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RE: "Official CD" screwups (Was: Why only one non-free section?)

On 15-Sep-98 Joseph Carter wrote:
> All right, I am REALLY becoming annoyed at seeing this.
> Infomagic, Cheapbytes, and LSL have all managed to over the small course of
> Debian history that I am personally aware of totally SCREW UP the Debian CDs
> and call them "Official" anyway.  And it's just them that I know about! 
> This is EXTREMELY frustrating.
I've used LSL's Bo and Cheapbytes Hamm CDs and had no problems.  When it came
to dselect and the dist. directories, I just switched to another terminal and
logged in to look.... 

> I see a few options at this time, some of them do not solve the problem.
>       1. We can ask the vendors to not refer to their CD-ROM distributions
>          as "official" unless they are direct burns or presses of the
>          official CD-ROM images available at cdimage.debian.org and
>          mirrors.
Distributions or the main CD?  If they bundle a direct burn of the CD-ROM image
on one CD but then bundle a sunsite archive in with it.. would that ban the use
of "Official"  I'd be against that.  The other way, I thought that it was
already policy that Official could only be used on CDs that were a direct burn..

>       2. We can leave things as they are now and hope users aren't too
>          confused by the whole mess and/or the vendors do not make many of
>          these mistakes they have done with hamm anymore.

An choice you'd prefer we NOT to take and I have no opinion on.  I could live
with it or not as the majority decides..

>       3. We can allow the official images or any images made from the
>          debian-cd package scripts to be called official.  If we do this,
>          we should create debian-cd .tar.gz archives for non-debian
>          machines.  If I recall correctly, these scripts are machine
>          architecture independant (perl or make or something like that, I
>          haven't looked recently) so we wouldn't have to deal with archs.

I don't know enough to comment on this... what would it take in real terms?

>       4. We can ask people to stop using "Official" in connection to
>          Debian CDs at all.  Only the primary mirrors' contents would be
>          considered official if we did this.

I don't think the vendors would like this or that the users who buy the CDs
would care.  I'm not sure the word "official" means much to them (It
didn't/doesn't to me) and a broken "unofficial" CD could still be damaging to
our image if it gets wide circulation like it might with Cheap Bytes, etc.

>       5. Don't let ANYONE call their image "Official" without sending a
>          Debian developer CDs to test first.  Would any of the great
>          hordes of us who aren't Johnnie or some of the others with Debian
>          mirrors on our hard drives <g> care to volunteer?  I know I
>          certainly would.

I heard an argument to this a while back and I thought it was good, from a
business point of view.  It had to do with the time it would take for a vendor
to get from RELEASE of the image to the CD on the market and the hoops they'd
have to jump though.  Evidently, VA stopped offering Debian on either their
workstations or servers because the install process was not quick/automated
enough.  I'd imagine having to have each release of the CD Debian-stamped would
be just such an inconvience... the vendors would either drop Debian or
drop the word Official and if they're still putting out a large number of CDs
(minus the word official) that are "broken" Debian's rep can still suffer.

>       6. Write a specification of what makes a CD image "official" and
>          what is expected to be on the CDs and where.  On one hand we have
>          to rely on someone reading this file, but on the other this
>          allows the vendors to place little blurbs on the CD.  Note there
>          should also be explanation of what can NOT be on Official CDs,
>          non-free software for example.  We might point out that it is
>          acceptable for them to include redistributable non-free packages
>          on additional CD(s) if they choose to bundle with Official
>          Debian, or that they can make unofficial/custom dists.

Of the options, if we decide to do something, I'd like this.  It requires
little on going work from the rest of the devel-staff.  As long as it's clear,
the vendors know exactly what to do.  The vendors have minimum time from
Image-Release to CD-Availability.

>       7. We can find some company who would like to bundle printed
>          documentation with Debian Official images in a shrinkwrap box and
>          call that Official.  This would be good, but it would imply that
>          only this commercial distribution of Debian is official.  That
>          would clearly be bad as most will agree.

Since it seems against the Free Software image.. I'd have to agree with you
that it's a Bad Thing(tm)

> I want opinions, additional creative ideas, discussion of the ideas I've
There's my $.02 as a developer, user and installer.

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