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Re: Reality check! [was: Re: Debian goes big business?]

On Sat, 23 Jan 1999, Steve Shorter wrote:

> 	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
> of Debian.
Please don't let's start *this* kind of discussion yet again.  It's
*not* about appeasing to the masses of unskilled consumers.  It's
about increasing ease of installation, use and maintenance.  Skilled
people definitely benefit from such time saving aspects in their daily
jobs.  Even professionals don't want to always have to deal with
things which explicitly require a professional.  Excellence in design
doesn't necessarily have to result in awkwardness.  The fact that even
the "mass of unskilled consumers" benefit from this is a completely
different issue.  The point is that what's good for unskilled people
can be equally good for skilled people who no by themselves how to
provoke trouble if they really want it. ;-)
> 	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. [ ... ]
Where's the problem (other than that *you* don't care) to make Debian
comfortable even for "the skilled technical user"?  Hey, i'm skilled
enough to handle all this stuff but it would be *really* nice if i
wouldn't need to have to be skilled to be able to to certain standard
tasks which should rather be automated.  That's what computers are
good for and i love to sppend my time with other things than being
forced to make my hands dirty even if things could be solutioned once
and for all for me and everybody else (newbies included).  Does it
have to be hard to be superior?

> 	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.
I don't want to argue about Debian's future nor do i want to redefine
any goals of the project.  But you shouldn't either BTW.

Yes, i've learned my share and now what?  Do i still have to use a
system which lets me explicitly feel that i *had* to learn my share to
take advantage of it?  Or should i better switch to SuSE now and
renounce at all what makes Debian superior, just to not waste my time
with things i already know and don't need to learn again and which my
system could do all alone without my involvement?  For professional
jobs i need a system which is easy to maintain and which saves my
valuable time without requiring the knowledge i've had to acquire.

Hey, installations are terribly bothersome processes and Debian's
installation is the most cumbersome and lengthy of them all.  I'd want
to have an installation which would save me quite some hassle and
would save me the need to help out my friends when the try installing
Debian on their own.  Why shouldn't an independent company do
something about it?  I'd happily pay for a Debian diskset which
features a dead easy install and maintenance if it really saves me the
precious time i could use for more worthwhile things.  What's so bad
about that?

Please let's clearly differentiate: What Debian is about is a matter
of Debian developers.  But what an entrepreneur's work based on the
Debian distribution is about is a whole different thing. If you don't
care about this perspective than just don't bother about it.  This is
a matter of getting Debian out into the market and making it *really*
attractive not only for hackers.  I for one would rather base my work
on an enhanced and made easy Debian product sold for 59,95 US$ saving
me all the need to apply my own expertise than to have to rely on a
vanilla Debian from the net requiring that i deal with it the hard
way.  The latter is a fine product for hackerish people like you.  But
not everybody wants to be a hacker or devoted sysadmin with any other

We are not talking about plain Debian as it stands now but about
another project which is simply and only based on Debian.  Don't get
confused about it please.
                             Thank you, P. *8^)

PS: To all: Please *never* CC me. Thanks!
   --------- Paul Seelig <pseelig@goofy.zdv.uni-mainz.de> -----------
   African Music Archive - Institute for Ethnology and Africa Studies
   Johannes Gutenberg-University   -  Forum 6  -  55099 Mainz/Germany
   --------------- http://www.uni-mainz.de/~pseelig -----------------

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