Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 5th Jun 2007 19:05 UTC
Debian and its clones FreeSoftwareMagazine takes a look at Debian as a desktop system, and they conclude: "I feel that Debian Etch is as good on the desktop as it is on the server. It has a long rich history, a strong community, is amazingly stable and is a great fit for both my servers and my laptop. I urge everyone to give it a go on the desktop."
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RE: Debian stable/unstable
by sbergman27 on Tue 5th Jun 2007 20:52 UTC in reply to "Debian stable/unstable"
sbergman27
Member since:
2005-07-24

"""
When someone makes a mistake and your Debian unstable is rendered unbootable by a libreadline, glibc or some other problem, the response is 'what do you expect - don't run unstable if you want stability', but then until recently debian stable was so ancient in terms of package versions that it simply wasn't suitable for modern desktop use.
"""

You've kind of hit on what I used to call "The Debian Shell Game".

It goes like this:

---
New Debian User: I'm running Debian Stable, but everything is so *old*. Seems like the other distros always have stuff that isn't so ancient.

Debian Community: Just run Testing. We all use it. And it's more stable than the "supposedly" stable releases of other distros!

New Debian User: I'm running Testing and I've found all this stuff that is just broken. It's really causing me problems.

Debian Community: Well, Duh! If you run "Testing" you should expect that. That's why it's called "Testing" you goofus.

User of non-Debian Linux: Debian's packages are so old.

Debian Community: No they're not. We have stuff that even Fedora doesn't! (Speaking of Sid.)

Debian Community: Debian is the most rock solid Linux distribution on Earth! (Speaking of Stable.)
---

There was really no way, effectively, to make a criticism of Debian. Because Debian fans could just keep moving the shells around and you were mired in an eternal cycle of trying to describe which shell your criticism was about.

That worked before Debian had strong competition in its own back yard.

Now that they do, I can't help but notice that they are actually competing again, rather playing the shell game and hiding behind the "It's ready when it's ready" defense, year in and year out.

Ain't competition grand?

Being Free/Open Source does not protect an organization from complacence.

When competition (finally) knocks at the door, even the most revered of the Free Software players have to jump just like the rest of us.

I like that. :-)

Edited 2007-06-05 21:02

Reply Parent Score: 5

deanlinkous Member since:
2006-06-19

All of that is true and accurate - and is perfectly understandable once you learn Debian. ;)

Reply Parent Score: 2

sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

"""
All of that is true and accurate - and is perfectly understandable once you learn Debian. ;)
"""

It's perfectly understandable once you've been around the block a few times in the Linux community regardless of learning Debian or not. :-)

I'm from the RedHat/Fedora side of the fence. But I'll tell you what. Ubuntu has been a Godsend to the Debian world... including Debian itself.

I had tried Debian from time to time, but it never lasted more than a day on my desktop. I always went back to Redhat, and later, to Fedora.

But then, one day, I evaluated Ubuntu. And the evaluation went on for months and months, because there was no real hurry to switch back. And when I did go back to Fedora... it lasted about a day. I returned to Ubuntu.

I must say that apt-get and synaptic are nice. Not for the reasons that I usually see presented. After all, there really is no such thing as "RPM Hell" and there hasn't beeen for years.

But the package avalailability is really nice. And the speed of apt-get/synaptics is quite pleasant, even compared to the new, faster, yum based package management in FC7.

I still don't like some things, like network config, in the Debian world. But I have really gotten to like *some* Debianisms.

And that would never have happened if Debian had remained the sole "strong" player in its space.

Edited 2007-06-05 21:30

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: Debian stable/unstable
by cato_minor on Wed 6th Jun 2007 10:31 in reply to "RE: Debian stable/unstable"
cato_minor Member since:
2006-02-13

You do know the difference between Testing and Unstable? You'll find broken or temporarily unavailable packages only in Unstable. Testing consists of the well-tried packages of Unstable.

So people running Testing will have, after some delay, the desired updates they don't find in Stable. And if they complain that Testing is broken, they are perfectly right about that :-)

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[2]: Debian stable/unstable
by da_Chicken on Thu 7th Jun 2007 20:13 in reply to "RE: Debian stable/unstable"
da_Chicken Member since:
2006-01-01

"The Debian Shell Game" sounds like a cool game. It's almost identical with "The Ubuntu Upgrade Game" (or "Is It Yet Safe To Upgrade?") that we get to enjoy twice a year whenever a new Ubuntu release draws near. It goes like this:

New Ubuntu User: I'm running the latest stable Ubuntu release, but everything is so *old*. Seems like the other distros always have stuff that isn't so ancient.

Advanced Ubuntu User: Just install the latest alpha release and fire up Synaptic to get the latest and greatest Oo-BOON-too. I've tracked the development branch since day one with no problems whatsoever. It's rock solid!

New Ubuntu User: I've installed the latest alpha release and I've found all this stuff that is just broken. It's really causing me problems.

Advanced Ubuntu User: Well, Duh! If you install "alpha" you should expect that. That's why it's called "alpha" you goofus.

Reply Parent Score: 2