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Re: Survey on Debian usage

* Survey

- Q: Are you a:  (note: you may choose more than one)
     [ ] Debian developer, or otherwise involved in contributing to Debian
     [ ] Free software developer
     [X] User, using Debian for: Home desktop, work desktop, thin-client terminal server, file, dns/dhcp, firewall/proxy, mail server _________________________
     [ ] Other: __________________________________

- Q: Could you please provide one or two typical episodes (whatever you feel
     like) of your life with Debian?
  A: I was new in Debian, and I couldn't get mouse working. I stuck with gpm and mouse didn't work. Don't know how I found hidden functions of GPM, but some of them were very helpful.
	Then a friend suggested me a magical line: dpkg-reconfigure xserver-xfree86. Finally after few hours I was able to run X, although I didn't understand difference between Xserver 3.x and Xserver 4.x so I used 3.3.6 because the names at least guided me to find the right server for my videocard.
	The playing with X server parameters was quest alone. The "utils" in emergency X desktop were useless; I learned that if something is wrong with X, I shouldn't bore with the way the X suggests me, I must shoot him down and re-run dpkg-reconfigure... instead.
	The national keyboard sk_qwerty didn't work, not to mention switching between us and sk_qwerty like in Window$. I have found many very ancient howtos from the potato age, but it seemed that anything should work just right in Woody. But it didn't, at least I didn't find a way to do it.
	Finally, I changed the machine and the new GNOME-capable one solved the problem because the GNOME has an applet to switch the keyboards. No, it didn't work correctly, but I learned how to change the switching line (setxkbmap sk_qwerty) and other settings (ISO8859-2 instead of default 8859-1, Czech and slovak instead of Slovak etc.) to achieve working keyboard switcher.
	The application bars had problems with diacritics, and I googled that Woody has locales problem, but friend adviced again: add a line LC_ALL sk_SK to /etc/profiles, relogin, and run dpkg-reconfigure locales. Yes, it worked! I selected the same things as during installation, but this time it worked at least!
	Then he teached me, that if I want ISO8859-2 console displayed correctly, setting it in locales isn't enough: I must install the FONTY package. Yes, worked again. What could I do without the friend I cannot imagine.
	The menu fonts of GNOME are incorrect sometimes and don't display diacritics correctly, but this is thing I can live with.
	I learned how to add the needful reboot/shutdown items to GDM. Not trivial, but I was finally able to: go to gdm.conf, unblock the AllowRootLogin or whatever, start GNOME as root, find the GDM Configurator (after 5 times I remember the way) and chcek the box in System menu.
	I needed newer Mozilla than stable First time I downloaded .deb packages of 1.2, but they corrupted my dependencies. After some months I started to use the binary installer, it works so I'm happy. OpenOffice.org -I use bnary installer, i rather didn't try .debs
	Time goes around and I use OOo intensively. But wait, the fonts are all bad! Yes, OOo team recognised it as Debian error. But adviced to copy Window$ ttf fonts to /opt/Open.../share/fonts/truetype. Yes, the Window$ fonts work better than Debian ones. And the crippled fonts in OpenOffice.org menus can be easily corrected by ReplaceFonts option in OOo. Replace Interface User by Arial or so and menus have working diacritics. Smart guys those in OOo, I'm lucky they added such feature to OOo..
	What about sound? Wanna sound? No, it dosen't play. XMMS claims that someone is sitting on sound device. But whos'e the alien? Finally, months later I found on Internet how to discover who is using /dev/audio. And the name of the guy is ESOUND! Kill him! Uninstall him! Finally the sound plays! I can hear music! Wow! Why cannot my wife? She's in audio group exactly as me, but she's not allowed to play. I don't know.
	Wanna burn a CD? Not so quickly, man! You must learn a lot! First find the right combination of kernel settings. Allow SCSI emulation, allow SCSI-CDROM but DON't allow the ATAPI-CDROM! With fresh new kernel You're sometimes able to burn with XCDROASTER, Eclipt is nicer but forgets the /dev/scd0 device everytime and cannot find it with no root.
	Wanna grab cd? CDParanoia is fine, but You must use another 2.6 kernel, compiled WITH ATAPI-CD support. You cannot burn anymore, but can grab, an it's great.
	Wanna print? What print interface is good for me? LPD or which one of the four? After half a year I finally found howto. The guy bravely stated, that I should forget anything but CUPS. Great, why didn't the Debian manual tell me the same, I could find the way much easier. The howto is really great, I can print! Even I can setup the OpenOffice to print too! Mozilla dosen't play with me, but never mind, OOo prints and it's enough pleasure for me this time.
	I'm skilled enough to create CANCEL-PRINTING script that deletes the cups spool directory. Happy with that, because I couldn't cancel printing anyhow before. I'm happy, because I remember the times of Window$ printing that I was unable tho cancel. At least one thing where Debian is equally inconvenient with Window$ 98!
	Glad to have learned fstab parameters to make filesystems working.
	I started my way to thin clients and was troubled by tftpd. And then some ood howto adviced -use atftpd, it's much better. I used and the first time in my Debian quest it was pleasure to install something. All configuration options were easy to set up and even more, the atftpd really worked!
	After studying howtos for few days, I was able to set up DHCPD and DNS with similar ease and success!
	Squid nearly worked for first try, i just must have compare the squid.conf with old one I found on old server and allow the access. Pitty that he didn't ask me during setup.
	Apache was not too trivial to set up, but I can imagine that PHP dosen't work in the reason of avoiding lamers to set up Apache.

- Q: Could you please provide one or two fantasy episodes of your life with
     Debian, if you were to make a movie or a comic strip about yourself as a
     Debian protagonist?

- Q: What Debian distribution are you using?
  A: Woody

- Q: What do you think people use Debian for?
  A: server-only. It's way too hard to configure the desktop, and features too ancient packages to be useful at desktop, except some basic tasks.

- Q: What is the thing you most frequently use Debian for?
  A: Browse (Mozilla), write (OpenOffice.org)

- Q: What do you think is the most INTERESTING aspect or feature of Debian?
  A: This time, the security updates. This, and the stability is the most interesting thing that keeps me using Debian.

- Q: Are there some aspects or features of Debian that do not satisfy you?
  A: The whole desktop setup. It's total crap in 21th century. Most basic things dosen't work without expert-level actions taken. Mouse, X server, locales, national keyboard, printing, sound, everything. It shouln't demand one engineer with 2-year Debian practise to setup an usable desktop.

- Q: What do you think is the most USEFUL aspect or feature of Debian?
  A: The security updates using apt. And the cross-platform orientation. I installed it on two ancient HP RISC servers and it works! Nice one...

- Q: Is there something you especially like doing with Debian?  What is it?
  A: Watching uptime and load parameters in top.

- Q: Is there something you DO NOT like doing with Debian?  What is it?
  A: 1, Fighting for usable desktop.
	2, And waiting for Godot (next stable and more useful/less useless release). The woody sucks a lot at desktop, but I managed to be patient and since some package maintainers told me that some locales problems were fixed for Sarge, and I know the 4.2, 4.3 X server have much better antialiasing than the grandpa 4.1, I have been waiting the next stable to arrive in summer of 2003. No, nothing happened, still the same (and new) battles with crappy desktop.
	"The Sarge maybe in late 2003 or jan 2004". Wow, I want it. Now, "Sarge will not be stable this year". Sh.t

- Q: What is the MOST SUCCESSFUL deed you have achieved with Debian?
  A: Terminal server with DOSEMU app running, with thin client connected (local printer working).

- Please take a moment to recall what is the WORST INCIDENT you had
  with Debian.

  Q: What was it?
  A: Apache+PHP

  Q: How did you get into it, and out of it?
  A: 	I tryed to install PHP and Openwebmail. I googled the right version of Openwebmail (the older one was too buggy and the new one needed the libraries unachiewable in Woody).
	But the PHP just DIDN'T work. Three days of fighting, no progress. Looking at ancient HOWTOs, infinite reviewing the configs and finding the error that just wasn't there. Still displayed me the Apache welcome page and offered the PHP file for download.

	And then I watched DOSEMU mailing lists (no connection with either PHP or Apache) and found some problems with P4 that were solved by patch. Could it be...? I'm trying to run the PHP on Celeron P4 crap!
	And there was the problem. On any other proc, it just worked, nothing goes on.. On Celeron -nada!
	From that time, I don't try anything serious on P4 Celeron.

- Imagine you have a crystal ball allowing you to see 10 years in the
future, and have a look inside. Q: Will you still be using Debian?
  A: Hope, but cannot imagine.

  Q: If yes, what will you be doing with it?
  A: All my work, hopefully.
- Q: Finally, please feel free to leave any feedback to Debian Developers
  A: Please, try to finish the installer and RELEASE THE SARGE ASAP! Woody with cripled locales is here since 07/2002. It's nearly 05/2004. It's time for the first desktop capable Debian in history! Or are the "Debian on Desktop" efforts caterpillared to some "future releases"? 2007 maybe?
	If someone wants to discover the GNU/Linux desktop and do the tasks he does everyday on W...ow$, I cannot give him a CD and say "here, try it, it's my favorite distro". Yes, Debian is the only distro I use, but without my technical support, it's just impossible to deploy it anywhere. Basic tasks like Open the attached file from Mozilla etc are the users unable to do without my prior assistance, set up and tweaking. And the GNOME 1.4 with X4.1 "antialiasing" is not something I want the world made the "Linux or not" decision at. I rather show the Mandrake (a bit of shame, a bit of sadness..)
	I cannot imagine I'll build up the next 30+ users terminal server on anything else than Debian Woody. I have horror how will I solve the locales etc. problems with no-GNOME (perharps ICEWM) environment. Yes, I will fight because I like Debian. I cannot imagine other Linux on server I want to be fast, reliable, solid.

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