"A House Divided...": Preventing the breaking up of Debian

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"A House Divided...": Preventing the breaking up of Debian

Postby /tmp » 2017-08-02 17:48

I'm interested in helping my girlfriend found a non-profit group to help children and I want to use Free Software as the foundation of said group for philosophical reasons. Our goal is to restore laptops for, say, autistic or special needs children to use for school work and I will be running it on a server and a workstation for generating multimedia for said group (an oggcast, for example, or videos for conferences).

With that being said is it better to work within the system of Debian GNU/Linux or pour efforts into a fork like Devuan?

I'm not thrilled with the idea of one program to rule them all approach to software design. Concurrently, the elitist attitudes of the "Veteran Unix Admins" mindset as espoused by this article from Info World seems counterproductive towards creating a solid foundation of cooperation. After all, why would people opt out of one tyrant (Lennart) for the smugness of another?

Note: Regarding the previous term in the title; I'm coming off of reading some books on the period and thought the use of the term made sense. In hindsight I realize that that may have come across differently than intended and for that I apologize.

Edit: Added link for the Info World article I reference later
Last edited by /tmp on 2017-08-03 15:46, edited 3 times in total.
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"A House Divided...": Preventing the breaking up of Debian

Postby dasein » 2017-08-02 18:00

/tmp wrote:With that being said is it better to work within the system of Debian GNU/Linux or pour efforts into a fork like Devuan?

The correct answer is: (E) None of the above.

If your effort is distro-specific, then it's already a failure. After all, aren't you the one arguing against "elitism"? An attitude of "Only one distro, and no others" strikes me as the epitome of the arrogance you seem to decry.

Then too, the main difference between the two distros you mention is systemd. Are you planning on making your stuff init-system dependent? Not exactly in the spirit you seem to be advocating.

Distro-agnosticism is the way to go.
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"A House Divided...": Preventing the breaking up of Debian

Postby Wheelerof4te » 2017-08-02 18:42

I don't like that term, "balkanization". As someone who comes from that country which suffered from the division sown by others, I find it inappropriate. "Breaking up" would be correct wording.
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"A House Divided...": Preventing the breaking up of Debian

Postby GarryRicketson » 2017-08-02 19:32

Why limit your self to just considering Linux distros ?
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"A House Divided...": Preventing the breaking up of Debian

Postby kedaha » 2017-08-02 21:24

/tmp wrote: Our goal is to restore laptops for, say, autistic or special needs children to use for school work and I will be running it on a server and a workstation for generating multimedia for said group (an oggcast, for example, or videos for conferences).
With that being said is it better to work within the system of Debian GNU/Linux or pour efforts into a fork like Devuan?

No reason why the server and the workstation shouldn't both run stable Debian keeping administrative efforts to a minimum. Best to use what you already know in my opinion.
As for restoring laptops—which you probably know how to do anyway—it's a good idea to change the heat sink thermal paste, blow out any dust with compressed air, specially from the ventilator and change the bios battery and install a system; I suggest you look at skolelinux It's also a good idea to try, if you can, to get additional memory for old laptops.
/tmp wrote:I'm not thrilled with the idea of one program to rule them all approach to software design. Concurrently, the elitist attitudes of the "Veteran Unix Admins" mindset seems counterproductive towards creating a solid foundation of cooperation. After all, why would people opt out of one tyrant (Lennart) for the smugness of another?

Each to his own but, if you found a non-profit group you'll have enough on your plate as it is, so maybe it's best to be pragmatic rather than philosophical and stick to Debian using, if possible, entirely Free Software.
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"A House Divided...": Preventing the breaking up of Debian

Postby golinux » 2017-08-02 21:29

/tmp wrote:Concurrently, the elitist attitudes of the "Veteran Unix Admins" mindset seems counterproductive towards creating a solid foundation of cooperation. After all, why would people opt out of one tyrant (Lennart) for the smugness of another?
So how did you come to that conclusion? I see you just registered to the forum today but maybe have been lurking? If so, for how long and where - forum, dng, irc? I have been in Devuan since day one and have connected with the friendliest most giving collection of individuals I've ever run across in my 75 years.
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"A House Divided...": Preventing the breaking up of Debian

Postby MALsPa » 2017-08-02 23:58

dasein wrote:Distro-agnosticism is the way to go.

^the truth
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"A House Divided...": Preventing the breaking up of Debian

Postby golinux » 2017-08-03 01:36

MALsPa wrote:
dasein wrote:Distro-agnosticism is the way to go.

^the truth
Init agnosticism is too. ;)

(but easier said than done . . .)
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Re: "A House Divided...": Preventing the breaking up of Deb

Postby debiman » 2017-08-03 08:49

i'm not exactly sure...
what is "Distro-agnosticism" supposed to be? LFS?
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Re: "A House Divided...": Preventing the breaking up of Deb

Postby /tmp » 2017-08-03 12:36

dasein wrote:
/tmp wrote:With that being said is it better to work within the system of Debian GNU/Linux or pour efforts into a fork like Devuan?

The correct answer is: (E) None of the above.

If your effort is distro-specific, then it's already a failure.


I disagree. I'm planning for vertical and horizontal scaling. By focusing on hardware compatibility for software this makes scaling less time and cost intensive in the long run.

dasein wrote:An attitude of "Only one distro, and no others" strikes me as the epitome of the arrogance you seem to decry.


I'm focusing on the balance of stability, usability and the ethics of Free Software. By having the infrastructure based on a single distribution yet still adhering to Free Software principles this helps with minimizing support issues in the long run.

dasein wrote:Then too, the main difference between the two distros you mention is systemd. Are you planning on making your stuff init-system dependent? Not exactly in the spirit you seem to be advocating.


I'm focusing on making the system independent of systemd. I'm not impressed with the rollout of systemd, the lackluster responses to bug reports and other brush fires which have cropped up since the launch of such an important aspect of an operating system. I see it as a serious downward trend and do not want to base logistical decisions off of the arbitrary and capricious decisions of Red Hat's engineering team.
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Re: "A House Divided...": Preventing the breaking up of Deb

Postby /tmp » 2017-08-03 12:37

golinux wrote:
/tmp wrote:Concurrently, the elitist attitudes of the "Veteran Unix Admins" mindset seems counterproductive towards creating a solid foundation of cooperation. After all, why would people opt out of one tyrant (Lennart) for the smugness of another?
So how did you come to that conclusion? I see you just registered to the forum today but maybe have been lurking? If so, for how long and where - forum, dng, irc? I have been in Devuan since day one and have connected with the friendliest most giving collection of individuals I've ever run across in my 75 years.


I was referencing an article from InfoWorld that was circulating with the announcement.

GarryRicketson wrote:Why limit your self to just considering Linux distros ?


Hardware support; I've been extremely impressed by how Debian GNU/Linux is able to handle darn near every type of hardware I can throw at it using free drivers. I've tried, say, FreeBSD on the same machines with mixed results. So at this point I'm going with Debian GNU/Linux.
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Re: "A House Divided...": Preventing the breaking up of Deb

Postby dasein » 2017-08-03 13:33

/tmp wrote:
dasein wrote:If your effort is distro-specific, then it's already a failure.


I disagree. I'm planning for vertical and horizontal scaling. By focusing on hardware compatibility for software this makes scaling less time and cost intensive in the long run.

Sounds like you made up your mind long ago. Mkes one wonder why you posted.

Outta here.
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Re: "A House Divided...": Preventing the breaking up of Deb

Postby /tmp » 2017-08-03 14:36

dasein wrote:
/tmp wrote:
dasein wrote:If your effort is distro-specific, then it's already a failure.


I disagree. I'm planning for vertical and horizontal scaling. By focusing on hardware compatibility for software this makes scaling less time and cost intensive in the long run.

Sounds like you made up your mind long ago. Mkes one wonder why you posted.

Outta here.


That's a strawman argument. The only thing I'm set on is finding a Free Software system that is stable towards long-term use.
Immediately trusting in a fork without thinking of long-term stability is foolish.
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Re: "A House Divided...": Preventing the breaking up of Deb

Postby deborah-and-ian » 2017-08-03 15:20

Wheelerof4te wrote:I don't like that term, "balkanization". As someone who comes from that country which suffered from the division sown by others, I find it inappropriate. "Breaking up" would be correct wording.

+1
Also from the Balkans here and that expression is rather belittling of the conflicts in question, as they suggest the people just split up and made war for the kicks of it.

Anyway, IMHO there is no "house divided". If you're raising/educating children, I think it would be prudent to raise them in such a manner that open source software also means that different people have differing opinions about how software should function. That's all there is to it. This is not a war where you have to teach children to hate Poettering/Red Hat or the so called Veteran Unix Admins. Tell them to be mature about it and just realise that free software brings the freedom they want because they can always look at the software and code their own thing if they have the knowledge. Please don't give into the urges of reactionary powers within the community to spread bogeyman images and conspiracy theories. This is just heavily toxic. There is no break up of Debian. It's a working distro used by millions of people. The "Exodus", as the reactionary forces -- some of which still oddly enough lurk here -- called it, never happened in the degree to which they proclaim it. There is a sizable minority of people who went on to use Devuan and some of them also contribute to the distro. Good for them! And good luck to them as well!

Install whatever you like and then show the students other distros in a VM. Teach them the basics, they will figure out the rest... or they won't. But please don't bring them into this unnecessarily toxic environment of conspiracy theory bullshit and bile.
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Re: "A House Divided...": Preventing the breaking up of Deb

Postby /tmp » 2017-08-03 15:44

deborah-and-ian wrote:Anyway, IMHO there is no "house divided". If you're raising/educating children, I think it would be prudent to raise them in such a manner that open source software also means that different people have differing opinions about how software should function.


Agreed; that's why I'm educating about the Free Software v Open Source philosophies and allowing them to decide what they want to do from there. My preferred philosophy is Free Software but I also educate about Open Source, its merits and shortcomings (e.g. "Tivoization").

My dislike of the "Veteran Unix Admins" has to do with the Network World article's citations of what constitutes a "good admin." As someone whom works with end users directly it is incredibly insulting to immediately assume that it's always the end user's fault for an issue, or no "true" admin uses anything other than vi. My quarrel is with the idea of using the ideas espoused in said article as the cornerstone of a new system.

deborah-and-ian wrote:There is a sizable minority of people who went on to use Devuan and some of them also contribute to the distro. Good for them! And good luck to them as well!

My issue is not with Devuan or its users; my issue is with finding a stable foundation from which to build an IT infrastructure. I'm interested in seeing where Devuan leads and in a completely non-Debian direction by way of GuixSD.
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