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Re: Is Squeeze right for me?

On Fri, 27 Nov 2009 12:54:02 -0800
Paul Johnson <baloo@ursamundi.org> dijo:

> John Jason Jordan wrote:
> > Having spent just a day in testing I am not happy with the quantity of
> > bugs. Yes, I know it is called "testing" for a reason. And I am happy
> > to do my part to help fix problems. Yet I need a computer that I can
> > use for real work. But at the same time I want the latest and greatest.
> > I need OOo 3.1 and Scribus and the most recent versions of
> > several other apps that I live in all day long.
> Really?  What do OOo 3.1 and Scribus have to offer that you
> can't do in older versions?

OOo 3.1.1 fixes a lot of bugs when using Math in a Writer document. I
need that feature to work. Scribus adds so many features that
it would take too long to list them. Suffice it to say that I need the
new features. I do book design and layout, and these tools are critical
to me.

> > The stable versions of Debian are not sufficiently cutting edge for me. Or have I
> > misunderstood that?

> Probably misunderstood.  Testing is NOT for you if you just want it to
> work.  That's what stable is for.  Stability or cutting edge:  Pick one.

> > The local Linux friends who thought I should move on from Ubuntu
> > suggested testing as the closest in the Debian world to the Ubuntu way
> > of doing things. After today I am thinking they were wrong. 

> Ubuntu is closest to the Debian way of thinking, if Debian were clubbed
> in the head with a brick by Special Ed to make Debian "special" too.

I was migrating from Ubuntu Jaunty. One of my goals in doing so was to
increase my knowledge. The other goal was to get a distribution that is
better supported by the Scribus developers. Scribus depends on Qt4, and
apparently the Ubuntu developers have taken liberties with it. Scribus
developers do not mince words in expressing their dislike of Ubuntu.
They openly suggest Debian, Fedora or OpenSuse. Debian package
management has no peer in the Linux world. Hence, Debian was my first

I should add that in order to embark on this journey I purchased a new
hard disk for my laptop. The only one with Jaunty sits on a shelf. I
can use it as a source of config files and data, or I can just put it
back in and I am back where I was in Jaunty.

What has happened since I posed the question at the beginning of this
thread is that I tried installing Unstable. In doing so I wiped out
Testing and reformatted the hard disk. At the end of the installation
it asked if I wanted Grub 2, Grub 1.5, or LILO. I selected Grub 2. But
when the installer tried to write Grub 2 to the MBR something bad
happened and I got an error message that installing Grub had failed. I
used the back button and tried installing Grub 1.5 instead, but that
also failed. I used the back button once more and installed LILO.
Unfortunately, thinking that it would make it easier to replace LILO
with Grub later, I told it to install it to sda1 (which is /) instead
of sda. LILO installed fine, but when I rebooted at the end of the
installation I got a Grub 2 error screen. I could not recover from the
error screen because the commands available are useless. In short,
there was no way to boot.

This was the fourth time I had attempted to install a version of
Debian. In each case I had problems that I was unable to repair. The
first two times with testing I lost the window manager and gnome-panel.
I tried at least a dozen suggestions to fix the problem, but I could
not get them to load automatically on login. I even set up a new user,
where metacity and gnome panel worked fine. But after a day of working
as the new user, suddenly I lost metacity and gnome-panel again. The
only way to sleuth down exactly what was causing the problem would be
to log out and  back in again after every single little configuration
change or app install, which would take a week at least.

After the mess with an unbootable Unstable yesterday (which takes
nearly two hours to install over the internet), I was so bummed at
Debian that last night I installed Fedora 12. As I expected, package
management sucks compared to the Debian world. But it connected to my
bluetooth mouse right off (which worked fine in Jaunty as well) but
which I could never get working in Debian. And so far there have been
no problems.

I'm going to stick with Fedora for a while and see how it goes. I still
love Debian. But the problem is that every version of Debian, including
the derivatives like Ubuntu, have problems that render them unsuitable
for me.

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