arochester wrote:A computer isn't just a tool for tasks, just as a car isn't just a mean of transportation. It's much much more than just that.
But for some people it is.
I am reminded of "Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance." The central figure is not adversed to using a piece of a tin can to make a shim for his motorcycle. Another figure, when his motorcycle breaks down, will just take send it to a garage. The first could be referred to as a motorcycle geek and the second as a non-geek.
Some people are interested in computers/computing. Computer geeks for want of a better expression. It may be appropriate to provide then with"tools". Others just want to use their computer for tasks. Non-geeks. They don't want "tools", they don't want to read about things that may not be relevant - they just want answers.
Should we say to people that Debian/Linux is for geeks only and simple users should just go away?
OK, but then we agree. The difficult thing is of course to balance the needs of both groups, in one and the same distro. Some act like only the needs of one of the groups are valid, and that's my problem. I have no problem advising the average user to stick with stable, but when the most conservative people in this community do that, they go completely overboard. Describing Testing/Unstable as a disaster area which should be avoided at all cost. We both know that this is not true. What's even worse, is that by providing that impression, they are actually making it even more appealing to the people we do not want to be using Testing/unstable.
It would be a much better approach just to simply explain what the difference between the branches are, and the purpose of each branch, and leave it at that. But that isn't what some people are doing in here, it's more like some kind of failed scare tactics. That doesn't work. It just makes Testing/Unstable all that more "cool".
Instead explain that it isn't cooler. It looks and is just the same, with a increased number of bugs, and a slightly increased risk of breakage. Some things may have improved, others may have regressed. But for all practical purposes, it's impossible to tell if you are running Stable or Unstable just by looking at it. Yes, you have newer versions of software, but in most cases this can only be noticed by the version number, not by the software itself. Testing/Unstable is useful for any kind of devs that need look ahead of the current release, or anyone that feels qualified to test for Debian, but not for normal users. There is no scenario where a normal user should ever have the need to upgrade to Testing/Unstable, as most things can be backported. Which is a much better way to do it.
But just because Unstable isn't cooler or better, and there isn't any other good reason to use it, it doesn't mean that people should be told not to use it. It's nnot anyones business what other people use. Want to support them, fine. Don't want to, then that's fine too. But spare us for the lections. They do not work. It only makes people more curious about Testing/Unstable. Surely you all must have realized this by now?
This infamous disclaimer is actually what got me into CrunchBang:
CrunchBang Linux is not recommended for anyone needing a stable system or anyone who is not comfortable running into occasional, even frequent breakage. CrunchBang Linux could possibly make your computer go CRUNCH! BANG! Therefore CrunchBang Linux comes with ABSOLUTELY NO WARRANTY, to the extent permitted by applicable law.
So you see, that disclaimer made me itch to try it. It should tell anyone something. That doesn't scare anyone of. It's actually great advertizing