spacex wrote:Sure. The problem is that a newbie doesn't know what backports are
Yes, but they shouldn't be as comfortable venturing in development territory either.
If they do, as you duly noted, it is because way too many, even among those who should know better
, miserably fail in explaining the nature of Debian branches and carelessly inspire, or outright tell, clueless user to go Testing/Unstable.
spacex wrote:I can't see how we should be able to stop those notions. People get their information from everywhere, not only the official Debian Forums. In essence I do agree with everything you are saying, I just think it's a lost battle.
True, and documentation, even on the official channels, is absolutely bad.
Is it a lost battle?
If it is, then even this discussion has no point. What are we arguing about? Why don't we just go home?
See, my position is that of a user who believes that we should discuss and understand this matter better ourselves, and that in doing so we can be able to create an environment here
where some good information, at least on this subject, can be found, that can also be spread by all those who hang elsewhere.
The problem with what has been done so far (I mean everywhere, not just here), in terms of "spreading information", is that it has been mostly done just to counter those who recklessly advertise and advise for the use of development branches, but with a somewhat dogmatic approach, warning people against the use of Testing/Unstable but without really understanding how and why, and explaining what's what.
Let's not tell people that if they use Testing or Unstable the sky will fall on their head, let's explain to them what Debian is (aka what Stable is), how it works, how it differs from Testing/Unstable.
Instead of telling them that they need to get some experience before they can run Testing and then, after some more, Unstable, let's explain to them that if Stable doesn't fit their needs, in all likelihood Debian is just the wrong distribution, and that development branches are simply the misguided expectation that Debian could be something that Debian is not.
In order to do this though, we need to understand the matter better ourselves
. Too many experienced Debian users, here and elsewhere, do not possess a deep understanding of the nature of Debian's branches and the difference between Stable and developmental versions, and while they are wise in acting conservatively and not playing with fire and warning others of the potential dangers, I feel they do so with the same kind of naïveté showed by those who instead tread carefree into development territory for the most misguided reasons.