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Re: Are we losing users to Gentoo?

Philip Brown wrote:

On Thu, Apr 01, 2004 at 08:25:48AM +1000, Hamish Moffatt wrote:
And as far as documentation goes: Gentoo has a beautiful step by step manual on how to get the system up and running. You don't even have to dig for it. It is right there for you. Could not say the same about Debian. Debian rather tells you that they do not need a beginner like you.
With the onsite installation manual, Goerzen and associates on system Debian guide, the dwarfs' guide to Debian on system, dhelp and etc, I don't think that Debians' manual facilities are insufficient to the task. They perhaps need a little updating/coordination in places, but nothing that doesn't supply its' worth in education in figuring out. It has taken a year for a newby like me to find /usr/doc/, so perhaps they could do with a little advertising.

Come on. Do you think that a system that insists on compiling everything
from source on every upgrade is suitable for linux beginners?
No it isn't.
But besides that,I have a couple of advanced user acquaintances that have left Gentoo after a brief initial period, because of what they describe as an elitest, isolationist attitude. Their experience was one of estrangement.

I think it says a lot, that a system that [isnt designed for linux
beginners] was still more "beginner friendly" than debian, in this case.
I think that there are aspects we can learn from, possibly, but I wouldn't get too carried away with concepts like viewing Gentoo as 'competition.' Gentoo is definitely not a beginners' distro, it would appear from comments here that Gentoo are probably attempting to broaden their user base through a better documentation programme. More power to them. I think that Debian could probably benefit from a like minded, but clear headed effort. As a newby, I have not felt estranged by anything about Debian, other that the occassional RTFM type of personality, but as in any other social interaction scenario you just restrict your interaction with that type of personality. Some people can't see this in the immediate reaction of personal offense, these are the ones you lose.


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