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Debian compatibility label (Re: Debian's Future in the Coporate World)

On Wednesday 09 March 2005 18.47, Atwal, Steve wrote:
> - I've been using versions of Debian (namely Libranet) on 5-6 Linux
> servers at work for years. I'm facing increasing opposition from senior
> management to justify using Debian as opposed to RedHat due to the fact
> that most major hardware and software vendors do not list Debian as being
> supported by their product, e.g. Plone, IBM hardware, etc.

I've toyed with the idea to create a 'Debian - it just works' label and try 
to get vendors to add it on their stuff (right besides the 'Designed for 

I've thought about starting a business with this, but after discussion with 
several people I realize that I currently certainly can't make a living 
from this right now, and there are issues around me monopolizing this and 
thus alienating Debian folks, so I'm more or less dropping the idea for 

I'm still convinced that Debian could benefit hugely by this.

Several possibilities:
 - Companies that currently support Debian create that label (VA and Sun 
Wah? Ubuntu?)
 - SPI and the Debian project create that label and create criteria as to 
what the label really means and who can test for compliance.
 - Debian people work on this on a non-profit basis, Debian awards the logo 
directly to products that qualify (without the involvement of the vendors - 
it would more become a 'Debian supports this' database instead of the 'We 
support Debian' thingy that I'd really like to see.)

It would certainly be best if it would be officially blessed by the Debian 
project (and the (tm) on the label/slogan probably held by SPI) - but with 
Debian's current structure and decision-making processes, I can't see this 
happening before 2030.  OTOH it's perfectly legal for somebody to use the 
open-use logo and start this without official Debian involvement - but it'd 
need to be done carefully, no sense stomping on the toes of 70% of all DDs.

The BIG question is:  would companies be ready to put that logo on their 
product information web pages (and/or ads etc.)?  Would they be willing to 
pay for this?  I could imagine that companies like HP, who already support 
Debian, could be convinced to work together with Debian (or whoever 
implements this) - early adaptors get the benefit of influencing how the 
logo program would work.  And once the Debian logo is on one or two HP ads, 
I hope others will follow.

(And let us be honest:  We want this logo to be very easily obtained.  It's 
primarily a marketing toy.  So, I imagine something like 'Ah, they mention 
that this display runs with Linux and XFree in their documentation.  So 
they can have this logo.' - perhaps even let companies self-certify, and 
have them sign a contract that says a public list of companies/products not 
fulfilling the criteria can be kept and they will accept appearing on this 
black list.)

Ok, and now I give the word to the 'Debian don't need no stinking marketing' 
counter argument :-)

-- vbi

Beware of the FUD - know your enemies. This week
    * Patent Law, and how it is currently abused. *

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