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Re: free choice in installer?

On 11/10/2014 04:15 AM, Michael Ole Olsen wrote:
If there was a choice in the installer for Init system and boot loader there would be nobody complaining.
But here my point is to put it in perspective.  Somebody isn't going to get their way on this, whether it be the system they prefer as default, or level of possibility for using something different.

It doesn't matter that much.  Truly, it doesn't.  Jessie will still boot.

We have defaults for all sorts of things.  I probably grouse a little when I'm on some bare system and it has nano but not vim.  Proper reaction here: "*grumble* ....  oh well."  Use nano for the task at hand, apt-get install vim-tiny, and move on.

People only complain when there isn't a choice and they are forced to use something new.
That attitude is the enemy of progress.  The history of Linux is a history of people being forced to learn something new.  Or to put it a better way, of people getting to learn something new because of new features.  Linux has added loadable modules, we have multiarch support in Debian, we've added hardware autodetection, udev, ext[34], btrfs, LVM, parted, SATA disks... the list goes on and on.  If everybody had an immediate negative reaction to change, we'd all still be using DOS.

Perhaps what you mean is change without good reason.  I agree that can be frustrating.  I think the debate here is whether there is good reason for the change.  As we have seen, reasonable people disagree.

My intent with this message is not to advocate one position or the other, but to suggest that although convictions run high, it's not worth getting angry over.

forced to use ext4 instead of ext3

forced to use grub instead of lilo

forced to use systemX instead of systemY

forced to use GUI desktop crap when they want a server (ubuntu)
There is a cost to choice.  Perhaps that is part of what the discussion is about: is it worth it?

Here are some more examples where there is no choice in Debian:

no python1.5 or python2.6 in jessie
emacs24 instead of emacs22
XOrg instead of XFree86
udev and initramfs pretty much must be installed by default
can't run it on a system with 16MB RAM (rex's stated hardware requirements were 4MB RAM and 40MB disk)
can't install it from floppies
can't run it on an 80386 CPU

Some of these are, at first glance, regressions from earlier versions.  There are reasons for this.  One is that it takes effort to maintain lots of different options, and nobody has found it important enough to put in all that effort.  Another is that certain options/requirements (systems with only 4MB RAM) are so rare these days that trying to support them would cause a lot of inconvenience and extra work for the vast majority of users or developers.  For instance, initramfs and loadable kernel modules give us hardware autodection that works better than it does in Windows, and requiring a bit more than 4MB RAM is a wonderfully small price to pay in today's world for that feature.

Some of the above were controversial at the time.  There are also plenty of examples where there is abundant choice in Debian (architecture support, filesystem support, desktop support, editors, web browers... the list is vast.)

Again, this message is not about saying what option is preferable.  It is about pointing out that reasonable people can have different opinions.  And, most importantly, that what happens in the end is that the project is still here, Debian still rocks, and the world moves on (or at least ought to.)


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