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Re: How to make Debian more attractive for users


after reading through this long thread, I find many somewhat diverging
opinions, but not a single posting I could not at least partially agree
to. This includes Lucas with "we should not include Debian money", while
I hope we could somehow have him agreeing to a separate account from
which any "Debian phone number and/or friendlier face" could possibly be
financed, with the community voting on what to do with profits (if any).
The problem I see with any Debian-independent solution is that we as a
community would have less of a control over it, and there is again the
problem of additional insecurity on the users' side if the number dialed
was the correct one. Maybe this analogon helps: I have one number on my
mobile called "Taxi" which will get me to the closest Taxi company,
wherever I happen to travel. A Debian number should ask for more than
GPS coordinates but also try to figure out what company is closest with
its spectrum of services/products, .... etc. I can imagine that many
smaller companies are also afraid of doing contracts or so in a foreign
language, i.e. there is a lot to which a central contact point may

>From Cate

On 07/22/2010 11:55 AM, Giacomo A. Catenazzi wrote:
> On 22.07.2010 10:38, Andreas Tille wrote:
>> On Thu, Jul 22, 2010 at 10:28:36AM +0200, Giacomo A. Catenazzi wrote:
>> [..]
>>> So, let see how to improve Debian, not how to increase
>>> our userbase!
>> I do not think that we succeed in improving Debian if the userbase is
>> decreasing.  IMHO this would mean we are trapped in an ivory tower.  So
>> both parameters "quality of distribution" and "number of users" are
>> somehow connected and you can not ignore this relation.
> Yes, my point is that we should think how to improve Debian (from
> our selfish point of view: an happy hacker programs more), and
> then users will follow us.
+1 we should always do that. And we are doing so at the very moment, I
> But the thread seems like: what we could steal from other distributions
Ooops, no, I definitely don't want to take users from other distros
away. When
pointers are made to others then because they may seem to do something
than us and this should make us think more.

I am after the many Linux users that are still isolated from us
distribution makers
for various reasons. I want to make them happier with us. This happiness
then shine over to other Linux distributions (sorry for that) but more
so I hope
to improve our product and get fewer people migrate to the Mac or come to us
from closed source OSes.
> to gain some market share. But I think all distribution are different
> and should try to be different, so ok to copy if we improve ourself,
> but not copying only to attract users.
We have so far mentioned the distributed-community-ness of Debian as a
And it certainly is when one thinks about making deals of various sorts.
But it is
a plus when a vendor wants to feel a part of a Linux distro. How can you
feel part of
SuSE? Well, you could buy some Novell stock, but this does not get you
in. You can
contribute to OpenSuSE, but this is not SuSE, still. Hence, I think we need
a <metaphoric>phone number</metaphoric> and the confidence of the community
that when that phone number is called that they would contacted as a member
of our community when the caller actually meant to call them but just
did not
know about their prior existance.
> IMHO the priorities are:
> 1- enjoy us (thus indirectly also to be proud of our product, so
> enjoying users)
> 2- quality and freedom
> 3- increase GNU/Linux (and other free kernels) users
> 4- increase our users
> IMHO most of this thread discusses only to the last point, without
> thinking some negative effects on the other points
This thread is about the observed _decrease_ of users (ok, probably some
is just from people on vacation having switched their machine off) and
we wonder
why this happens and what we should possibly change. The phone number(s)
help to weaken what separates "us" from "them", but I am otherwise fully
with you.

Many greetings


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