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Re: Why does Ubuntu have all the ideas?

1, Ubuntu places the care about the average-Joe-user at first place at worst. Debian dosen't.

That's true, but this is improving.

Hope I could see it soon. Really.

I don't tell the ideology is not valid; I just tell that often this is
in the state "Users, wait until we solve this ideologically, it may
take some years". Well, user dosen't have the years and need things
working, so he either does it himself (if he is sortof admin) by
downloading, compiling etc, or says "Things don't work in Debian and
it's too difficult to solve it. I'll better stick with XYZ".

Can you give a concrete and extensive example of this? It's hard to
discuss such things with hypothetical scenarios.

Well, this is exactly the case why I have asked at the very beginning everyone not to try to play the catch-me this way.

I have given handful of examples, and if You really care, You'll find even more. Hint: video, graphics, acceleration..

Mplayer can be installed easily by adding the right line to your
sources.list. It's all over the internet. Same goes for codecs.

Yes, I'll try to replicate that sentence to my aunt or cousin. It will be of great help for sure.
Besides, if it is "that easy", why Debian just dosen't do it itself?

Besides, mplayer is starting to get increasingly obsolete. There are
less and less things that cannot be played by either gstreamer or xine.
Which both have a *much* saner design, too.

This is out of scope, however I also have much stuff that I cannot play on neither of these, but can on Mplayer. And I don't mean Windows Media by that.

True type fonts and flash have nice installer packages that will
download and install the stuff for you. What's the problem?

Did You try it in real? It dosen't work here. Seems that the server it tryes to access dosen't exist. Or it depends on some network configuration, that installer also haven't taken care of.

In case you missed it, there is now a java package in non-free for
unstable. Once etch releases, it will be in stable. Obviously we cannot
go ahead and change stable after the fact; but installing Java on a
Debian stable system is no harder than it is on a RedHat or Ubuntu or
Fedora or whatnot system. In fact, because of java-package, it's
actually easier to manage and uninstall if that ever becomes necessary.
I _really_ don't understand what your problem is here.

We're speaking about distributions that are intended for daily use, not for experiments. To make it clear, Debian 3.1 Sarge and Ubuntu 6.06. If the Etch has it, that's great. However that dosen't matter answering the "Debian is at least as good as Ubuntu, just needs more advertising". Would You advertise Etch? It is clearly advertised for Etch, that it is in TESTING state. Would You recommend it everyone for daily usage? I hope You'ld not.

Do you actually have a real and founded gripe, or are you just trolling?

Anyone that is in contact with average-joe-users, that are not skilled enough for using root console, will make the image himself.

1b, If things don't work, it's sometimes hard to get them working either. Example: Bug 372719. The OOo 2.0 keeps crashing for 2 months thank to KNOWN bug in security upgrade. Now tell somebody, that Debian is as good _for_average_Joe_user_ as Ubuntu. Or that Debian cares about average_Joe_user at least as much as Ubuntu does.

I can't comment on this; I'm writing this on the train, so have no
Internet access currently.

However, I will add that I haven't seen this bug on the stable systems
that I run; even though that of course doesn't have to mean anything, it
is at least an indication that the bug is not everywhere, and that it
may be a problem to track it down.

Not every stable system runs security updates, and even less desktop systems do. That might be a reason why "everyone complains" is not the case. And might even becouse there are just too few desktop installations of Debian, even less those that run security upgrades, and even less the enterprise installations, that could possibly complain. Average-Joe-user would never complain loudly. And the enterprices, that WOULD complain, often don't run security upgrades either, exactly in fear of such bugs that sneak inside the "security upgrades".

So there's not much voice to hear.

There is an infrastructure to support a fully i18n'ed environment upon
installation. It uses language-based tasks, and the installer will
install the task of the language you've used in the installer upon
completion of the installation. If you chose to install the desktop
task, it will also install the desktop-$language task (or was it
$language-desktop? not sure, doesn't really matter).

Do You speak of Debian Sarge? If true, than either the language-based tasks are incomplete, or don't work.

k3b actually has a "suggests" header for k3b-i18n. This means that if
you install k3b using a frontend such as apt-get or aptitude, it will
tell you up-front that there is a k3b-i18n package. They are separate
from eachother because k3b-i18n takes 15.2 MB when installed, whereas
k3b itself takes only half of that; some people may therefore prefer not
having k3b translations installed.

Altogether, You exactly paint that picture -many things can be done in Debian. The difference is, that in user-friendly system, the user shouldn't even care about that. In this example, user has already specified his national data during installation process. He shouldn't be forced to do anything over that to achiewe fully localised system.

"too" is a very subjective thing. I actually prefer not having to plan,
test, and execute upgrades every half year.

The too-slow release plan is oscilating in Debian community too; I haven't invented the issue. You may not need the new versions of desktop software. Many users do. If You remember, the last year of Woody, many users escaped to other desktop distro, because they just couldn't wait anymore for some useful desktop (Woody's one was piece of crap in comparison with anything else that days, let's face it).

We should, for certain kinds of software, shorten the release cycle to, say, 6 months.

You seem to think that it is possible to do this without having to
change the lower layers upon which you compile the software. This is
wrong. Newer versions of applications often require newer libraries to
support them, which in turn may also require newer versions of some
other packages. This is a very slippery slope.

It is pretty well possible. I keep the whole Debian. I just install a few newer applications on top of that. They work much better than the distributional ones.

For example, OOo 2.0 brings much better support for CUPS printing.
The Mozilla Firefox and Thunderbird 1.5 solves several printing issues that remain in the distributional, pretty "stable" ones. And others might need few other apps upgraded.

I don't know, if the newer version of GNOME worked with Sarge, and don't know whether it is needed. Might be.

However I agree, that modern distro might need recent version X.org because of graphical card's drivers, and that would take quite large changes in distro.

Debian can afford the luxury of keeping the basic system infrastructure for 18 months, however the desktop software grows very fast,

That is true. Does that mean everyone should upgrade just like that?


However, Everyone that needs upgrade should be allowed to do that easily. Otherwise we can only see them going where they're understood and taken care of.

user's often depend on its functionality (OpenOffice.org import
capabilities to mention some),

Not necessarily.

For You. Others might see the difference important enough.

and it's nearly impossible to maintain that old software in meaningful

Mind if we decide about that for ourselves?

That's exactly what I'm speaking of.

And who will ever use that ancient versions at the end.. Especially
painful in the end time of release's lifecycle.

Have you ever talked to someone who has to maintain, say, a network of
20.000 nodes?

I must humbly say, no, I haven't. My network is two grades smaller.

[...lots more trolling snipped...]


It is clear how you think about Debian. It is useful for an average
"Joe-user". Maybe not as much as Ubuntu; that is certainly true.
However, Debian does not *need* to be Ubuntu. It can certainly use
improvements in some areas (and these *are* being worked on; however
help is surely always welcome). One thing to remember, though, is that
the core things that make Debian what it is today and make it strong --
long release cycles providing long-term support; high degree of
customizability; low number of things that get in your way; and above
all, the virtual guarantee that if something makes it to Debian Stable,
it *will*just*work* -- should not be thrown out the window in the name
of "supporting the average Joe-user". There is no good reason to do so.

The guarantee is really a virtual one, as said before. Some problems just aren't fixed, some are kept hardwired because of ancient software, that has the problems already fixed in newer versions.

A little paraphrase: "stable" means, that feature bugs are kept for the whole release circle; don't expect them to get fixed."


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