sean finney on 13 Sep 2004 16:42:06 -0000

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Re: [PLUG] Religious Questions

obviously a slow day at work here :)

On Mon, Sep 13, 2004 at 09:46:19AM -0400, Tobias DiPasquale wrote:
> On Sep 13, 2004, at 9:06 AM, sean finney wrote:
> >the development process is not at all the same!  first off, anyone can
> >contribute to or become a developer for debian.  debian has a strict
> >set of guidelines for what and how software gets into the distribution,
> >and what quality assurance checks it must pass.  but perhaps most
> >importantly, this is all completely transparent to the general public.
> >all the rules, guidelines, bugs, development statuses, and security
> >issues are made available.
> Anyone can submit to Fedora. Its fully open source now. As far as being 
> transparent, well, that it is, but that doesn't mean that its not also 
> confusing at the same time. They seem to have a really tough time 

not really transparent in the same way.  for example, you can see down
to the autobuilder logs what the status of any package in debian is.
that is, if you want to know "why is package x version y not in testing
yet?", you can click on a link off the package's page.  also, the
standards for packaging software, the process of both contributing
software, and that for becoming a developer is very well defined, and
open to public inspection.

also, for the most part i was referring to redhat's commercial products
when referring to redhat.  fedora's a different matter altogether.  in
many ways fedora aims to be like debian (philosophically, wrt free
software), but with a much shorter release cycle, and the shadowy
hand of a large corporation behind the scenes :) 

i'll be interested to see how their security infrastructure pans out 5
years from now when they've had 10 core releases.  for me, i don't ever
want to hear someone say "you'll have to reinstall" to address a problem
with my systems.  one of the nice things about debian--as slow as their
release cycle is, when you *do* have to upgrade, you can do so without
even rebooting (minus kernel stuff of course).

what they have to their credit is that it's redhat based, so people
familiar with redhat will be really familiar with fedora.  that also means
they've got a great running start, and get to code-share with redhat.
the fedora installs i've done have been very straightforward and

> getting their documentation straight. When you find 3 different 
> documents on their site that have three different ways of doing things 
> that all claim to be the right way, you could see how that might irk a 
> person. RedHat Enterprsie Linux is definitely not open source, though, 
> and so you're right on that score.

well, i'm implying more than open as in "open source", but open as in
anyone can at any time look to see what's going on.

> >as far as available software, my rhn account says that redhat provides
> >1215 seperate packages for the latest version of their enteprise 
> >server.
> >you do realize that debian has well over 10 TIMES that amount?
> In stable? I don't think so. Debian stable and Debian testing/unstable 


allspice[~]11:57:05$ grep Package: /var/lib/dpkg/available | wc -l

which isn't quite 10 times more, but definitely a considerable amount

> are two very different beasts. As I've said in the past, my beef is 
> with stable, not testing/unstable. Besides, the RPM community is much 
> larger than RedHat's FTP servers. Freshrpms has some great stuff.

and there are many providers (sure, not as many) for 3rd party debs
too., or ask on debian-user where you can get
debs for your favorite non-debian software (mplayer, java, etc).

> As well, Debian's installer is notoriously chaffing, whereas RH leads 
> the field in Linux installation technology (I know they are coming out 
> with a new installer for sarge, but I haven't used it yet, so I can 
> only comment on the current one). Ever used FAI for Debian? It makes 
> you want to gouge your own eye out. Kickstart, OTOH is pretty smooth 
> stuff and can do more than FAI with much less setup overhead.

yes, woody's installer sucks, but sarge's installer is really quite
nice.  they're in the release-candidate stage now, the base system
is frozen, and the wheels are rolling.

i tried a long time ago to get fai working, but the learning curve was
a little to steep for me at the time.  i know of at least two
organizations i've dealt with who use fai, but not without lots of
teeth gnashing getting it set up in the first place.  very similar
experience to the woody installer it seems.  a bitch to get going,
but easy to manage once you do.  kickstart, on the other hand, is
absolutely wonderful.  if you'll recall one of the topics i offered to
to do a talk on in nov involved cool kickstart tricks.

> Anyway, lets just agree to disagree on this issue. You're a Debian guy 
> that is frustrated with RedHat, I'm a Gentoo guy that is frustrated 
> with the amount of software that he's had to backport to Debian stable. 
> And besides, if all there was to use was Debian, I wouldn't be too 
> worse off. Cool?

well, okay :)


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