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Why Debian matters more than ever

Feb 07, 2011, 19:32 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Joe 'Zonker' Brockmeier)

"If you look at the feature list for Debian 6, released on February 6, it's easy to be underwhelmed. This is especially true when measuring Debian against its offspring, like Ubuntu. Looks, however, can be deceiving — Debian is as relevant as it ever was, despite opinions to the contrary.

"It's tempting to write Debian off as irrelevant, as my friend Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols suggests:

"...as I look at the whole Debian situation, it seems to me that Ubuntu, with its leading the way from X Window to Wayland for Linux's foundation graphics and its new take, Unity, on the Linux desktop is now the ground-breaking Linux distribution that Debian once was. At the same time, Ubuntu is continuing to expand the Linux audience, while Debian continues to be a system that only hard-core Debian Linux fans will use.

"Vaughan-Nichols concedes that "Debian is still important" he says "Debian is becoming increasingly irrelevant to the larger user community" being driven by Ubuntu and the other Debian derivatives. This is only true if you define relevance direct use — which is very much the wrong way to view Debian, and always has been."

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