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Re: Bye Bruce

On Fri, 20 Mar 1998, Richard Sevenich wrote:

> Well, OK - I'll stick with Debian despite Bruce's departure - for a
> while longer. The developers would miss folks like me who ask those
> naive questions. You can't be elite if no one notices.
> Bruce provided a type of leadership (yes, I know Ian took over some time
> ago) that was reassuring to the users. He was the only 'official' bridge
> between the users and the developers. Again - he provided reassurance
> to us users, that there was a direction in the anarchic creativity. And
> he made the developers look good to us users.
> It may be that his work with SPI is crucial to Linux success and he'll
> do more for Debian there than here - in the long run.
> My guess is that I've been instrumental (as an academician) in introducing
> Linux to perhaps 100 to 200 young people. I recommend Debian, but RedHat is
> slicker and more attractive. It's like watching your teenager start dating -
> they go for the attractive package. And RedHat is good, so I'm torn. I'm

The isn't completely true about teenagers.  I hate to toot my own horn,
but I always looked for people with whome I would like to spend my entire
life, and there weren't too many like that.  Red Hat is very glossy, but I
question whether it really works much better than Debian even at the
start, and it's long-term appeal is much less.  We have used it at my
university for a while and have had constant problems reconfiguring things
for our strange setup.  Debian is more honest about the possible (or even
likely) need for manual micro-management configuration of packages.

> torn because I want these young folks to experience the instant
> gratification which underlies (undermines?) our culture. Otherwise, They'll
> just go back to watching TV.

Myself, I liked Debian much better than either Slackware or Red Hat (both
of which I have had experience with) right from the start.  The package
management system sold me.  I had already experienced massive frustration
over poorly specified software interdependency, and Debian adressed the
problem squarely.  Now I hate to toot the communal horn of Debian people,
but I think many of the most valuable new users/hackers/potential hackers
are impressed with Debian the same way.  dselect can be a bit painful at
first, but it both educates users and ensures proper setup, which I think
is worth while and should not be compromised in order to make things
easier for people with little patience.  At the least, new users should be
presented with a big isolated intimidating possible confusing window
asking whether they want the installer to give them a set of default
packages or whether they want to customise their install with tradional

> I realize that we're not overt competitors of RedHat and that we wish
> them well for the sake of linux - but Debian aspires to be the ideal -
> non-commercial, free, and excellent. When a slick package like kde is
> easily installed on RedHat, but difficult with Debian - some folks get
> confused. Yes, I know kde is impure because of qt - but it's slick.
> Slick is good for some.

Making any X window manager or like beastie completely easy to install
requires automagically monkeying with some config files that said window
manager package probably has no buisness monkeying with.  I guess I do
understand the conflict between easy and full-featured after all.

> At any rate, good luck Bruce - we'll miss you. And, sincere thanks to
> all the developers - despite my gibes. You are the heart of debian.
> Richard
> P.S. Can this qualify to start a flame war?
> --
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