CD vendors say that there is a perceived difference.

    No, I am trying to point out that you cannot FIGHT the perceived
difference.  I have asked, REPEATEDLY, what will happen when the average joe
places as much percieved weight in the difference between 2.0r1 and 2.0 as
the vendors say there is between 2.0.1 and 2.0.  You know it will happen, I
know it will happen.  At that time, according to the logic you're subscribing
to, you'll change the numbering scheme again.  Changing things for no reason
other than perception is meant to fool the person into the "Correct"
perception.  Operative word: fool.  To fool someone into something is to be

    I am *STILL* waiting for an answer to my *VERY* simple question.  What
will you do when joe average considers the difference between 2.0r1 and 2.0
as the same that you say there is now between 2.0.1 and 2.0.

>It is the CD vendors job to know if this is the case, so I bow to their >wisdom on this point.  The fact that the most successful marketing machine >on the planet agrees with them (i.e.  W95  OSR2) might tell you something >here.

    The problem, however, is that you're blindly going into a different
solution that breaks the standard and leads you right back to the same
problem a year or two down the line.  This is evident with the OSR1, OSR2,
OSR2a, OSR2b scheme of Microsoft.  

    The problem is that the vendors are finding that they are left with stock
they are unable to sell because of the version change.  No matter how that
version change is named, it will always be that problem.  It does not matter
if it is 2.0 to 2.0.1, or 2.0 to 2.0r1, or Windows95OSR2a to Windows95OSR2b,
or from slink to sed, or from 234r9824509831425 to 3425873425907234587.  The
difference in the version is still there.

    The problem is not the numbering, it is the release of a new revision
level, the frequency of new releases, and the amount the cd vendors are

    This means that possible solutions are:
Do not release new versions (not viable)
Release new versions, but at a slower rate (viable)
CD vendors order less (viable)
numerous others proposed on this list.

    You cannot solve perception without resorting to deceitful tactics. 
Perception cannot be solved.  So you must solve the *REAL* problem.

   2.0r1 does not address that problem.  Address that problem.

>The answer is 2.0 r1, because this is perceived as a smaller difference,
>which is good, because there really isn't much difference (much less than
>is normally the case for adjacent releases of software products).

    This is only until that notation is learned by the general public to mean
the same as 2.0.1 and then you have to change it again.  It does not address
the problem.  Address the problem.

>Do you really want to encourage ``Is this still compatible with 2.0.1?'' 
>questions, or would you prefer that people assume that it's going to work
>with 2.0 r1, because 2.0 r1 IS ``Debian 2.0'' ?

    Yes.  Educate the people to what the x.y.z notation really means.

>P.S.  Please don't take the Win95 reference as an excuse to say ``See, 
>Microsoft do it, so it must be evil!''.  In the case of W95 it is evil,
>because there are significant differences between OSR1 & 2, and upgrading is 
>non-trivial.  Debian is different.

    Of course not, I mentioned it first to show that this slight-of-hand
tactic has been tried and has already failed because perception always
catches up.  Always.  So trying to address it is an exercise in futility.

    This will also be my last public post on the topic.

             Steve C. Lamb             | Opinions expressed by me are not my
    http://www.calweb.com/~morpheus    | employer's.  They hired me for my
             ICQ: 5107343              | skills and labor, not my opinions!

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