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Re: SEUL: available software

   From: jghasler@win.bright.net
   Date: 12 Jun 1997 17:50:59 -0500

   Alexandru Dan Corlan writes:
   > I think than Debian is a more elitist distribution than RedHat...

   I don't understand what you mean by that.

Two separate things: confihring at machine level and at user level.

Debian allows you to query what packages are unconfigured and
configure them.  RedHat does not do that but it gives you tools for
most things and a contol-panel to know they are there.  About the only
area where Debian has en edge is than it chews the task for mail in a
dial-up environment.

At user level with Debian you get a minimalistic dektop with default
(ie black on white) X apps.  The user is supposed to customize it.
Even if we provide him with a tool HE WILL HAVE TO DO IT.  With RedHat
you get a desktop far more elaborated and this desktop UPGRADES
AUTOMATICALLY ITS MENUS when the user installs or removes software so
the user is not confronted with menu entries pointing on thin air (a
disturbing experience) or asking himself where the hell is this
software he has just installed.  For software itself a number of
RedHAt packages come with sensible defaults: Emacs on Debian is a
depressive black on white and covers all yoou screen so the user HAS
to configure it, you can make it easy but he will have to so it.  On
RedHat the Emacs window is well behaved enough to allow you have free
space on your desktop for seeing other windows and it is in an
attractive color, the user CAN LIVE with the default.

Of course we can hack Debian packages for giving them sensible
defaults but WE will have to do it and we have other tasks to do like
a tool for mail and news (remmber than without this users cannot get

   > Debian 1.3 has 1300 packages (that does not mean 1300 software)...

   It means more than 1300 programs.  All supported by upwards of 200 Debian

Debian has an edge here.  But these 200 maintainers have not been so
concerned with user friendliness so they issue packages in raw state.
Also DEbian 1.1 came with an NFS module who could not be loaded
because it did not match kernel version and in 1.2 I was unable to
install TeX.

RedHat 4.0 had also serious of errors but they issued correct packages
within days and 4.1 was good quality.

   > ...but there are hundreds of RPMs floating throgh the net like
   > Essentia RDBMS.

   There also hundreds of contributed (ie, not supported by an official
   maintainer) Debian packages.

Really?  Look at the announces in COLA and count how many times the
author packages its software in DPKG and in RPM format.  RPM leads by
ten to one.  That without counting the redhat-contrib directories
where RPMs are deposited by users but are not in the RedHat
distribution.  And go to a sunsite mirror and count RPMs and DPKGs.
Sorry but there are few DPKGs not included in the DEbian

In this matter we will should not decide basing on what distribution
we like but on what will allow us to build SEUL with a minimum of
work.  Otherwise it will happen as to the HURD project: they settled
for a futuristic OS, but they were few developpers and were unable to
put users to work (like Linus did) because HURD was unusable so they
had no users so more than 7 years later HURD is still not ready for
production use.

I do not want than the name of SEUL fits version be SEUL 2050, 2050
being the year it is issued.

			Jean Francois Martinez

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