Re: Reality check! [was: Re: Debian goes big business?]
On 23 Jan 1999, Paul Seelig wrote:
> and annoyances they'd have with Debian. They won't care about
> Debian's rather unaccessable technical superiority if the installation
> hinders them from getting the beast at least easily up and running and
> will recommend SuSE to the rest of the world. That's how SuSE became
> the biggest player on the Linux market in Germany. And because SuSE
Since when has the purpose of debian been to appease the
interests of the mass of unskilled consumers? There are lots of dists
that are trying to do that. I'm sure they will do a good job of
introducing newbies to Linux. But I never thought that was the purpose
> is even easier to install and maintain than Redhat it will eventually
> become a major player in the US as well. Debian in comparison is
> still a far cry from what it's really all about becoming popular for
> the world.
Debian IMHO should be aimed toward the skilled technical user
and those who are already Linux skilled. There is no other dist that
is trying to fill this role. And it is not possible to please the
"mass market" of unskilled consumers and the skilled technical person at
the same time. Their requirments are quite different.
> I wouldn't recommend Debian to my non Linux savy friends either
> because i want them to *like* Linux and currently it is really hard
> for a newbie to find something likeable about Debian. I myself like
I started with Slackware. That is the dist that I recommend and
install for newbies. The reason I use debian now is because of its
technical excellence and such a distribution saves me the time of
having to put together my own distribution. If it wasn't for debian
I would have to spend a lot of time compiling and editing source to
get a technically competent system that gives me the freedom that I
> The first thing a future Debian entrepreneur interested in financial
> success would have to address would be to fix all those things which
> we Debian propeller heads have preferred to mostly neglect up until
> now: ease of install and ease of useability for both sysadmins and
> users. These things have to become *at least* as dead easy as it
> *already is* with SuSE.
The key to debians future is not market sales of its dist.
Debian like UNIX will succeed because it is possible to learn
how everything works, and it is designed to accomplish a technical not a
"commercial" goal. It is an excellent example of the fusion of pedagogy and
production, of fashion and function.
The future lies not in "selling" to a mass market of unskilled consumers
but rather in the technical training and recruitment of a cadre of technical
leaders and knowledgable advocates. To be sure, there is much work to
be done in the area of technical training. Already there are discissions
starting around Linux certification. But this effort may not lead to
a program to develop technical competence. In fact it may lead completely
away from it. The training/user/developer/distribution/Internet_service
collage posses some fascinating possibilites. How debian or its progeny
figure in that future will be quite interesting.