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"Steven Maddox (Cyorxamp)" 07-14-2008 01:42 PM

My first message... more of a mad mans rant...
 
Hi folks,

This is my first time on the Debian mailing list. I wanted to bring up
a number of things I have been thinking about as of late. I had a long
loooong chat in #debian-offtopic if some of you remember.


Abrotman - you're gonna love this :P

Apologies in advance for the anti-ubuntu-ness, it's just my opinion...
please don't take it personally :D


-------------------------------------------

First of all I want to bring up the idea of a FSF Debian GNU/Linux,
everyone I have spoken to on IRC so far are in support of this idea so I
thought I'd outline it here so that theres a record of it.


I'm tired of seeing projects like gNewSense and Gobuntu. Debian is
miles more in tune with FSF expectations on 'the free operating system'
idea than Ubuntu is, for example Firefox is a problem which Ubuntu don't
mind but we do. It would take far less effort for us to create a FSF
compliant operating system than it is out of a 'Ubuntu Base' <- (that
makes my stomach churn).

All we have to do is form an official sister project that makes a
slightly tweaked version of stable (Etch) with a different Kernel that
doesn't contain the binary firmware. Possibly if you wanted to get even
more favour with the FSF you could swap IceWeasel for IceCat (since they
are practically identical and serve the same purpose, but IceCat is GNU
IceCat).


FSF endorsing an OS that has a 'Ubuntu Base' <- (again, *vomits*)
only serves to give even more attention publicity to the Ubuntu
community than to its daddy... Debian. Ubuntu being used as a 'base'
for new operating systems (I can name many now, see wikipedia), or even
as a 'Server OS' (are they Microsoft or what?) is a threat to what
Debian is renounced for and could (one day) make us potentially defunct.


This sister project can act as a constant reminder we use binary
firmware and keep us focussed on (one day, I admit its a long way off)
moving towards that goal. And hopefully eventually (personal opinion
here) GNU/Hurd... so it no longer matters anyway.


Debian has the upper hand in servers, stability, and multi
architecture... it's time we show FSF why endorsing an OS that _only_ a
x86 desktop-orientated OS is not enough.


-------------------------------------------

NOTE: I only use Dreamlinux occasionally to see how its doing, I'm not a
regular user and this isn't an advert - I'm using it as an example of a
'not so bad fork'.


Second! I spent a long time in #debian-offtopic (points at abrotman)
arguing that Dreamlinux is a worthy Operating System. And the reason
why I say it is 'worthy' is they (for the most part) actually use our
repositories. If we were to declare lenny as stable tomorrow, all of
their users would immediately start trying to upgrade to Sid (which is a
little silly in my opinion, but hey).


I was trying to say that Ubuntu is a fork in that they have wholly
taken a separate copy of Debian and re-branded it their own. The Ubuntu
front-page doesn't even mention it is based on Debian any more now,
although the server page does say... "The Ubuntu Server Edition - built
on the solid foundation of Debian... blah blah"... but that does make me
scream... WELL USE DEBIAN THEN. But that's a little off topic :P.


So Ubuntu is a definite fork... but I was trying to say Dreamlinux is
at least _less_ of a fork in that it is very very much reliant on us.
If you want to fix something in Dreamlinux there's a 99% chance that
'the something' is actually a Debian component... and to fix it you
would be fixing it for Debian too as we host it.


I will admit... Dreamlinux IS A FORK... and it is not Debian (only based
on) -- so you can be happy abrotman :D rest well...


I would like it to be mentioned on www.debian.org/misc/children-distros
as I think it is an admirable project and is now in the top 10 of
distrowatch. Also I think Sidux works in a similar way by using our
real repositories (I like calling these Sporks not Forks :P but I'm just
odd) and that isn't on the list either. Dreamlinux devs and admins make
a repeated habit of saying they are Debian based, and they do not ever
intend to go with their own repository - the developers are proud Debian
users looking to make something preconfigured for desktop use out of the
bo...ummmm .ISO :D


To some degree these Sporks (less than forks) make me think a win for
them, is at the very least a small win for us... if we can have official
KDE leaning and XFCE leaning editions of Debian (alternate CD1's) then
these are like unofficial editions of debian with their own cause... but
not straying totally on two feet from our project like Ubuntu.


-------------------------------------------

Now for my final rant...

I've been using testing (Lenny) at work for a number of months now, I
know its not meant for production environments but I get by. There's a
few packages (e.g. grsync) that I like to use and I need their latest
versions to get the features/fixes I need. Backport doesn't really have
much in it... I got Pidgin out of it one day, then wondered what else
was in there and found out not much was. Before I continue I would
_really_ like to point out (because I'm new you may not know) I have to
up more respect for this project and the length of time needed to create
a truly stable operating system.


Every day there's a good twenty odd updates which makes sense since
it is -testing-. A few months back I couldn't even boot up because lilo
had updated and screwed the boot up process (don't say use grub, there's
a good reason why I use lilo) but I fixed it, woo! I don't really mind
the fixing of stuff and that was barely a problem (only a few hours
:S). At the moment I can't use my number pad keys and every now and
then focus gets stuck on an individual object (like a text box) in a
program and you can't click or do anything else _on_ anything else.
This occurred a could of week back... _after_ updates ;P DUN DUN
DUUUNNNNNN.


I don't know why it happens and I'm not asking for ideas on fixing
them... seriously don't try as I don't care. My suggestion however is
this... In the process of lenny being created it can't possibly go from
0% done straight to 100% done. If we had Alpha releases, say
'lenny-alpha1' release at a point where there's no major
block/crash-like problems being caused then people could download that
milestone release. 'lenny-alpha1' could then not update until
'lenny-alpha2' is released... I'm not saying change how the testing
development process already works, just have these additional milestones
for people who want to try it in a production environment as a stop gap
until lenny is ready. Essentially it would be something
'almost-stable'... 'testing' can go on adding more unstable packages
after an Alpha release without affecting those users who liked being on
'almost-stable'.


Without this 'stop gap' I feel a lot of people probably just get
frustrated and hop to Ubuntu with its 6 monthly release cycle. Many
many other projects have alpha releases, I think this could work for
Debian too and would keep a lot of people happy while we wait for the
next stable release... which should _not_ be speeded up under any
pressure - it takes... as long as it takes. These milestones don't have
to affect the way it is developed, just someone keeping an eagle eye out
for a weekly generated ISO that -kinda works OK- that can be relabelled
Alpha 1, 2, 3 etc... and with a tweaked apt so it doesn't update until
the next Alpha.


-------------------------------------------

Please let me know what you think about all this stuff :D

I'm hoping your all friendly and don't bite.

Steven


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Kent West 07-14-2008 02:55 PM

My first message... more of a mad mans rant...
 
Steven Maddox (Cyorxamp) wrote:


-------------------------------------------
All we have to do is form an official sister project that makes a
slightly tweaked version of stable (Etch) with a different Kernel that
doesn't contain the binary firmware.

<snip>
This sister project can act as a constant reminder we use binary
firmware and keep us focussed on (one day, I admit its a long way off)
moving towards that goal. And hopefully eventually (personal opinion
here) GNU/Hurd... so it no longer matters anyway.


Debian has the upper hand in servers, stability, and multi
architecture... it's time we show FSF why endorsing an OS that _only_
a x86 desktop-orientated OS is not enough.


One of the reasons I chose Debian when I started in Linux years ago was
because Debian was committed to Free.


As I read your rant here, I find myself in basic agreement with you.
However, not being a coder, and not having organizational skills to herd
cats and the like, I'm not sure I have any ability to help except
perhaps as a cheerleader (and being lazy and basically unexcitable, not
a very good one).


Still, I very much like the idea of Debian being known as the reference
(i.e. the "one-and-only-True") GNU distribution. (I've always wished
Hurd was mature enough to use.)






-------------------------------------------

NOTE: I only use Dreamlinux occasionally to see how its doing, I'm not
a regular user and this isn't an advert - I'm using it as an example
of a 'not so bad fork'.


<snip>

To some degree these Sporks (less than forks) make me think a win for
them, is at the very least a small win for us... if we can have
official KDE leaning and XFCE leaning editions of Debian (alternate
CD1's) then these are like unofficial editions of debian with their
own cause... but not straying totally on two feet from our project
like Ubuntu.


I had not been aware of DreamLinux. Generally when I recommend Linux to
someone, I recommend Debian (via http://www.goodbye-microsoft.com for
ease of installation) or Ubuntu (Debian-based). Now that I'm aware of
DreamLinux, I'll take it for a spin in the next day or so, and probably
started recommending it instead of Ubuntu. (I've always felt just a tad
"dirty" recommending Ubuntu; now perhaps I can feel better about my
recommendations.)



-------------------------------------------

Now for my final rant...
I've been using testing (Lenny)...


<snip>

Every day there's a good twenty odd updates which makes sense since it
is -testing-. A few months back I couldn't even boot up because lilo
had updated and screwed the boot up process (don't say use grub,
there's a good reason why I use lilo) but I fixed it, woo! I don't
really mind the fixing of stuff and that was barely a problem (only a
few hours :S). At the moment I can't use my number pad keys and every
now and then focus gets stuck on an individual object (like a text
box) in a program and you can't click or do anything else _on_
anything else. This occurred a could of week back... _after_ updates
;P DUN DUN DUUUNNNNNN.


I've found that for me, running Sid is less painful than running Testing.


--
Kent West <*)))><
http://kentwest.blogspot.com


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"Damon L. Chesser" 07-14-2008 03:12 PM

My first message... more of a mad mans rant...
 
>
> Steven

hmmm? Where to start?

Alpha release: We have that, it is called testing. Packages are "dumped"
into Sid, after a period of time with out bug reports, it is moved into
testing (10 days?) automatically. Alpha, pre-release canadate : alpha
stage; a stage when it is being actively debugged (wikipedia). If you think
you have issues running testing, try grabbing an alpha release of ANY other
distro.

Ubuntu: It is called marketing. They rule (from a market perspective). Mr.
Shuttleworth is a smart, smart man. Make a desktop distro, make it work, get
it out there, make it simple, make it easy, make it free of cost, THEN make a
server version w/support for the enterprise. Every CTO has heard of ubuntu,
so when one guy says, "Lets try Ubuntu server" they will not freak out. Who
is marketing Debian. Does Debian have Community Coordinators volunteers?
Search IRC. People LOVE Ubuntu (not me, btw, to many "arbitrary" file
location changes, but I would recommend it to ANY new user). It is called
VALUE ADDED. This is HOW RMS says you are supposed to make money off of
FOSS. Charge for support. Closed source drivers. Yawn. Might as well
argue for the Prolotariet to to rise up against the yoke of the elite. Been
tried, old news. People just don't care, they want their "thingy" to work.
Ubuntu just makes it available (and NOT off of the non-free repos), just like
you can get for Debain. "Hate" Ubuntu makes no sense. Take the FOSS, modify
the FOSS, give it to someone to use, that is the definition of Free.

Why get bent out of shape over using the FREE part of the FOSS? Out market
them, you will win. Ignore the Market, you will not "win". MS got to be
number 1 not by having a superior product, but by better marketing.
Canonical is in the business of MAKING money, not telling customers what they
can or can not do. Does Suse make declaration it derived from slackware? No
one cries foul over that omission. No body cares Ubuntu is derived from
Debian ( well except for Debian devs and some fans such as myself). There is
starting to be some significant diversion between Ubuntu and Debian in file
system setup and packages used (for example, no inittabb in ubuntu). We
shall see if they can keep up the momentum, but I think they can and will.
For the most part Linux now means Ubuntu and Gnome ( I speak from
the "cluser" perspective, not the reality).

If you want to change this, YOU MUST market Debian (and Debian does not like
to market it's self.) and you MUST make the "cluser" hardware work. You must
NOT make the clueless user jump through hoops, dig through documentation,
search the web, all just to make his wireless work or his webpage to display.
If you have ever gotten a call from a customer asking "where did I save that
file I downloaded" then you KNOW this. People, all people (aside from
hobbiest) want to USE the computer, not make it work. Ubuntu mostly has
solved this issue.

Understand, I use Debian Sid. I am NOT a Ubuntu fan. I do use Ubuntu now and
again, just to check out the evolution. But I make my Debian do what I want.
Mr. Cluser does not know how, does not care, will not put the time in and
will go and find something else that "works". To rant against Ubuntu
or "non-free" is nonsensical. It only works from an intellectual perspective
of therory. But like most academic towers, falls down quickly when faced
with reality. Coders need to eat. Manufactures want to recapture capital
investment. End users want the new flashy hardware thing because it fills a
need they perceived. OS must work on these perceived needed devices or face
becoming irelevant. The OS can not tell the user what they may use or how
they may use it (hmm, sounds like DRM and secure computing). Now YOU may not
use these devices and that is YOUR vote. Most will vote differently then
you. Any OS the dares to tell the customer/end user how to do it, what to
do, what you can not do faces market loss. Windows Vista is a case in point,
vs XP.

Debian is a good, stable, simple to install, simple to modify OS that fits
most, if not all uses (It is The Universal Operating System). What it lacks
that Ubuntu has is two fold: marketing and capital. Remember the fuss made
when some devs where paid to push testing to stable? Oh the humanity! Of
course, if YOU were not paid, it would make hard feelings. Fix those two
things. Do not pin your dreams of domination on FREE. With Debian, this
will not happen. To fixated on FREE. That is the choice of the devs. They
do what they want, because they want to. They want Freedom. They lose The
Market share as a result, but that is THEIR choice, not yours or mine. We
can only choose to use it or not. For now, I choose to use it and will do so
for as long as it works for MY needs.



--
Damon L. Chesser
damon@damtek.com
http://www.linkedin.com/in/dchesser

"Damon L. Chesser" 07-14-2008 03:48 PM

My first message... more of a mad mans rant...
 
On Monday 14 July 2008 11:31:01 am you wrote:
> I hope you didn't type up all that, at least on the topics I raised...
> it was a waste...

ehh, practice on my composition skills.

>
> My topics were..
> 1) Lets try a version of Debian Etch without the binary firmware

answered by my /rant/ about firmware and clusers

> 2) Lets add dreamlinux and sidux to the list on debian.org and p.s. have
> a little look

> 3) Lets try a medium ground between stable and testing.

I thought you said an alpha release. That is testing. I am not a developer
and I don't use testing, I use Sid. In my eight years with Debian, testing
seems a dangerous place to be. How do you propose to move packages into or
maintain this pre-stable version? What criteria? This seems like Testing to
me. No bugs reported >>testing, after some time, freeze, repair/fix bugs
>>stable. On this point, I am not being argumentative, I just don't see what
one more step will do, or how do you talk volunteers into more work?
>
> It wasn't about Ubuntu vs Debian...

Responded to your "*FSF endorsing an OS that has a 'Ubuntu Base' <- (again,
*vomits*)" etc etc comments. Sounds like you made it against Ubuntu.

My points were meant to show how FREE *only* is irrelavent other then an
academic concept and will put you on the same path of the Dodo bird. An OS
must be useable in the REAL word. RMS is all about making a living (we do
disagree on HOW, sometimes, but what can you do?). If you want to avoid
obscurity, has been status, you must stay relevant to your user base. If
you/we/Debian are opposed to closed source, then don't use them, but you have
to give *others* the choice (the Freedom part of FREE) to use them or not.
But if you omit it all togther, it will go unused in the real world. My
reference to Ubuntu was only meant to point out the gains they had in this
regard. I would rather Debian not ignore the user base (They mostly are not,
IMHO).
>
> Sorry if it came across like that, but lets face it that argument is
> done to death.

Agreed.

Please respond back to the debian-user list.

>
> Sincerely...
>
> Steven Maddox
> (Cyorxamp)
>
> Cyorxamp's Personal Website
> http://www.cyorxamp.info
>
> Damon L. Chesser wrote:
>



--
Damon L. Chesser
damon@damtek.com
http://www.linkedin.com/in/dchesser

"Steven Maddox (Cyorxamp)" 07-14-2008 03:51 PM

My first message... more of a mad mans rant...
 
I hope you didn't type up all that, at least on the topics I raised...
it was a waste...


My topics were..
1) Lets try a version of Debian Etch without the binary firmware
2) Lets add dreamlinux and sidux to the list on debian.org and p.s. have
a little look

3) Lets try a medium ground between stable and testing.

It wasn't about Ubuntu vs Debian...

Sorry if it came across like that, but lets face it that argument is
done to death.


Sincerely...

Steven Maddox
(Cyorxamp)

Cyorxamp's Personal Website
http://www.cyorxamp.info



Damon L. Chesser wrote:

Steven



hmmm? Where to start?

Alpha release: We have that, it is called testing. Packages are "dumped"
into Sid, after a period of time with out bug reports, it is moved into
testing (10 days?) automatically. Alpha, pre-release canadate : alpha
stage; a stage when it is being actively debugged (wikipedia). If you think
you have issues running testing, try grabbing an alpha release of ANY other
distro.

Ubuntu: It is called marketing. They rule (from a market perspective). Mr.
Shuttleworth is a smart, smart man. Make a desktop distro, make it work, get
it out there, make it simple, make it easy, make it free of cost, THEN make a
server version w/support for the enterprise. Every CTO has heard of ubuntu,
so when one guy says, "Lets try Ubuntu server" they will not freak out. Who
is marketing Debian. Does Debian have Community Coordinators volunteers?
Search IRC. People LOVE Ubuntu (not me, btw, to many "arbitrary" file
location changes, but I would recommend it to ANY new user). It is called
VALUE ADDED. This is HOW RMS says you are supposed to make money off of
FOSS. Charge for support. Closed source drivers. Yawn. Might as well
argue for the Prolotariet to to rise up against the yoke of the elite. Been
tried, old news. People just don't care, they want their "thingy" to work.
Ubuntu just makes it available (and NOT off of the non-free repos), just like
you can get for Debain. "Hate" Ubuntu makes no sense. Take the FOSS, modify
the FOSS, give it to someone to use, that is the definition of Free.

Why get bent out of shape over using the FREE part of the FOSS? Out market
them, you will win. Ignore the Market, you will not "win". MS got to be
number 1 not by having a superior product, but by better marketing.
Canonical is in the business of MAKING money, not telling customers what they
can or can not do. Does Suse make declaration it derived from slackware? No
one cries foul over that omission. No body cares Ubuntu is derived from
Debian ( well except for Debian devs and some fans such as myself). There is
starting to be some significant diversion between Ubuntu and Debian in file
system setup and packages used (for example, no inittabb in ubuntu). We
shall see if they can keep up the momentum, but I think they can and will.
For the most part Linux now means Ubuntu and Gnome ( I speak from
the "cluser" perspective, not the reality).

If you want to change this, YOU MUST market Debian (and Debian does not like
to market it's self.) and you MUST make the "cluser" hardware work. You must
NOT make the clueless user jump through hoops, dig through documentation,
search the web, all just to make his wireless work or his webpage to display.
If you have ever gotten a call from a customer asking "where did I save that
file I downloaded" then you KNOW this. People, all people (aside from
hobbiest) want to USE the computer, not make it work. Ubuntu mostly has
solved this issue.


Understand, I use Debian Sid. I am NOT a Ubuntu fan. I do use Ubuntu now and
again, just to check out the evolution. But I make my Debian do what I want.
Mr. Cluser does not know how, does not care, will not put the time in and
will go and find something else that "works". To rant against Ubuntu
or "non-free" is nonsensical. It only works from an intellectual perspective
of therory. But like most academic towers, falls down quickly when faced
with reality. Coders need to eat. Manufactures want to recapture capital
investment. End users want the new flashy hardware thing because it fills a
need they perceived. OS must work on these perceived needed devices or face
becoming irelevant. The OS can not tell the user what they may use or how
they may use it (hmm, sounds like DRM and secure computing). Now YOU may not
use these devices and that is YOUR vote. Most will vote differently then
you. Any OS the dares to tell the customer/end user how to do it, what to
do, what you can not do faces market loss. Windows Vista is a case in point,
vs XP.


Debian is a good, stable, simple to install, simple to modify OS that fits
most, if not all uses (It is The Universal Operating System). What it lacks
that Ubuntu has is two fold: marketing and capital. Remember the fuss made
when some devs where paid to push testing to stable? Oh the humanity! Of
course, if YOU were not paid, it would make hard feelings. Fix those two
things. Do not pin your dreams of domination on FREE. With Debian, this
will not happen. To fixated on FREE. That is the choice of the devs. They
do what they want, because they want to. They want Freedom. They lose The
Market share as a result, but that is THEIR choice, not yours or mine. We
can only choose to use it or not. For now, I choose to use it and will do so
for as long as it works for MY needs.








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"Steven Maddox (Cyorxamp)" 07-14-2008 04:28 PM

My first message... more of a mad mans rant...
 
Damon L. Chesser wrote:

1) Lets try a version of Debian Etch without the binary firmware



answered by my /rant/ about firmware and clusers

My point about the FSF Debian sister project was that it can be done so
easily that it gives us something to aim for. I already know if such a
was started - I probably wouldn't use it, but would likely just like
GNU/Hurd and even ReactOS keep a close eye on it.
What on earth is a cluser? And I can't see anything in your reply about
firmware all I see is explanations for Ubuntu's success which I'm not in
the least bit interested in.

3) Lets try a medium ground between stable and testing.



I thought you said an alpha release. That is testing. I am not a developer
and I don't use testing, I use Sid. In my eight years with Debian, testing
seems a ....... BLAH BLAH BLAH

<snip>

one more step will do, or how do you talk volunteers into more work?

This wouldn't be one more step... as I have already explained! It won't
be unstable -> testing -> alpha -> stable... that would be plain stupid.
Alpha will just be a slightly re-badged ISO (one of the weekly generated
ones) that represents a significant but feasibly usable step... it
doesn't need a separate repository or much management at all. Please
re-read what I originally wrote about this idea, I don't think you
grasped how simple the suggestion was.

It wasn't about Ubuntu vs Debian...



Responded to your " FSF endorsing an OS that has a 'Ubuntu Base' <- (again,
*vomits*)" etc etc comments. Sounds like you made it against Ubuntu.

Thats my personal view, your not meant to go to red alert over it... I
even put a disclaimer at the top.

Agreed.

Please respond back to the debian-user list.

You have a reply-to set you realise so replies go to yourself and not
the list.



Sincerely...

Steven Maddox
(Cyorxamp)

Cyorxamp's Personal Website
http://www.cyorxamp.info





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