[lug] Debian is better?

Tom Tromey tromey at redhat.com
Wed Dec 18 22:55:38 MST 2002

>>>>> "Daniel" == Daniel Webb <webb at danielwebb.us> writes:

Daniel> About 6 month later I switched to Debian because I was pulling
Daniel> my hair out that I couldn't install a single @#$!@ .rpm
Daniel> package without spending another hour finding all the
Daniel> dependencies it needed.  I'm sure none of you RedHat users
Daniel> have ever had that happen though.

Yeah, this used to happen to me.  And it was really annoying.
These days up2date can help with this problem.  Also, I solved it
another way by just installing everything.  That probably isn't an
option everybody can use though.

Daniel> I was also rooted.  The update service cost money then, so I
Daniel> just checked the errata pages for serious bugs.  The bug that
Daniel> was used on me was not even in the Redhat database any more,
Daniel> but the Redhat person I email knew about it from "way back".

Bummer.  I got hacked a few years ago too.  I don't recall what
distribution I was running at the time (it hardly matters since I
never paid attention to security updates until this year -- shocking).

Things seem better now.  This year I started using RHN, and I
purposely didn't pay for it or ask the RHN team to give me special
privileges -- I'm just an ordinary non-paying user.  Now I get
security updates regularly (too regularly, the cynic says).

RHN isn't perfect -- I tend to get the security alert email a couple
days after the packages are available.  But it is still pretty cool.
For one thing there's a nice applet for the Gnome panel that tells you
when something important is available.  (Does Debian have something
like this?  I'm not aware of it, but I'd like to know if it is
available, since my laptop is Debian/PPC...)

Daniel> They have really supported a lot of good stuff, like autotools
Daniel> development (thanks, Tom!)

Actually, Red Hat has never supported autotools development, to my
knowledge.  Well, not consciously :-).  But that isn't really a
criticism, because in fact Red Hat does fund a lot of good stuff.
Watch the gcc list for a week sometime and see what Richard Henderson
does -- wow.  And there are more like him...

I don't work on the distribution per se.  Partly as a consequence of
that, I'm not really offended by criticisms of it :-).  Still, I think
the Red Hat distribution is pretty good.  Like Debian, it is something
that its developers can be proud of.  But then, I'm one of those
people who think that the direction RH is going with the desktop is
pretty cool.  I saw 8.0 demos recently and liked it a lot -- I'm
looking forward to upgrading.


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