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Re: Feedback

Samuel Thibault <sthibault@debian.org> writes:

> Using version numbers would be more lacking social skills.  People
> prefer nicknames, not versions.

Version numbers are more useful the less familiar you are with the OS
because they have a well-defined order.  I've never needed them for
Debian, but, for example, I find the Mac OS X naming system rather
frustrating.  I rarely deal with Mac OS X, so when those who do start
talking about it, I'm usually left slightly baffled because I can't figure
out the ordering of names like "Lion," "Snow Leopard," or "Mountain Lion."
This is particularly frustrating during in-person conversations (on-line,
I can just look it up).

(If people's imagination are failing them about why this would matter in
conversation, consider statements like "I think that feature was
introduced in lenny" or "that should be fixed in wheezy" or "that system
is still running etch," and then consider the same statements with the
codenames replaced by version numbers and notice how much easier it is to
understand the context of that statement if you happen to know your local
system is running Debian 6 when you don't know any of the release names.)

Thankfully, Debian provides a perfectly reasonable version numbering
system (as, for that matter, does Apple), so all one has to do is remember
to use it with the uninitiated.  For example, our internal metrics on
adoption and migration to new OS releases that are sent to management
refer to "Debian 5" and "Debian 6" (and soon "Debian 7") rather than
lenny, squeeze, or wheezy.

It's worth noting that I never have the problem with Ubuntu that I have
with Mac OS X, despite having very little interaction with Ubuntu, since I
can always recover the ordering from the first character of the nickname.

Russ Allbery (rra@debian.org)               <http://www.eyrie.org/~eagle/>

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