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Re: potato late, goals for woody (IMHO)

Hartmut Koptein <koptein@naffel.de> wrote:
>Don't compare with windows, compare first with other linux distributions
>as redhat, suse, caldera, mandrake and also corel. We (debian) were
>one of the three global players in the beginning, but we are now something
>between 5 and 10. 

I've seen pretty recent surveys putting us as one of the top two or
three preferred distributions - poke through debian-news. But then, see
the next paragraph ...

>I know, some or many debian maintainers will not that debian is a mass
>product. It should be for the elite, mainly for ourself. These people
>should think about atari and amiga. These computers were better then
>the wintel one. And, where are these companies now?

Oh, please. I keep hearing this sort of insinuation with reference to
Linux, and it doesn't make any more sense here either. How could Debian
go out of business? Comparisons with Atari and Amiga just don't make
sense, because the reasons for their disappearance are not applicable to
Debian; the only way Debian could disappear is if its developers lost
interest, and arguably if that happens then it *deserves* to disappear.

Yes, getting new users is great, and some of those will become
developers in time, but I really don't think that "imminent death of
Debian predicted, film at 11" is a useful argument - particularly not
when I would lay bets that the number of Debian users is growing faster
than ever before. Yes, Red Hat has out-marketed us, but I see plenty of
Linux users trying out Debian and never looking back once they realize
its potential (most of the active Linux users in my university, for
one). Let's work towards making Debian and GNU/Linux in general more
newbie-friendly, as it's a worthy goal; but let's not get too paranoid
about it either.

Colin Watson                                           [cjw44@cam.ac.uk]

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