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The Problems Debian Is Facing In 2020

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  • #31
    Originally posted by skeevy420 View Post

    I never found I had that problem with Debian. Their documentation was good enough and the Arch Wiki was a good supplement so figuring out how to do A or B was no harder than figuring it out on any other OS. My problem with Debian, and this is coming from someone who used Debian for the first 8 years of my 19 on Linux, is that I could either pick Stable and have an outdated desktop that doesn't run games or pick Testing and have a somewhat stable desktop that's somewhat close to being up to date...but will then be out of date as soon as Debian gets close to a new release where I'd then be flooded with a bunch of updates and stability tanking until usually a reinstall.

    Based on comments, the problems I had with Debian then are the same problems most seem to have with them now.
    Release cycle is a toughie. There's always going to be some lag. If Debian released packages willy-nilly that'd be chaos. So some kind of a happy medium needs to be struck. Debian's reputation is that it is a bit behind, but solid. Which I am OK with. My priorities line up well with that. I'm on the platform because it is solid. If I didn't care about that there's plenty of other paths I could choose.


    • #32
      Originally posted by Paul Frederick View Post

      They could even run stable with a newer kernel. But you'd have to know what you're doing to pull that off. That's the problem with Debian, you have to know what you're doing in order to use it successfully. Debian is not inclusive enough with ignorant people. That's a giant segment of users we're missing out on too. That's not a problem just Debian faces either. There's a lot of this you have to know what you're doing thing surrounding Linux in general. It's holding us back!
      It's not too hard, you can pull a newer kernel from backports. It's true, you have to know what you're doing, but nobody claims that Debian is a distro for newcomers. You could say the same for Arch, or Gentoo.

      ​​​​​​The Problem of Debian is well presented in this comment section. People (that don't really use it) blame it for old software (which isn't fair since there is Testing/Sid with fancy new software), and rage about a single BLM point from a 40min presentation. Those people don't get that Debian isn't just a distro build by a couple of people (e. g. Arch) or a company (e. g. Red Hat), but rather by a community with roughly 1000 developers and >2000 additional uploaders (probably more), which are all bound by the same _social_ contract (yes that is a real thing in Debian).


      • #33
        Originally posted by schmidtbag View Post
        There's a lot wrong with the presentation....
        • Most of the problems I encounter is because of an arbitrary definition of stability. The stable branch is basically just old, and although it is unlikely to fail, it doesn't offer everything people are looking for. So, you could jump to testing, but even that has relatively outdated packages, and is very unstable. Arch offers newer packages with (to my understanding) fewer paid developers, and I encounter far fewer problems due to updates.
        • There is no timely manner for a message about BLM, or any political movement. I don't care whose side you're on - if it doesn't have anything to do with the development of the distro, keep politics separate.
        • How do you lack diversity when you're an international organization?
        • Stability for Debian means "there might be bugs, but there won't be _new_ bugs". Ofc that's not for everyone, but it also doesn't need to be for everyone. Imagine an office computer. It doesn't need new software, the important thing is that there won't be any new bugs or changing UIs. Also, Testing is pretty stable, and it's not old. I don't know where you get that from, you can check the numbers on Arch is basically as stable as Testing. If there is a bug from upstream, you'll get it on both. Package breakages usually only appear on Sid and it's easy to resolve them (speaking from experience).
        • Debian isn't just a distro, it's (huge) community. You can't compare that to a project with like 20 people. Debian has a so called " Social Contract", which makes it rather different from most FOSS projects. Also, stop crying about that BLM point, it was literally a minute of 40 minutes from the presentation.
        • Just being international doesn't make you diverse. Even if everyone could join but only a specific group of people does, it means you are not diverse. Whether that's Debian's fault or just because only a specific group of people is interested in working on a distro are two separate points, but - for example - getting more women into the FOSS world is a nice goal IMHO.


        • #34
          I've been running unstable as a desktop for about 15 years and this current install is about 10 years old, and has been transplanted between a couple of different boxes in that time. The thing about debian is there are loads of choices and you can do pretty much anything with it but you have to be prepared to learn a bit about it. Arch is tempting but I can't really be bothered, everything works well enough here.


          • #35
            I have been using Debian for at least ten year as main desktop and I saw the catastrophic parabola of Debian:

            First issue the lack of identity: Debian is basically an academic project and should involve primarily people from academic institutes from all over the world, this would assure fresh ideas and a stable stream of high skilled volunteers. Debian should not do marketing in the same way that Ubuntu does, the biggest point of Debian is the social contract, this is what should be promoted as the common ground toward a sustainable and inclusive community focused on free software (as in freedom) and Computer Science, what should be the Debian Project.

            Second Issue the lack of lead: Debian has been cannibalized by Canonical, a lot of people assume that Debian is (or was) made for server, this wasn't true in the past and is not true today; if you look at the metric Ubuntu is the main Linux server out there now. The main corporations that are involved with Debian, Guugle and Canonical, want also lead its development and are constantly pressing the project behind the scenes. The project today just follows what other corporations decide. There is not reason for a project no-profit made by volunteers to follow what the corporations impose. The Init-debate was the moment when Debian got definitely broken as project.

            The combination of both has been catastrophic, I don't care about being fancy, as a matter of fact Debian uses upstream software with a very minimum customization and I am fine with this, but we changed from "Ubuntu stands for I am not able to install Debian" to "Debian is the ugly and inferior version of Ubuntu"; Canonical has a big part in the collapsing of Debian: if from a side it contributes (or better incorporated) devs that are working on both projects by the other hand is constantly doing PR and Marketing against Debian. Debian can be hold but the Ubuntu LTS are even older and are kept buggy for all their cycle since Canonical only supports a reduced set of the Debian repository. For instance installing Debian today is really trivial and it supports all the graphic cards as much as Ubuntu does, but I still continues to read blogs everywhere that suggest Ubuntu against Debian for the easy of use, this is not true, it is just PR pushed by Canonical without considering that Debian, while can be used by anyone and should be used by all as very first distro since does not promote bad practice as Ubuntu does since ever, it is a distro that promotes an active learning hence doesn't make sense making it easier (although is actually easier to use) as the modern distros try to do.

            If Debian will not address this two points will not able to recover from its current status.


            • #36
              I almost died reading the "problems" debian has as I was drinking tea and almost got chocked. Supporting a communist ideology is something with is good. All lives matter.


              • #37
                Originally posted by NateHubbard View Post

                At this point, it's a given that any sort of organization has to make a statement that they support Black Lives Matter, without anyone actually caring about whether or not anyone else lives or dies.
                Debian should make the bold move and simply not pander to people. Debian has always been the wokest Linux distribution going. Talk about trained Marxists. Although Red Hat did grab the red moniker first. So Debian did miss that boat. Maybe it is high time Debian rebranded? I'd run Woke Linux. Maybe Woke could offer a special black edition too? Filter fortunes through jive or something. I think I actually did that once. I'm installing jive right now and getting ahead of the curve on this one. No one is going to out virtue signal me! All I need now is the off color fortune database too. This ought to be good.


                • #38
                  Originally posted by Danielsan View Post
                  The Init-debate was the moment when Debian got definitely broken as project.
                  yeah, i'll add it to the list of bad things systemd caused.


                  • #39
                    Originally posted by White Wolf View Post
                    I almost died reading the "problems" debian has as I was drinking tea and almost got chocked. Supporting a communist ideology is something with is good. All lives matter.
                    careful with such racist names with "white" in it, you don't want to provoke a reaction from sjws


                    • #40
                      Originally posted by birdie View Post
                      What about a horrible bug tracker which is nothing more than a gloried mailing list?
                      I second that. I cannot think of a worse way to report bugs than the Debian way. Why do I need a configured MTA or mail application to report a bug? What if I want to report a bug from a diffent machine? What if I don't want my email address to be displayed publicly (what about privacy)?

                      Originally posted by birdie View Post
                      What about stale/outdated packages (I know the policy but Debian has literally thousands of packages with minor updates missing)?
                      Okay, this is actually Debian policy. What really frustrates me though is when Debian patches break a package and nobody cares about it. Due to the horrible bug tracker it's also not easy to see if the issue is being worked on or not.

                      I don't care about eye-candy at all, but Debian should really improve the ways that users interact with the project itself. They need to leave the 90s behind and become more modern in so many places.