Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 1st Feb 2008 20:56 UTC, submitted by irbis
Debian and its clones "At a recent Australian Linux conference, Sam Varghese reported that two Debian developers pointed out that the Debian Project needs more corporate support for 'men, money and machines' to advance the operating system. They're right. It does. They also pointed out that many companies, such as HP, IBM, Silicon Graphics and Google, either use Debian Linux internally, or actually incorporate it into products. For example, HP uses Debian 'Etch' 4.0 in its new t5735 thin-client device. Right again. Debian, either directly or through related Linux distributions such as Xandros, is used both by Linux enthusiasts and Fortune 500 companies. Of course, you couldn't prove that by the vast majority of Debian developers who never see a thin dime from their Debian work. Or, I should add, get access to new hardware, travel expenses to Debian developer conferences and so on."
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I thought
by eggs on Fri 1st Feb 2008 21:16 UTC
eggs
Member since:
2006-01-23

they worked on it because they enjoyed it and believed in free software. If they want to get paid for it then perhaps a different business model is in order?

I like Debian (used it for 2 years) and think companies should give back, but they shouldn't expect it.

Reply Score: 7

RE: I thought
by tyrione on Fri 1st Feb 2008 23:14 UTC in reply to "I thought"
tyrione Member since:
2005-11-21

they worked on it because they enjoyed it and believed in free software. If they want to get paid for it then perhaps a different business model is in order?

I like Debian (used it for 2 years) and think companies should give back, but they shouldn't expect it.


The same can be said for Linux Kernel, yet billions have gone into it's advancement and the major developers are paid well for their continued work.

Bottomline: Debian made it possible for Ubuntu, Kubuntu and so much more.

If you can't throw the group that makes it possible for the overwhelming bulk of your product to even exist, then don't bitch when they delay working with you.

Debian needs an effective board similar to KDE who works with corporations and manages to keep it's infrastructure solvent enough that allows people to continue growing it and in the process improve their talents and ability to sell their talents [if you can't sell your skills no amount of corporate investment will help].

Reply Score: 10

RE[2]: I thought
by dagw on Sat 2nd Feb 2008 00:52 UTC in reply to "RE: I thought"
dagw Member since:
2005-07-06

If you can't throw the group that makes it possible for the overwhelming bulk of your product to even exist, then don't bitch when they delay working with you.


I think people underestimate how hard it is to convince companies to donate money to Open Source projects. I know I've tried to convince the powers that be to do so at a couple of place I've worked and it's basically always failed.

The only time it has worked is when the project had something to sell. Be it CDs, books, support, priority bug fixes or whatever. Then it was a lot easier.

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: I thought
by tyrione on Sun 3rd Feb 2008 04:40 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: I thought"
tyrione Member since:
2005-11-21

"If you can't throw the group that makes it possible for the overwhelming bulk of your product to even exist, then don't bitch when they delay working with you.


I think people underestimate how hard it is to convince companies to donate money to Open Source projects. I know I've tried to convince the powers that be to do so at a couple of place I've worked and it's basically always failed.

The only time it has worked is when the project had something to sell. Be it CDs, books, support, priority bug fixes or whatever. Then it was a lot easier.
"

You have to convince those with the cash they can leverage the code in their products and thus get a return on investment. The hardest part would be coming to a respect on the GPLv2/v3 where both parties don't compromise and benefit.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: I thought
by dagw on Sun 3rd Feb 2008 11:25 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: I thought"
dagw Member since:
2005-07-06

That's not the hard part. Convincing people to use GPLed stuff has never been too much of a hassle in many cases. I've even even worked at companies where we released inhouse code under GPL and to allow developers to spend work time fixing bugs and submitting patches in GPL products we use.

The hard part is to convince them to donate money. There is simply no business case for it.

Reply Score: 2

Comment by moleskine
by moleskine on Fri 1st Feb 2008 21:16 UTC
moleskine
Member since:
2005-11-05

The author of this article, Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols, has been highly critical of Debian in the past. It might not be fair to say he hates Debian, but it wouldn't be miles away from the mark either. So we don't have an exactly fair hearing here.

He also overlooks one thing. If you don't have much or any money and no "board of directors" who are obvious targets, people tend not to sue you. Giving a grant to Debian could merely fatten then up for patent trolls and all the rest, something Debian people are keenly aware of.

Finally, it's a (partly) free world so what's the problem? If Debian want to do things their way, why shouldn't they? As a Debian user I have every reason to be grateful for it, though personally I would prefer to see a bit more organization, a little more of a chain of command, and a higher-profile Debian Project Leader (folks who become the DPL seem promptly to disappear into a black hole). However, that's just my 2 cents and no more significant than that.

If Ubuntu wants to take up where Debian leaves off, then good luck to them. In truth, though, the jury is still a long way out as to whether Ubuntu will be able to do that. It's clear that the project has problems of its down. In my experience, so far, Debian Testing has consistently provided a more stable desktop OS than any version of Ubuntu I've tried/

Reply Score: 13

RE: Comment by moleskine
by anomie on Fri 1st Feb 2008 21:58 UTC in reply to "Comment by moleskine"
anomie Member since:
2007-02-26

I've nothing against Vaughan-Nichols, but I agree that this article was unnecessarily negative.

One key line I took away from it:

Now, despite all this, Debian does keep going.


"...does keep going" is what matters. They may be a victim of their unique culture in some aspects, but they continue to be successful as a result of it.

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: Comment by moleskine
by irbis on Sat 2nd Feb 2008 12:03 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by moleskine"
irbis Member since:
2005-07-08

Hmm... I didn't find the article so very negative. It also depends on how you want to see it: as plain criticism only, or as a potential starting point for constructive discussion in order to maybe find some new ideas and vision. I took the article in the latter way.

In my opinion the Debian project would be worth more financial, hardware etc. support. But do some Debian people even want that?

As a bazaar like organization Debian seems too heterogenous to accept any bigger changes in its old habits. If somebody finds a new model, for financial support, for example, usually there are plenty of others who oppose it. The Anthony Towns example points that clearly.

Free open discussion is very important, of course, but in Debian it often seems to result in conservatism and certain lack of bigger vision. Things just continue the old way like people are used to doing them.

Debian democracy is alright and even a very good model when that sort of democracy works - but nobody can deny that sometimes Debian has been having quite big problems too. (as a small example, where is the Debian Weekly News nowadays? "doesn't appear to have been published since July 3, 2007") Debian is one of my all time favorite distros, and I just hope that some of the bigger problems it has had could be avoided, what ever the right way might be?

Reply Score: 4

RE: Comment by moleskine
by Priest on Sat 2nd Feb 2008 12:34 UTC in reply to "Comment by moleskine"
Priest Member since:
2006-05-12

I am not familiar with Vaughan-Nichols, but maybe he cares because he would like to see Debian improve.

If his points are valid, I don't think they should be overlooked in favor of smearing him instead.

Sure Ubuntu has corporate support, but the worth of a distro is determined in large part by the package manager it uses, and Ubuntu uses debians.

Debian works the way it is, but I think many companies are reluctant to launch mission critical services on Ubuntu server, it is considered a "desktop distro" and I don't think they respect it as a big iron solution.

Many of the people who are familiar with Ubuntu would probably prefer to managing Debian server to Red Hat or Solaris.

I think it would be cool to see some companies get behind Debian and deploy products on it, and likely so does Vaughan-Nichols.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Comment by moleskine
by Redeeman on Sat 2nd Feb 2008 13:22 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by moleskine"
Redeeman Member since:
2006-03-23

lots of companies actually use debian, i know quite a few.

and the reasons are obvious, they can install debian stable, setup their shit, and then just add a note in the calender a few years later when that server is no longer needed, or a few changes may be needed.

however, they dont go broadcast that they use debian, they just use it.

They dont give money or any other support to debian, which is their right, even though we might think debian deserves it(which they surely do).

Debian keeps going anyway, which just shows that one can trust them, and i would trust them any day to look after my freedoms, and make sure i dont get into a closed-software-hell without specifically knowing it. AKA - if i dont specifically add non-free, i wont get nonfree crap.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by moleskine
by PlatformAgnostic on Sun 3rd Feb 2008 20:06 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by moleskine"
PlatformAgnostic Member since:
2006-01-02
People Can't Trust Debian
by segedunum on Fri 1st Feb 2008 22:46 UTC
segedunum
Member since:
2005-07-06

People just can't trust Debian, and that filters down. Debian has far too many 'codes of conduct' and 'elections', rather than what an open source project should be - people writing the code and deciding what should be done in a meritocracy. Too much bureaucracy and not enough coding and work to make things better.

There are also unilateral and political decisions made in a closed world on mailing lists that have, at best, very little relevance to the people in the outside world:

http://pkg-ruby-extras.alioth.debian.org/rubygems.html

Now, as far as I'm aware, Ruby gems do not cause widespread trouble for the wider system, they exist purely within the domain of Ruby and, as with all software, once it is installed properly it is up to the application to decide what is best for it. Debian's packagers will also have to replicate an awful lot of work, and it's not supported by the Ruby community. Ice Weasel, aka 'Firefox', is another classic example of this lunatic thinking.

Basically, you can sum this up as "We have our own packaging system, we don't want anything else encroaching on our territory and we want to tell software and people what they should be doing."

You can't really trust a distribution that spends time and effort coming out with this stuff, and not actually making things any better for people.

Edited 2008-02-01 22:48 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE: People Can't Trust Debian
by tyrione on Fri 1st Feb 2008 23:22 UTC in reply to "People Can't Trust Debian"
tyrione Member since:
2005-11-21

People just can't trust Debian, and that filters down. Debian has far too many 'codes of conduct' and 'elections', rather than what an open source project should be - people writing the code and deciding what should be done in a meritocracy. Too much bureaucracy and not enough coding and work to make things better....


Let me get this straight. People can't trust Debian because they have absurdly high levels of ethic standards?

What they can do is trust that the code will work as billed.

What you seem to want is a more elastic policy on how it processes it's work load and to have a greater voice in helping Debian become more viable against other companies that will cut corners and sacrifice quality for the sake of viability.

I don't agree that their policies are entirely too meritocratic [yet that's the point of earning your stripes and respect]. What I agree with is that they need to be able to separate their processes and keep them insulated from one another, but cohesively work together.

You can have a high standard of product excellence and be business friendly. It's not an all or nothing world.

The problem I see is a lack of vision and that is the hardest element to find in any business. Most companies tend to look towards other past juggernauts to emulate.

Debian looks to a philosophy that few can uphold so it makes it difficult to break with that tradition and see that you haven't compromised your ethics for economic viability.

I still think that a separate corporate entity whose job is to manage business relations can be formed and keep Debian from compromising it's value system.

However, if they only keep voting who gets to be the leader from within their project developers they will never be more than a rock solid, kick ass Linux distribution that barely keeps afloat.

Reply Score: 14

RE[2]: People Can't Trust Debian
by theTSF on Sat 2nd Feb 2008 02:46 UTC in reply to "RE: People Can't Trust Debian"
theTSF Member since:
2005-09-27


Let me get this straight. People can't trust Debian because they have absurdly high levels of ethic standards?


Trust is a much more complicated feeling then what you think it is. A person/group can me good meaning and have high ethics but cannot be trusted.
Debian has a tendency of biting the hand that feeds it. Espectially heartless corporations. If a company is going to invest money in Debian it needs assurances that it wont pull a GPL 3 like with TiVo. The want to deal with the same people all the time with the same rules if they find a loophole that is not in the spirit of the agreement, they want debian to go oh well and let it slide.
A company is easy to predict it will do whatever it must to make more money. A NFP organization like debian changes its direction after each election, your best friend then become fighting to make you the devil. It is not about technology or Open Source Morals it is about good investment.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: People Can't Trust Debian
by gregg451 on Sat 2nd Feb 2008 08:15 UTC in reply to "RE: People Can't Trust Debian"
gregg451 Member since:
2008-02-02

And how exactly would that debian "corporation" force the developers to write the code to make debian "rock-solid"? (whatever the hell that means) Developers code what they want to code.

What these businesses want in exchange for their money is for everyone to stop being free and open, as that's not always compatible with their business model. Typically autocratic behavior from corporate and goverment thugs.

The set of needs debian satisfies is too large for any one product to %100 completely meet. The range of hardware debian runs on and the range of software debian supports are so huge it is amazing. These "rock-solid" or "not-ready-for-prime-time" people all focus on having a pretty, desktop, TOY OS.

If you want such a thing, Ubuntu makes that. If you are concered that the fonts of the cd burner software look the same as the fonts in the web browser, and that it's all wrapped up into a gumdrop GUI, then buy ubuntu or OS/X. Anyone use Ubuntu as a real server? No, you use debian. If you are so concerned about it, start submitting patches, build matching themes for every application and desktop. Step Up!

Reply Score: 6

RE[2]: People Can't Trust Debian
by segedunum on Sat 2nd Feb 2008 14:29 UTC in reply to "RE: People Can't Trust Debian"
segedunum Member since:
2005-07-06

Let me get this straight. People can't trust Debian because they have absurdly high levels of ethic standards?


That's an interesting way of putting it, but it kind of proves my point, if you know what I mean. Over the top ethics over real world usage loses every time.

What they can do is trust that the code will work as billed.


Hmmmmm. Let's see. So they're repackaging Ruby gems in a way that don't work in ways that you will find in any Ruby documentation, and they even spent time creating a policy on it, and they felt the need to fork Firefox creating more work for themselves that diverges from Firefox itself (it's still a fork) - and you honestly think that will make the code work as billed?!

Reply Score: 3

RE: People Can't Trust Debian
by Morgan on Fri 1st Feb 2008 23:29 UTC in reply to "People Can't Trust Debian"
Morgan Member since:
2005-06-29

As far as trust goes, I'd trust an organization like Debian long before I'd trust a corporation. What does Debian have to gain by shafting me, the user? Nothing at all, and they stand to lose one more person supporting the project. A corporation may lose one subscriber but gain market share.

Still, some of the downright anal ways of thinking (the IceWeasel situation, non-GPL drivers, etc.) can be annoying. It's not a show-stopper, but it makes it that much more difficult to have a fully functional desktop OS out of Debian. Granted, they didn't set out to make a perfect desktop for everyone, and I still consider Debian one of the best base distros to build from.

Reply Score: 8

RE: People Can't Trust Debian
by Redeeman on Fri 1st Feb 2008 23:58 UTC in reply to "People Can't Trust Debian"
Redeeman Member since:
2006-03-23

you are talking about things you do not understand.

especially the comment about "iceweasel". Allow me to ask: Sir, are you a moron?

now let me sum what you are saying up:

"You cannot trust a distribution, which is so lunatic about the security of its users, that they would go to all the trouble of rebranding a package, in order to legally distribute security fixes as soon as its fixed, instead of waiting.."

did you really mean this? or are you just speaking about stuff you know nothing about? either way, both are bad, so stop doing it, you are only embarrasing yourself.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: People Can't Trust Debian
by segedunum on Sat 2nd Feb 2008 14:41 UTC in reply to "RE: People Can't Trust Debian"
segedunum Member since:
2005-07-06

you are talking about things you do not understand.

especially the comment about "iceweasel". Allow me to ask: Sir, are you a moron?


Hmmmmm. So the robust defence of Debian's idiotic decisions starts. Allow me to re-phrase what you've written below in a way that shows just what kind of a twit you are if you believe this, and just how idiotic this was:

"You cannot trust a distribution, which is so lunatic about the security of its users, that they would go to all the trouble of rebranding a package, in order to legally distribute security fixes as soon as its fixed, instead of waiting.."


So Debian decided to fork Firefox, diverging the code in ways that doesn't make it Firefox, because they think they know more about the code and security of Firefox than the Firefox developers do?!

Bugger me. That's quite an assumption and quite an ego trip.

I mean hell. Why don't they fork Gnome, or Apache or any of the other bits of open source software they package? Because, of course, we can trust the Debian developers to know more about the security of various open source applications than the developers of those applications themselves.

The reason why Debian isn't trusted in corporate settings is because you can't arbitrarily change code like that for reasons that are of no concern to an end user at all. The integrity of applications is everything. Either the application works in the general way that the upstream maintainers intended, or it doesn't work at all.

did you really mean this? or are you just speaking about stuff you know nothing about? either way, both are bad, so stop doing it, you are only embarrasing yourself.


Re-read tha last couple of paragraphs above that I wrote, and you will realise how awaaaaaay with the fairies you are if you believe this to be the correct way to run things.

Reply Score: 3

Redeeman Member since:
2006-03-23

" Hmmmmm. So the robust defence of Debian's idiotic decisions starts. Allow me to re-phrase what you've written below in a way that shows just what kind of a twit you are if you believe this, and just how idiotic this was"
i think you will find that you are the idiotic one, your arguments are totally a lie, or at the very least, not correct.

" So Debian decided to fork Firefox, diverging the code in ways that doesn't make it Firefox, because they think they know more about the code and security of Firefox than the Firefox developers do?!"
yeah, they forked it about as much as any other distribution that adds security fixes themselves do. Since you are incapable of finding the facts yourself, i will now give them to you(arent i generous?) since firefox wouldnt allow debian to patch security fixes themselves, without waiting for them to be approved, they were not ALLOWED to call it firefox. So debian had a choice: wait with getting fixes out to users, or rebrand it.

it is NOT a fork, its simply a rebranding, and security fixes.

" Bugger me. That's quite an assumption and quite an ego trip. "
i wonder who is the egoistic one? them or you? you didnt even bother checking if your moronic clueless understanding of events were correct.

"I mean hell. Why don't they fork Gnome, or Apache or any of the other bits of open source software they package? Because, of course, we can trust the Debian developers to know more about the security of various open source applications than the developers of those applications themselves. "
they do the same thing to those projects as to firefox, well, except for branding, as they were only FORCED to rebrand firefox, apache and gnome are more sensible than this.

"The reason why Debian isn't trusted in corporate settings is because you can't arbitrarily change code like that for reasons that are of no concern to an end user at all. The integrity of applications is everything. Either the application works in the general way that the upstream maintainers intended, or it doesn't work at all."
erhm, no. Firefox is not INTENDED to have security bugs by the authors, Debian merely wants to patch these. However, firefox/mozilla must approve those fixes before they are shipped, or debian can not call it firefox. Debian chooses to get security fixes out to the people, you call them stupid. Security isnt of concern for users? well.. speak for yourself.

"Re-read tha last couple of paragraphs above that I wrote, and you will realise how awaaaaaay with the fairies you are if you believe this to be the correct way to run things." If you think for a second that its more important firefox renders some webpage a specific way, than protecting against security flaws, you are a nutjob, and shouldnt be allowed an uplink to the internet. besides, i dont quite think the fixes debian makes have these side effects, but if they do, well, boo hoo.

Reply Score: 2

segedunum Member since:
2005-07-06

it is NOT a fork, its simply a rebranding, and security fixes.


It is a fork, and is apparently part of the Gnuzilla project.

The Debian people had taken it upon themselves to start changing and patching the code. Fair enough, you can do that, but Firefox reserves the right to say that you can't call it Firefox. They also took issue with this and other things that no other distribution had objected to, nor had a problem with, and most importantly, nothing will make the web browser work better than it did before. Quite the contrary.

They replaced the Talkback code as well as the plugin system to only use 'free plugins'. What use that is going to be to current Firefox users coming to Debian, one can only guess. If there are a raft of free plugins for users to use then fair enough, but there simply isn't, and calling it free is not going to make that so.

Package it up any way you like but it is a pointless fork that delivers zilch for users, and OEMs and people putting distros on devices such as Asus are not going to use a Debian that can't package 'Firefox'.

you didnt even bother checking if your moronic clueless understanding of events were correct.


You don't even know that IceWeasel/IceCat is in fact a fork of Firefox.

they do the same thing to those projects as to firefox, well, except for branding, as they were only FORCED to rebrand firefox


They weren't forced into doing anything. The fact is that if you want to brand Firefox then what you deliver must be Firefox, and any patches you make need to be run past the Firefox people. Every other distribution can do that happily - apart from Debian.

A Debian that can't even manage to package Firefox is worthless to OEMs and system integrators.

Firefox is not INTENDED to have security bugs by the authors


I never said it did.

Debian chooses to get security fixes out to the people, you call them stupid.


They can get security fixes out to people quite easily. Every single other distribution does it all the time. For some reason, Debian are forced into doing something different.

If you think for a second that its more important firefox renders some webpage a specific way, than protecting against security flaws


That's a decision for Firefox developers to make, and not for Debian. Thus far, that hasn't been an option.

besides, i dont quite think the fixes debian makes have these side effects, but if they do, well, boo hoo.


That, sweetheart, is the kind of basket case thinking that means that OEMs, system integrators and companies do not support Debian and don't trust it.

Reply Score: 2

da_Chicken Member since:
2006-01-01

It is a fork, and is apparently part of the Gnuzilla project.


No, they are two different things altogether. Confusingly, the GNU version of Firefox first adopted the name that Debian uses for their version of Firefox but now the GNU version is called IceCat. Debian's Iceweasel and the GNU IceCat have now a different name, different icon, and different features.
http://www.gnu.org/software/gnuzilla/

Debian's Iceweasel is almost identical with the version of Firefox in Ubuntu, because the distro-specific patches that Ubuntu currently uses were originally taken from Debian's Firefox.

If you compile Firefox from source, there's an in-built option to compile it without the official icons. The official Firefox icons have license restrictions about re-distributing binary versions of Firefox that have been compiled with the official icons. Historically, both Debian and Ubuntu used a version of Firefox that had been built without the official Firefox icons, because Debian decided that the license restrictions of the official Firefox icons were against their ideals of free software.

For a long time things went peacefully and Debian and Ubuntu distributed versions of Firefox that didn't have the official Firefox icons. Then the Mozilla people approached Debian and told that they didn't approve Debian shipping Firefox with distro-specific patches and they threatened to sue Debian if they didn't stop distributing a modified version of Firefox or, alternatively, change the name to something else than Firefox. Debian complied with these demands and agreed to change the name of their Firefox package to Iceweasel.

Later on it became apparent that the distro-specific patches were not the real reason why Mozilla had approached Debian, they were just an excuse. You see, Ubuntu had pretty much identical distro-specific patch set applied to their version of Firefox as Debian, but Mozilla allowed Ubuntu to continue distributing their patched version under the name Firefox once Ubuntu had agreed to use the official Firefox icons. The argument between Mozilla and Debian took place in Debian's mailing lists and is open for everyone to read but the negotiations between Mozilla and Ubuntu/Canonical were held behind closed doors.

I think Mozilla acted like a big bully when they threatened Debian. Mozilla knows pretty damn well that Firefox is the most popular web browser for GNU/Linux distros any distro that refuses to distribute Firefox is sure to lose popularity. I also admire Debian for acting according to their ideals.

Now, installing the original Firefox in Debian is not really difficult at all. You just download the ready-built binary from the Mozilla web site and uncompress it in your home directory (or in /opt or /usr/local). Then you apparently also need to install the libstdc++5 package with apt-get or synaptic. And that's it -- now you have the official Firefox in Debian.

Personally, I prefer Iceweasel. :-P

Reply Score: 3

RE: People Can't Trust Debian
by mzilikazi on Sat 2nd Feb 2008 00:14 UTC in reply to "People Can't Trust Debian"
mzilikazi Member since:
2006-02-11

'Firefox', is another classic example of this lunatic thinking.

Basically, you can sum this up as "We have our own packaging system, we don't want anything else encroaching on our territory and we want to tell software and people what they should be doing."

You can't really trust a distribution that spends time and effort coming out with this stuff, and not actually making things any better for people.

Firefox became Iceweasel due to a licensing issue. It's not about anything more or less despite what you may think. To quote wikipedia:
The Debian Free Software Guidelines are used by the Debian project to determine whether a license is a free license, which in turn is used to determine whether something can be included in Debian. As the (Firefox) logo does not meet these requirements, it could not be used by software which was to be included in Debian.
/snip/
the artwork in Firefox has a proprietary copyright license which is not compatible with the Debian Free Software Guidelines


Furthermore, you should read the http://www.debian.org/social_contract

The very first item reads:
# Debian will remain 100% free

We provide the guidelines that we use to determine if a work is free in the document entitled The Debian Free Software Guidelines. We promise that the Debian system and all its components will be free according to these guidelines. We will support people who create or use both free and non-free works on Debian. We will never make the system require the use of a non-free component.


The Mozilla Corporation (read taxable entiity) forced this upon Debian, not the other way around. You are clearly mis-informed and should probably do a bit more research before making outrageous claims on that which you do not fully understand.

Reply Score: 14

RE[2]: People Can't Trust Debian
by segedunum on Sat 2nd Feb 2008 14:56 UTC in reply to "RE: People Can't Trust Debian"
segedunum Member since:
2005-07-06

Firefox became Iceweasel due to a licensing issue. It's not about anything more or less despite what you may think.


They decided to fork Firefox, and ultimately diverge the code, for reasons that are of no concern to an end user and which other distributions have had no trouble with whatsoever.

Furthermore, you should read the http://www.debian.org/social_contract


This is my point. They've spent more time on drawing up social contracts and arguing about ethics than they have writing code, getting releases out and actually making things work.

The Mozilla Corporation (read taxable entiity)...


In less than one sentence you've just made my point, and that of the author of the article.

...forced this upon Debian, not the other way around. You are clearly mis-informed and should probably do a bit more research before making outrageous claims on that which you do not fully understand.


Mozilla forced nothing on Debian, other than if they want to use the Firefox name and graphics then what is packaged has to be Firefox. Debian couldn't even do that. No other distribution has had any trouble with this whatsoever. I'm amused that you think I'm making outrageous claims (whatever they are). Debian are free to fork every single piece of open source software they see fit to fit in with their social contract, but it doesn't make it any less idiotic.

I suggest you re-read the article, and some of the comments, and understand the points people are making rather than running into a China shop with embarrassing and over-the-top defences of Debian's silly decisions - which, of course, we are all misinformed on and don't understand ;-).

Reply Score: 1

RE: People Can't Trust Debian
by ashcrow on Sat 2nd Feb 2008 01:20 UTC in reply to "People Can't Trust Debian"
ashcrow Member since:
2008-02-02

You are free to copy/install the gem anywhere you want on your system. I'd rather trust the OS's package management system for updates and dependencies. I can't even imagine the pain of trying to track the ruby gems, python eggs, and Java jars without using a standard package management system (in my case RPM).

I think Debian made the right call. Having a package manager call a package manager to install a package is a bit silly.

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: People Can't Trust Debian
by segedunum on Sat 2nd Feb 2008 15:07 UTC in reply to "RE: People Can't Trust Debian"
segedunum Member since:
2005-07-06

I can't even imagine the pain of trying to track the ruby gems, python eggs, and Java jars without using a standard package management system (in my case RPM).


I know. Being able to get up-to-date modules within the domain of the software you're using, be it Java, Python, Perl or Ruby, and having some universal documentation on how to go about doing it, is such a pain.

This is why software installation on Linux distros is such a PITA. Why on Earth do you think the Ruby people came up with gems, why we have CPAN and why people use JPackage?

I think Debian made the right call. Having a package manager call a package manager to install a package is a bit silly.


A package manager is not calling a package manager here.

I'm afraid when you install software on your system the only people who are qualified to decide on what that software does, and what the best path to do its job is, are the developers of said software.

This is something distributors are going to have to lighten up on. You can't fork and repackage everything to fit in with your own views on how things should technically work (and worse, that have no positive impact whatsoever for the end user), and you have to recognise that with the large amounts of software out there, nothing is perfect.

Repackaging everything is just plain daft, and that's why software installation is such a PITA, why there's so much divergence and why Ruby has gems in the first place.

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: People Can't Trust Debian
by tyrione on Sun 3rd Feb 2008 04:44 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: People Can't Trust Debian"
tyrione Member since:
2005-11-21

"I can't even imagine the pain of trying to track the ruby gems, python eggs, and Java jars without using a standard package management system (in my case RPM).


I know. Being able to get up-to-date modules within the domain of the software you're using, be it Java, Python, Perl or Ruby, and having some universal documentation on how to go about doing it, is such a pain.

This is why software installation on Linux distros is such a PITA. Why on Earth do you think the Ruby people came up with gems, why we have CPAN and why people use JPackage?

I think Debian made the right call. Having a package manager call a package manager to install a package is a bit silly.


A package manager is not calling a package manager here.

I'm afraid when you install software on your system the only people who are qualified to decide on what that software does, and what the best path to do its job is, are the developers of said software.

This is something distributors are going to have to lighten up on. You can't fork and repackage everything to fit in with your own views on how things should technically work (and worse, that have no positive impact whatsoever for the end user), and you have to recognise that with the large amounts of software out there, nothing is perfect.

Repackaging everything is just plain daft, and that's why software installation is such a PITA, why there's so much divergence and why Ruby has gems in the first place.
"

This would be respectable, within reason. However, these same developers are constantly adjusting the goals and target for their products. They tend to modify their code and installation approaches quite often resulting in code that may work on their system, but in a distributed project just breaks the rest of the developer/user community installations.

This common reality is one of the major motivations behind a sensible, consistent and tested package management system where policies are driven to meet both sides of the coin, half way.

Reply Score: 2

RE: People Can't Trust Debian
by l3v1 on Sat 2nd Feb 2008 11:26 UTC in reply to "People Can't Trust Debian"
l3v1 Member since:
2005-07-06

People just can't trust Debian, and that filters down. Debian has far too many 'codes of conduct' and 'elections', rather than what an open source project should be - people writing the code and deciding what should be done in a meritocracy. Too much bureaucracy and not enough coding and work to make things better.


This is so stupid I don't even know where to start to disassemble it. So I won't.

You know, there are people out there, including me, who use Debian on pcs and servers for more than a decade now (besides my strong feelings towards Gentoo ;) ), and they never lost faith in Debian because they deliver. Deliver not always in a timely manner, but they deliver trustworthy quality, a very usable distro, and a still very highly usable package management, despite how crowds are preaching otherwise for a while now. They just do their work, and we just use their work, it's how it's been working for many years now.

While those other people picked up their works and started "revolutionary" new distros, built up fame, and preached how Debian was inferior to everything out there, these "untrustworthy" devs just kept on going and delivering high quality releases for all of our pleasure.

I strongly feel that those codes of conducts, those elections, and those guidelines - although seeming to hinder more than advance at times - have helped them remain on the path they've chosen, and I'm happy that I still can choose Debian to use on every new machine I use.

Ice Weasel, aka 'Firefox', is another classic example of this lunatic thinking.


Forgive me, sir, but that only shows your lunatic ways of thinking, not anybody else's.

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: People Can't Trust Debian
by segedunum on Sat 2nd Feb 2008 15:14 UTC in reply to "RE: People Can't Trust Debian"
segedunum Member since:
2005-07-06

This is so stupid I don't even know where to start to disassemble it. So I won't.


Because you don't have a point, that's why.

You know, there are people out there, including me, who use Debian on pcs and servers for more than a decade now (besides my strong feelings towards Gentoo ;) ), and they never lost faith in Debian because they deliver.


That's absolutely great if you're going to install a machine and leave it for ten years. Alas, the world has moved on and desktops, and even servers, do not remain static forever.

Forgive me, sir, but that only shows your lunatic ways of thinking, not anybody else's.


If you have a response and a point to make over how forking Firefox was stupid, by all means do so. Squirming in your seat over something you don't like will not help I'm afraid.

Reply Score: 3

Ignorant twit
by da_Chicken on Sat 2nd Feb 2008 04:19 UTC
da_Chicken
Member since:
2006-01-01

Companies don't support Debian? Well, that just shows how ignorant this Vaughan-Nichols guy is.

Vaughan-Nichols is known to have written numerous unnecessarily negative articles about Debian. He seems to have great difficulty to perceive *anything* positive in Debian but he could have at least visited the Debian web site before writing an article that is full of bullshit.
http://www.us.debian.org/partners/

Check out also these relevant links:
http://news.zdnet.com/2100-3513_22-6104891.html
http://www.internetnews.com/dev-news/article.php/3661481
http://linuxpr.com/releases/1596.html

Reply Score: 6

Because Debian don't support itself ...
by Moulinneuf on Sat 2nd Feb 2008 10:24 UTC
Moulinneuf
Member since:
2005-07-06

-= 3 Point and one insult. =-

1.) Debian don't support itself.

Debian Advocate : Why does Xandros , Canonical , Linspire , ETC ... don't support Debian they are using the software.

Answer : They are **competitor** making money for ** themself ** using your work , because your distribution system , delivery system , support system is Broken , non existant or hidden from plain view.

Debian Advocate : How come ASUS EEPC is loaded with xandros when Debian is a far superior product.

Answer : Because Xandros made a hardware **business** partnership with ASUS , where as Debian only release software and completly forget that it run on hardware.

2.) Money , Money , Money.

Debian Advocate : how come other make money and we don't.

Answer : Other's are doing it for the money , so when someone pay them to do something , they do it. There is no rebellion because one developer get paid to do the job.

Debian advocate : Debian is Free

Answer : Free = Freedom , not Gratis , someone always pay for freedom , be it in money , blood or equipment.

Debian advocate : We can't do that , we never done that before , it's advertisement people in Debian don't like ads.

Answer : with the same actions you end up with the same results.Most people in Debian don't pay for anything so there right to vote is none.

Debian advocate : We can't do that.

Answer : Then somebody else will do it and make the money instead of you.

3. Hardware , hardware , hard to get any ware.

Debian advocate : How come we don't get any hardware this days when we know people in hardware company are using Debian.

Answer : Your not going to be delivering any product , service or worthwile contribution with it.

Debian advocate : We don't have x system so we can't support it.

Answer : How the heck are we suppose to know what you need ... if you don't have a procurement list or goal or wanted hardware list , or even someone in charge of watching for that. We all assume your fine.

Now the insult :

It's not the fault of the journalist who report on commercial interest , who talk about your distribution if the Debian leader , Debian community , Debian user don't pay or contribute for anything that is interesting to talk about.

- If someone else sale and distribute the distribution. They keep the money.
- If someone else do the support. They keep the money.
- If someone else sale the distribution with hardware in a system solution. They keep the money.
- If they keep the money , you have to beg them for some of it , or cry for nothing and watch as they keep it.
- With no money , you cant hire anyone.
- But even more problematic if you can't hire and hide your problem and don't ask for help , you end up having problem releasing the distribution.

- Debian are the only one stupid and dumb enough to say we can't accept money to do what we do and pay someone to help us do it faster.

Debian.com should be like :

http://store.apple.com
http://www.dell.com/
http://www.newegg.com/
http://www.ncix.com/

The girl scout sale cookies , the basketball team sale chocolate , the monks sale beer and cheese , the political party sale membership cards ...

But someone else sale Debian ...

Edited 2008-02-02 10:26 UTC

Reply Score: 6

segedunum Member since:
2005-07-06

You'll probably get a bit of a flaming for this, but you're right.

Debian Advocate : How come ASUS EEPC is loaded with xandros when Debian is a far superior product.

Answer : Because Xandros made a hardware **business** partnership with ASUS , where as Debian only release software and completly forget that it run on hardware.


Additionally, when people load up their web browser they don't want to see IceWeasel or IceCat. They want to see Firefox. This isn't just marketing. This has support ramifications for both Xandros and Asus in that the code has to do what Firefox does, but of course, few people get that.

You can't trust a distribution that forks software from upstream because of reasons that have no impact on end users whatsoever, other than a negative one, so Asus will never go direct and use Debian.

Other's are doing it for the money , so when someone pay them to do something , they do it. There is no rebellion because one developer get paid to do the job.


Plenty of projects have paid developers, and those who just do it for free and in their spare time. Most are pleased, as the paid developers can spend more time pushing things forwards. I've never been entirely sure why the Debian developers feel they are so special.

Reply Score: 2

elsewhere Member since:
2005-07-13

Well color me surprised, I never thought I'd see the day I would mod up one of your posts, but I think you've made some good points about the divergence of commercial and community interests in FLOSS.

Neither can exist in a vaccuum, and while commercial interests are clearly dependent on the community, the community is going to become more and more shut out of the process if they don't start thinking along the lines of commercial entities.

I don't mean to say they need to become capitalistic or profit driven, but as you pointed out, Debian isn't actually free. It is financed by the time, effort and contributions of it's community, that's simply something that doesn't equate easily to a balance sheet.

Canonical "gets" this balance, and what Shuttleworth is ultimately doing is applying a business-oriented approach to the community-development process. That doesn't mean to say he's attempting to "commercialize" Debian, rather he's taking an approach that balances the objectives of commercial interests with community interests, not necessarily to the detriment of one or the other. As far as I'm concerned, Ubuntu is becoming more and more of a fork of Debian, regardless of how people try to stress that it is not. Whether this is a good thing, or will be a successful strategy, are academic questions at this point.

I don't use Debian, but I'd still hate to see it lose relevance. I just suspect that if the Debian leadership doesn't start considering the idea that you can embrace "commercial" interests without necessarily sacrificing or compromising the community-oriented ideals that drive your mission, that will inevitably happen.

And Ubuntu will be right there, waiting to lead people on.

Reply Score: 2

Supporting ..
by Aeko on Sat 2nd Feb 2008 11:48 UTC
Aeko
Member since:
2007-10-20

Hey companies !!

Trust in Debian. Give it a change.

I have a little company, and we are using an old box (Pentium 120 Mz) with Debian Etch for making programmed backups (using samba). It simple runs and updates like silk. Imagine what can you do with a modern computer.

I'm sure that the answer will be: "It don't have support". Well, may be it doesn't neeb as much support as you think. Every computer maintainer should know about running a simple Debian box. It's his work and not only click OK to commercial programs as I've always seen.

May be the problem isn't that Debian hasn't support. The problem is that there are too many companies supporting nothing.

Reply Score: 1

Envy
by h3rman on Sat 2nd Feb 2008 17:30 UTC
h3rman
Member since:
2006-08-09

The envy thing is a very interesting point.
If one is not compensated for her/his coding and sees that someone else who is doing the same thing is, two things can happen: 'big deal, I like the coding', or, 'enter envy'.

In the latter case you either don't like the coding enough, or you might think of finding employment in the (free) software industry and try to have your employer pay you for what you had been doing for free before.

Isn't that how it works? Show your talent, and end up getting paid nicely for what was and hopefully still is a hobby?

Alternatively, one should realise that although many people work for free, they are free to 'come and go' whenever they feel to; yet they are, like everybody else, enjoying using the code that was written for them partly by those paid by Red Hat, IBM, HP, Novell, Canonical, MySQL, Apache, Mozilla, etc.

I actually think more of the code-that-matters than people realise already is written by paid developers with jobs in the software industry.
But I might be wrong.

Reply Score: 4