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Re: Complaint about #debian operator

martin f krafft <madduck@debian.org> writes:

> I don't think any discussion comparing Debian to Ubuntu is off-topic
> for Debian. Ubuntu is not just another distro. It just so happens
> that a lot of Debian folks try to ignore Ubuntu's existence, or
> start behaving weirdly when the focus turns to Ubuntu.

Wanting to understand the differences between Debian and Ubuntu is great
in theory.  In practice, that sort of discussion in a real-time forum
turns into advocacy probably 95% of the time, and then often becomes both
off-topic (if the forum isn't there for advocacy) and acrimonious.  Just
because something is a legitimate topic doesn't mean that an IRC channel
can handle it.

The best forum for that sort of comparison is probably a web page, where
one can take one's time to really think through the differences, string
more words together than one can in IRC, and do some editing to avoid
giving offense or verging too far into advocacy.  If no one has yet
written such a web page, that's a shame, but trying to talk about it on
IRC probably isn't going to get us any closer.

It's amusing to note that, even in this e-mail thread...

> A user coming to #debian wondering why Ubuntu would get so much
> publicity and inquiring about the differences mainly shows that people
> have not forgotten that Ubuntu is Debian, and not the other way
> around. I think it is better for "plain users" to go with Ubuntu, while
> power users may want to use Debian instead. Our priorities are our
> users, so isn't it better to help a future Ubuntu user realise that
> Ubuntu is a better choice, than to risk gaining a Debian user who'll be
> frustrated and throw in the towel soon?

...it took only a scant handful of messages for this to turn into an
advocacy debate.  I'm not at all surprised; that's what happens.

Russ Allbery (rra@debian.org)               <http://www.eyrie.org/~eagle/>

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