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Old 10-03-2006, 01:15 PM   #1
rickh
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DISCUSSION: Why Is Debian So Political?


This thread is to discuss the article titled:
Why Is Debian So Political?

Quote:
Debian is often held up as an example of a too political Linux community, by people who toss it off as a pejorative without considering just why it is so. In fairness, I decided to provide an explanation of the circumstances that encourage that politcal activity. I hope that seen in this light, Debian politics can be shown for what it is; the glue that holds this community together, and the reason that Debian continues to be the standard of mature Linux distributions.
*******************
Politics Generally The subject of political infringements into Linux comes up every so often, and generates the same kind of heated exchanges that political discussions of any nature are known to do. Politics and religion are often recognized as taboo subjects in delicate company, but they are nearly impossible to avoid.

Last edited by rickh; 10-03-2006 at 01:55 PM.
 
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Old 10-04-2006, 07:45 PM   #2
cfmcguire
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Anytime that two or more people are engaged in any sort of endeavor, politics is inevitable. The significant difference that I percieve here is that the discussion is public, another sign of an open society.
 
Old 10-05-2006, 01:39 AM   #3
vharishankar
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Great article. You said everything I wanted to say and with great choice of words.
 
Old 10-05-2006, 04:44 AM   #4
russofris
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Being 100% free is a duty, not a decision

For Debian, being composed of free software is a duty, and not just a political decision. In the world of linux distros, there needs to be 'at least' one distro that is composed entirely of free software. If a user wants to work on Debian, but requires an encumbered package, they are free to install it themselves or use a derivative distro (like Unbuntu).

Gentoo is in the same boat. Difficult 'from scratch' installations, dependency bugs, and errors caused by bleeding edge software aren't Gentoo's problem, they're Gentoo's duty. Gentoo detects bugs and dependency issues "before" they make it into other distros. Bugs are reported upstream or fixed in place with patches going upstream so that RHEL users can blab to gentoo users about how stable 'their' distro is. All I can say to them is "You're welcome".

Thank you Debian developers. You make sure that free software is properly supported, integrated, and available. Even though I don't use your OS, your contribution is (indirectly) felt by each and every linux user in the world.

Thank you for your time,
Frank Russo
 
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Old 11-20-2013, 04:11 PM   #5
normanlinux
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Debian can be how the developers wish

I don't use Debian. I tried it some years ago in a situation where Internet access was unavailable. There was a lot to like, but everything was just too old. Not for me.

Debian developers have a very clear, focused vision. Good for them. They know what they want to do - and how they want to do it. Their stance is unbending. Does this make them wrong? does it make them evil? does it make them too political?

No. This is their distribution. They have a right to take up any position that they want. Likewise we, as users, have the right to use or not use it. Millions choose to use it. Good. That I do not use it, is not related to their position. It is most easily explained if I say that I am using Arch and looking into LFS. I don't use Debian because it is not what *I* am looking for.
 
Old 11-20-2013, 09:25 PM   #6
frankbell
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Though I sometimes find Debian's stance of aggressively free, from the FLOSS point of view, has caused me inconvenience, I agree with normanlinux. I respect their consistency, and, after all, every inconvenience I have to figure out is an opportunity to learn something new.

Quote:
I don't use Debian. I tried it some years ago in a situation where Internet access was unavailable. There was a lot to like, but everything was just too old. Not for me.
I've not yet run into a situation where a bleeding edge version of an application gave me any functionality that I needed that was not in an earlier, more stable version (I didn't start using Linux until 2005). I guess that's just stodgy old me; after all, my two favorite distros are Slackware and Debian, both of which value stability over bleeding edge.
 
Old 11-20-2013, 09:52 PM   #7
Shadow_7
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The age of the current debian software is years younger than my hardware. I don't see the issue?
 
Old 11-20-2013, 09:56 PM   #8
aus9
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Quote:
my two favorite distros are Slackware and Debian, both of which value stability over bleeding edge.
I guess Debian sid is not allowed?

Actually I can think of areas where bleeding edge has relevance to some users altho I accept not frankbell.
From time to time, software features, new software features, new config files resolve some matters for "stable" users.
Non-exhaustive list includes grub2.

I guess we can thank Debian sid users for testing that eventually filters into stable via testing.
OK you don't need to thank me personally.
 
Old 11-21-2013, 07:39 PM   #9
frankbell
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Quote:
Actually I can think of areas where bleeding edge has relevance to some users altho I accept not frankbell.
I did say I was stodgy!

If I ran into a piece of broken software and needed a newer version to unbreak it, I would certainly not hesitate. Maybe I've been lucky, but I have not encountered that yet.

Also, if I were a developer, I would certainly want to test on bleeding edge, but I'm not, so I don't. I'm just an enthusiastic user.
 
Old 11-22-2013, 04:09 AM   #10
normanlinux
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"I've not yet run into a situation where a bleeding edge version of an application gave me any functionality that I needed that was not in an earlier, more stable version"

There is a difference, however, between stable and outdated. When I first encountered Debian I was stuck without internet access. I had been using KDE3 for about a year, but Debian came with KDE2. This prevented me from continuing my exploration of programming QT. I am currently using Arch for bleeding edge and openSuSE. I would have been using LFS had I not missed one of the steps in the first phase (not discovered until underway in the real build), meaning that I will have to start again ab initio.

To reiterate my earlier point. Debian is political (with a small 'p') inasmuch as it has a clear focus and purpose. There is *nothing* wrong with that. If you don't like it stop moaning and use one of the many other distros out there. I have no problems with their stance and that is not my reason for not using it.
 
Old 12-02-2013, 03:18 AM   #11
Randicus Draco Albus
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The reason many people complain about Debian's political stance is because certain distributions actively court Windows users with the lure of a free (no money) OS that includes all the proprietary crapware necessary to do everything without any configuration. The result is hordes of new Linux users who do not know anything about free software. When they encounter a system like Debian that requires the user to install and configure proprietary software, they do not understand the inconvenience they are subjected to. When it is explained to them that so-called non-free software is not included, because the OS is dedicated to the cause of free software, they do not want to understand what free software is (and how it makes their Linux system monetarily free) and complain that a system should do what they want it to do, regardless of the past and future of free software. To them, the free software movement is nothing more than an OS that does not cost any money, and they do not give a damn about the "politics" of free software. Those people then make a big fuss about the political stupidity of distros like Debian. Welcome to the downfall of Linux. The end is nigh.
 
Old 12-02-2013, 04:01 AM   #12
normanlinux
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Users

Randicus is right about the majority of users not caring - but then, the majority of Windows uses don't care either. The majority of users on all systems just want to switch on and do something. For the requirements of the average naive user Linux is actually easier to use. Unfortunately people have been so used to the Windows way that for them different equated to difficult.

It is for others in the community to care about what goes into our systems, which is why - as a non-Debian user - I will always stand up for the right of Debian and its users to take their chosen stance. Do I always agree? NO. Should that turn me into a detractor? NO. Debian has a place, and an important role, in Linux space.

Personally I am far more sick of the sycophantic fawning over Ubuntu in the Linux press. I would far rather use Debian itself. Touted as a distro for the newcomer to Linux (even though others are far more beginner-friendly), it builds upon the work of the Deban folk and, having now gained its user base, disdains Linux calling itself 'the Ubuntu operating system'. They have made it clear that they now see no place for mention of Linux in their marketing and promotion.
 
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Old 12-02-2013, 09:04 AM   #13
EYo
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Wink Dear Mr. Bitterman

Quote:
Originally Posted by Randicus Draco Albus View Post
Welcome to the downfall of Linux. The end is nigh.
Nigh when? Can't wait! Bring on the Hurd.
 
Old 12-02-2013, 09:27 AM   #14
273
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As a user of Debian I find it funny that people call it "outdated" or complain about the politics meaning you can't install certain software.
I've been using Sid with the non-free repositories for a few years and I've got my NVIDIA drivers (though I admit I used the binary installer when I bought a newly released card because I didn't know about the Experimental repository back then) I have the horror that is Flash, I've got Google Earth and Mozilla Firefox Nightly. I have DVD playback and can play WMVs and a host of other rubbish. I've even got Steam.
Don't get me wrong, I respect the free software movement and in an ideal world I'd only use free software. Using Debian doesn't stop me doing that though.
I suppose this is probably as good a thread as any to mention my growing amusement at Ubuntu and Mint users having problems with things like NVIDIA drivers and Flash. In the "aggressively free and hard to use" Debian I can apt-get them -- in the "newbie friendly" Ubuntu you've hoops a plenty to jump through.
 
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Old 12-02-2013, 04:44 PM   #15
aus9
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273

am on debian sid with no experimental repo but do have
deb http://dl.google.com/linux/chrome/deb/ stable main
deb http://liquorix.net/debian/ sid main

in various apt files

I use the closed src Nvidia but do so using
http://smxi.org/site/about.htm#sgfxi

Quote:
Support for Ubuntu and Arch Linux has been added to sgfxi, so now it should work in most areas in Debian, Ubuntu, and Arch.
In case you don't want to know (very political of me)
http://liquorix.net/

is a kernel repo
 
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