Re: Debian's progress inspite of events (was Re: Dunk-Tank and the DD strike)

On Sun, 2007-03-18 at 23:46 -0300, D G Teed wrote:
On 3/18/07, Roberto C. Sánchez <roberto@xxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
On Sun, Mar 18, 2007 at 07:51:07AM -0300, D G Teed wrote:
> I agree that the kernel within the installer is something
> needing to be updated more often.

Except that this means that the kernel in the installer needs
to be
installable as a default kernel, which means that it must also
supported by the kernel team and security. There is a lot of
involved in that.

There was another project by a small group which seemed to get through
this issue, at least for x86. I don't think it is that bad. The
Debian releases that come out almost quarterly could include such an
update to the installer's kernel.

Okay, let us see, new kernel every quarter, times architectures, times
flavors in architectures. In the x86 (32-bit alone) is i386, i686, K7.
That's just ONE architecture, out of 13. Of those 13 they are many

Sure... the kernel team and installer team have enough resources to test
(booting and regression) the 60 or so flavors on all Debian supported
machines types. So, when would they have time for doing anything but?

> I regard Debian as serious
> production class server OS, but there are others who weigh
> everything on the installer experience.

I've heard it said that the reason Debian users generally
don't care about the installer is because it is something you
only use once :-)

It is true, I don't even use it once per machine. I just copy the image
of the machine and just fix the few files needed to make it a new

It sounds easy if you have one server. Suppose you have 21 that you
want to migrate from FreeBSD. If it takes a day to find and do a
workaround, versus the usual 30 minutes to complete a direct install,
then I think this is more significant. Anyway, anything that impacts
a manager's perception is something that impacts the possibility of
adopting Debian at all.

Of course, you could point out that about 60% of existing popular
distributions are originally derived and modified from Debian.

That is, the difficulty is enough for them to think, or even
decide "forget it, do Redhat". If you want my bosses to conclude
that, then the status quo of sarge's installer is the thing to keep.

Redhat is driven by something Debian doesn't even have a twinkling of...
Commercial Pressure and Marketing. "Nobody ever got fired for buying
IBM". Sure, Sheeple always follow.

Except, that the commercial brand Linuxes suffer from the same
They just tend to update their installers more
frequently. Windows XP
has the same problem, only many people never noticed once the
was 5 years old, since people get windows preinstalled or get
customized restore CD from the OEM.

Yep. That's all I'm asking to see happen.

WinXP is indeed 5 years old, new stuff has to have drivers supplied.
Debian has about 50 ways to install. There are ways to get Debian on
spankin' new hardware. All easy to do, if you understand how to.

Why are they freaked out by one-developer Linux distros out
there? They
don't even have to pay attention to such distros if they don't
want to.

The appearance of the multitudes is an immediate indication that just
about anyone can make a distro. If that is the case, then there are
obviously poor ones. It just doesn't make the scene look
professional. They associate that type of outcome with Tu-Cows and
that sort of crap-shot of trying dozens of software until you find
one that doesn't suck.

Doesn't make the scene look professional? Of course there are not
professional hobby based distros. They should look at real statistics,
not made up ones like Tu-Cows does. Not that I am saying Tu-Cows makes
up stuff... just that there are much better places to get your info.

The mere fact you mention Tu-Cows be lies your ability to gather good
data and present it. Do you have *ANY* idea what Tu-Cows started out as?

> They don't
> see Debian mentioned in many press announcements, so
> it is difficult to demonstrate how prevalent and robust
> Debian really is.
Netcraft is helpful in this respect :-)

Already done. HP's announcement of Debian support is the sort of
thing we need more of. That is visible to such managers without
pointing them to some resource - unknown to them - claiming Debian has
some sort of stats in production.

Netcraft is by far the authority on web-statistics. If they don't know
that... they shouldn't try to play it off as they do... and they need to
be pulled aside and told that privately.

> Making things work for current hardware is one of the main
> things that will differentiate between a "works for me" type
> distro, and a "works for everybody" well supported distro.
Why? As I said, other distros have the same problem, they
just tend to
update more frequently so it is not as visible.

It's more than just visible. If you can't install to disk due to the
kernel being 2 years old, then you need to use some non-standard
installation method.

Non-Standard, you mean Windows with add-in drivers is is Normal? No,
Debian linux has many installation methods considered normal. They are
very easy once you realize what you are doing. They are easier to do
once you understand why you *CAN* do it these ways. Debian has about 10
Normal ways and about 40 obscure ways. If they look at that as a *BAD*
thing then I guess you need to help them realize the importance of that
flexibility, ease of transfer and multiplicity.

This doesn't look good. With a commercial distro we wouldn't have to
go to a third party release - the vendor would be providing an updated
installer a few times per year.

No, not really, RedHat doesn't update its installer. It provides a
similar mechanism Debian does for third-party drivers. Huh, maybe you
should reconsider what you are blah-blahing about.

A standard installer with an updated kernel solves everything. I
can't see how it is so difficult to accomplish.

I guess you just don't understand that RHEL 3 had a 2.4.21 kernel. RHEL
3 didn't support CRAP with the "standard kernel". EMC had to certify its
new stuff with RHEL3 and RHEL4. 2.4.21 come on. Woody had 2.4.18. WTH
are you saying... 2.4.21 was current?

The kernel isn't going to effect many applications.

The kernel is going have a affect on many. Many, MANY applications. Just
like all the "Windows Updates" for the Win32 Kernel does. As an example,
recently there was (actually IS) a bug where the recent 2.6.8 kernel on
Sarge, where it was just updated with a back-ported fix. Some XFree86
drivers won't work properly, but when running they 2.4.27 kernel, voila
they work. I wonder how a small change could bork a bunch of machines.

You should really read up on your Comp-Sci before you start spouting off

And as I pointed out, there is a small project that accomplished this.
Several kernels could be made available on the same boot CDROM to keep
it a risk free change to the installer.

The whole point of a "STABLE" release. Do you understand that?

In a world where you decide everything, these things are simple.

Yep, so, you an decide to install Debian one of the 10 normal ways or
lose out.

In an environment where IT managers with half a clue want to
help make decisions, the road has to look good before they
want to go down it.

Yes, and once again they will need to be taken quietly to the side have
things explained to them.

Seeking installers from outside of the Debian project doesn't look
good to them. They are used to a world where the good quality vendor
takes care of everything.

Single vendor support, costs money. Install RH. You have already chosen
you path. Install RH. There is no vendor that does EVERYTHING with
Debian. Don't bark up HP's butt, they'll just fart on you.

Since you'll never convince a "half-a-clue" IT manager of community
support is sufficient, source gives you the power and that money can't
buy you "point at one company and say "fix-it" support anymore.

They won't believe you that money can't buy that... there are companies
that will take the money and REALLY try hard with best effort. Some will
succeed others may or will fail.

Good luck with your campnay that doesn't want to save boatloads of
money, by using a GREAT and excellently community supported
greg, greg@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

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