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Re: [RFR] wml://intro/about.wml

David Prévot wrote:
> Le 16/04/2013 23:13, Robert Pogson a écrit :
>> To the extent that more people using Debian GNU/Linux will make the world
>> a better place, I suggest these features not be "undersold". I propose
>> this wording for that paragraph,
> Please, find it attached in diff format (after slight editing), with the
> full updated source page. The resulted page can be seen on my test
> server too:
> 	http://www.tilapin.org/debian/intro/about.en#what
> Let me add the Debian L10n English team into the loop (that allows me to
> thank Justin for his tireless work, very welcome by the current DPN
> editors by the way), and ask if the proposed change is OK. Since there
> is more than one package manager, I’m not sure it’s the role of this
> page to focus only on this one (as done for good reason in other places
> like the release notes).

There's an argument that APT is more fundamental, in that aptitude,
synaptic, etc. are all based on the APT libraries.  It's true that
even a Debian system with just dpkg and dselect is already entitled to
claim that it has a package manager, but I think these days we're
entitled to leave dselect out of our adverts if we like.

I'm more worried that maybe we're _over_-selling APT with this claim
that these tools "allow a user to manage thousands of packages on
thousands of computers as easily as installing a single application".
But getting rid of my old bugbear the verb "allow" would fix that:

 machine), a package manager (APT) and other utilities that make it possible
 to manage thousands of packages on thousands of computers as easily as
 installing a single application. All of it <a href="free">free</a>.

Normally for a debconf review where I was imposing the "d-l-e house
stylesheet" I would also insert a serial comma after "(APT)", but I
think the Debian web pages are mostly consistent in following a
stylesheet with no such commas.  For instance, the previous paragraph
has "GNU/Linux, GNU/kFreeBSD and GNU/Hurd".
JBR	with qualifications in linguistics, experience as a Debian
	sysadmin, and probably no clue about this particular package
#use wml::debian::template title="About Debian"
#include "$(ENGLISHDIR)/releases/info"

<ul class="toc">
<li><a href="#what">WHAT is Debian anyway?</a>
<li><a href="#free">It's all free?</a>
<li><a href="#CD">You say free, but the CDs/bandwidth cost money!</a>
<li><a href="#disbelief">Most software costs over a hundred dollars. How can you give it
<li><a href="#hardware">What hardware is supported?</a>
<li><a href="#info">Before I decide, I need more information.</a>
<li><a href="#why">I'm still not convinced. What are some pros and cons of Debian?</a>
<li><a href="#install">How do I get Debian?</a>
<li><a href="#support">I can't set it up all by myself.
    Where do I get support for Debian?</a>
<li><a href="#who">Who are you all anyway?</a>
<li><a href="#users">Who uses Debian?</a>
<li><a href="#history">How'd it all get started?</a>

<h2><a name="what">WHAT is Debian?</a></h2>

<p>The <a href="$(HOME)/">Debian Project</a> is an association of
individuals who have made common cause to create a <a href="free">free</a>
operating system. This operating system that we have created is called

<p>An operating system is the set of basic programs and utilities that make
your computer run.
At the core of an operating system is the kernel.
The kernel is the most fundamental program on the computer and does all the basic
housekeeping and lets you start other programs.

<p>Debian systems currently use the <a href="https://www.kernel.org/";>Linux</a>
kernel or the <a href="http://www.freebsd.org/";>FreeBSD</a>
kernel. Linux is a piece of software started by 
<a href="http://www.cs.helsinki.fi/u/torvalds/";>Linus Torvalds</a>
and supported by thousands of programmers worldwide.
FreeBSD is an operating system including a kernel and other software.

<p>However, work is in progress to provide Debian for other kernels,
primarily for
<a href="http://www.gnu.org/software/hurd/hurd.html";>the Hurd</a>.
The Hurd is a collection of servers that run on top of a microkernel (such as
Mach) to implement different features. The Hurd is free software produced by the
<a href="http://www.gnu.org/";>GNU project</a>.

<p>A large part of the basic tools that fill out the operating system come
from the <a href="http://www.gnu.org/";>GNU project</a>; hence the names:
GNU/Linux, GNU/kFreeBSD and GNU/Hurd.
These tools are also free.

<p>Of course, the thing that people want is application software: programs
to help them get what they want to do done, from editing documents to
running a business to playing games to writing more software. Debian comes
with over <packages_in_stable> <a href="$(DISTRIB)/packages">packages</a> (precompiled
software that is bundled up in a nice format for easy installation on your
machine), a package manager (APT) and other utilities that make it possible
to manage thousands of packages on thousands of computers as easily as
installing a single application. All of it <a href="free">free</a>.

<p>It's a bit like a tower. At the base is the kernel.
On top of that are all the basic tools.
Next is all the software that you run on the computer.
At the top of the tower is Debian &mdash; carefully organizing and fitting
everything so it all works together.

<h2>It's all <a href="free" name="free">free?</a></h2>

<p>You may be wondering: why would people spend hours of their own time to write
software, carefully package it, and then <EM>give</EM> it all away?
The answers are as varied as the people who contribute.
Some people like to help others.
Many write programs to learn more about computers.
More and more people are looking for ways to avoid the inflated price of
A growing crowd contribute as a thank you for all the great free software they've
received from others.
Many in academia create free software to help get the results of
their research into wider use.
Businesses help maintain free software so they can have a say in how it develops --
there's no quicker way to get a new feature than to implement it yourself!
Of course, a lot of us just find it great fun.

<p>Debian is so committed to free software that we thought it would be useful if that
commitment was formalized in a written document. Thus, our
<a href="$(HOME)/social_contract">Social Contract</a> was born.

<p>Although Debian believes in free software, there are cases where people want or need to
put non-free software on their machine. Whenever possible Debian will support this.
There are even a growing number of packages whose sole job is to install non-free software
into a Debian system.

<h2><a name="CD">You say free, but the CDs/bandwidth cost money!</a></h2>

<p>You might be asking: If the software is free, then why do I have to pay
a vendor for a CD, or pay an ISP for downloading?

<p>When buying a CD, you are paying for someone's time, capital outlay
to make the disks, and risk (in case they don't sell them all). In other
words, you are paying for a physical medium used to deliver the software,
not for the software itself.

<p>When we use the word "free", we are referring to software
<strong>freedom</strong>, not that it's without cost. You can read more on
<a href="free">what we mean by "free software"</a> and
<a href="http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/free-sw";>what the Free Software
Foundation says</a> on that subject.

<h2><a name="disbelief">Most software costs over 100 US dollars. How can you give it away?</a></h2>

<p>A better question is how do software companies get away with charging so much?
Software is not like making a car. Once you've made one copy of your software, the
production costs to make a million more are tiny (there's a good reason Microsoft has
so many billions in the bank).

<p>Look at it another way: if you had an endless supply of sand in your backyard,
you might be willing to give sand away. It would be foolish, though, to pay for a truck
to take it to others. You would make them come and get it themselves (equivalent to
downloading off the net) or they can pay someone else to deliver it to their door (equivalent
to buying a CD).
This is exactly how Debian operates and why most of the CDs/DVDs are so cheap
(only about 12 USD for 4 DVDs).

<p>Debian does not make any money from the sale of CDs.
At the same time, money is needed to pay for expenses such as domain
registration and hardware. Thus, we ask that you buy from one of the
<a href="../CD/vendors/">CD vendors</a> that
<a href="$(HOME)/donations">donates</a> a portion of your purchase to Debian.

<h2><a name="hardware">What hardware is supported?</a></h2>

<p>Debian will run on almost all personal computers, including most older
models. Each new release of Debian generally supports a larger number of
computer architectures. For a complete list of currently supported ones,
see the <a href="../releases/stable/">documentation for the stable release</a>.

<p>Almost all common hardware is supported.
If you would like to be sure that all the devices connected to your machine
are supported, check out
the <a href="http://www.tldp.org/HOWTO/Hardware-HOWTO/";>Linux Hardware
Compatibility HOWTO</a>.

<p>There are a few companies that make support difficult by not releasing specifications
for their hardware. This means you might not be able to use their hardware
with GNU/Linux. Some companies provide non-free drivers, but that is a
problem because the company could later go out of business or stop support
for the hardware you have. We recommend that you only
purchase hardware from manufacturers that provide <a href="free">free</a> drivers for their

<h2><a name="info">I'm looking for more information.</a></h2>

<p>You may want to check out our <a href="$(DOC)/manuals/debian-faq/">FAQ</a>.
<h2><a name="why">I'm still not convinced.</a></h2>

<p>Don't take our word for it - try Debian yourself. Since hard disk
space has become less expensive, you can probably spare about 2GB.
If you don't want or need a graphical desktop, 600MB are sufficient.
Debian can be easily installed on this extra space
and can coexist with your existing OS. If you eventually need more space,
you can simply delete one of your OSes (and after you see the power of a
Debian system, we are confident you won't delete Debian).

<p>As trying a new operating system will take some of your valuable time,
it is understandable that you may have reservations. For this reason we
compiled a list of <a href="why_debian">pros and cons of Debian</a>. This
should help you decide whether you think it's worth it. We hope you'll
appreciate our honesty and frankness.

<h2><a name="install">How do I get Debian?</a></h2>

<p>It's most popular to install Debian from a CD which you can buy for the
price of the media at one of our many CD vendors. If you have good Internet
access, you can download and install Debian over the Internet.</p>

<p>Please see <a href="../distrib/">our page about getting Debian</a> for
more information.</p>

<p>If you haven't yet, you may want to first look at the
<a href="http://www.tldp.org/HOWTO/Hardware-HOWTO/";>Linux Hardware
Compatibility HOWTO</a>.

<p>Don't forget to take a look through the <a href="$(DISTRIB)/packages">packages</a>
we offer (hopefully you won't be intimidated by the sheer number).

<h2><a name="support">I can't set it up all by myself.
How do I get support for Debian?</a></h2>

<p>You can get help by reading the documentation which is available
both on the web site and in packages you can install on your system.
You can also contact us via the mailing lists or using IRC.
One can even hire a consultant to do the work.</p>

<p>Please see our <a href="../doc/">documentation</a> and
<a href="../support">support</a> pages for more information.</p>

<h2><a name="who">Who are you all anyway?</a></h2>

<p>Debian is produced by almost a thousand active
<a href="$(DEVEL)/people">developers</a> spread
<a href="$(DEVEL)/developers.loc">around the world</a> who volunteer
in their spare time.
Few of the developers have actually met in person.
Communication is done primarily through e-mail (mailing lists at
lists.debian.org) and IRC (#debian channel at irc.debian.org).

<p>The Debian Project has a carefully <a href="organization">organized
structure</a>. For more information on how Debian looks from the inside,
please feel free to browse the <a href="$(DEVEL)/">developers' corner</a>.</p>

<h2><a name="users">Who uses Debian?</a></h2>

<p>Although no precise statistics are available (since Debian does not
require users to register), evidence is quite strong that Debian is
used by a wide range of organizations, large and small, as well as
many thousands of individuals.  See our <a href="../users/">Who's
using Debian?</a> page for a list of high-profile organizations which
have submitted short descriptions of how and why they use Debian.

<h2><a name="history">How'd it all get started?</a></h2>

<p>Debian was begun in August 1993 by Ian Murdock, as a new distribution
which would be made openly, in the spirit of Linux and GNU. Debian was meant
to be carefully and conscientiously put together, and to be maintained and
supported with similar care. It started as a small, tightly-knit group of
Free Software hackers, and gradually grew to become a large, well-organized
community of developers and users. See
<a href="$(DOC)/manuals/project-history/">the detailed history</a>.

<p>Since many people have asked, Debian is pronounced /&#712;de.bi.&#601;n/. It
comes from the names of the creator of Debian, Ian Murdock, and his wife,
--- about.wml.old	2013-07-06 10:15:34.556925497 +0100
+++ about.wml	2013-07-06 10:12:49.029473996 +0100
@@ -56,7 +56,9 @@
 running a business to playing games to writing more software. Debian comes
 with over <packages_in_stable> <a href="$(DISTRIB)/packages">packages</a> (precompiled
 software that is bundled up in a nice format for easy installation on your
-machine) &mdash; all of it <a href="free">free</a>.
+machine), a package manager (APT) and other utilities that make it possible
+to manage thousands of packages on thousands of computers as easily as
+installing a single application. All of it <a href="free">free</a>.
 <p>It's a bit like a tower. At the base is the kernel.
 On top of that are all the basic tools.

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