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Debian recommended software

Martin Mitchell <martin@debian.org> wrote:
> "J.H.M. Dassen \(Ray\)" <jdassen@wi.LeidenUniv.nl> writes:
> > I switched to lftp myself at the time of the previous ncftp license issue,
> > and haven't looked back. Is there anything in ncftp that lftp doesn't have?
> > If there isn't, I'd say just drop it.
> I did likewise, and haven't looked back either.

I am in exactly the same position, I think lftp is a great ftp client. 

I think that one of the problems with Debian is the extreme numbers of
packages, how do people know which to pick? We have the standard priority,
which is where we put `standard' software in, but what does this mean to the
user? If the bog standard ftp is in standard, does that mean that we recommend
that people run normally ftp. If they want a better ftp client they have got
to go through the net section, trying all of them until they get to a good

It is the same for other things like list server. I used berolist to start
with, and it is terrible. Then I tried smartlist, and it was great. The
problem is there are so many to look at.

I understand it would be almost impossible for Debian to provided a list of
software we all recommend, because we are all individuals and would disagree,
but here is my list:

Shell: bash
This is the default, and the only other shell that I would think of using is
zsh, some people run tcsh.

MTA: exim
Again this is the default, I was running when smail was the default (had to
hunt it out as described above)

MUA: mutt
This is not the default, the only two mail clients with standard priority are
mailx and elm++, do we recommend people run them?

MDA: procmail
This is standard priority, but exim is not configured to use it, people have
to mess with .forward files.

list server: smartlist
Needs modifications to exim.conf found on the www.exim.org homepage to
function well.

pop3 fetcher: fetchmail
I think this is the only pop3 mail fetcher in debian, there used to be loads
more, where did they go?

news-client: slrn
I use trn but I would recommend slrn to others.

vi: vim
I am not arguring this should be the recommended editor, just the recommended
version of vi. I do not think that any package should be the recommended
editor, I use vim as my default editor, but I would not recommend it for
newbies, I think we need an editor like the DOS Edit or MS-Windows Notepad,
and we do not have it, fte, comes close, but does not work over telnet.

ftp server: proftp/wuftp
what is the difference? proftp has security holes, but supports non-ip based
virtual hosting? wuftp doesn't? ftpd actually has a recommendation that people
run proftp or wuftp

web server: apache
web-robot: wget
ftp client: lftp
irc-client: epic4

Another problem is that all of these are console based tools. What happens
when people move to X windows, the toolset changes completely.

Do the task-* packages go some way to solving this problem?
I consume, therefore I am

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