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Re: Just my opinion

On Mon, 5 Jul 1999, John Galt wrote:

> Okay, leave.  Debian doesn't need you more than you need it.  See you when
> you get a clue.

Well, I think THAT kind of comment is just as bad. I have been using
Debian since before 1.0 and it IS difficult to install and get set up. The
thing is that the initial installation is important to a newbie because
that is what they are focused on at the start. The fact that it will save
them hours and hours down the road in maintenance once they DO get it set
up is not very important at that stage.

The installation procedure is Debian's weak point but I think a little
education of the user might help more than snide comments.

If the installation were to auto detect and set up everything for you, it
would need to be rather arrogant and start making decisions for you.
Rather then be stuck with a default installation based on the best guess
by the installation builder, Debian asks you EVERYTHING. 

Try this analogy ... Slackware is like building an unassembled model kit.
All of the pieces are there and they are precut to assemble together
provided you have a little skill and follow the directions. Red Hat takes
that model, assembles it, paints it, adds all the decals and decorations,
and even puts it on a nice display stand. Trouble is that if you want a
different paint job or decoration scheme, you are going to have to go to a
lot of trouble to undo their work.

Debian assembles the model but leaves it unpainted and certain options off
until they ask you how you want it. Even then, it is up to you to paint it
the way you want (X config is very plain vanilla in Debian).  Debian is
the "unfinished furnature" store of Linux. You get it and apply the final
touches yourself. That is why it is so popular with experianced
administrators. Debian assumes as little as possible about the way you
want your system installed.

There SHOULD however be some way of helping someone that has no clue how
they want it to look because they have never seen one before. There is no
reason why the svga X server can not provide an option to install a
pre-built config file that presents a reasonable display on ANY svga
capable monitor .... just the basic svga modes. So the display is not
"tweaked" to the capabilities of your hardware but it is useful. Some
"canned" sound configurations for the most popular sound hardware would be
nice too.

The original poster was probably just frustrated after having spent a
weekend trying to get Debian installed. Comments such as the one you made
do not show the Debian user community in a good light. The poster exposed
the major weakness in Debian. Don't shoot the messenger ... listen.

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