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Study Reports On Debian Governance, Social Organization

CmdrTaco posted more than 6 years ago | from the because-they-can dept.

Debian 65

andremachado writes "Two academic management researchers, Siobhán O'Mahony and Fabrizion Ferraro, performed a detailed scientific study about Debian Project governance and social organization from the management perspective. How did a big non-commercial non-paying community evolve to produce some of the most respectable Operating Systems and applications packages available? Organizations without a consensual basis of authority lack an important condition necessary for their survival. Those with directly democratic forms of participation do not tend to scale well and are noted for their difficulty managing complexity and decision-making — all of which can hasten their demise. The Debian Project community designed and evolved a solid governance system since 1993 able to establish shared conceptions of formal authority, leadership, and meritocracy, limited by defined democratic adaptive mechanisms."

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I thought... (5, Funny)

msauve (701917) | more than 6 years ago | (#23062902)

it was an anarcho-syndicalist commune, where they take it in turns to act as a sort of executive officer for the week, but all the decisions of that officer have to be ratified at a special biweekly meeting.

Re:I thought... (1)

kextyn (961845) | more than 6 years ago | (#23063522)

Where are my mod points when I need them?

Re:I thought... (5, Funny)

ojustgiveitup (869923) | more than 6 years ago | (#23065006)

Help Help! You're being repressed! Come and see the violence inherent in the system!

Sounds Interesting... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23063026)

Wish it hadn't been /.'d

fp (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23063034)

Nth reply.

By "Nth", I mean 1st.
By "reply", I mean post.

Re:fp (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23063350)

F

and by F, I mean fail.

Re:fp (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23065374)

Win!

Was this sponsored by the federal government? (1)

djones101 (1021277) | more than 6 years ago | (#23063038)

The Debian Project community designed and evolved a solid governance system since 1993 able to stablish shared conceptions of formal authority, leadership and meritocracy, limited by defined democratic adaptive mechanisms.
That sure in heck sounds like something the government would put out.

Re:Was this sponsored by the federal government? (4, Funny)

Qzukk (229616) | more than 6 years ago | (#23063724)

That sure in heck sounds like something the government would put out.

Except for the meritocracy part, that implies the people in charge have some sort of qualification for being in charge.

I call shenannigans!!! (0, Troll)

PC and Sony Fanboy (1248258) | more than 6 years ago | (#23063092)

How a big non-commercial non-paying community evolved and actually produces some of the most respectable Operating Systems and applications packages available?


Look, I'm not saying that debian isn't awesome, but who payed them to say that?

Re:I call shenannigans!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23063616)

It certainly wasn't the Grammar Nazis:

How a big non-commercial non-paying community evolved and actually produces some of the most respectable Operating Systems and applications packages available?

I recognise the words but I cannot parse them. Is this a sentence? What does it mean?

Re:I call shenannigans!!! (1)

TheLinuxSRC (683475) | more than 6 years ago | (#23064604)

My guess:

How did a big non-commercial, non-paying community [evolved and actually] evolve into one that produces some of the most respectable Operating Systems and applications packages available?

Re:I call shenannigans!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23065208)

How a big non-commercial non-paying community evolved and actually produces some of the most respectable Operating Systems and applications packages available?
How a sentence missing a verb?

able to stablish shared conceptions
Shared conceptions? We can put nine women together and get a baby in one month? Cool!

Just an observation (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23063114)

Ubuntu is 10x better than Debian

Re:Just an observation (1)

Nursie (632944) | more than 6 years ago | (#23063214)

having used both extensively, I'd say they're remarkably similar, though in debian you do have to do a few more things manually.

Re:Just an observation (4, Informative)

wanderingknight (1103573) | more than 6 years ago | (#23063378)

Debian is essentially the same as Ubuntu. But if you know your way around Linux, every distro is essentially the same.

Re:Just an observation (0)

sadgoblin (1269500) | more than 6 years ago | (#23063432)

But some [distros] are better.

Re:Just an observation (2, Insightful)

Nursie (632944) | more than 6 years ago | (#23063504)

Once it's installed and running then there are a lot of similarities. OTOH the distinguishing features are often ease of installation and upgrade, whether or not you can use it in a live CD way, supported platforms (I 3 debian for it's ARM support), size of install (DSL/nDSL is great for a bootable USB stick ) etc etc etc

But yeah, essentially, one desktop linux is usually much the same as another.

Re:Just an observation (1)

oliverthered (187439) | more than 6 years ago | (#23065080)

true, but it can take years to properly know your way around linux and that's one hell of a learning curve (not to say it's not worth it but for your grandma!)

Re:Just an observation (1)

marcosdumay (620877) | more than 6 years ago | (#23066950)

And prepackaged applications. Some distros (Debian) have more prepackaged applications than others, making it easier to install more software.

Ubuntu is build on Debian (2, Informative)

wizards_eye (1145125) | more than 6 years ago | (#23063474)

having used both extensively, I'd say they're remarkably similar, though in debian you do have to do a few more things manually.
That is probably Debian is "the rock upon which Ubuntu is built". http://www.ubuntu.com/community/ubuntustory/debian [ubuntu.com]

Re:Just an observation (2, Interesting)

innerweb (721995) | more than 6 years ago | (#23065408)

From their own description [ubuntu.com] of the OS...Ubuntu and Debian are closely related. Ubuntu builds on the foundations of Debian architecture and infrastructure, with a different community and release process. ... Debian is "the rock upon which Ubuntu is built".

Ubuntu is a derivative of Debian. A very good one.

InnerWeb

Re:Just an observation (5, Insightful)

FauxPasIII (75900) | more than 6 years ago | (#23063416)

> Ubuntu is 10x better than Debian

Ubuntu IS Debian, for all intents and purposes. They take the excellent work that Debian publishes, do some additional (and IMO also excellent) work to refine it, and republish that as Ubuntu.

I'm completely outside of the Debian and Ubuntu communities, but I suspect strongly that Debian re-imports some of the Ubuntu refinements into their own project, as well.

Ain't FOSS grand?

Some, but not all. (4, Interesting)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | more than 6 years ago | (#23064246)

Debian doesn't seem to mind Ubuntu, for the most part, except when Ubuntu users come to Debian forums asking for help.

But a simple example: Debian, for the longest time, had /bin/sh linked to /bin/bash, although they did have a rule that any script requiring /bin/sh should only use POSIX syntax, and not bash-isms. Sometime in 2006, I think, Ubuntu switched /bin/sh to /bin/dash. Dash is much faster than Bash -- so much so that this switch is the main reason that version of Ubuntu booted so much faster than previous versions (it was also when Upstart was first integrated, though Upstart is barely used)...

And since then, certainly, fixes to various packages' scripts which claim #!/bin/sh, but really want bash, have been sent back to Debian. (Either POSIX-ify them, or make them explicitly ask for bash.) But as far as I know, no major distributions outside Ubuntu actually have /bin/sh linked to dash -- some of Amazon's EC2 tools, designed to work on Fedora, need to be patched before they can work on Ubuntu, for that very reason.

Re:Some, but not all. (3, Insightful)

leoboiko (462141) | more than 6 years ago | (#23066306)

To be fair, I think debian's dash package prompted you to link /bin/sh to it since before Ubuntu came around. It's true that it wasn't the default, though; you had to manually install dash and explicitly select "yes" in the debconf dialogue.

Re:Some, but not all. (2, Insightful)

BlackCreek (1004083) | more than 6 years ago | (#23067272)

But a simple example: Debian, for the longest time, had /bin/sh linked to /bin/bash, although they did have a rule that any script requiring /bin/sh should only use POSIX syntax, and not bash-isms. Sometime in 2006, I think, Ubuntu switched /bin/sh to /bin/dash. Dash is much faster than Bash -- so much so that this switch is the main reason that version of Ubuntu booted so much faster than previous versions (it was also when Upstart was first integrated, though Upstart is barely used)... And since then, certainly, fixes to various packages' scripts which claim #!/bin/sh, but really want bash, have been sent back to Debian. (Either POSIX-ify them, or make them explicitly ask for bash.)
If your shell script is not POSIX /bin/sh, don't mark it as a POSIX /bin/sh script. Is that difficult?

FWIW The trick to use dash as /bin/sh was well known by loads of Debian users back in the day when it was still called "ash". It did wonders to the boot time of my old ole PentiumII.

FWIW 2 The first people to actually make the choice of setting dash as /bin/sh, were the Nokia folks that released the N770 internet tablet that runs a Debian based system.

The use of it in N770 lead to loads of scripts being made clean of bashisms. But now with the popularity of Ubuntu, many, many people are forcing "#!/bin/bash" down everyones throats even in cases when it is not necessary.

As fas as I can tell, the reason for it is the good & old NIH complex from which so many GNU fans seem to suffer from. But I could be in wrong on that (but not that much :-P).

In any case, currently "grep bin/bash /etc/init.d/* | wc -l" gives me a count of 5. Why? I mean why on the scripts I use to boot? Five stupid unnecessary reasons for my computer to boot slower, and to force me to have bash installed no matter what. I mean, what harm can it cause to add (truly) unnecessary bloat to a critical part of the system?

Perhaps I am being picky. But IMHO that goes so deeply against what *I* would call "good software engineering" that it really annoys me.

Re:Some, but not all. (1)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | more than 6 years ago | (#23072800)

If your shell script is not POSIX /bin/sh, don't mark it as a POSIX /bin/sh script. Is that difficult?

If it's not a shell script, and not mine, then yes. I have to crawl through and find every "system" call that looks suspiciously bash-like... Or I have to temporarily relink /bin/sh, or run it in a chroot.

FWIW The trick to use dash as /bin/sh was well known by loads of Debian users back in the day when it was still called "ash".

Just pointing out that Ubuntu forcing this on users pretty much ended the random scripts people would have that were lazy about it. Except for things like what I just described -- Amazon's EC2 image-building tools are written in Ruby, with the assumption of /bin/sh as bash.

The use of it in N770 lead to loads of scripts being made clean of bashisms. But now with the popularity of Ubuntu, many, many people are forcing "#!/bin/bash" down everyones throats even in cases when it is not necessary.

Kind of is -- or at least, I would rather have a script explicitly request Bash and work, than use one or two bashisms it doesn't need and fail.

In any case, currently "grep bin/bash /etc/init.d/* | wc -l" gives me a count of 5. Why? I mean why on the scripts I use to boot? Five stupid unnecessary reasons for my computer to boot slower, and to force me to have bash installed no matter what.

You're always free to look in there and see if you can do it better.

Personally, I use bash anyway, as an interactive shell. And if I ever run into a Bashism that I absolutely must have in a script, then I absolutely will make it require Bash -- just as if I need something more complicated than a shell script, I'll make it require Ruby or Python.

Re:Some, but not all. (1)

ThePhilips (752041) | more than 6 years ago | (#23067274)

The question really isn't about POSIX compliance: many (e.g. me) users expect that /bin/sh is actually /bin/bash and nothing would change that.

From my understanding, the only significant use for ash and dash is bootstrap which is performance critical. They are not going to replace /bin/bash any time soon.

P.S. dash [wikipedia.org]

Re:Some, but not all. (1)

Respect_my_Authority (967217) | more than 6 years ago | (#23067308)

Yea, I've used debian with /bin/sh pointing to /bin/dash long before ubuntu made it the default setting. The command that does the switching is "dpkg-reconfigure dash". I checked the Wikipedia article about dash and it seems that ubuntu switched to dash a bit hurriedly. The article says that "the transition in Ubuntu to making dash /bin/sh broke numerous shell scripts that relied upon Bash-specific functionality". Typical of ubuntu. The same article says that debian will switch to using dash as the default /bin/sh with the release of Lenny (scheduled for September 2008). http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Debian_Almquist_shell [wikipedia.org]

Re:Just an observation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23064808)

I think it's called utnubu.

Re:Just an observation (2, Informative)

fdfisher (1043332) | more than 6 years ago | (#23070952)

Ubuntu is *not* Debian. Ubuntu is based on Debian, but has very different priorities.

Debian supports 11 hardware architectures. Ubuntu supports only 3, and as a result can provide much more polished results.

Likewise, Debian maintains 18,000+ packages. Ubuntu maintains significantly fewer packages, but provides much more polished packages for the ones they do maintain.

Debian has militant standards for stability, often leading the software in their stable release to be a couple years behind the curve. On the other hand, Ubuntu releases an entirely new version of their operating system every 6 months, officially supports most releases with security updates for only a short amount of time, and often includes software in their stable release which has not even been officially released by its developers (such as Firefox 3.0 in the upcoming Hardy Heron release.) I.e. Ubuntu's priority is decisively on bleeding-edge software over stability.

Debian is highly customizable and allows you to choose precisely what software you want to install and how you want it configured; it is easy to see what's going on under the hood. Ubuntu is much more mysterious; it's much more difficult to understand what's going on under the hood and much more difficult to customize and reconfigure, but as a result, is more user friendly and easier to install.

Debian is horizontally organized through an ambitious system of democratic (and highly idealistic) self-governance. Ubuntu is run from the top down by a corporation with very limited democratic participation from its constituents.

Perhaps most important of all, Debian has super strict standards for what constitutes free software. Ubuntu's standards are also marginally strict compared with the industry average, but there is a lot of software that Ubuntu permits to be configured and installed by default through the distribution that Debian refuses to support or will not install by default because they consider it non-free. This has been a long standing source of tension between the Debian community and Ubuntu.

In short, both Debian and Ubuntu are great distributions, but Ubuntu is NOT Debian; it has very different priorities. QED

Re:Just an observation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23078376)

> I suspect strongly that Debian re-imports some of the Ubuntu refinements into their own project, as well.

That's true the project is call Utnubu (ubuntu spell backward)

http://wiki.debian.org/Utnubu

Re:Just an observation (1)

Knuckles (8964) | more than 6 years ago | (#23063434)

Ubuntu is 10x better than Debian
Um, Ubuntu is Debian [ubuntu.com] plus polish.

Re:Just an observation (5, Funny)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 6 years ago | (#23063490)

Um, Ubuntu is Debian plus polish.


So that explains the polka startup sounds....

Re:Just an observation (2, Funny)

ViperAFK (960095) | more than 6 years ago | (#23063900)

I thought ubuntu was debian with out 15,000 cd's

Re:Just an observation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23071014)

Segfault. Polka has nothing to do with Poland, it's a Czech dance.

Re:Just an observation (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23067116)

Um, Ubuntu is Debian [ubuntu.com] plus polish.
Um, Ubuntu is Debian minus seriousness.

Re:Just an observation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23070214)

Serious OS is serious business, eh?

Re:Just an observation (1)

glidermike (1062790) | more than 6 years ago | (#23064180)

When will the Ubuntu crowd come to their senses and finally understand that they are in fact running a DEBIAN system? I have used both on my home computer and have actually found pure Debian to be a little faster all around.Yes you have to manually configure some files and do a couple of things in the shell but it really teaches you how to administer a system and you can pare down the o/s to what you actually need--less bloat.Either way both are fun to use.

Re:Just an observation (2, Informative)

ThePhilips (752041) | more than 6 years ago | (#23067352)

When will the Ubuntu crowd come to their senses and finally understand that they are in fact running a DEBIAN system?

LOL. Whole point of Ubuntu that users (the "crowd") do not have to care about - least understand - what they are running.

Ubuntu is made for end-users as an OS which just runs and doesn't require any understanding of what and how it does.

That's pretty much why Ubuntu != Debian.
Debian is technology - for engineers and advanced users who want total control over their system.
Ubuntu is product - for those who used to buy stuff off the shelf and want it to just work.
Feel the difference.

Re:Just an observation (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23064330)

Ubuntu is debian with nigger jungle noises. I find it hilariously ironic that something that is the product of Aryan minds (Linux) is debased with the primitive and inferior culture of savage nigger jungle apes.

Re:Just an observation (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23064522)

The malt liquor icon on the Ubuntu bootup is finally explained by this young man who toots and jenks.

Re:Just an observation (2, Interesting)

Nullav (1053766) | more than 6 years ago | (#23065954)

In my experience, they're pretty damn similar. If you want to compare defaults (Ubuntu Server Edition with everything needed for LAMP/SSH/DNS vs Etch with the same packages), Ubuntu is larger, uses more resources, and handles dependencies much better (<3 autoremove). As for the desktop edition, the only real difference (besides the brown) is the update notifier.
As for ease of installation, Ubuntu dumbs things down (on the desktop edition) for the 'I'm afraid to touch this' crowd, and Debian has the 'Goodbye Microsoft' installer, which I found quite nice to use (not as dumbed-down as Ubuntu's, but I was able to configure everything and install as much or as little as I wanted without it seeming the least bit complex).

tl;dr - Server: Debian; Desktop: Either one.

Debian governance (3, Funny)

MECC (8478) | more than 6 years ago | (#23063260)

I for one welcome our debian ... nevermind.

PostgreSQL (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23063298)

Those with directly democratic forms of participation do not tend to scale well and are noted for their difficulty managing complexity and decision-making â" all of which can hasten their demise.


Show me the PostgreSQL project's org chart. Show me the evidence that the project is not kicking ass.

Mod Parent Up (1)

mpapet (761907) | more than 6 years ago | (#23063696)

Postgresql does indeed kick ass.

Re:Mod Parent Up (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23069416)

Mod parent up. He is right to confirm that Postgresql does indeed kick ass.

Re:Mod Parent Up (1)

setagllib (753300) | more than 6 years ago | (#23070784)

Mod parent up. He is... oh forget it.

Re:PostgreSQL (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23063922)

The problem has to do with the quantity of retards who use and want to contribute to the software. Even the stupidest PostgreSQL user, and the stupidest developer, is still way smarter than the average MySQL user.

Direct democracy can only work if your community is overflowing with smart people, like Postegre.

Re:PostgreSQL (1)

xenocide2 (231786) | more than 6 years ago | (#23067544)

Well here's some data on Debian [ohloh.net] . And here's some data on Postgres. [ohloh.net]

More importantly, Ohloh suggests two people perform the bulk of the commits. I don't know much about postgres development, but it appears that there isn't much democratization in development. Which is fine. You want gate keepers to be able to ward off performance harming patches, and to guide those who are only peripherally interested in the project.

Stop the Bus! (1)

mpapet (761907) | more than 6 years ago | (#23063660)

On the one hand, it's nice to see some analysis on more loosely organized software projects. It's definitely not something that the average corporate sponsored University department would do.

It's also funny to see how short most enthusiasts memories are. Pre-Sarge, Debian was being criticized for everything under the sun.

As an off-topic FYI, Debian Testing is in fine shape for a KDE desktop. I'm running two simple servers on testing and there are no show-stopper bugs. Get your Beta installation disk today! http://www.debian.org/devel/debian-installer/ [debian.org]

Re:Stop the Bus! (1)

pipatron (966506) | more than 6 years ago | (#23066580)

Pre-Sarge, Debian was being criticized for everything under the sun.

Then they fixed it. Now it's great. Can't see the problem really. :)

Re:Stop the Bus! (1)

marcosdumay (620877) | more than 6 years ago | (#23067190)

there are no show-stopper bugs. Get your Beta installation disk today!

And following install apt-bugs, so your system also won't have show-stoper bugs tomorrow.

Link to Article (3, Informative)

ArIck (203) | more than 6 years ago | (#23064044)

The site has been slashdotted apparently but no fear, it does not contain anything useful information about the research anyways. You could download the original draft submitted to the journal at http://www.business.ualberta.ca/tcc/documents/TII_3_OMahoney_Ferraro_final.pdf [ualberta.ca]
[quote]
The following is the quote from google's cached version:
Scientific study about Debian Project governance and social organization

André Felipe Machado

TerÃa-Feira, 27 de Novembro de 2007

Two academic management researchers performed a detailed scientific study about Debian Project governance and social organization from the management perspective.

The study analyzed 13 years of Debian Project history, interviewed some Project participants and previous Leaders, and carefully observed patterns.

The open nature of history, registered at discussion lists archives and irc logs, meetings reports, helped a lot during the data collection phase.

The study is VERY interesting as scientific analyzed HOW an open source project survived, evolved and flourished during 13 years, overcoming many troubles only challenged by long term BIG communities, reaching a solid institutional foundations to resolve disputes.

The previously releasead version of the text can be found here.

The latest revised version, published at the Academy of Management Journal, Oct 2007, Vol. 50 Issue 5, p1079-1106, 28p; (AN 27169153), is copyrighted and can not be published here.

The authors are SiobhÃn O'Mahony , Assistant Professor at the University of California's Graduate School of Management, and Fabrizio Ferraro , General Management Professor at IESE

Versão para impressão

Baixar PDF Baixar a versão PDF desta pÃgina

[/quote]

Re:Link to Article (1)

andremachado (1170637) | more than 6 years ago | (#23065350)

Hello, Actually, the google cache holds a very old article version. The present version has a convenient "compressed" 4 page text from the 65 study paper. At this momement, the site (into a very cheap hosting plan) is being slashdotted. You will have to wait a bit until it the tsunami passes .... Regards.

Mirror and Copy & Paste (0, Redundant)

antdude (79039) | more than 6 years ago | (#23064082)

http://209.85.173.104/search?q=cache:xNSVXdrRQ_IJ:www.techforce.com.br/index.php/news/linux_blog/scientific_study_about_debian_governance_and_organization+http://www.techforce.com.br/index.php/news/linux_blog/scientific_study_about_debian_governance_and_organization&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=1&gl=us&client=mozilla [209.85.173.104]

"Scientific study about Debian Project governance and social organization

André Felipe Machado

Terça-Feira, 27 de Novembro de 2007

Two academic management researchers performed a detailed scientific study about Debian Project governance and social organization from the management perspective.

The study analyzed 13 years of Debian Project history, interviewed some Project participants and previous Leaders, and carefully observed patterns.

The open nature of history, registered at discussion lists archives and irc logs, meetings reports, helped a lot during the data collection phase.

The study is VERY interesting as scientific analyzed HOW an open source project survived, evolved and flourished during 13 years, overcoming many troubles only challenged by long term BIG communities, reaching a solid institutional foundations to resolve disputes.

The previously releasead version of the text can be found here.

The latest revised version, published at the Academy of Management Journal, Oct 2007, Vol. 50 Issue 5, p1079-1106, 28p; (AN 27169153), is copyrighted and can not be published here.

The authors are Siobhán O'Mahony , Assistant Professor at the University of California's Graduate School of Management, and Fabrizio Ferraro , General Management Professor at IESE..."

Bottom's PDF link in HTML: http://209.85.173.104/search?q=cache:R1NB3mNYlusJ:www.techforce.com.br/index.php/news/content/pdf/12895+http://www.techforce.com.br/index.php/news/content/pdf/12795&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=1&gl=us&client=mozilla [209.85.173.104]

Re:Mirror and Copy & Paste (1)

andremachado (1170637) | more than 6 years ago | (#23067138)

Hello, Actually, the google cache holds a very old article version. The present version (from this week) has a convenient "compressed" 4 page text from the 65 study paper. At this momement, the site (into a cheap hosting plan) is being slashdotted. You will have to wait a bit until it the tsunami passes or read the entire original 65 page study. Regards.

Isn't Debian headquartered in Texas (1)

bondjamesbond (99019) | more than 6 years ago | (#23065260)

At that creepy cult compound that the Rangers just raided? I installed Windows just because of that. Nice.

[/sarcasm]

Debian Rules! (1)

Sam36 (1065410) | more than 6 years ago | (#23065690)

I have always been disappointed in ubuntu. Way too much crap thrown together that I don't need and I hate release schedules. I have been running debian-testing for a couple of years. It is always up to date, no need to do wacky reinstalls every 6 months. I always laugh at the ubuntu fan boys ranting about how they just upgraded to the latest release and about how they are up to date now. Even the latest release is several months behind debian-testing and I didn't have to anything except "aptitude upgrade" to get it. BAM!
http://christi.ath.cx/ubuntu_vs_debian.html [christi.ath.cx]

Re:Debian Rules! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23066848)

Agreed! As you said Testing is almost always ahead of Ubuntu because Ubuntu takes a snapshot of Sid and then works on that for a few months to create a release, while Testing is usually only a few weeks behind Sid as far as package versions go.

I run Sid and very rarely run into anything major as far as show stopping bugs. I'm usually quite a ways ahead of what is in Ubuntu, plus, I don't have to run a "dumbed down" OS.

Re:Debian Rules! (1)

ThePhilips (752041) | more than 6 years ago | (#23067466)

Clearly, since you know what's aptitude is, Ubuntu isn't for you.

As much as I hate Ubuntu, you point is silly. Ubuntu is made so that even idiot can use it. If you are not idiot - then move on. But some people - especially some ex-Windows pro-users - are very happy to have stable OS and 6 month upgrade cycle which really improves OS.

Re:Debian Rules! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23067814)

I the ac that posted just above you, and I have to say I am an ex-Windows pro-user, and I dislike Ubuntu greatly because it's so dumbed down. I started with Linux after I had spent 2 years working through an MCSE. One of the lesser reasons I left Windows is because it's so dumbed down.

I started learning Debian with Woody, and I guess I will never understand the unwillingness to learn to that I see in so many Windows and ex-Windows users.

Re:Debian Rules! (3, Interesting)

xenocide2 (231786) | more than 6 years ago | (#23068034)

Ubuntu in many ways lit a fire underneath Debian. I liked Debian in 2002; by 2004 I was getting a bit tired of stupid jokes about being out of date, and I was tired of running development versions just to get a modern desktop. For example, the last version of xfree was finally released around the same time most distros were shipping the new and shiny xorg project x server. So when Ubuntu came around, that was great. They brought in some X guys to hammer Xorg into a working package, at great personal sacrifice. They made a push for Default debconf priority, to large success. They adopted a LiveCD approach while Debian was adamantly fighting Knoppix. They had a Code of Conduct that laid out some important ground rules that Debian was missing and refused to find. The brought a focus on the desktop that I felt Debian was lacking. And they had a commitment to releasing frequently. Six month releases is a step back from someone like me who used to run Debian unstable, but I was getting tired of random kernel pushes breaking video drivers and the like.

Don't get me wrong; Debian testing is probably great for lots of people. If Ubuntu's trajectory continues as it is, I may one day return to Debian; as a result of Ubuntu's successes, they've adopted a number of Ubuntu's practices and policies. For example, they've adopted a wiki for community development, and a new proposal system for evaluating large scale decisions. And meanwhile, Canonical's success with Ubuntu has it focusing on strange contracts that draw resources from fixing bugs related to my personal uses.

As for your comparison essay, the "ubuntu-desktop" meta package now suggests / recommends most things, and apt is set to bring them in on updates but not remove the meta package if they're removed. That way, they can bring in new features, and you can opt out of some of them, and it'll remember that. The bloat charge is a bit unfair. The default install is something usable out of the box. You're free to do the minimal install the same way you did with Debian, but disk space is cheap these days, and people only have so many hours in a day. Hating release schedules is a bit silly. One way you update everything at once, and the other the updates trickle down to you. The everything at once has the advantage that you can deploy new compilers / libc during the early fork without worrying that someone will accidentally screw themselves. Of course the downside is that pidgin may be outdated quickly, but I think it's been fairly lucky at not breaking network compatibility recently.

Link to content of full article. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23072026)

Link to pdf of article:

http://cv.aenertia.net-a.googlepages.com/debian_social_organisation_partial_f.pdf

Copyright disclaimer: I have converted and modified the original published article, to comply with my countries educational fair use policy of not redistributing entire text of copyrighted articles.

Enjoy.

Governance :-) (1)

gd23ka (324741) | more than 6 years ago | (#23073290)

So, Tavistock, we just registered a spike in the use of the word "Governance" this week.
What gives? Getting the serfs used to it are we?
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