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About standards Was: Re: Debian Installer 7.0 Beta4 release

> When I decided to move "TO" Debian, one of my concerns was to be on a
> distro that sets its way, not a distro that follows. Debian moto is "The
> Universal Operating System". And that is the appeal to me.
> I love standards. I would give my kingdom to have only ".deb" instead
> of 3 or 4 (RPM, tar.gz, among others). Why? Because I think linux would win
> a lot with standardization. But well, people from RPM would not like it...

There is Linux Standard Base which claim to be a standard for distros.
They claim that rpm should be the standard, among other things.
I do not know the difference between rpm and deb, so maybe they could be
merged, but I disagree with you when things come to the .tar.gz : source
code distribution is far easier for software developers than dealing with
every distro packaging systems, which is really a pain in ...
Look, even a .deb is not usable on all debian-based distros! Take a
ubuntu's deb, try to install it on debian, you'll see.

In that sense, .tar.gz, source code, is the more portable way, and it
allows full customization, especially regarding dependencies. This last
reason is also the one which makes me thinking about moving to gentoo, but
I need time for that :D.
For example, I use no printers on my machines, but I have some cups
dependencies. I understand that debian try to meet everyone's needs, so I
usually do not whine about that.
I am still using debian because it is so easy to install/customize, fast,
and reliable.
A very, very good tool to learn (the last thing I need to achieve before
moving to gentoo is running a home-made kernel), and thanks to the
knowledge I have acquired, I have discovered my way and can think to walk
on it myself.
But it have limitations, due to the fact it is a good tool to learn: when
you want to learn, it is easier to start from an easy point, which hide
most of the complexities of your system. But at some point, this hiding
avoid some understandings.

> Other things also. CUPS, sound, and the more polemic: KDE!
KDE and Gnome did Freedesktop.org, which is not a real standard, and even
do not claim to be such, but is the way to go in my humble opinion.
An example of what I like they did is "~/.config/" which is far better
than the usual way to just put everything in hidden folders/files in
$HOME. Btw, I hate that crappy way!
Another are recommendations to make icons themes which have some defined
qualities and so avoid icon themes to lost the users. (tango is the proof
of concept of those recommendations).

So you can not really say that KDE is so polemic ;)
Honestly, I think that having only one DE would be an error, and a very
big one. Some are bloatwares, some are very lightweight, some are in the
middle (xfce) and people can even just install a window manager, with
tools installed and configured to fit together. That's good enough, and if
it make people coming to linux lost, well, that's normal.
Freedom is like moving outside a deep cave for the first time: you are
lost because you can not see walls, so you first take a random way.
Windows is the deep cave, free OS are the big plains.

I will try to not say more about KDE/Gnome, it could hurt sensibilities.
But although I do not like them, I have to admit that some people can like
them, and more important, that the fact that they exists and that there
are DE switchers, allowed FreeDesktop.Org to exist, and this one is a good
thing: you can write softwares which integrates well with most DEs even if
you do not use their numerous libraries.

I also love standards, but I see them as guidelines, and I do not want to
see everything standardized.
One of best standards I know is the C++ one: it is made to let developers
a big freedom. But the cost of that freedom is that we have to choose
non-standard tools when things come where standards are not. That's not so
bad, after all. Could you say what a GUI standard should be? I can not:
ncurses, gtk, Qt, wxWidgets, win32, mfc,...? There are too many, and how
to say one is totally wrong and another so nice that everyone should use

> I know this would never happens... But since it would never happens,
> that's another motivation to be part of Debian, the greater distribution.
> If we can't have 100% linux users, I can at least be
> part of the distro I believe most to truly represent gnu/linux spirit. And
> I can only hope people would join more.
Debian != GNU/Linux.
Debian  = GNU/Linux/FreeBSD ;)
Ok, I have not tried the last kernel one for now, but maybe one day I will.

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