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Re: General linux question.

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On Mon, 17 Oct 2005 21:18:34 +0200
Adrian von Bidder <avbidder@fortytwo.ch> wrote:

> On Monday 17 October 2005 04.20, stephen horvath wrote:
> > I do have a question that I have not received an answer.
> > What is the real difference in what is referred to as Red
> > Hat based or Debian based?

> the actual application programs [..] are the same

> The principal difference is in how software packages are
> distributed.

> Another difference [..] is the installer

> Also, the way to change system settings [..] is different.

An important difference not covered above is that Debian is driven by a
community effort - Redhat is driven by a corporation with stake
holders to worry about, with a geek community being only an "add-on".

In theory the packaging systems used in Debian (dpkg) and Redhat (rpm)
is quite similarly capable, but in reality the quality of packages and
their interdependencies differ alot between distributions. Debian is by
design a very "messy" place were each of a thousand developers are
granted very wide trust.

The way Debian solve structural problems (like "oops, these two
libraries conflict with each other - we need to choose only one of them
to use across lots of packages") are fundamentally different from a
corporation that can force decisions onto the paid developers. This is
partly what makes development of the Debian distribution so famously
slow, but also what (IMHO) makes the final result so much higher
quality: The actual geeks "compete" their pet approaches or find ways
to live happily side by side - instead of a management decision
possibly killing novel ideas too soon (or old stable solution too

 - Jonas

- -- 
* Jonas Smedegaard - idealist og Internet-arkitekt
* Tlf.: +45 40843136  Website: http://dr.jones.dk/

 - Enden er nær: http://www.shibumi.org/eoti.htm
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