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Re: default setup (was: Sendmail woes (was: make anacron a base package))

On Thu, 1 Apr 1999, Stephen Crowley wrote:

> On Thu, Apr 01, 1999 at 09:18:24AM -0500, Dale Scheetz wrote:
> > I was disapointed then the group decided that we needed "one" MTA to be
> > the "default" for Debian. This whole approach goes counter to the
> > fundamental premis, that Debian provides Free choices to the end user. Our
> > current approach makes taking optional choices more difficult for the new
> > user.
> Since when was it a fundamental premis of debian to not have defaults? That's
> one of my biggest complaints, people think we shouldn't have nice default
> setups because it recommends one free package over another. Well, this is
> stupid, all free software is not created equal. By your reasoning we should
> not even have profiles during install time, we should make have 2 selections
> 'All' or 'None', would that be good? I dont think so. Same thing happened
> with xterm once, the maintainer changed the default color scheme to white on
> black instead of black on what, and people bitched and moaned it was changed
> back. Why?! I guess people want to have the crappiest setup possible by
> default so you will have to spend forever trying to make it work nice. I
> guess thats one of the reasons we dont have color ls enabled by default too,
> you can always change it. Having a nice default setup does not limit users
> in any way, so why not do it?

I'm not opposed to defaults. I am opposed to the way the default MTA was
implimented. I would have much prefered the use of update-alternatives in
the way it was done for "editor" between the various editors provided.
Instead, we elevated exim to become a "standard" package and denigrated
the other MTAs to "optional". This violates the principle of "least
surprise" at the very least. Many people have complained that they were
not expecting to find this result when installing a "standard" system.

> sorry for the long rant, this has been something that has bugged me for a
> while.

No problem, although I would rather you had commented on _my_ particular
rant. The new user must decide between 5 ill defined choices for
configuration options, whether they install sendmail or exim.


_-_-_-_-_-   Author of "The Debian Linux User's Guide"  _-_-_-_-_-_-

aka   Dale Scheetz                   Phone:   1 (850) 656-9769
      Flexible Software              11000 McCrackin Road
      e-mail:  dwarf@polaris.net     Tallahassee, FL  32308

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