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Re: pilot-link in Sid and Sarge: Much bigger question

Matthew Palmer wrote:
> > it's labour-intensive, it's pretty damn effective.
>   ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
> And there's why it doesn't work for Debian.  We don't have money to throw at
> our developers.

I never claimed we should. I merely explained one of the many reasons Debian
is fundamentally slower than other distributions. I also, as you prominently
underlined, explained why this solution is not an option for Debian.

> Face the facts: Debian Is Different.  No amount of complaining about it will
> change that.

So Debian is perfect? No need to discuss problems and possible solutions?
Maybe we should close the bug tracker too. It's telling that pointing out a
problem is automatically defined as complaining. What is this, a sect? I
though this was the developer list.

> You're targetting a different audience than Debian is, so that's probably a
> good way to scratch your itch.

Right, then please define the Debian target audience for me. To end up in the
current state, the list would have to look something like:

1) Developers (who can run unstable)
2) Server admins (who don't need new software)

Is this really what you want? Because then we (or, in that case, you) should
post it in big not-so-friendly letters on the front page so the rest of the
world, including developers, can make an informed choice.

> And? Debian appears to have chosen High Quality over Bleeding Edge.

Actually, Debian has chosen Portability over Quality. Quality means a lot more
than just fixing bugs, you know. A program that does not work with current
data or devices has low quality even if it doesn't crash. The mere age of most
packages in stable is a very serious quality flaw.

And no, before you build that straw man, I'm not saying Debian should contain
more bugs. I'm saying we need to rethink the system, because today we don't
even let the bug fixes in!

> If you don't like that choice, you can choose to use something different, or
> roll your own.

How about improving Debian? Or is that heresy?

> I'd install Debian across the board if a Linux solution was called for,
> because it's a stable, reliable, functional platform, which is *exactly*
> what what companies need.

That is correct, but not complete. Companies also need software to do their
day-to-day work. Software such as cross-platform word processors, spreadsheets
and browsers that can actually show their client's home pages. Debian does not
offer this. Yet not one of you will admit that this is a problem.

> Eye candy comes a distinct 20th (or lower).  I've worked in places which
> are still using greenscreens, because stability, reliability, a known UI,
> and a lack of distraction, is far more important than the latest whizz-bang
> shiny! "hey look my monitor's melting" GUI.

It is more than a little arrogant to claim all the changes since woody is just
eye candy...

I might as well say this too, to head off your assumptions: I am a
developer. I run unstable. I don't want to run testing. This is not a personal
"gimme" issue, I already have everything I want. But this issue, this system
flaw, lowers the overall appeal of Debian.

I like Debian. I like the voluntary nature and the Free Software ideals behind
it. I like apt. I've been planning to contribute in various ways. But if the
general consensus among debian developers is that 90% of the computer-using
public is too stupid to care about, I don't think I'll bother. Heck, I've got
what I want, why should I care about the rest of the world? Right?

The social contract says "We will be guided by the needs of our users". I
guess it all comes down to the definition of "our users".


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