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Re: Is Linux Unix?

Ryo Furue wrote:
Erik Steffl <steffl@bigfoot.com> wrote in message news:<2lYSZ-1Kf-27@gated-at.bofh.it>...

[. . .]

it's [1]. debian has very slow release cycles, but unstable is much better quality than you'd expect from name. In general I see unstable being equal to latest releases of other distros (both features and stability) while stable is extremely (the kind you need for servers) but does not have all the latest features.

Thanks for the answer.   Does that mean that *ordinary* users should use the
unstable and that the stable should be used only by those who want extremely
stable mission-critical servers?  By an "ordianry" user, I mean somebody like this:
She can become a root and shut down or restart her Debian work station; she can
use apt-cache and apt-get to install packages but is not sure how to configure
/etc/apt/source.list; When she wants an application which needs to be build from
source, she asks thesysadmin to do that; she's never looked into /var/log; etc.
I think an "ordianry" Windows user is like this.  Most of the Linux/Unix users
around me are like this.  (Please don't say they should use Windows if they can't
admin their Unixes :-) They seem to be happy with the situaltion and they are
certainly productive in their own field.)

that's really hard to tell. it's up to individual user, there are very few serious bugs but sometime the dependency and/or install scripts break which apt (dpkg) have hard time to deal with so it might be hard to upgrade the system (if you now the package is broken it's easy to put it on hold but if you don't know it it's not completely trivial to clean up).

during times of transition of some fundamental pieces (gcc, libc, new major version of gnome, kde) things are more shaky than usual.

it's kinda sad but I don't see (in general) how an ordinary user (as defined above) could use debian as a desktop - for desktop use (as a home copmputer etc.) you need the latest software (because desktop software is only now becoming mature enough), support for latest HW (USB and firewire devices, video card etc.) which is only available for unstable. And unstable is just about two inches beyond the reach of an ordinary user (as described above).

you don't need to be a real sysadmin to use unstable but you need to know more about packaging system (at least one tool - apt-get, aptitude, dselect etc.) than you wanna know:-)

then again, it's easy to try it (I've heard that new installer is really a lot better than the old one that scared at least some people) so any ordinary user can judge by herself...

I don't see how this is different in windows or redhat or anything else.

[. . .]

But, vendors don't sell Windows software that doesn't work on
the current version of Windows XP.   Perhaps, in your perception,

of course they do, do you remember example of game I bought and couldn't make it work on win xp pro while it was running fine on win98 (that was few month ago, win xp was out for quite some time) [the game is RC Cars published by Whiptail Interactive, developed by Creat Studio, relese date 12/11/2003]

Um, I didn't think of that possibility :-)   Weren't we talking about situations
where the target OS of the software is too new?  The Intel compiler doesn't
run correctly on my workstation because the stable Debian is too old.
That was the begining of this subthread.  I don't think Vendors sell software
which runs only on a preview (beta) version of Windows.  And I *thought*

it's not _exactly_ the same but my point was that windows is a family of OSs that are very similar, just like linux distros (and you have a LOT more control over linux, e.g. you can make debian look a lot like redhat for an application).

(but you pointed out that I was wrong) that the unstable Debian roughly
 corresponded to a beta version of the OS.

well, opinions differ but I'd say that unstable is about the same as latest release, stable is about the same as previous release of most other OSs/distros (e.g. no software is added to stable). Maybe it would be more descriptive of it's role to call it 'current'.


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