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Re: Debian redesign

I'm using Debian for about ten years now and I use it because "Debian
is different".
While I appreciate the intention to "position Debian better" I am
concerned about the general direction, I am missing what I think the
most important values of Debian.

"a modern look", "a modern operating System" (deb_redesign-talk1.jpg)
"it's adapting their image with the time we live
in" (deb_redesign-talk2.jpg) What's "modern" and what is "the time we
live in" with respect to software? It is
- taking away control over the user's computer from the user
- releasing unfinished software for the benefit of market share
- fighting competing software (and free software) with patents
- intentional incompatibilities for vendor lock in
- simply: fighting user freedom for the sake of share holder value. And
it's getting more and more aggressive in this times we live in. How is
Debian related to this? Just one way: "stand up against".

What is an image campaign?
Image campaigns are used by the advertising industry and everybody
knows: it's all about lying. It is the very essence of an image
campaign to *not* talk about the product but to try to associate the
product with something completely unrelated, something customers think
positive about, something they desire (unconsciously).
- smoke this brand of cigarette to feel free and have adventures
- drive this car (200 kW) to save our environment
- use this product and young women will queue up to kiss your feet (or
whatever). Debian must spread information not construct an image.

Some examples from debian_redesign and why I'm worried:
deb_redesign-talk7.jpg shows a proposal for the Debian home page. It
starts with "what is debian?" and ends with "all of it free." (in
bold). At the moment at http://www.debian.org/intro/about this is "It's
all free?" (mark the question mark) and it starts an *explanation* why
this can be. This is what makes Debian different. You don't promise free
beer, you explain what free software is all about.

While it may seem desirable to make Debian web pages look more
"light" and fresh: Debian web pages will stay mostly text. You need
text to explain. Debian is not "Everything is easy. Just click and
follow the instructions. No need to understand." Debian is "You want to
know how it works? Here is the (lengthy) explanation."

debian_illustration1.jpg to debian_illustration6.jpg show young people
using debian. While from an European point of view its difficult to
find something "sexually offending", the message is: "People using
Debian are young and pretty and sexy". Sorry, during the ten years of
using Debian my beard became grey and I will reach the age of 60 soon.
Debian didn't help. Should I use Ubuntu instead, or Windows? (And I
will not talk about all that young women surrounding me I'm missing.)

Debian is not young and sexy. Debian is an operating system (and more).
It is rock solid. It is developed by a community dedicated to free
software. Please stay Debian (including your image).

Werner Baumann

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