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Re: Clueless users are bad for debian (was Let's CENSOR it!)

On Fri, Mar 26, 1999 at 11:52:50AM -0600, Merlin wrote:

> Debian Linux, for example, is the free source version of Linux
> (obviously). It is better than Red Hat by every standard.  Yet Red Hat
> is used more.
> This is because programmers are "minimalist" by nature, not wanting to
> spend time doing extra work when other programmers can figure it out.
> Red Hat does not make that assumption, at least, part of the time.

actually, it has nothing at all to do with usability or quality or any
technical criteria.  it's to do with marketing.

RedHat has paid marketing and PR staff.  Debian does not.  This is why
almost every magazine uses the terms "Linux" and "Redhat" as if they
were interchangeable synonyms....and that is why RH is the default
distribution for new users to start with, because they don't know that
RH is only one flavour of linux.

RH strikes deals with other companies - distributors, resellers,
magazines, software developers, etc.  Again, debian doesn't.  Along with
the "following the herd" mentality of most magazine publishers, that is
why most magazines which have included a linux CD on the cover have used
RH (some have included debian, but AFAICT that is because a staff member
was an enthusiastic debian user who managed to convince management that
debian was better).

This isn't likely to change because debian is non-commercial and won't
ever have enough money to pay full-time marketing people...coding free
software is interesting enough to attract people to do it for free,
marketing isn't.

i don't see any great need to compete with RH, let them have the
clueless newbies (they're going to get them anyway...RH's marketing
budget beats ours).  Debian targets an important niche that none of
the commercial dists would ever bother with now that linux is going
mass-market and mainstream.


craig sanders

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