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Re: Are we losing users to Gentoo?

On Wed, Nov 20, 2002 at 11:02:40AM +0000, Andrew Suffield wrote:

On Wed, Nov 20, 2002 at 08:50:32PM +1100, Andrew Lau wrote:
> 	The question I want to pose today is "Are we losing users to
> Gentoo?"
Hell yes, and it's great. The number of morons using Debian has
noticably decreased since gentoo came on the scene; they now have
something that will give them the stupid things they asked for, so
they stop asking us for them.
I've been using Debian for about 6 years, however I guess I'm still one of these "morons".

Debian has always been a rock solid stable distribution. I rarely had problems 5 years back running production servers on unstable, and when testing came into existance the "bleeding edge" of Debian got even more reliable. I'd place the unstable versions of Debian above any release version of Red Hat, Mandrake or SUSE when it comes to stability and security.

But Debian's bleeding edge really tends to lag. What's KDE up to on testing, version 2.2? Mozilla is 1.0? Java's at 1.1? It takes a lot of time for developers to gather the sources, compile binaries across all of Debian's supported platforms and make sure they play nice with other packages.

Debian has always lagged behind other distributions as a desktop platform.

Gentoo sacrifices stability for access to more recent versions of software. Also, because of the source based distribution nature it's much easier for mantainers to push out to various platforms. Gentoo .ebuilds are just easier to manage than Debian .debs, so updates happen faster.

Gentoo's portage system is also very apt-like, so it's not suprising you see a lot of Debian users over on the Gentoo forums.

There's also an appeal to powerusers for having their software optimized for their system. Even if the benefit is mostly psychological, it's nice having every binary on my system compiled specifically for my Athalon XP's architecture.

And then there's the political BS that's been with the Debian scene since, well, about forever. I really don't miss  that or the occasional elitest attitude that crops up. Last I checked no one on the Gentoo forums called anyone who used Debian a moron. So I suppose in that respect it really is a superior distribution.


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