Re: No good user experience of Debian (Was: Packaging r-bioc-simpleaffy)
- To: Andreas Tille <firstname.lastname@example.org>
- Cc: email@example.com, Debian Project <firstname.lastname@example.org>
- Subject: Re: No good user experience of Debian (Was: Packaging r-bioc-simpleaffy)
- From: Tony Travis <email@example.com>
- Date: Tue, 01 Mar 2011 00:37:23 +0000
- Message-id: <[🔎] 4D6C3FC3.firstname.lastname@example.org>
- In-reply-to: <20110228225908.GA5228@an3as.eu>
- References: <4D62E973.email@example.com> <20110222072736.GA2798@an3as.eu> <4D643A01.firstname.lastname@example.org> <20110225195528.GA17434@woodstock> <4D6836BA.email@example.com> <4D68F45B.firstname.lastname@example.org> <email@example.com> <20110226211232.GG31788@an3as.eu> <4D69793D.firstname.lastname@example.org> <4D6AF29E.email@example.com> <20110228225908.GA5228@an3as.eu>
On 28/02/11 22:59, Andreas Tille wrote:
I would like to discuss this topic in a separate thread on
debian-project where it might belong to.
OK, the topic is now closed on Debian-Med.
[...] 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.]
I don't want to start an advocacy debate about Debian vs. Ubuntu,
because that has been done to death elsewhere. My objective is to win
the hearts and minds of biologists using M$ Windows to run Bio-Linux,
the current version of which is based on 64-bit Ubuntu 10.04 LTS.
Together with my colleagues, I arranged a biologist's 'power' user
workshop in Florence during which we spent one of the three days in a
University computer lab set up entirely with Debian Etch workstations
running Iceweasel, to connect as NX clients to NuGO-Linux servers.
It was not my idea to use Debian clients. It was a facility offered to
us by the University of Florence and I was happy to accept the offer. I
did not anticipate the problems that we encountered doing something as
simple as running an NX client. The session was a complete disaster
until we rapidly installed the non-free Sun Java and browser plugin.
First off, our NuGO servers use the NX 'helper' applet that did not work
with gcj and IcedTea, to load a native NX client. Then as part of the
excercise we wanted to run Adobe reader. These things are trivial to do
under M$ Windows and I found myself unable to convince anyone that it
was a good idea to run Linux on the client-side. Needless to say, this
all worked perfectly from my Bio-Linux (Ubuntu) laptop.
I used Debian on SPARC and x86/x86_64 on workstations and servers long
before Ubuntu was released, and I'm well aware that Ubuntu is nothing
without Debian. However, my own experience of non-expert users being
introduced to Debian for the first time is a lot less satisfactory than
when they are introduced to Ubuntu. I'm not in any way detracting from
the huge achievements of Debian. I'm just saying that I found it easier
to convince sceptical M$ Windows users to run an NX client on their own
machine to access an Ubuntu server, or run Ubuntu on their own machine
than I did to convince them to use Debian for any purpose.
As Andreas said, this is not flame-bait - It's just my opinion, and I've
posted a message here on debian-project because he asked me to.