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Disappointed in Debian

I have been a long time reader of Planet Debian, mainly because I am a Debian man myself. Not as a desktop or server user, but as a platform user. I see Debian most useful as a platform, making it possible for the likes of Ubuntu, Knoppix and Damn Small Linux. I hear it's rock-solid as a server and desktop, but it's just not for me.

Many others feel the same. In fact, Debian is the most forked GNU/Linux distribution on the planet. Why? Because it's a rock solid platform. Developed for 10 architectures, .deb package management, pure free software and a number of other features make it the best platform to build a new distribution on.

So then why, please explain, why is Ubuntu severely hated in the Debian community? For example, at Debconf, many shirts were spotted with "F*** Ubuntu" which were worn by Debian developers. Just recently, I came across a post by Norbert Tretowski with a quote: "Ubuntu is an ancient African word meaning 'I can't configure Debian'." I know two individuals personally who are very "Debian versus Ubuntu" and "Debian is superior". While I respect these individuals for who they are, why the arrogance towards Debian?

Can't we all just get along?

Mark Shuttleworth has expressed his concern towards this issue. First and foremost, he recognizes that Ubuntu could not exist without Debian. Then talks about what Ubuntu needs to do to give back the Debian community, and make it great. Mark then discusses the tension and stress between the two communities, and tries to find reason as to why they exist. It's a great read.

Even Matt Garrett, a former Debian developer recognized the problems with arrogance in the Debian community, and left to become an Ubuntu developer. I am sure that he would agree that leaving would not need to be necessary if Debian would just settle down. Ultimately, he made a decision that was the best for him, and I think it parallels what a great deal of Debian developers are already feeling: is Debian becoming too arrogant?

Frankly, I'm disappointed in Debian. As a long time Ubuntu, Knoppix and Damn Small Linux user, I recognize the need for Debian, but more importantly, to give back to such a great community. I find it unfortunate that Debian can't see the community that is building around it, even if they are not using the distro itself. Looking at the conflict from the side, it amazes me that Debian manages to keep itself all in one piece. There seem to be much more than the Ubuntu conflict, but a considerable amount of internal conflict as well.

With that said, I am no longer interested in reading Planet Debian. It's too bad, as there are Ubuntu developers that syndicate on that Planet, and their content is good. But, I can catch them all at Planet Ubuntu also. I'm just not interested in the amount of negativity that is coming from the writers. It's not for me.

I just wish that Debian could put this hatred aside, and recognize that Ubuntu is bringing swarms of users to the Debian platform. Debian is popular. Debian is good.

{ 1 } Comments

  1. Tristan Rhodes using Firefox 2.0 on Windows XP | November 3, 2006 at 10:40 am | Permalink

    Aaron,

    Great post, you did a good job of explaining the situation. I agree with your comments about Debian being a "good" thing. I too, am disappointed by the group of Debian people who see Ubuntu as an enemy rather than an ally.

    Tristan

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