Edrx's Debian page
I'm slowly transfering the (mostly obsolete) stuff from my old page about Debian to this page.
Debian-RJ (a local users group):
Free software (makes the world go 'round):
(2005sep09: Old! Old! Old! You've been warned!)
New stuff, aug2004:
(Note: this page is old and has many broken links, and I'm planning to fix it only after doing some urgent work on eev.el, Crim and Hurd... the only block of new things is the first one)...
New stuff, jan2001:
Messy notes on some Debian hacks:
On making new Debian packages:
Other advanced things:
Making Potato CDs:
Why Debian: because of the quality of its packages, for example.
Why not Debian:
(I wrote this around 2001feb15, but it is something I've been thinking for years. The developers of almost every piece of software of today tend to imagine their target audience as being made of "users", in the Windows sense, and this goes against what in my opinion is one of main pillars of the Free Software movement: that free software is not only about distributing tools for free, but mainly about giving to everyone access to the knowledge behind these tools.)
Debian is certainly better than any other OS and distribution in this respect, but, anyway, it (still) has a bit of an "us and them" mentality: users are not encouraged enough to install in their local machines copies of the Debian bug tracking system, of the auto-builders, of the software behind the package repositories and its mirrors, of the mailing list servers, etc; so the mailing lists for the developers are full of questions like "I uploaded a package and closed a bug report the xxx way and yyy happened", and these messages are *NEVER* answered with pointers to the relevant source code. For people who can't deal with black boxes, like me, this makes the system behind debian.org almost impossible to use.
Just some simple examples: a common user isn't able to regenerate the Contents-<arch>.gz file without fetching some obscure scripts from a CVS server; one can't get archives of the traffic in the mailing lists in mbox format, for grepping at home; apt-move, that seems to be one of the standard tools for building mirrors, is absurdly hard to learn.
Please, debpeople: not every Debian user around is a computer pro with infinite bandwidth, or has the social skills to get the answers from the right people, or is just a clicker that doesn't mind the details. We are reading your code but we are not psychic -- please try to remember how you felt before you were allowed into the ivory tower.
(Added later, 2001feb21): the Debian bug count is rising much more than it should. Of course it is, as the difficulty of locating a bug, fixing it, sending a patch, and incorporating this patch upstream isn't decreasing, much on the contrary...