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Re: Better hardware support etc (Was: Debian Edu + Skolelinux: 2 names, 2 distros, 1 project)

Hi Petter, and others,

On Mon, Mar 15, 2010 at 07:07:10PM +0100, Petter Reinholdtsen wrote:
[Jonas Smedegaard]
In other words: If you want "Debian spiced up with non-free stuff", you really do not want Debian but Ubuntu.

Some obviously believe this to be true, while I do not. I believe Debian also is for those that need to "spice" it up with non-free stuff.

Hmm - confusingly I agree with above, actually.

The little important detail is that I consider the result of Debian + spice as not Debian. Just as Linux developers may not want to debug a tainted kernel, Debian developers may not want to debug a system tainted by non-Debian packages.

Or put in other (i.e. your) words: I believe Debian also is for those that need to "spice" it up with non-free stuff and is capable of dealing with the resulting cocktail.

...which counts out some users buying a laptop with Ubuntu expecting it to then seamlessly work with Debian too.

I know I have several Debian Developers who agree with me that Debian should cater for all users, and try to make the user experience as good as possible, also for those that need to use non-free software, firmware or drivers.

I agree with above. I have no interest in punishing users that want or need non-free parts, and want to help smothen the gap.

That said, non-free is not my highest priority, and in some cases gets in the way of other goals having higher priority - so we might not agree on what exactly "as good as possible" really means in the end.

And for the Skolelinux project, our guiding star have always been to work on what will make the resulting "product" useful to as many schools as possible.

Yes. I understand and respect that (for Skolelinux the *project* - not to be confused with Skolelinux the "Debian Pure Blend" subproject or product).

So, I believe you should pick Debian even if you need it spiced up with non-free stuff, because Debian provide stability, quality and integration on a level very few other distrubions can compete with. :)

Specifically in the area of integration with non-free parts, I do not agree that Debian provides best integration.

If non-free parts are *not* crucial to an installation but only, well, spice, then I agree: Debian has *generally* the best integration.

It is my understanding, however, that some users find the non-free parts like commercial-grade multimedia capabilities crucial and less worried about the many other parts making up an operating system.

Kind regards,

 - Jonas

* Jonas Smedegaard - idealist & Internet-arkitekt
* Tlf.: +45 40843136  Website: http://dr.jones.dk/

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