[linux-elitists] [RANT] Debian the Elitist Distribution?

Greg Folkert greg@gregfolkert.net
Sun Feb 15 09:21:30 PST 2004

On Sun, 2004-02-15 at 03:12, Shlomi Fish wrote:
> On Friday 13 February 2004 22:56, Teh Entar-Nick wrote:
> > begin  Shlomi Fish  quotation:
> > > On Friday 13 February 2004 22:25, Mister Bad wrote:
> > > > I use the BSD 'quiz' program. It's in the Debian package bsdgames.
> > >
> > > Why do people here automagically assume I'm using Debian? There's an
> > > awful lot of Debianism here.
> >
> > 	It's the elitist's distro.  Duh.
> >
> What? Where? Why? How come?

You heard him, It's the elitist's distro.
Where? Purd near anywhere you look.
Why? Because it is. DUH.
How come? Because nearly every piece of "software" under the sun is in
the repository.

> I consider myself a Linux guru by far, and still I'm using Mandrake on my home 
> computer. I like it and would recommend it to anyone, beginners and experts 
> alike. What I don't like is the Debian folks' hubris.

I would recommend Xandros to anyone, beginners and experts alike. It is

Ahem, it is not hubris... it is superciliousness. And I don't care what
you think.

> Yes, the Debian camp is very full of hubris. Among it is:
> * Debianists think Debian is the best possible distribution for all purposes. 
> They think all other distributions are inferior, no matter how much their 
> people like them.

Reason being, it is the distribution where every architecture (11
officially supported right now) is treated the same. Can you say that
about Mandrake, RedHat, Gentoo?

> * That they think or claim that it is the only distribution that is truly free 
> software, which is a direct insult to the other open source distros out 
> there.

It is the ONLY distribution not tied to any real commercial trusts. You
ignorance is repugnant.

> * That it is a small country with a lot of red tape and a great inability to 
> make burning decisions quickly.

Well, imagine that, governance by committee never solves any quickly.

> * That the Debian Free Software Guidelines are getting on everybody's nerves 
> lately because they are being applied to other forms of media, which is 
> clearly not software.

Well, I can agree, but do you really want the DFSG to be ignored? The
real application of it is being applied to the software that handle
those media... so it can be looked at as being applied to the Format...
Also some people cannot differ between Media, Medium, Content and
Application, therefore making it seem things are as they are not.

> * That a great deal of them are otherwise arrogant, hyper-collectivists, and 
> self-centered (why should we release SRPMs/RPMs? We use Debian!).

Yeah, it is a Great arguement. Most Debian packages are set into very
small chunks of packages.

Take Exim v4 for instance. SRPMS/RPM == One packages to be installed. 

DEB == 6 packages exim4-daemon-[light|heavy] exim4-config exim4-common
exim4-doc-html exim4-doc-info

Use alien on them converting to RPMs, actually is easier. Exim4 source
does not lend itself well to auto-building of an rpm from Philip Hazel's
source... for a reason he doesn't code like that.

> So, claiming it to be the official elitist distribution is not better than 
> claiming that IceWM is the official elitist Desktop/Windows Manager. Linux is 
> about choice.

I'd consider Debian more of an elitists distro because of the ephiphany
that happens once you drink the kool-aid.

> So, please get off the tree, and become as humble and as non-intrusive as the 
> rest of us. 

So, I am guessing those Gentoo biggots aren't intrusive either?

> For the record, I once encountered two newbies who installed Debian because 
> they believed it was the only truly free software one. They brought their 
> computer all the way to Haifa, as the installation went weary, and X-Windows 
> wouldn't start. Yes, the installation did not go flawlessly.

I know quite a few Newbies that are very mis-informed. What... you mean
*YOU* ran into some too??? WOW. Whodathunkit?

> When I talked to one of them some other time he:
> 1. Did not know Mandrake, RedHat and friends were not open source.

Some of these newbies think that RedHat Linux is a program you install
on Windows. Not that they know how to install coloinux, or even have a

> 2. Did not know it was perfectly legal to sell free software. (he thought it 
> must be given away for free)

Common misconception, Free as in free speech != Free as in Free BEER,
although they can be both or only one of the two.

> So, this Debian hype is causing a lot of damage and it's high time it stopped.

So are the Gentoo, MAC OSX, *BSD crowds, call me they stop.

> > > I happen to be a happy Mandrake user.
> >
> > 	Nothing wrong with Mandrake.  It's a fine first distribution.
> > I recommend it to most beginners.
> It's also a fine distribution for experts.

You can say that about nearly most any well done distro. Mandrake falls
into that category, so does Gento, Slackware, RedHat, SuSE etc...

I understand why you get all huffy about the nonchalant way Debianistas
take towards packaging. Usually our stuff just works, that is why we
forget about other distros. We don't need'em or even want'em.

greg, greg@gregfolkert.net
REMEMBER ED CURRY! http://www.iwethey.org/ed_curry
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