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No good user experience of Debian (Was: Packaging r-bioc-simpleaffy)

Hi Tony,

I would like to discuss this topic in a separate thread on
debian-project where it might belong to.

On Mon, Feb 28, 2011 at 12:55:58AM +0000, Tony Travis wrote:
> it would not be a good user experience at all running it under Debian with  
> Iceweasel instead of Firefox, for example, and lots of non-free things  
> missing. These things do matter, even though we all know that the two  
> Linux platforms are almost identical underneath the GUI...
> The vast majority of biologists use M$ Windows on their desktop, and  
> don't care about the server. However, to encourage biologists to use  
> Linux on the desktop as, presumably Debian-Med wants to, the user  
> experience needs to be at least as good as M$ Windows and preferably  
> better. I've just tried Debian 6 - It really is NOT better than M$.

Could you please be a bit more verbose on this.  The only hard facts
I can make out from your mail are these:

 - Iceweasel instead of Firefox
   Debian does not rename Firefox just for the fun of it.  We just
   had a longish discussion about it with lawyers involved and they
   came to the conclusion that we have no other chance than renaming
   Firefox.  Please do not blame Debian for other projects unusual

 - lots of non-free things missing
   Can you please be a bit more verbose what exactly you are missing
   (in general and specifically for your work as biologist).
   I think I remember your unhappyness about Gnash.  Anything else?

I personally admit that I simply have to trust your opinion that Debian
is not better than M$ because I do not know any M$ operating system well
enough to make a knowledgeable decision.  My frustration when I touched
such systems were most probably based on my beginner status I have on
these but I would really like to hear some points which make me
understand your statement.  (This is really an honest question.)

> This thread is a total turn-off for me about Debian-Med. Even though you  
> were joking about me going back to Debian, I can tell you that I never  
> will because in trying to win hearts and minds of ordinary users Debian  
> has already lost the fight. This sort of internecine conflict between  
> two very similar Linux distributions is pointless.

I personally do not see a conflict between Debian and Ubuntu neither is
there any sign of a internecine one.  I take your comment really
seriosely but to fully understand what you would expect (except Mozilla
changing its license and some better replacements of non-free tools).
For my perception criticism is the best way to progress and I really
hope that we will be able to meet your user experience in the future
better than in the past.

> It is what Debian and Ubuntu have in common that attracted me to  
> Debian-Med. The people here have been very helpful indeed, but the  
> Debian politics I've witnessed recently are a wake-up call to me. What  
> is the big deal about the fact that we set up two Bioconductor repo's?

I think this was clarified and that there is no politics involved here.
Debian packages are simply handcrafted.  There are people out there who
explain Debian as: Ubuntu but tested.  I do not want to overstress this
polemic argument but there is some truth in it and hopefully makes you
understand that this has nothing at all to do with politics but rather
with quality and technical perfectness.

[I think your other questions are answered on the Debian Med mailing
list.  I simply wanted to share some negative user experience in
contrast to several good critics on debian-project list.  For the
readers here:  I highly regard Tony's opinion.  Please do not start
a flamewar about his opinion.]

Kind regards



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