[lug] new distro

Nate Duehr nate at natetech.com
Fri Oct 11 06:48:43 MDT 2002

On Thu, 2002-10-10 at 21:37, Peter Hutnick wrote:
> Nate Duehr said:
> >> Wow!  Is it "Trolling for Debian Day" again already!
> >
> > No, I just like Debian.
> This whole thing started with someone /asking/ for a dissenting opinion of
> Debian.

Somewhat.  I wasn't responding to the original question.  I was
responding to your response which contained complaints about Debian's
process mixed in with it that deserved (in my opinion) a response.  A
realistic, non-watered-down, response.

> I rarely hear one (and the person who asked for one must not hear one
> often either, or he wouldn't have asked), and I believe it is because
> giving one brings out the Screaming Maniacs.

I didn't make any personal judgements about anyone's character in my
responses.  I didn't scream.  And I can produce at least a few folks
that know me that will say I'm not a maniac.  (Although they may wish to
reserve comment about my driving.)  

I even apologized if my response seemed "mean" but it wasn't meant that
way.  Your response is definitely personal and mean, and I'm not sure
exactly why.  

> Case in point: Nate.
> I could piss away hours on your last two messages, but let me just hit a
> couple of high points.
> 1. The good folks at Ibiblio LIKE IT WHEN YOU DOWNLOAD CRAP FROM THEM. 
> How hard would it be to just put a link to them . . . right up front. 
> Making people game your website to get a freaking download link really
> takes the cake IMO.  Seriously.  Could some disinterested party try to get
> the ISO link and comment on the process?  You have to click on a link like
> "I run MacOS, am a homophobe and like to hurt kittens." or something to
> get the link.  It's nuts.

I know nothing about Ibiblio or their process.  Perhaps you could
recommend them to the Debian-CD team?

Last I looked http://cdimage.debian.org had full documentation to answer
your question.  My response didn't include those items because they are
in an obvious (to me, anyway) location... right where you download the
distribution from.  http://cdimage.debian.org   

Since your comments here made me wonder, I fired up the browser and

The very first link on the page is to the FAQ.  

The third link in the FAQ is:  Why do you encourage people not to
download CD images via HTTP/FTP, but instead with this "jigdo" program
or the "pseudo image kit"?

> Bottom line, a link to Ibiblio would cost nothing.  They have an assload
> of bandwidth.  The whole plea of poverty is false on its face.

Again, I know nothing about Ibiblio, although I have downloaded things
from them.  Can you put the right folks at Ibiblio in touch with the
folks at Debian?  I don't see them in the mirror list :

You'll see that the main reason is not the need for bandwidth, which I
asserted incorrectly, and in that I was wrong.  The main reason is the
wasted bandwidth of people constantly restarting ISO downloads from the
beginning.  Your notes show someone how to do this, but the vast
majority of folks downloading ISO images don't do it as conscienciously
as you did with restarting the download where you left off.  

Meanwhile... the fifth link on the page is a list of direct ISO download
sites.  I clicked on one and found ISO images for i386 right off the
bat.  Four clicks total, if I counted right.

So the whole "you have to answer silly questions" thing is outdated...
as last I recalled those questions were on the front page of
http://cdimage.debian.org .  I think you possibly ran across a set of
bad instructions and/or are basing your opinions of the distro's
availability of ISO images on old information.  Where did you see that? 
I definitely remember it, but perhaps you should contact the web person
wherever you found it and recommend they just put up a link to
http://cdimage.debian.org ?
> 2. You really got to me, personally, with your "put up or shut up" type
> jabs.  Who the hell are you?

No one in particular.  Just a person with an opinion and who wants to
see the Debian developers have a chance to answer your questions.  The
folks who do CD images don't hang out here (last I checked) in this LUG
forum and you had specific complaints about them.  I answered as best I
could.  A year or so ago I was involved pretty heavily in the process,
and I remember some people working damn hard on GOOD solutions to the
problem at the time... low numbers of ISO mirror sites.  That no longer
appears to be the case at all.

> I /have/ mirrored Free Software, when I had the good fortune to be able
> to.  I have submitted countless bug reports, answered hundreds upon
> hundreds of questions on mailing lists, written FAQs.

Good.  So have I.  That's excellent!  I wish more people were willing! 
Really!  The ratio of involved users to uninvolved ones is getting a lot
higher as time progresses... I much prefer the engaged, involved folks
stay active and not be disrupted by folks not participating.  I never
said you weren't, however.  The phrasing was careful to say "ANYONE"
complaining ought to check their motivation to be willing to fix it.

> Hell, I even lead a major Free Software project for a little while, so
> piss off, Nate.

That's un-called for.  I never made personal attacks on you.  If you'll
read my posting carefully, they are SUPREMELY careful not to be personal
-- they state that ANYONE complaining can file the complaints in File 13
unless they have a solution.  That's just how I work.  

My generation is full of people who whine from the sidelines, and
perhaps I have an overly-strong reaction to it and I'm trying to learn
(like everyone else) not to do it.  Recent involvement in a group of
experimenters with very deep backgrounds in electronics and radio who's
motto is "no whiners in the recliners" may also be clouding my
response.  We push each other HARD to build and test and try new
things.  To me, it's been an enlightening and full experience.  I enjoy
being challenged very much.

> Now, to be a little more rational, you seem to be presenting the false
> dichotomy that one must either accept Debian, with all of its warts, or
> fix them.  I won't insult you by enumerating other possibilities.

Other options include working with something else, or creating something
else.  Obviously.  It was so obvious I didn't mention it.  We were
talking about Debian.  Either Debian fits your needs or you can change
it.  Change can be done in many ways.  But ultimately change as it
relates to Debian (or any other Free Software project) leads to only one
thing -- it gets fixed or it doesn't.  Only two options in the
end-game.  That's fair, isn't it?  Or as fair as life will give us,

> I will say, however, that it is neither my duty, /nor my right/ to go
> dictating changes to a distribution that I haven't even been involved
> with.  Maybe you guys like Debian the way it is.  I'M OKAY WITH THAT.

You weren't dictating anything.  I didn't think you were anyway.  You
were, however, complaining about a specific item and as a long-time
Debian user and fan, I felt your complaints were placed here for a
response.  If not, then why post them?

> That's why they make vanilla and chocolate, and that is why they make Red
> Hat and Debian.


> Frankly, I /believe/ in the principals behind Debian, I just don't care
> for the distro.  I hope that /if/ my criticisms of Debian aren't rational
> they don't dissuade the original poster from using it.  I also hope that
> your attitude of turning every criticism of Debian into a pissing match
> doesn't turn him off either.

You seem very uptight about distros.  I'm really not.  If all the
distros were gone tomorrow people could rebuild and start over.  Of
course, having a copy of Linux From Scratch lying around would be a big
help.  (GRIN)

I run a whole bunch of them here at home and ran RedHat exclusively at
work for rational reasons.  Saying it's a "pissing" match means you
apparently don't understand how I view things, and I obviously hit some
nerve with you that I don't truly understand.  Hell, distros in general
are a "pissing match" aren't they, by their very nature?  Everyone's
using the same basic copy of GCC under the hoods, last time I checked.

Since this list is probably not the best place to discuss psychology or
the reasons behind people having different opinions, I guess we'll have
to meet sometime to discuss.  But I have been debating and learning
about technology and opinions online for a very long time, and only in
the last few years have posts like mine fallen "out of vogue" with the
politically-correct crowd.  A good solid "hey don't knock it if you
aren't going to fix it" post in years past would have been accepted a
decade ago with a rousing "hear hear!" ... 

Today I guess I'm seen as "argumentative" or "mean".  There's a subtle
change in the online scenery, mainly accountable to people's
"information overload" these days -- I think -- and critical thinking
and negative responses are taken as personal attacks instead of embraced
as a way to learn by discussion.

You see this a lot in face-to-face communication these days too -- any
criticism of anything, even if deserved and worth examining, is taken as
"that person doesn't like me" or worse, "that person's mean".  When in
fact, I don't know you at all and didn't make a single personal attack.

Thinking back to my posting, perhaps some of my direct wording was
offensive.  I describe anyone who doesn't contribute a "leech" in the
post.  It's a reflection of how I view things -- anyone not contributing
is using resources and not creating any.  I never meant to imply that
you haven't helped any Free Software projects or provided mirrors or
anything like that... only that you've never done it for Debian.  And
even that may have been incorrect.  But I'll stick by my guns on one
thing:  The folks "doing" have more say than the folks "not doing"...
and always will, in Free Software.  And in this, I'm sure we agree.

You may have missed the "(GRIN)" or two that are always thrown in when
I'm poking a little fun at things -- they're meant to be rather obvious,
since I'm a sarcastic cuss sometimes.  Even ";-)" just doesn't get that
point across to some.

You posted to a public forum with criticism of a process I happen to
have read up on extensively and have watched for a long time struggle
with the question, and I felt they deserved an advocate.  They're trying
HARD to give you a good experience.  You didn't have one.  That's

I recommended (perhaps too sternly) that you involve yourself in their
open, public process and try to help as the only course of action that I
personally saw available to someone in your position who really wants a
change.  If you didn't want a change, I assumed, incorrectly, that you
wouldn't have posted the complaints?  To me, your comments were not
posted in the spirit of "how could they fix it?" -- they were posted in
the "this is sooooo screwed up" feeling.  I felt it was an appropriate
response to say "hey... reality check!  You have the power to fix it if
you really want to!"

If you don't want to fix it or be involved with their process, that's
okay too.  That part went without saying.  But the attack on how they do
things needed a response in my opinion.  

My opinion that Free Software is only what people make of it runs very
deep.  If my wording or tone offended, I'm truly sorry.  I didn't put
any humor (another seemingly required talent these days... all bad news
must be proceeded with a joke to "lighten" it, which I've never mastered
except when talking to customers...) in my messages... so I'll add it

All I was trying to say was, "Work it, baby!  Work it!"  :-) (GRIN) ;-)

Someone pointed out to me in a completely non-Linux discussion just last
night that, "If people don't pay for it, they don't value it."  I guess
I just wish that sometimes folks would think to be thankful for how GOOD
most Free Software and the various projects that surround it really are!

Debian (for what they have available to them and all their "warts" as
you put it) does a GREAT job in my opinion.  Or maybe it's better stated
that "I can't do any better than they can, so it's not worth worrying
about or posting about."

I figure... bust out a bottle of wart remover, or learn to love the
warts!  (GRIN) (GRIN) (GRIN! Damnit! This is FUN!  Heh heh...)

Nate, nate at natetech.com

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