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Re: [custom] The term "flavor" and encouraging work on Debian

On Wed, 2003-12-03 at 07:58, Fabian Fagerholm wrote:
> Debian Enterprise could, for example, have an
> install-time option to set up a file and print server, an
> server, or a web server. Those would be _flavors_, in my view. Despite
> all that has been written and referenced on this list concerning these
> terms, I don't think they are enterily satisfactory. So, I suggest the
> following choice of words to clarify "subproject" and "flavor":
> Debian is the super-project.
>         Debian Enterprise is a Debian Subproject that creates
>         a Custom Debian Distribution,

Subproject and custom debian distribution, here, are the same thing. No
point "officially" having two terms. CDD is a term that I think is
intended to be a little more expansive than subproject, so I think
that's more applicable for this "level" of naming...

>         with the flavors "file and print server", "authentication
>         server" and "web server".

I like that. In one of the recent threads someone else also said
(requested?) that additional terms defining more specific things come
under the CDD umbrella term.

See the very comprehensive message "Re: [custom] Re: Custom Debian
Distributions (was: Re: Integrate Knoppix in Debian (was: Re: Debian
Enterprise?))" from Anthony Towns,

> Actually, I'd like to see the term "Custom Debian Distribution" be set
> aside because a "custom" something is created each time someone
> an original. Debian Enterprise certainly is an original. By the time a

Correct depending on your view. But it is also true that Debian
GNU/Linux is an original, of which Debian Enterprise is a customization
- and this is the useful distinction in this case.

> capable sysadmin has installed it, it will (probably) be "custom".
> ("Custom Custom Debian Distribution", anyone ?)

"more custom"? :)

The concept "flavours" might tie in nicely here as "fine grained
customization", so Local Flavour => Local Customization (Layer).

> The term suggests that the distribution is "not-Debian", which is

I disagree. Custom Debian Distribution,
implies (to me) Debian, but customized.

> unneccessary and confusing. The term "Subproject" suggests that
> something is "part-of-Debian", which is to be encouraged.

I think it might be just because you are used to the term subproject.
Any new distinction (and CDD is not identical to subproject), meets with
"mental disjunction" or something, until familiarity sets in.

Unless "subproject" is technically more accurate (which I don't think it
is - see Anthony's message as above), it is like, as someone said
earlier, going from "archive" and "dists" to "pools". A broader concept,
seeming not quite right, or a bit bizzarre at first, yet today we
wouldn't do without it.

> A Subproject could extend debian-installer to create a set of related
> install-time choices. These would be "flavors". (Of course, Debian

Yes, this concept of flavors is a useful one I think.

> itself could also have such flavors.) I really don't see the point of
> encouraging more derivative distributions that possibly fork off into
> projects of their own, even if it's just a choice of words.

I have to say I think the term Custom Debian Distribution (particularly
when capitalized) conveys (to me at least) a strong sense of association
with Debian proper.

> Also, a clean structure will help when explaning things to any of the
> target audiences of Debian Enterprise, Debian-NP, Debian-Lex, any of
> other subprojects, or when someone asks about "road maps", "release

Exactly. This is one of the useful points of deciding on common
terminology. Have you seen the Custom Debian wiki yet (I only found out
about it yesterday surprisingly):

> schedules", etc. Additionally, "Custom" does not sit well when
> introducing Debian Enterprise to your managers. ("Why do we have to
> a custom system? That sounds expensive. Let's go for Windows 2003,
> at least works out of the box with no custom stuff in it.")

If you are doing a sell to a client that does not sit well with the term
Custom, simply promote Debian Enterprise. You could then use phrases
like "open source and free software perfectly _taylored_ to your needs".

And charge them what they are willing to pay, that you can still make a
profit on (you can make a profit or a loss, and if you make a loss
indefinitely you will no longer have a business).

> Allowing people to mix and match as they like is also a good thing,
> which can be achieved if working within Debian and sharing the same
> package pool. If you look at Bdale's platform from the last DPL
> election, you'll see that he summarized these things quite nicely:
> So I suggest the following terms:
> Debian is the super-project.
>         XYZ is a Debian Subproject,
>         which provides the flavors A, B and C.

I agree almost completely, except I'd use the (slightly broader) Custom
Debian Distribution term for the middle layer.

Thanks for sharing your extensive thoughts on the matter,

Debian Enterprise: A Custom Debian Distribution:
* Homepage: http://homepages.ihug.com.au/~zenaan/
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