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Re: A suggestion

Le Wednesday 26 March 2008 16:35:51 Mike Bird, vous avez écrit :
> The next DPL should have a solid plan for reversing Debian's decline.
> If this means that some architectures fall by the wayside for lack of
> interest then so be it.  Better to lose several 0.1% architectures
> than for Debian as a whole to continue the slide towards irrelevance.

It seems that you are mixing two issues.
One is the popularity of the system, the other is its quality and relevance.

So, yes debian "loses" users in the way that they go to Ubuntu, and then claim 
that it fits better than Debian.

Most of them are newbies that like the "plug and play" ubuntu way of designing 
the system. Fine, I'm even agruing in favour of Ubuntu for my friends that 
don't know much about Linux.

But I didn't choose to use Debian because it was more easy to install or 
because it had the latest 3D desktop fancy effects ready to use. At the time 
I first tried Debian, the installer would ask you to choose your network card 
kernel module, and for a true beginer, this was really not easy ;-)

I came to Debian because it is a general system, and because the community is 
able to choose for quality and technical things instead of meeting a 
deadline, or being the most appealing.

I'm sorry to say it like that, but I really don't care that Debian be the most 
used distribution on the universe. Really. 
Instead, I rather prefer a general system, even with old piece of software, 
but for which we all focus on quality, or software licences etc..

For instance, with all its releases, and backports in every directions, I 
don't really see how Ubuntu can be reliable in security. Being the maintainer 
of some webapps, for which security issues hapen often, I am sure that they 
didn't fixed each of them, simply because they have a different version in 
each release, and no security backports for each.

Now, about the social aspects, I also believe that Ubuntu plays a completly 
complementary role with Debian. In particular, the career of a linux user 
would be to start with Ubuntu. Easy to install, easy to use.
Then, if the user wants to get to know more the system, at some point it will 
have to get to know Debian, since it's the backbone of Ubuntu.

So, instead of "loosing" users, Debian simply attract less beginers, but will 
likely get experimented users that want to contribute and get to know the 
system. If, for instance, you look on the overall quality of users 
documentation and comments in Ubuntu forums, I'm often very thankfull we 
don't have such.

Then, it's very important for this to work well that we don't fork with 
Ubuntu. In particular, packaging or system standards should remain common, or 
at least very similar. Also, Ubuntu wouldn't have so many package if they 
couldn't backports ours, so this is also important for them.

If you are the big tree,
We are the small axe,
Ready to cut you down,
Sharpen to cut you down...

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