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What is Debian, and what is Debian/Linux? (requirements-doc?)

On Tue, May 21, 2002 at 12:12:37PM -0400, Nathan Hawkins wrote:
> There are things which must be expected of all systems that want to be 
> Debian, and things which are not. Jails, translators, Linux emulation, 
> and similar features are in the second category. Pipes, filesystems, 
> TCP/IP support, etc. are in the first.

This issue of `what is Debian' versus `what is GNU/Linux' has come up
and been..., um..., `discussed' for the past several days, though
nobody has actually been discussing it in such a straight-out way, and
it sure looks like it's got a bunch of people confused and irritated.

I think we can say that `GNU/Linux' is one set, and `Debian' is
another set, and `Debian GNU/Linux' is the union of those two sets.

The confusion seems to come from the fact that, so far, the only
embodiment of `Debian' has been `Debian GNU/Linux', and, given only
one data-point, it's rather difficult to discern the nature(s) of the
set(s) in which the data-point belongs. In specific, it's difficult to
look at Debian GNU/Linux and tell which parts are Debian and which
parts are GNU/Linux, and just tell from this single data-point what
the rules common to all Debians (the intersection of all sets)
are--surely `Debian GNU/Linux' is a superset of this intersection!

I have not yet seen any citations of clarifying documentation in this
thread, so far. Surely, there is some documentation of requirements,
which can be referenced, yes?

Would someone please post a reference (a URL would be wonderful)?

> This is just common sense.

It may appear that way for some things, but, in general, `just common
sense' doesn't work so well--I have learned first-hand how painful it
can be to develop a product for which the only requirements-document
is `common sense', and I'm sure that many others around these lists
have also had some such experiences. The problem with knowing when a
product meets spec. by `common sense' is that not very many people
have a -common- opinion of what `makes sense', as should be evident
from reading the threads that have been going through these lists :)


"The most hopelessly stupid man is he who is not aware that he is wise."

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