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Re: Why does Ubuntu have all the ideas?

On Fri, Jul 28, 2006 at 09:02:57AM -0600, Katrina Jackson wrote:
> A.  Ubuntu seems like it can get hardware support immeadiatly, but that
> support never seems to quickly get to Debian.   I have been using Ubuntu
> since Debian doesn't wok on my laptop.  Suspend doesn't work and my wireless
> pro  3945ABG doesn't work.  With Ubuntu everything works fine.

Perhaps it depends on the hardware.  amd64 support, for instance,
originated within DEbian.

> B.  Ubuntu members not only support mailing lists and IRC but suport user
> forums which are so much more user friendly and don't fill up your mailbox.

I don't see that as a plus at all.  Each forum is different, requires
logins, and there's no easy way to read the stuff offline.  Forums are a
plague on the Internet.

> current OS better for people.  Why does Ubuntu have to have all the great
> ideas for their users?  One example:  They have a pop up telling you updates
> are ready.  Now maybe you now have this feature, I don't know, but I see
> great ideas like this every six months with Ubuntu, and I see nothing from
> debian.  Except apt, but man, one nice thing a decade is pretty slow.

What's the point of a popup?  It requires a person to actually be at the
machine.  Most of the Debian machines I manage sit in a cabinet and
don't even have monitors.  Debian has cron-apt, which is plenty capable
for that purpose.

Perhaps your real concern is about audience.  Debian has a far wider
audience than Ubuntu.  Debian stable is a very solid server platform.
Debian supports a wider range of hardware than Ubuntu does, and this
will probably always be the case.  I've installed Debian on desktop
machines, a Sharp Zaurus PDA, standalone servers, blade servers, etc.
It runs everywhere, is predictable, and is solid.

Now being predictable and solid are sometimes at odds with being cutting
edge.  Perhaps desktop users want cutting edge, and that's fine.  I run
unstable on my workstation.  But I'd rather have stable and predictable
for a server.

> D.  Going back to C., doesn't is concern you you have so many programmers
> but so few good new Ideas for your OS compared to Ubuntu that will help your
> users?  How do they have 10 times the good ideas you seem to.  And
> furthermore, when a good idea is presented to them they say, "good idea, we
> should impliment that" not "there's plenty of documantation, do it
> yourself".

Debian is a project of volunteers.  I am a Debian volunteer.  I'm not
going to write something just because you gripe at me about it.  I have
no obligation to you.  I will work on things that are interesting to me.

Ubuntu has paid employees, which changes the equation entirely.

Now, I contribute back to Debian some work that I do on behalf of my
employer (maintaing the Bacula packages, for instance).  And there are
others that don't work for Canonical that do too.

> E.  Going back to the last statement, I could write an entire email on how
> people think you guys are so unapproachable and so down right mean to users
> who make these suggestions.   Users' concerns mean nothing to you.  ***If
> they did you would be spending as much time as Ubuntu coming up with great
> ideas to revoultionize your OS to better meet people's needs***  Why are you
> so mean?  I know you will either ignore this letter or rip my head off, but
> somebody needs to tell you.

I don't really know what you're talking about here.  Debian people can
be unapproachable to people that, for instance, ask questions that are
clearly documented in the FAQ.  But really, would you rather have Debian
developers answering the same question 100 times or working to improve

I think user concerns mean a great deal to Debian.  Just because *your*
concerns aren't the same as other users doesn't mean that nobody cares.

> There seems to be so many issues.  It seems you guys just don't care about
> your users.  You don't go out of your way to make your users have a better
> experience.  I honestly think you only care about yourselves.  I doesn't

What gives me a better experience?

 * Being able to set up a new server in under 5 minutes without having
   to answer any questions whatsoever

 * Having Xen support integrated into the OS in a helpful way

 * Being able to upgrade machines without rebooting them

 * Being able to run Debian on just about anything that boots.
   This frees me from having my hardware dictated by my OS.

 * Being able to run an on-site mirror

 * Having source conveniently available for everything

 * Integrated suport for LVM throughout

 * Nice framework for compiling my own kernels

 * Great tools for doing unattended installs (thank you debconf)

This is speaking just as a user at my job.  All of these are things that
a person can do with Debian *NOW*.  The Debian base install is 98MB.
The RedHat Enterprise Linux base install is about 1GB, and it doesn't
give me much useful over the Debian base install.  We are deploying Xen
on blades.  I've been working to improve the backup situation in Debian
by packaging Bacula, and to improve support for multipath I/O (a big
concern in larger datacenters).

My concerns as a home user are different.  I may not care about having
to reboot for an upgrade at home, but may care more about current video

You are falling into the trap of assuming that all users are like you.

> people's needs.  As was recently said, pretty and nice are features too.  I
> don't understand what the deal is.  Any, good programmers have good ideas
> they impliment, more then just the ability to hack to debug.  Is debian good
> for anything besides Debuuging, Debugging, Debugging.  Never and new great
> features or ideas.

Signed packages, perhaps?  How about the nicely integrated Xen support?
The schroot system (great for development environments)?

There's plenty to talk about in Debian.

I'm guessing you don't care about the things I've mentioned or the
things I've worked on.  I can assure you there are people that do, and
some of them manage thousands of machines.

> I hope you guys will put some thought into this, but by the reputation you
> have I am guessing you will say, "If a user wants something done do it
> yourself,  there's plenty of documentation.  We don't need to change, we are
> the best programmers there are.  We are too good to take notes from Ubuntu"

Actually, there has been a lot of discussion on the Debian lists about
how communication between Ubuntu and Debian can be improved so that
improvements flow in both directions more easily.  I think it is safe to
say that there are things to work on in both camps.  

> Unfortunatly I think you just aren't smart enough to read the writing on the
> wall that there is a reason Ubuntu has been for a while now such a more
> popular distro then us.

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