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Re: Are we losing users to Gentoo?

On Wed, Nov 20, 2002 at 10:14:32PM +1100, Glenn McGrath wrote:
> I think debian is stagnating technically and that our social structure is
> the cause of it.
> We have a lot of technically talented people, if we worked together we
> could overcome any technical problem, but how often does it happen ?

What are the outstanding technical problems that we are unable to
solve? The only one I can think of is the gcc-3.2 (g++) transition.

We haven't agreed to do anything about CPU-optimised binaries because
nobody has really shown why we should. I expect that we could come up
with a solution without too much difficulty if we agreed that one was
needed. We need an actual technical reason (ie demonstrated performance
improvement) rather than peer pressure though.

Our installation process is one of the main criticisms in all of the
reviews. There are people working on a new installer. (Aside: Joey made
a good point in one of the weekly news posts - it seems that none of
these reviewers actually use our distribution, only install it!).

Obviously it depends on your expectations. Since I'm not making
thousands of SSH connections per second, I don't need a CPU-optimised
SSH binary, for example. I find the existing boot-floppies installation
process quite acceptable - it's fast, reliable, and predictable. I
actually consider it an advantage that the installation process hasn't
changed radically over the years. In some circles, administrators
actually consider our long release cycles to be a benefit!

I installed Woody on a PA-RISC workstation last night and the install 
worked flawlessly and gave me exactly what I expected. Believe it or 
not, I don't mind having to partition the hard disk myself. The whole 
install was done on the serial console running at 9600 bps, so a 
graphical installation would've been a bit wasted on me.  

Hamish Moffatt VK3SB <hamish@debian.org> <hamish@cloud.net.au>

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