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Re: FWD: RMS and Debian on his Toshiba

On Thu, Jan 07, 1999 at 10:44:56AM -0800, Joey Hess wrote:
> ----- Forwarded message from Jonathan Buzzard <jonathan@issquared.co.uk> -----
> Date: Thu, 07 Jan 1999 11:49:13 +0000
> From: Jonathan Buzzard <jonathan@issquared.co.uk>
> Organization: Integrated Statistical Solutions
> X-Mailer: Mozilla 4.5 [en] (WinNT; U)
> To: joeyh@debian.org
> Subject: RMS and Debian on his Toshiba
> A way must be found to include the latest stable releases of hardware
> drivers in the stable releases of Debian. It is shear madness to
> force people to use the 3.0.1 version of the pcmcia utilities when
> there exists a better version that is more stable for everyone.
> This only effects a tiny number of packages, the kernel, the
> pcmcia utilities, ghostscript (it drives most printers) and
> X11 servers. In addition all these packages have the concept
> of stable releases with beta program etc.

Nothing is stopping people from grabbing items from unstable -
if the new hardware drivers are indeed stable, then the users should
be "safe" grabbing them from unstable.  This is provided that there is
a .deb in unstable.

> My initial thoughts are that there should be a hardware updates
> directory in the stable version which will include the latest
> versions of stable hardware drivers. This would mean someone
> installing Hamm at the moment could install a kernel-2.0.36,
> a pcmica-cs-3.0.7, X11 servers from XFree86 3.3.3 and whatever
> the latest GNU version of ghostscript is if it has fixed or
> had any printer drivers added.

I think this would confuse people.  Granted it would be nice to get
my shiny new computer working with every current driver and application
from a cd that I got from xyz, that's not realistic.

I hesitate to say this, but even the M$ people have to download updated
drivers between OS updates.

> Finally if you might say this only applies to Toshiba laptops,
> remember that Toshiba accounts for around one third of all laptops
> sold and laptops account for around one third and rising of
> all computers sold. This means that the current stable release of
> Debian (Hamm) cannot be installed on around one sixth of all the new
> PC's sold. This is plainly a disastrous situation.

No, it applies to all hardware.  If it is available in stores it is obsolete.
I'm willing to bet that M$ doesn't support most of the new features that
you claim prevent installing Debian Linux on those machines, but the
manufacturer of the hardware has written the driver (with appropriate
guidance and consideration from M$).

I don't consider it disastrous, since I don't believe those machines
are unable to run Debian Linux.  I consider it unfortunate that the
nifty new features of the latest whiz bang hardware are not supported
by the stable release (but again, M$ doesn't either - try to get USB
support on WIN95 without purchasing a new PC with OSR2 bundled with
it - you can't, not even a "beta" version).

I'm not saying it is a good situation, because it is not.  It is,
however, the status quo.


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