Debian dated? [was: Re: Announcement from]

Michael M. nixlists at
Tue Apr 11 20:02:14 UTC 2006

Pupeno wrote:
> On Tue, 2006-04-11 at 05:40 -0700, Michael M. wrote:
>> And because Debian has (or has had, anyway) a longish release 
>> cycle in comparison with other distros.  But Debian's testing and 
>> unstable branches are as up-to-date as any distro, and currently more 
>> up-to-date than Ubuntu Breezy.
> Yes, but those are you said, are unstable branches and indeed it is
> unstable. They may break things at any time without warning. If you ask
> Debian developers you'll see that the generally don't recommend the
> unstable branches for production.
Maybe I didn't make it clear enough, but I was talking about the typical 
home user base.  If you're deploying an OS across a business system or 
using it for servers in which the most important consideration is 
stability, then the considerations are quite different, as are the 
requirements.  I don't think most people consider their home desktop 
computer to be in "production."  If they did, they wouldn't ever use 
Windows.  :-)
> Ubuntu Breezy instead is stable, I can put it in production and not
> expect it to suddenly break tomorrow because of an upgrade, that happens
> in Debian testing and unstable like it happens in Ubuntu unstable
> (Dapper).
When has Debian testing broken for you?  I didn't find testing to be any 
more prone to breakage, in terms of the system, than anything else.  The 
breakage I've seen is with newer versions of apps that might have bugs.  
But you can always downgrade.  Of course, the theory that Debian testing 
could break at any time is certainly valid because it will change, and 
change always brings an element of uncertainty.  That should should be a 
consideration for any kind of production use.  But the reality is that 
Debian testing is as stable as any comparable desktop OS out there, 
including Ubuntu.  Even Debian unstable is stable enough for desktop 
use; it's not remotely comparable to, say, the kind of things that are 
happening currently with Dapper, which is explicitly for testing 
purposes and practically guaranteed to break until it stabilizes.

> You may change the phrase: Debian stable is almost always or always more
> dated that Ubuntu stable; the unstable branches are not important to the
> comparison, not many people use them and they shouldn't be used for
> anything else than testing them and developing them.
Uh, no.  Subscribe to the Debian mailing list for a while.  You'll see 
that the majority of people use testing or unstable for their home 
computers.  The people using stable are doing so either for server or 
production uses, or because they are plenty satisfied with the software 
and features in the stable branch and not interested in anything newer.  
They would be comparable to the people still using Hoary.

Michael M. ++ Portland, OR ++ USA
"No live organism can continue for long to exist sanely under conditions of absolute reality; even larks and katydids are supposed, by some, to dream." --S. Jackson

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