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Re: [debian-knoppix] Open accounting and Open source

On April 27, 2003 02:25 pm, Jose Carlos Garcia Sogo wrote:

> > Debian already receives some money though a company they've set
> > up called "Software in the Public Interest, Inc." It seems to
> > cather not only to Debian, but also to Fresco, GNOME -- GNOME,
> > hear this Klaus!!!! :) -- LSB, OFTC, Open Source (.org) and GNU
> > TeXmacs. How much, in what proportion, God knows.
>  SPI is not a company, but a non-profit organization as it's
> stated at spi-inc.org main page.

Let's not get into legalese, somehow it's a registered endeavour 
(Inc). it's not just friends who gathered to get money. That's what I 

>   If your donation is earmarked for Debian, all the money goes to
>   Debian. 

Maybe it should be said on the site. And, as I explained already, I 
believe accounting should be open, whether on Debian's site or 
wherever the money comes from in smaller quantities. This is basic. 
People want to make sure their money is put to some use and is not 
diverted to somebody's pocket.

> Anyway, I have CC'ed spi-general list so proper people
> can answer you this better (Branden?)

I can see the effet already :) I hope your CC helps bring Debian's 
developpers' attention to Knoppix even more.

> > What we do know is that, though Debian has hundreds of
> > developpers, it seems none of them found that devising a decent
> > installation program was an endeavour worth undertaking. If Klaus
> > Knopper wasn't born, the world would still be stuck with the
> > fucked up Debian script for installation.

>   What's the problem with Debian's installation? It works quite
> well for almost all people if you follow default steps. 

Mark has already answered this question, but I'd like to add just a 
few words. As Bruce says, the present installation script is a 
rewrite of his script, which was based on Ian Murdock's.

>From my point of view, it seems all modifications have finally piled 
up one upon the other and there are stings hanging all over the 
place. As you say, you better follow "default" steps and even then, 
as Marks observes, there is no way a newbie can understand the 
questions asked.

I succeeded in installing Debian but KPPP had disappered from the 
menu, replaced by a tool for PPPoE and I didn't want to deal with 
WvDial because I didn't feel competent enough on security issues. So, 
instead of going to newsgroups and receiving advice from people who 
are maybe even less competent than I, and wonder and ponder for days, 
I scrapped the installation.

This was a very obvious issue with Woody. Sitting by newbies with 
different systems to see how they could manage, would have spotted 
the problem right away. But Debian developpers don't do that and so, 
much of their work is doomed from a "customer" POV.

> Anyway,
> FYI, a new debian-installation system is being worked on. 

I'm glad to hear this.

> If you
> feel that Debian needs a better (I suppose GUI based) installation
> system, your contribution is welcomed.

I absolutely don't care about whether hte installer is GUI based or 
not. I want clear instructions and error control, just as in any good 

>   And as I see, Knoppix doesn't "install" but copies a yet
> installed system into your hard disk, which is a bit different
> concept.

Then comes the question, how was the system in RAM first installed? :)

At the end, where's the difference, except that, at the present time, 
the script installs all the software. All you have to do afterwards 
if you need more space is to "apt-get uninstall".

Once you will have Knoppix installed -- I'm quite surprised that, as a 
Debian developper you haven't done this already! -- you might find 
that even GUI installation programs are for the most part now 

Most probably you will understand much better than I what kind of a 
tedious hell Klaus Knopper has got into, trying to enter the data so 
that this mobo, monitor, modem whatever works properly.

Just as Kudzu was open, Knoppix's program is open. It's there for the 
taking. Whereas Debian's developers never considered going into the 
pains of writing such a program, Klaus did because he had a simple 
project (nothing to do with HURD, see what I mean?) : put a CD in any 
computer and snap! it would boot to the GUI with everything 
working... unless the hardware is not Linux compatible, which is what 
he wanted to find out FAST.

That's the kind of thing normal computer users really appreciate. But 
Debian developeprs doesn't give a shit about this because it's... not 
likely to bring them into the limelight. But... things don't always 
work out the way that you plan :)

> > Upgrading packages is not a project apt to bring the author's
> > name to the forefront. So people prefer to work on HURD or
> > whatever. So I doubt that even money sent to Software... Inc.
> > will bring the security fixes any faster.
>   Debian is made by volunteers, which focus on whatever they have
>   interest on. And people working in security are also volunteers
> which have their lifes. If you want, you can contribute yourself or
> pay some developers to work in security.

Well... I've seen what Debian's 900 or so developpers have done so far 
about a thing I needed -- an easy installtion -- and what private 
first class Knopper did as a single developper and I'd rather put the 
latter in charge of choosing who's going to be in charge of fixing 
security problems. Don't you think it makes sense?

Maybe SPI could have another earmarking category named Knoppix?

>   I'm not against Knoppix receiving money if it needs it and will
> use it to improve the system, but I'm trying to show that there are
> other ways to make it productive.

Give Knoppix a try :)

La Masse critique
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