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Re: Is Debian the last OS ?

On Mon, Jul 31, 2000 at 09:50:45AM -0600, Arthur H. Edwards wrote:
> The question was "Why is Debian the last, rather than the first,
> distribution?" To a large degree your response is the answer. People brand
> new to Linux eat kernels, they don't compile them.  So, if you don't want it
> to be the last distribution, perhaps you shouldn't expect them to compile
> their own kernels!  So, as usual, Debian has to know itself. It IS the last
> distribution. It requires more than a newbie level of sophistication. It also
> has large rewards. If Debian decides to change so that it is more accepted by
> a larger audience, it should find a way to make the point releases stable
> with the new kernels, and it should not be so exceptionally pure about
> free/non-free. Regarding kernel updates, there could be two kinds of test
> cycles. For a point release, you keep the same packages you had with the last
> major release and test for stability with the current kernel and the new
> security patches. For the major release, you keep the current Freeze method.
> I would think, perhaps naively, that the point release test cycles could be
> more rapid than the major test cycles.

Hi Arthur, 

A couple of points: 

Debian *does* know itself... read -devel sometime.  The culture is
strong.  Sometimes annoyingly so!  :)

Debian is only "more difficult" for those unwilling to learn.  Linux
is Linux.  Things are in different places across "distributions" and
startup/shutdown scripts are different, but where the rubber hits the
road in the QUALITY of the packages and software installed on a system,
Debian is much better than most Linux systems.  The only better model
out there is probably the OpenBSD one, which has it's own problems.
(This coming from a friend who swears by OpenBSD, I haven't played with
it yet.  I'm not trolling for flames with that comment.)

I have to disagree that Debian should be less "exceptionally pure"
about free/non-free.  The whole point of the Debian project was to
create a free OS/system.  It still is.  The fact that commercial
interests have joined the Linux-bandwagon has no effect on that goal,
and we're not in competition with anyone but ourselves.

Users and developers alike are part of the process.  Don't like how
something works, file a bug, start a discussion on -devel or in private
mail with the developer responsible for the package.  Perhaps they've
already started working on a fix.  Perhaps not.

Tested, stable, working patches always welcome.  :)

Nate Duehr <nate@natetech.com>

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