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Re: Why does Ubuntu have all the ideas?

On Fri August 25 2006 03:46, Mgr. Peter Tuharsky wrote:
> I cannot 100% agree with You, althought Your point is for sure
> partially valid.

Uhm, Debian's target audience is not Joe User, never has been AFAICT.

Joe isn't usually capable of determining which MTA, web server, proxy 
server, etc., specific implementation is best for them, assuming they 
are even aware of the architecture underlying the UI they see... Debian 
assumes all of that of its users.

Since my very first read of the Social Contract, Policy papers, etc., I 
have had the impression that Debian is not a "solution", it is the 
pieces one needs to build a solution.

Taking this view explains a lot about Debian, and does so at a deeper 
level than some of the common perceptions. e.g.:

Why there are so many CDD's and derivatives, with NGOs and even 
governments basing their OS on Debian. Is it just "the best", or has it 
been designed to accommodate such use.

Why licensing which allows users to redistribute modified versions is so 
important. Are they all "free" fanatics, or would not being 
redistributable make the effort put into being easily derivable a waste 
of time.

Why there are so many different implementations of pretty much 
everything in the archive. Does Debian lack focus, or is it just not 
possible to service all the potential users with just one or two 

Why the "learning curve" is so steep. Do Debianites want to be "elite", 
or is it simply that relatively few computer users are aware of the low 
level OS issues Debian necessarily deals with by catering to everybody.

Why "old" software is commonplace. Slow and lazy with the packaging... 
or does it just take time to get all the pieces functioning well enough 
to be an easily derivable basis, and one which changes every six months 
would be a poor choice for that use.

I agree with you 100% that Ubuntu is more focused on and better serves
Joe User, but to say that `Debian doesn't care' is as wrong as you can 
be. Common perception appears to be much as you have written, the 
reality is that Debian has done such a good job at presenting a 
necessarily complex and contradictory collection of software that Joe 
User can actually be fooled into thinking it was done for them!

I'm not saying Joe User is a fool, I am Joe everytime I "install" 
something and experience the learning curve of figuring out what it 
does and how I can use it. The Debian User's learning curve is a bit 
different though, it is one of recognizing where the needs of Joe, 
Corporate, NGO, etc. Users diverge and consequently where to look for 
the tools and tweaks needed to transform the universal OS into their 
OS. That there also needs to be tweaks at the "Arbitrary User" level 
afterwards should be no surprise and may well be unavoidable... that is 
where Ubuntu, Progeny, etc., enter the picture. The way I see it: 
distros tailored to specific types of users which are based on Debian 
are not making up for Debian's failings, they are the most natural and 
may even be the actual intended use of what Debian provides.


- Bruce

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