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Re: How stable is SiD ?

on Sat, Sep 06, 2003 at 11:08:07PM -0400, Johan Kullstam (kullstj-ml@comcast.net) wrote:
> "Karsten M. Self" <kmself@ix.netcom.com> writes:

> > 1.  Report this problem to your video card vendor.  I don't care if
> >     you're CTO of IBM or a one-week-temp and Spam-R-Us or Joe's Internet
> >     Taco Cafe.  Vendors need to know that their customers are using
> >     their products with GNU/Linux, and demand XFree86 support.  Do this
> >     regardless of any subsequent steps you take to resolve your
> > problem.
> XFree86 supports it since February this year.  Unfortunately, debian
> doesn't have 4.3.0 in its lineup.  Woody uses 4.1 which came out in
> June 2001.  XFree86 seems to put out reasonably timely releases.
> Where do I point these card manufacturers to a time machine vendor so
> that I can get proper debian support?

One alternative would be having the card support, say, standard xsvga as
a fallback position.  It doesn't have to provide full accelerated driver
performance.  It should, however, work, with reasonable refresh and
resolution (1024x768 or 1280x1024, 75Hz, 24bpp, or better).

> > 2.  Consider the option of using a supported card.  It's not going to
> >     cost much -- last time I tried this trick, it consisted of
> >     walking into CompUSA and asking for the lowest-end video card
> >     they had (suitable for most office work; who are you kidding
> >     about your Gnumeric FPS score), cost was on the order of $25.
> >     Submit the receipt for reimbursement, and pass along _this_
> >     request to your internal purchase manager or whitebox vendor.
> >     Cannibalizing an existing dead box might get you the card for
> >     free.
> This is what I did.  I ordered a cheap-ass card.  This is my own money
> for a machine doled out to me at work.  No, I do not have control over
> what they give me.  I am very on the edge even daring to run linux.

Agreement and sympathies.

My own solution was to provide my own hardware, period.  Given that I
contract, slowing myself down by learning the local computing
environment is a PITA.  Given a laptop or micro PC format, and
standards-based systems for networking, email, fileshare, etc., I can
carry a modern system with me, configured to my own preferences.  This
doesn't work in all cases.

> > 3.  Go ahead and use 'testing'.
> I am using sid on my home machine to support the radeon 8500.
> > You're insulated from most of the
> >     borkenness of unstable.
> On the other hand using testing at work and sid at home i've noticed
> that things break more often in sid, but when broken in testing, they
> can stay busted in testing for a long time.  

Which was why I followed this statement with the subsequent comments on
pinning, and noted that...

> > but [XF86 v4.3] is available via unofficial debs from
> > http://www.apt-get.org
> > 
> >     http://tinyurl.com/mhvh

> > The general answer is this:
> > 
> >     GNU/Linux remains disadvantaged by hardware support policies,
> If by this you mean that GNU/Linux stable cannot support hardware
> younger than about 3 years old due to a very slow release cycle
> policy, then yes, I would agree.

No.  HW manufacturers are interfering in other ways, including lack of
fallback support.

> > many of which have been historically shown to be influenced
> > improperly by Microsoft.
> You can blame MS for a lot, but this one is squarely on debian's head.

We disagree.

> Yes, I could perhaps lend a hand instead of bitching.  However, my
> complaint is about the attitude behind "If you have to ask, sid is not
> stable enough for you." comment more than it is about the debian X
> strike force.

I'd say that comment's on base.

If you want support for bleeding-edge HW, you're going to have to be
self-supporting.  If you have to ask, you're probably not ready.  I
didn't say there was a solution, I said there was a tradeoff.  What part
of this statement do you disagree with?

My goal isn't to get everyone and his kid brother's dog on Debian.  It's
to promote what Debian can do, for people who can use it beneficially,
within limits imposed.

> Look, when I buy my own machine, I do research it to see if it has
> linux/xfree86 support.  The i845g box just came to me at work.  It's a
> large corporation and they just issue these things.  I would *never*
> have chosen that thing myself.

See above WRT trade-offs.

The word "compromise" implies a balancing of conflicting needs and
goals.  "Conflict elimination" is another department.

> > If you're going to pioneer Debian GNU/Linux at your workplace, you'll
> > have to balance:
> > 
> >   - Accepting supplied HW and current levels of support.
> >   - Risking the slightly less stable world of testing or unstable
> >     releases of Debian.
> >   - Learning something about your tools.
> >   - Using alternative hardware where necessary.
> You forgot perhaps
> - Using an alternate linux distribution

No, that's outside the scope.  Use of Debian was explicitly stated.

> I was using redhat up to last August, I can always go back.  I have
> been playing with gentoo on a spare ppro box at home at it looks
> pretty nice too.  Both of these have support for the i845g via an up
> to date XFree86.

As does Debian, through third-party debs.

> > Inflexibility on all four points on your part isn't a problem on
> > ours.
> Perhaps.  But rather than the flames the original poster got about
> feasibility of testing or sid, some amount of accomodation of
> *legitimate reasons* to run testing/sid should be allowed.

This was done.

It's interesting to see a frank statement of realities and contingencies
labled as "flaming".


Karsten M. Self <kmself@ix.netcom.com>        http://kmself.home.netcom.com/
 What Part of "Gestalt" don't you understand?
   Burn all gifs!  Use PNG and tell Unisys to go to hell:

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