(replying on -project, so others can comment on it as well)

On Fri, Jun 18, 2004 at 09:45:46PM -0500, J.B. Nicholson-Owens wrote:
> I was reading the Debian weekly news and I came across a link to an
> announcement of the flyer.  Reading the flyer's English text, I see some
> language that puzzles me.  Perhaps you could help me better understand what
> is going on.
>
> > Debian is a free operating system (OS) [...]
>
> You don't use the acronym "OS" anywhere else.  In fact, the term "operating
> system" is repeated (and more clear than yet-another-acronym).  I don't
> understand why the acronym is introduced.

I've removed the acronym, thanks.

> > Debian is currently based on the Linux kernal [...]
>
> Isn't there a GNU distribution from Debian (I believe the official GNU
> distribution, actually)?  Isn't this based on the HURD kernal replacement?
> Also, what about the Debian project being based on one of the BSD systems?

All the ports to other kernels are far from a release, that's why we say
Debian is 'currently based on the Linux kernel', while it might be based
on other kernels in the future.

I don't think it makes sense to waste space here for semantic
differences, like saying 'The released Debian distribution is currently
based on the Linux kernel'. That would be more confusing, IMHO.

> > Community: [...] aiming at producing a world-class Open Source operating
> > system.

This has been changed to 'Free Software operating system'. but I don't
remember whether that was in reaction to your post or done earlier.

> Prior to this, the poster takes time to define what is meant by free
> software. This is most appropriate and good to see.  But here, the term
>  "Open Source" is used.  The DFSG predates the Open Source Initiative (as
> noted on the poster) and the two don't speak to the same goals (open source
> has to do with a development methodology aimed at being friendly to
> businesses, software freedom speaks to all computer users and encourages
> equality and not treating businesses as a special audience in any way).  I
> don't understand why open source gets a mention in the poster at all.  It
> seems to have nothing to do with what Debian does.

The Open Source Initiative was co-founded by core Debian people. Debian
does endorse people to build their business on top of Debian.

While I personally agree that Debian is perhaps a bit more leaning
towards Free Software than Open Source, I think the whole debate is
quite moot. Open Source definetely has to do with what Debian does to a
certain extent.

Getting back to the flyer, it seems the current version mentions Open
Source only in connection with the DFSG and the derived OSI, in order to
reduce confusion.

I've attached the current diff to english.tex.

Michael

--
Michael Banck
Debian Developer
mbanck@debian.org

Index: english.tex
===================================================================
RCS file: /var/cvs/debian/goodies/flyers/general/english.tex,v
retrieving revision 1.9
diff -u -r1.9 english.tex
--- a/english.tex	24 Jun 2002 11:16:51 -0000	1.9
+++ b/english.tex	27 Jun 2004 13:33:24 -0000
@@ -21,14 +21,17 @@

\def\WhatIsDebian{
%
-Debian is a free operating system (OS) for your computer. An operating
-system is the set of basic programs and utilities that make your
-computer run. At the core of every operating system is the kernel.  It
-is the most fundamental program on the computer: it does all the basic
-housekeeping and lets you start other programs. Debian is currently
-based on the Linux kernel and includes more than 9,500 packages of
-utilities and applications. Almost 1,000 developers are working hard
-to maintain Debian's high quality.
+Debian is a free operating system for your computer.  It includes all
+types of applications you need for typical usage.  Debian is currently
+based on the fast, featureful and stable Linux kernel, which controls the
+hardware and distributes the system resources to the applications.  On top
+of the kernel the GNU tools provide applications with a powerful
+environment to perform all the basic tasks one expects from an operating
+system, hence the name GNU/Linux.
+%Debian currently includes more than
+%10,000 packages of applications and utilities.
+%Almost 1,000 developers are
+%working hard to maintain Debian's high quality.
%
}

@@ -40,7 +43,7 @@
don't just mean zero cost, but also the Freedom to use it how and where you
want, share it with your friends, read and modify the source code, and
distribute those changes to other people.  This means Debian can be
-used with no limitations - even in commercial environments!  Debian is
+used with no limitations - even in commercial environments!  Debian includes
the largest collection of ready-to-install Free Software on the Internet.
%
}
@@ -49,14 +52,13 @@

\def\Community{
%
-The Debian project is a 100\% volunteer effort aiming at producing
-a world class Open Source operating system. There are currently about
+The Debian project is a 100\% volunteer effort aimed at producing
+a world class Free Software operating system. There are currently about
1,000 people from around the world developing the Debian
-system, each with roles ranging from package development through
-quality assurance, security, policy, and strategy. The Debian project
-is engaged to the principles of software freedom and openness. Its
-commitment is plainly stated in the Debian Social Contract published
-at
+system, each with roles such as package development, quality assurance,
+security, policy, and strategy. The Debian project is committed to the
+principles of software freedom and openness. Its commitment is plainly
+stated in the Debian Social Contract published at
\boxurl{http://www.debian.org/social_contract}. The Debian Free Software
Guidelines describe the criteria that licenses for software included
in the Debian operating system must meet. The Open Source Definition
@@ -64,18 +66,33 @@
%
}

+\def\UsabilityCaption{Usability}
+
+\def\Usability{
+%
+Debian is both easy to install on mainstream computers and deployable on a
+wide range of hardware with high flexibility. The Debian packaging system
+permits a seamless transition to new versions of programs and dependencies
+between programs are handled automatically. You can easily install and
+upgrade the whole system or specific packages over a network connection or
+using CD-ROMs.  The Debian configuration system provides a consistent and
+flexible approach to configuration and will respect the administrator's
+changes.
+%
+}
+
\def\ContinuityCaption{Continuity}

\def\Continuity{
%
The Debian packaging system permits a seamless transition to newer
program versions without the requirement to begin a new installation
-from scratch, and it won't delete your old configuration.
+from scratch, and it won't delete your manual configurations.
Dependencies between programs are handled automatically:
If a package which you want to install
requires another package, the installer takes care of it.
-You can install and upgrade using disks,
-CD-ROMs, or over a network connection.
+You can easily install and upgrade over a network connection or using
+CD-ROMs.
%
}

@@ -112,25 +129,25 @@

\def\Included{
%
-Actually, the complete Debian GNU/Linux distribution fits barely on 6 CDs
-(architecture-dependent precompiled binaries, even more CDs with source). Inside
-you'll find:
+The complete Debian GNU/Linux distribution includes over 10,000
+packages.  Inside you'll find:
%
}

\def\Utilities{
%
-the full set of GNU utilities, editors (emacs, vi,~\ldots), network
-clients (telnet, ftp, finger,~\ldots), web browsers, privacy tools
-(gpg, ssh,~\ldots), email clients, and every little tool you can think
-of
+the full set of GNU utilities, editors (emacs, vi,~\ldots),
+%network
+%clients (telnet, ftp, finger,~\ldots),
+web browsers, privacy tools (gpg, ssh,~\ldots), email clients, and every little
+tool you can think of
%
}

\def\Networking{
%
-full set of network protocols (PPP, TCP/IP, Apple\tm\ EtherTalk,
-Windows\tm\ SMB, Novell\tm,~\ldots)
+network clients and servers for all major protocols (HTTP, PPP,
+TCP/IP, Apple\tm\ EtherTalk, Windows\tm\ SMB, Novell\tm,~\ldots)
%
}

@@ -138,14 +155,15 @@
%
development tools for the major programming languages (and some of the
more obscure ones as well) like: C, C++, Objective-C, Java, Python,
+Perl, Lisp, Ruby and many more
%
}

\def\Windowsystem{
%
-the X11 Window System, complete with dozens of window managers and the
-two leading desktops: Gnome and KDE
+two complete, integrated and easy to use desktop environments: GNOME and
+KDE, each including all the basic desktop applica\-tions for home and office
+productivity.
%
}

@@ -166,8 +184,8 @@

\def\Office{
%
-a complete set of office applications: WYSIWYG editors, calendars,
+OpenOffice.org, a complete office suite with Microsoft\tm\ Office file
+format compatibility
%
}

@@ -179,6 +197,22 @@
%
}

+\def\Packagemanagment{
+%
+the APT package system, which lets you install a package including all its
+dependencies over the internet with one command, as well as easy to use
+frontends for it (aptitude, synaptic)
+%
+}
+
+\def\Applications{
+%
+the Evolution and Kontact groupware suites, the GIMP graphics
+program, the Mozilla web browser and numerous other high-quality desktop
+applications
+%
+}
+
\def\KnowMoreCaption{Want to know more?}

\def\KnowMore{
@@ -193,18 +227,17 @@

\def\Install{
%
-If you want to install Debian GNU/Linux, you can download the install
-floppies from \boxurl{ftp://ftp.debian.org/} and then go for a network
-install, or order some Debian CDs. Debian does not sell CDs itself but
-provides Official CD Images that numerous vendors print and sell.
-For details about the Official CD Images simply go to
-\boxurl{http://www.debian.org/CD/}.
+If you want to install Debian GNU/Linux, visit
+\boxurl{http://www.debian.org/distrib/} for further information.  Debian
+does not sell CDs itself but provides Official CD Images that numerous
+vendors print and sell.  For details about the Official CD Images simply go
+to \boxurl{http://www.debian.org/CD/}.
%
}