[linux-elitists] Update--distribution for your mother?

Adam Kessel adam@bostoncoop.net
Sun Aug 17 12:45:48 PDT 2003

On Sun, Aug 17, 2003 at 01:30:16PM -0400, Joey Hess wrote:
> Once you've chosen how bleeding edge software to install and installed
> it, it doesn't really matter where you got it from. Don't confuse
> Debian's use of "stable", meaning "does not change" with "reliable" or
> "does not crash". Most of the GUI stuff in Debian unstable is slightly
> less crash-prone than the versions in stable.

Funny meeting you here! (maybe it wasn't the best move as I'm applying to
become a Debian Developer to ask about preferring other distros!) 

I certainly understand that 'unstable' doesn't really mean unstable in
the way most people use the term, which is what I always explain to
people when they look at me with horror when I explain I'm 'upgrading'
their system to 'unstable'.  

The problem going with Debian unstable for nontechnical users is that
there always seem to be a few packages out of sync with each other. I
have no problem managing it on my own desktop and server, but I don't
think I'll have regular access to my parents' system as coordinating ssh
through dialup may be too complicated (logistics-wise).  Also, they tend
to get ~26kbps, for which package upgrades will be quite painful.
unstable has this way of continuously pulling you forward...  

The main advantage, it seems to me, of released versions of Red Hat and
Mandrake is they have the gnome 2.2/kde 3.1 packages working all together
in some reasonably stable state that at least someone thought was good
enough to release.  I expect as Debian Sarge gets closer to a realistic
release date, it will be as solid as these other distributions, but for
right now, I'm wary of leaving my parents with a system in a state where
it probably ought to be upgraded every day.
Adam Kessel
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