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The role of Debian in presenting defaults (was: default messaging/VoIP client for Debian 8/Jessie)

Thomas Goirand <zigo@debian.org> writes:

> On 03/30/2014 06:55 PM, Matthias Urlichs wrote:
> > Thomas Goirand:
> >> P.S: […] I find the concept of default app bad in itself, and I
> >> think users should be given the choice, and it isn't the role of a
> >> distribution to choose for its users.
> >
> > Most new users don't know enough to choose.
> Excuse me to say it this way, but ... NO!
> I've read this too many times. You have absolutely no evidence of
> that.

He doesn't need evidence for the null hypothesis. Most *people* new to
any field have not enough information to choose. So it's the default
assumption to say that most newcomers to a field do not have enough
information in that field to choose.

If you're saying that's false in the specific case of application
software, what evidence do you have for that assertion?

There is much observational evidence that presenting expert-selected
defaults *is* helpful for most recipients; this is the “default effect”
in psychology. The Wikipedia page has useful information and many links

Based on that body of evidence, it *is* the role of an OS vendor to
choose sensible defaults for the recipient. There's no good reason to
think Debian is an exception to this.

> My point above was only that I don't think it's a good idea to install
> so many stuff by default.

That's a different statement, which should be separated from discussions
of the role of the OS vendor in presenting defaults to the user.

 \       “Don't worry about what anybody else is going to do. The best |
  `\             way to predict the future is to invent it.” —Alan Kay |
_o__)                                                                  |
Ben Finney

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