Hi Nigel and others, On Mon, Mar 15, 2010 at 11:15:38PM +0900, Nigel Barker wrote:
Things like flash and java are just an apt-get away. However, if Debian won't install on our hardware, that is a much harder problem to solve. For example I have spent many hours getting skolelinux to work on laptops purchased with ubuntu. Of course that's not debian's fault, but you feel that if it works on ubuntu, it shoudn't be so hard to get it to work on debian.
If that is what you feel, I suspect you are missing an important point: Ubuntu and Debian use same framework, but have different views on what is ok to stuff into that same framework: Ubuntu has a more pragmatic view on freedom principles.
In other words: If you want "Debian spiced up with non-free stuff", you really do not want Debian but Ubuntu.
Those laptops use NVIDIA for graphics and/or network, right?If you want to buy hardware and use Debian on it, then do not rely on Ubuntu for assurance, but lookup web pages and wiki pages documenting actually running Debian on the device considered. Pay special attention to whether those install descriptions instruct you to install something from other sources than Debian - which is a hint to you that they in fact do not run Debian but "Debian spiced up with non-free stuff".
This is not just a Debian preaching. For Ubuntu you should beware if some hardware need a "PPA" to work properly. And no doubt there are similar unofficial camps around Gentoo, Fedora and other distros too.
Debian take pride in some freedom principles that Ubuntu is more pragmatic about.
Anyway, keep up the good work is what I want to say :) Free software in schools is getting stronger every year, and skolelinux is a big factor in that.
...and pragmatic mindset blurs the perception of "Free". If enough users enjoy non-free Java being "just an apt-get away" then those non-free offerings from Adobe, NVIDIA and SUN are part of what is "getting stronger". Haleluja!
Convenience and Freedoms are only sometimes the same. Regards, - Jonas -- * Jonas Smedegaard - idealist & Internet-arkitekt * Tlf.: +45 40843136 Website: http://dr.jones.dk/ [x] quote me freely [ ] ask before reusing [ ] keep private
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