Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sun 3rd Feb 2008 23:17 UTC, submitted by Robert Millan
Debian and its clones "I read about Steven J. Vaughan's article on which he tries to explain why you don't see as much corporate support in Debian as you see in other places. The conclusion of Steven's analysis, it seems, is that Debian is immature. I will attempt to respond to it from a Debian perspective."
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The trouble with blogs
by Michael on Mon 4th Feb 2008 00:27 UTC
Michael
Member since:
2005-07-01

You see, flame wars fought out over blogs, rather than the traditional mailing list, move too slowly for my taste and are too prone to rational argument. Gimme vi vs. emacs any day.

Reply Score: 6

RE: The trouble with blogs
by da_Chicken on Mon 4th Feb 2008 04:08 UTC in reply to "The trouble with blogs"
da_Chicken Member since:
2006-01-01

It doesn't look like much of a flame war to me. This is a very moderate response, especially given the sheer stupidity of the article that it responds to -- not to mention the numerous other articles from the same guy that repeatedly predict Debian's imminent death.

This Vaughan-Nichols guy starts his most recent opinion piece by quoting another article where some Debian developers say that Debian needs more corporate support. In Vaughan-Nichols's head this simple message somehow twists into statement that Debian gets no support at all from companies and, furthermore, that Debian developers refuse to accept any commercial support. It's amazing how he manages to misunderstand such a simple message and to turn it upside down.

It should be clear, though, that Vaughan-Nichols's misinterpretations can hurt Debian's public image quite a lot if companies get the idea that Debian developers are ungrateful and refuse to acknowledge the support that Debian has received so far, and that Debian doesn't want any more corporate support. You only need to visit the Debian web site to see that this isn't true at all.
http://www.debian.org/partners/

I haven't read this Vaughan-Nichols's articles often but I seem to recall that he has criticized in the past the way that Microsoft has tried to hurt open source projects by spreading fear, uncertainty and doubt. Well, his negative and misleading articles about Debian are nothing else but similar FUD spreading, IMO.

Reply Score: 11

Yeah... hmmm...
by NotInterested on Mon 4th Feb 2008 02:25 UTC
NotInterested
Member since:
2008-01-02

Why have long conversations over a simple topic with simple answers?

Please tell me the release cycle of debian. Does someone know? Is the answer "when it's stable"?

You see companies can't wait when distro X is going to deliver. They have their own release cycle you know. As far as I am concerned Debian is a distro dedicated on bringing totally FREE and stable software... at their own pace. And they are pretty good at that.

If I had to choose a favorite distro I would choose Slackware over any other, but I don't think I would have questions as to why companies can't support it.

Companies depend on companies and not on non-profit organizations.

But maybe I am not that bright and things are a lot more complex.

Reply Score: 8

RE: Yeah... hmmm...
by MobyTurbo on Mon 4th Feb 2008 03:31 UTC in reply to "Yeah... hmmm..."
MobyTurbo Member since:
2005-07-08

Slackware is not non-profit, it's commercial, and its release schedule is actually pretty regular and fast for the last few years.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Yeah... hmmm...
by da_Chicken on Mon 4th Feb 2008 04:40 UTC in reply to "Yeah... hmmm..."
da_Chicken Member since:
2006-01-01

Please tell me the release cycle of debian. Does someone know? Is the answer "when it's stable"?


"We want to restrict the release cycle for Lenny to less than 2 years".
http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel-announce/2007/04/msg00005.html

More detailed release schedule is also available. The next stable Debian release, codenamed Lenny, should be out "in the second half of 2008".
http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel-announce/2007/06/msg00005.html

If you want to compare the release cycles for the past Debian releases, look here:
http://wiki.debian.org/TimeBetweenReleases

Reply Score: 5

v RE: Yeah... hmmm...
by 2501 on Mon 4th Feb 2008 05:18 UTC in reply to "Yeah... hmmm..."
RE: Yeah... hmmm...
by gustl on Mon 4th Feb 2008 14:35 UTC in reply to "Yeah... hmmm..."
gustl Member since:
2006-01-19

Please tell me the release cycle of MS Windows.
[...]
Does someone know? Is the answer "when it's stable"?

You see companies can't wait when
Microsoft is going to deliver. They have their own release cycle you know.

Does it really make a difference in fact if you put Microsoft in place of Debian in your argument? I think not, Debian releases when it is ready which is every 2 years on average, Microsoft does the same with Windows every 5 years. Both provide bugfixes and security patches in the meantime, only that Debian has a larger software base to maintain. Does this hinder MS Windows adoption in the corporate field? No. Therefore that is definitely not the reason.

What I want to say is: Debian stands strong, and will continue to stand strong. And not every company needs support like RedHat delivers, they can in fact live with what their sysadmin on site can deliver. Think about WIENUX, the vienna magistrate distro. It is supported by the local sysadmins, all they need is what Debian already delivers.

Reply Score: 6

RE: Yeah... hmmm...
by spikeb on Mon 4th Feb 2008 17:47 UTC in reply to "Yeah... hmmm..."
spikeb Member since:
2006-01-18

18-21 months, if it is ready.

Reply Score: 2

irbis
Member since:
2005-07-08

Well - if Steven J. Vaughan's article might have been a bit too critical, this response by Robert Millan reads a bit too much like a Debian advertisement... Instead of truly dealing with the problems pointed, the blog text has catchy phrases praising Debian like "goals are quality and freedom", "to show leadership in the development of the codebase that most users (be it individual users or big players like Canonical, HP or IBM) rely on" etc.

Wow, Debian must surely be the best thing since sliced salami... How could anyone even dare to criticize such a mountain of freedom and river of divine IT leadership...?

Sorry, sarcasm aside... I truly like Debian. I would have never thought that I could give up using Debian as my main operating system. However, because of many problems in Debian, I have. As a small example of Debian's problems, where, for example, is the Debian Weekly News nowadays? I understood that publishing it stopped at least initially just because of Debian's inner problems and fights?

I cannot understand the attitude of some people in Debian. They take Debian almost as their religion. Anything else, including Ubuntu, or even other Debian people who try to do something in a bit new way (Anthony Towns, for example, or many former project leaders) is seen as an enemy and people stop cooperating with them. Debian cannot be criticized (can it even be changed?). If someone does that, surely he is a dangerous heretic and there's something wrong in the person.

Debian is surely one of the pioneer free distributions that has shaped the Linux world a lot. But there are many other Linux distributions that are defending the ideals of free software too, and besides of that, may be much more innovative nowadays than Debian.

Of course, Debian is still an excellent distribution for servers and also for geek desktops. But - the world could and can live without Debian too.

I hope that Debian people would be a bit more humble sometimes, notice that - in the end - Debian is just another Linux distribution (ok, there is also Debian GNU/Hurd & GNU/kFreeBSD etc. but that's not the point..), and would notice the need to keep Debian as relevant as before in the future too.

Edited 2008-02-04 04:23 UTC

Reply Score: 10

l3v1 Member since:
2005-07-06

Of course, Debian is still an excellent distribution for servers and also for geek desktops.


Add geek laptops, I love it. And add non-geek desktops and non-geek laptops if you have a Debianer friend. It works.

But - the world could and can live without Debian too.


I don't really think so. Ask Debian-based distros where they would be without Debian, and where would they step next if Debian and their repos suddenly disappeared.

Reply Score: 12

capricorn_tm
Member since:
2005-12-31

... At least not only.

Corporate philosophy means giving themselves goal and sticking by them answering on it every time. It means responsibility on a personal base.

It is true that it is easier to work free as the wind and never having to take too seriously any deadline or end date.

Problem is that if the Debian developer base is really that large and there is nobody that has a view like that, it is sure that things goes slooooooow.

We know Vaughn, he is not the guy that comes with the feather to tell you his opinion, but even if brutally honest, he is honest.

His point could be as good or as useless as anyone else, but the question is: does Debian need or not a philosophy like the one I exposed or not?

And most of all, it would need it what for? To get more Kudos? To get more space on corporate PCs? To get more space on user desktop?

Reply Score: 3

Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

We know Vaughn, he is not the guy that comes with the feather to tell you his opinion, but even if brutally honest, he is honest.


He's also usually completely wrong.

Reply Score: 4

Moulinneuf
Member since:
2005-07-06

From the premise and introduction of the article here , you think , hey I was wrong and it's simply a case of really bad visibility ( like the corporate support info is on a site nobody know's about ) and this new article will show me as wrong and shed some light on what I was missing.

This is what you get :

- We don’t hide problems (remember our Social Contract?).
- Our common goals are quality and freedom.
- Our value is our strong, technically-capable user-developer base.

Note that the above point are really interesting from a software development angle and community building angle.

But when discussed in a corporate support discussion ,
you just showed that you don't have a corporate support division and worst that you send developers to do it. It's a bunch of unrelated excuses.

Corporate support is this :

- Who they are. ( names and contacts and locations )
- What do they offer , for what amount , what are there guarantee.
- How much money/equipment do they bring or save.

It's also not a Donation page or listing of donation described as partner like :

http://www.debian.org/partners

compare it to :

http://www.redhat.com/partners/

take 5 seconds to see the difference.

http://www.redhat.com/solutions/
http://www.redhat.com/products/

The two link above show what's missing from the Debian offer aka the corporate support division , the corporate products , corporate services , corporate solutions to problems.

Usual Debian advocate answer is Debian is not a corporation and not a commercial entity. My answer is that's why Ian from Deb Ian now work for SUN on OpenSolaris ... Instead of on Debian inside Debian Corp. That's why Ubuntu is eating Debian Lunch. You got Ubuntu and Canonical. Red Hat and Fedora. Novell/Suse and OpenSuse.

http://www.redhat.com/about/news/prarchive/2007/CIO_Insight_Study.h...

Why the above link ? Because Debian is not even an option on it ...

When people think of corporate support they don't say : Debian !!!! It's not even an option in there mind.

Reply Score: 1

sorpigal Member since:
2005-11-02

you don't have a corporate support division and worst that you send developers to do it


All Debian people are developers. It's part of the structure of what Debian is. Even the Debian project leader is a developer first, project leader later. It's like saying that all United States Senators are citizens first, which might not be true but it's what you would want.

The two link above show what's missing from the Debian offer aka the corporate support division , the corporate products , corporate services , corporate solutions to problems.


You are comparing apples and oranges. Debian is a base upon which companies which offer such corporate services may build if they so desire. It's not the fault of the Debian project if a company is not selling such services.

This would be like complaining that Fedora doesn't have a corporate services page. Debian != Debian-based companies, just as Fedora != RedHat.

Reply Score: 4

RHCE07 Member since:
2007-12-08

You have a valid point, in the business world when you have the CIO at your desk asking why something is not working or he needs an answer by end of business day which boat do you want to be in?

Red Hat and SuSE presently right now sitting on a gold mine if they would market their products on the desktop as they do with the server line up.

That is the only achillies heal of any (X) Linux distro marketing, marketing, and marketing. When the techie CIO can see facts/graphs on stuff they will make a decision to try something new. On the other hand their head is on the chopping block if it does not go over well.

The market is plenty big for any distro of Linux it is the marketing and support that will win over the customer especially support if you get an answer on a problem instead of read this forum or in the future...

Reply Score: 2

Push a little pride upstream
by braddock on Mon 4th Feb 2008 15:18 UTC
braddock
Member since:
2005-07-08

Debian serves its role well as upstream base for a score of distributions, including Ubuntu.

Its uncompromising commitment to Free Software standards in this base serves VERY well to trickle those values down through the community.

Debian should not try to compare itself to other (often down-stream) distros. That is not Debian's most important role.

-braddock

Reply Score: 6

defense ok, but IRL....
by sgibofh on Mon 4th Feb 2008 17:22 UTC
sgibofh
Member since:
2007-03-31

the defense sounds right but the real deal here is that IRL, companies generally choose SLES and RH[EL|AS] *because* of the corporate support.

It's just what we in our consultancy jobs see.....

Also, some people think that debian and their offspring is somewhat overrated when it comes to their quality statements. As if it would be more stable, more complete etc. If that were true, you should think of why the corporate products are being used instead.

Reply Score: 3

tried Debian once
by trenchsol on Mon 4th Feb 2008 21:31 UTC
trenchsol
Member since:
2006-12-07

I have tried Debian once and concluded that I'd rather use Microsoft Windows. And, I don't like Windows.

Reply Score: 3