Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sat 10th Mar 2007 23:16 UTC, submitted by da_Chicken
Debian and its clones "Debian GNU/Linux used to have a reputation as the toughest GNU/Linux distribution to install, yet the easiest to maintain. In fact, Debian's package management system has played a huge role in the proliferation of projects based on Debian. Suffice it to say that anyone who can install their own operating system can generally install Debian Etch with little or no trouble. If you've never installed Debian before, it's fairly easy to walk through the default installation without realizing you have options. Let's explore the Debian Installer, to find out just what options we do have."
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RE[3]: To be honest...
by farfromhome on Mon 12th Mar 2007 23:44 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: To be honest..."
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Dave, I can see where you're coming from, and even agree with a lot of it (e.g.: the over-hypedness of Ubuntu), but I think you're missing some of the point of Debian.

As much as Debian is my preferred distro, I don't think it's the "distro of the masses" (but neither is Fedora), nor does it need to be. Being completely non-commercial, it can reach people (say, those 0.0002% still running m68k Macs) that no commercial distro would reach because it wouldn't be worth their while. It can reach people who only speak a remote Pacific Island language. It is the exact opposite of a geek-only distro; it's an inclusive distro. Now, you're right that it means that they can't move as fast, but I think it's a good trade-off for being the most inclusive distro there is.

Now what about the majority of us that are on a x86 or amd64 machine that want more of the latest-and-greatest and tailored to the average computer? That's where Debian's obsession with stability comes in handy. Other distros can use it as a base and add the latest on top of it, and make it more a seamless experience without making it too unstable. Ubuntu, however over-hyped, being the prime example of that. Taking Debian as a base and making it as non-geeky as you could ever want. Not to say that the Fedora camp is bad, but the Debian camp isn't nearly as bad as you make it out to be.

One more thing I disagree with: As a genuine English-speaking American who has lived in other countries for years at a time, I can assure you that although lots of Westernized countries can speak and read English just fine, they still prefer their native language. And it is nothing but cultural narrow-mindedness to assume that English will be the dominant international language forever. While some things (stability, polish, etc...) may be more immediately important, internationalization shouldn't be ignored in any distribution.

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