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Re: Why "free" shouldn't have to mean "complicated"

On Mon, 5 May 2003 00:54:07 +0200, Felix Steiner
<felix_steiner@bluewin.ch> said:  

> Good evening In the past weeks I tried to "get out of my
> Windows-world" (Apple TV-ad).  Because I couldn't change to a Mac
> (I'm a student -- and students do not have any money as you know) I
> tried a lot of software. Just a short overview:

> What is the aim of free software -- and what it sould be: It's to
> make free software. Software everybody can change, expand, develop.
> Everybody can run (and it can cost). Not everybody is a
> developer. Everybody is Joe Sixpack that wants to have a computer
> that works. No configuring, no compiling, no choosing. Well, he
> could buy a Mac -- but as you know, J. S.  hasn't the money or the
> spirit to do.

	I am not sure I am interested in creating an appliance to be
 used by people who have no interest in learning.  Appliances, in an
 attempt to be simple to use, limit the choices and configuration
 options to the extent that the lack of power turns me off. 

	I much prefer having a versatile tool, and most tools require
 a modicum of a learning curve. (The example I cite is refreigerator
 -- simple tp operate, does one thing; hand axe; can be used for more
 things [originally, hacker means one who makes furniture with an

> If you thinkg that he has heard of Linux -- and is going to the next
> Best Buy to get the newest RedHat because people said it is the
> easiest way to get "free software" -- it isn't J. S. any more. An OS
> should be simple and impressing enough to be preinstalled on
> Computers.

	An interesting observation. Indeed, hardware detection is
 something being worked on. But if wishing would fill wells ...

> There is no real difference between Suse, RedHat, Debian,
> Mandrake, SCO (besides spiritual aspects). They all are very, very
> complicated to J. S.

	Yes. There is no difference between a BMW and a Yugo to some
 one who can not drive either. The point? 

> If your aim is to bring (free) software to everybody --

	Mine is not.

> J. S. included -- why don't you do it?

	because that is not my goal. 

>                Why are there still hundreds
> of steps to do before J.
> S. can run his WYSIWYG-LaTeX-distribution and get documents you can
> look at (not as docs made in MS Word)? Why has he to chose a
> Window-Manager?

	Because all the world is not made of identical cookie cutter
 robots. Choice is good, it allows one to find a set of applications
 that suit one.

> Why has he to choose thousands of packages to be installed? Why has
> he a Webserver on his machine? Why an FTP-server?  Why to read tons

	Choice. is. good.

> of pages of descriptions to install (and not as in Mac OS X just 30
> beautiful pages, 1 single page to install the iMac)?

	If limited choices are appealing, why not go for an OS that
 limits choices for you?

> Why has he first of all to download hundreds of megabytes of data?

	Enlightment does not come easily.

> Why isn't there a bridge between developer and user,

	Because no one so far has been interested in making one. 

> why isn't there a "debian smart"-distribution for my loved J. S.?

	because I would much rather give the novice an opportunity to
 learn and improve himself.

> Being installed from J. S's ugly Windows XP GUI in three steps
> (chosing auto-partitioning that doesn't delete the whole disk,
> chosing his country and his language, rebooting) and being able to
> work (doing configuration later -- or automaticly for usb-devices)?
> Why isn't working intuitive?

	No user interface is intuitive. Even the nipple has to be
 learned, and some mothers and babies ahve a tough timew with even

> Why don't you bring to customers what they are asking for in 310 MBs
> (or 420 or whatever -- but less than 650 MBs)?

	Cause they are not paying me enough. Hint: I do not have
 customers, or work for customers: I work for people like me,
 collaboratively creating an OS. 

> Why isn't the customer being entertained, why can't he _love_ and
> not only like his product? Why isn't he waiting for announcements
> and praying for some entertaining news?

	My going rate is $250/hour. Once the customer is willing to
 bear the cost, I'll do whatever he wants of me, to the best of my

	If you are not willing to pay for the debian developers, you
 can't pull the "But we are customers!! We reigh supreme!!" card.

> It would be that simple. It would be that great.

	If it is that simple, I am waiting for you to submit the
 patches to make it happen.


Real Programmers always confuse Christmas and Halloween because OCT 31
== DEC 25 ! Andrew Rutherford (andrewr@ucs.adelaide.edu.au)
Manoj Srivastava   <srivasta@debian.org>  <http://www.debian.org/%7Esrivasta/>
1024R/C7261095 print CB D9 F4 12 68 07 E4 05  CC 2D 27 12 1D F5 E8 6E
1024D/BF24424C print 4966 F272 D093 B493 410B  924B 21BA DABB BF24 424C

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