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Re: Fedora and RedHat's autism toward personal users



On Sun, 2003-10-12 at 16:25, Jean Francois Martinez wrote:
> On Sun, 2003-10-12 at 18:55, Nicolas Mailhot wrote:
> > Le dim 12/10/2003 à 16:40, Jean Francois Martinez a écrit :
> > 
> > > BTW I am NOT for advocating for including every piece of cr.p, like
> > > Debian does (in an ideal world Feddora would include only one program
> > > for a task: the best one, in real world it is more complex) and I am
> > > quite conscious that it is not possible to cover every need in world. 
> > 
> > Just allow only well-packaged software in the repository and people
> > won't bother packaging crap (since crap is usually more difficult to
> > package properly)
> >  
> 
> Not necessarily.  I was thinking in the web servers in an old Debian.
> There were six of them: -Apache of course.   -Boa because it was
> faster than Apache -Another one whose main merit was to be zero conf
> And three other ones I don't remember but who had no particular merit
> (one of them being the obsolete NCSA server).  I don't doubt they have
> more than six by now
> 
> When you put six programs for the same task you end noticing 1) that 
> after a time some of them are no longer maintained: keeping them in 
> the distro becomes increasingly difficult as the programs fall back
> behind the libraries, compiler and kernel.  This also means nobody is
> checking that it remains state of the art for security (eg the problem
> of formatted strings).  But the people who are using them because "it
> was in the distro" (ie it is partly your fault) won't be happy if you
> remove them
> 
> 2) That six programs doing the same thing means six times more resources
> spent at packaging them and six times more security problems.
> 
> 3) That some features lose most of their importance: zero conf when
> Apache gets a simple configurator, speed when a 500$ machine has three
> times more power than needed. 
> 
> 4) That users get headaches while shifting through six web servers,
> twenty window managers and thirty editors

and 5) over-engineering in the distro to accomodate all these
alternatives.  Debian had several sick sub-systems for handling 3
versions of the 'more' command, alnog with the obscene number of
versions of apps for web browsing, mail, help, compilers, awks, seds,
tars, etc.  This is because those alternatives weren't addons or
replacements, but in fact parts of the OS itself; i.e., the OS wasn't
built for, say, Mozilla for browsing, or any of the other browsers as an
optional add-on, but instead was built for *any* browser at all.  The
configuration, package management, and existance of sub-systems like the
'alternatives' section just shows how much work went into dealing with a
sub-optimal situation.
-- 
Sean Middleditch <elanthis awesomeplay com>
AwesomePlay Productions, Inc.




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