[Date Prev][Date Next] [Thread Prev][Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]

Re: Debian concordance

On 6/19/05, Scott James Remnant <scott@netsplit.com> wrote:
> On Sun, 2005-06-19 at 11:42 -0400, Joey Hess wrote:
> > Scott James Remnant wrote:
> > > Walking up to a "man on the street", if anything, you'll find Debian has
> > > a far worse reputation than RPM and RedHat-derived distributions.  The
> > > general feeling is that third-party RPMs will almost always install on
> > > any system, while third-party .debs are practically useless.
> >
> > That's strange, this is not the impression I've gotten from ten years of
> > reading the debian-user mailing list, participating in Linux and Debian
> > user groups, or hearing people discuss services such as backports.org
> > and apt-get.org, or from using them myself.
> >
> Try hanging out outside of the immediate Debian community; I spend a
> fair amount of time loitering around the GNOME and Freedesktop.org
> communities, for example.  You see a wildly different picture there.

I spend a fair amount of time with executives in technology companies,
big and small. What they tell me is that they very badly want to
support Debian but aren't quite sure how to do it. The demand is
clearly there. The main problem, as they see it, is that they're not
quite sure what "Debian" is. They'd like it to be "Debian stable",
but that hasn't been realistic up to now because Debian stable
has been too old, and it's been impossible to know when the next
one will be out. In that environment, the Ubuntu approach is reasonable.
I guess the difference between your point of view and mine is that
you seem to take it as a given that it has to be this way while I don't.

> It was impossible to create a single set of debs that would work on all
> three (stable, testing, unstable) distributions of Debian at the same
> time.

That may be partially true (and it's not quite that dramatic--I've
been mixing and matching for years without major problems). However,
as I've said several times in this thread, to the vast majority of
the world, "Debian" is Debian stable. Historically, people have
used testing because of the lack of a predictable release cycle
around stable, and Debian developers are the primary users of
unstable. Also, as Joey has pointed out, all three of these
"distros" are under a single umbrella,
Debian, so transitions can be and are carefully coordinated.

Fix the release problem, and lots of day-to-day users will stop using
testing; the remainder will continue to use testing because they,
well, want to help test it. Furthermore, for the most part, as has
already been pointed out, packages built against stable tend to
work on unstable just fine, particularly if there isn't a three
year gap between releases. The other situations are bugs. As the
comment that started this thread stated, packages built against
glibc 2.3.2 run fine against glibc 2.3.5 but not vice versa, and this is
mostly true when the upstreams are careful about compatibility.

Ian Murdock
317-578-8882 (office)

"A nerd is someone who uses a telephone to talk to other people about
telephones." --Douglas Adams

Reply to: