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Re: "Debian Powered" Logo

On Fri, Jun 30, 2006 at 12:14:03PM -0500, Ean Schuessler wrote:

> I never cared for their "de-branding" of Debian's work

Well, it's not like they had a whole lot of choice in the matter.  I
have long felt that we should make it easy for third-parties to
"rebrand" Debian.  That would encourage people to build on Debian, to
package it and resell it, to pre-install it.  Remember that one
complaint many hardware vendors have had about Windows is that MS
refuses to allow any customization.  Free software is _supposed_ to be

If we made it easy to rebrand Debian, that would encourage people to
resell it, and it would give us some control over how that rebranding
was done, allowing us to encourage them to promote themselves AND us!

Imagine how, say, Dell might react if they could just drop in a small
package full of images, and have Debian come up showing their logos
and contact info _as well as_ our own.

As it is, rebranding Debian is hard, and the simplest path is simply
to replace Debian's name with your own.

> and creating negative press for the project.  True or not, Ubuntu
> entered the marketplace with the message of "we're going to fix
> Debian because its broken"

I don't think it created that negative press, though.  I think the
negative press already existed, and that made it all to easy for
people to leap to the conclusion that Ubuntu was going to fix what was
"broken" with Debian.  If we hadn't let our release cycle get out of
control, I think people would have seen Ubuntu as "Debian, specialized
for the desktop" rather than as "Debian, fixed".

I'm not saying that Ubuntu is blameless in all this, but I do think
that some people are a bit too ready to assign all the blame to
Ubuntu, and overlook our own missteps.  Back in the late nineties, I
tried to raise some discussion about making rebranding an option, and
nobody seemed to be interested.

Look at what's happened to most of Red Hat's forks.  They've pretty
much gone off in their own direction, to the point where many are
barely identifiable as forks any more.  I've long felt that Debian had
the opportunity to be different, because Debian is non-commercial and
volunteer-based.  Red Hat's brand is a valuable part of their
business; we don't have a business for our brand to be a valuable part
of!  If we overcome some of our pride, and work with Ubuntu, perhaps
we can make it easier for the next fork (and yes, I'm sure there will
be one) to remain obviously a part of the Debian family.

Chris Waters           |  Pneumonoultra-        osis is too long
xtifr@debian.org       |  microscopicsilico-    to fit into a single
or xtifr@speakeasy.net |  volcaniconi-          standalone haiku

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