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Re: Debian for Joe Average

On Wed, Oct 01, 2003 at 10:37:26AM +0200, sturla wrote:
> Ron Johnson wrote:
> >On Sat, 2003-09-20 at 22:29, sturla wrote:
> >>
> >>If I should advice somebody new to Linux, I would say RedHat, that's
> >>where I started.
> >>RedHat 9 has a great installer and contains anything a normal user
> >>will ever need, including OpenOffice.Org.
> >
> >Gak!  And send him into Dependency Hell?
> >
> Hehe, why do you think I made the switch?
> I don't say RedHat is better than Debian, but it's easier for Joe 
> Average to start with.
> Some of the problem in the discussion about what distro to use is that 
> everybody has their favourite and sticks with
> it at all cost.

Considering that here in this thread (on debian-user, don't forget)
there have been recommendations for at least four other distros, I
wonder how you can make this claim at all.

> As I said, I like Debian, but lets face it: For Joe Average RedHat is 
> easier to understand at first, so give him that, get him
> hooked on the stability of Linux and when you see him tired because he's 
> been up all night trying to solve dependencies
> to install something new THEN tell him about Debian and apt.

Your entire argument seems to be based on the assumption that there are
only two choices: You can have ease of use (RedHat/Mandrake) OR you can
have apt (Debian).
This assumption is false.
If our friend Joe installs Xandros, or Libranet (or Knoppix?); he gets
BOTH the ease of use of a newbie-friendly system for the desktop user
AND an apt-based system. In what arena can RedHat compete with this?

This has two immediately obvious benefits for Joe: First, if he uses
his system for a couple years and a new version of his distro is
released, he can buy the new version, drop the CD in the tray, do a
dist-upgrade, go for coffee, and continue with a working system.
Second, if he turns out to be a little more tech-oriented than we
thought and starts peeking under the hood, he'll be learning the
*right* system, rather than giving himself ulcers by messing with RPMs.

If you wait until poor Joe's been up all night trying to install
something before you inform him about apt, you risk losing him back to

>   -ScruLoose-   | Forward he cried from the rear; and the front rank died<
>  Please do not  |      and the General sat, and the lines on the map     <
> reply off-list. |                 moved from side to side.               <
>                 |                       - Pink Floyd                     <

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