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Re: next debian stable ?

Nathan E Norman wrote:

Six months or a year ago, I could see that.

How about two years ago? Five years ago? Why chooose the arbitrary dates
you've chosen?

How about: BECAUSE THAT'S THE LAST TIME THE DISTRIBUTION WAS ANYWHERE CLOSE TO BEING CURRENT. And it doesn't look like it's going to change any time soon. (And I'm yelling, not at you, but in frustration of that fact.)

qualify my comments about the difference between a desktop and a
server distro, but if you want to master a distro, you really need to
use it in both places.

Could you explain the last sentence? I don't understand what you are
trying to say. If my job is to have a solid, stable cluster of servers
and I choose debian (I'm basing this example on real life BTW) I believe
I've made a good choice. I also feel that I know quite a bit about
debian, if that's what you mean by "master". I seem quite capable of
installing debian on my desktop. I've noticed other people seem to have
trouble installing debian on their desktop, often because they come from
a world of "Internet Connection Wizards" and the like. As far as I can
tell, there are other distributions that cater to those people, and I
think that's fine.

Yeah, I can explain it. I installed woody on two servers here at my house, a file/print server, and my firewall. It took a few hours each case, which is way more than it should have taken, but I'm still new to Debian's way of doing things. In none of this exercise did I need to do anything fancy with apt.

Now expand the example to the general case. BTW, I just love how so many people on Linux forums assume that if you question *their* methodology, you must not know much about Linux. FYI, I've been a full-time systems admin on various Sun (E10K & EMC Symmetrix), IBM, HP, SGI, and x86 boxes for going on 7 years now. It's not like I don't know what I'm doing with open systems. ANYWAY, now I start imagining what it would be like to setup systems based on Debian at my company, my contracting job, and my charity job. Off the top of my head, I need to install FrontPage extensions at at least two of these 3 types of locations. If you know anything about this miserable product, you know how difficult it is to install in Apache 1.3 servers. So I want to try Apache 2. I hear it's much easier there. People keep blithely saying, "Hey, just apt-get install it from unstable." I haven't been through this exercise specifically, but I'm willing to bet there are a lot of dependencies there. Where do I learn how to do this? Why, by living in such a mess on the desktop, of course. Trying to pull in just, say, a better kernel, is a perfect example of how this process is supposed to go in the general sense. That's what I mean about "mastering." The process isn't nearly as clean as fans of apt would like to make everyone else think it is.

I don't understand what curve you are living behind. Can you seemlessly
upgrade your redhat or suse box, as you can do with debian? If you are
running servers, debian stable is sufficient for most tasks. There are
plenty of people who are backporting packages from sarge/sid to woody,
so if you _must have_ the latest and greatest software (I cringe to
think how many people deploy such software in a production environment
_without testing it_), that software is available. If it isn't, you can
grab the source and compile it yourself; no other distribution I've ever
used respects admin changes as well as debian. I can install stuff in
/usr/local and use dpkg-divert to prevent dpkg from surprising me, or I
can create my own packages (this is useful when you need to deploy your
home-grown software to several machines).

1) How many times have you "seamlessly upgraded" your Debian boxes to a new version? Given the historical release schedule of the project, it CAN'T have been more than once. For all the hassle I've had with learning the structure of the Debian system, I could have paid for fresh installs or SuSE or Red Hat several times over.

2) See my points above on Apache 2. I suspect I'm not alone...

3) Maybe rpm-based systems don't respect admin changes _as well as_ apt, but before major changes, you should have a backup of your config anyway. My personal taste is to let it overwrite my changes with a fresh file, then merge my changes back in. I've been doing that for quite some time, and I was doing it on Debian too.

4) You can modify and repackage rpm's too.

Admittedly debian on the desktop is a tougher proposition; often newer
XFree86 is needed to support new hardware. Again though, backported
packages exist.

I don't trust non-official backports on *any* system, including Windows.

I have a bias towards the server side of the equation as I believe
that's where debian has, and will continue to make inroads in

You're joking, aren't you? There's no way a corporation will come anywhere within miles of using Debian for heavy lifting. Support is the big issue here. Unless you go get Progeny to build a custom Debian distro and subsequently support it, you're hosed. On top of that, most "corporate" type software, like big RDBMS and CAE software (both of which we are using) have very specific support requirements, and guess what? Debian stable won't fulfill them in many cases.

All in all, if you decide it's not worth it to you, we (at least I)
won't be angry.

I never thought anyone on this list would be. In fact, I'm surprised I haven't heard, "Don't let the door hit you on the way out" yet. ;-)

I hope this explains my position.  Good luck with debian, and with linux.

Thanks for your strong opinion. Even though we wind up disagreeing, I certainly respect where you're coming from.


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