Linked by Eugenia Loli on Sun 20th Oct 2002 17:14 UTC
Debian and its clones "This is a critical review of Debian 3.0, but I want to say right from the start that I'm not trying to bait anyone. However I feel that reviewers often root for Debian as the open-source underdog, and give it marks which it doesn't deserve. If RedHat 8.0 came out with installation software like Debian 3.0 it would be savaged. I think it's time for an honest review, to spur the Debian developers into making the best possible distribution. I really want Debian to succeed. I want to use it daily, and recommend it to my friends. But I can't do that right now and I think it's important people understand why." Read the review and its (already long) discussion at DebianPlanet.
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Debian Vs. The User
by Long Pai-Te on Mon 21st Oct 2002 19:20 UTC

There has been a lot of valuable talk in this thread concerning Debian and its installation, and, more fascinating, talk of what its focus (goal) should be. Heretofor it has been the exclusive zone of the guru. But in recent years Corel, Progeny, Stormix, and a few others have labored to make Debian accessible to the Linux masses. Only Libranet has succeeded, and rather handsomely so. That so many have tried and failed should be a wake-up call to the Debian team.

The silence of that team makes me wonder if they are simply trying to play in a private playground. Flame me if your insecurity demands it, but I propose that the primal notion of Linux is that it was to be accessible to people. If we were to ask Linus, would he approve that his creation was/is only for a programming elite? Because that is the premise that the Debian team seem to be operating under. A premise supported by many of the responses in this very thread.

Debian IS the best of Linux, undoubtedly. For that very reason it should be as accessible as possible to all who wish to use and support it.

To this end, the graphical installer talked about here on OSnews'is a great start. dselect, though logically/intellectually superb, is still lacking, as it lacks intuitiveness. That is a requirement today. Intelligence, and logic, are useless if they aren't applied in a forward manner. To do any less is, forgive my frankness, an intellectual 'circle-jerk'.

Debian needs to do more to keep pace with the times. For two years, company after company has tried to make Debian more accessible to the masses, and failed because Debian is (quite simply) too darned far behind the times, when it comes to programs a user wishes to use.

Debian is embarking upon a self-serving downward spiral, and it'll take Linux with it. I hope the Debian team might find the balance before it's too late.