Banned from DW Again

I dared to respond this morning to yet another asinine “review” (using that word loosely) at a certain website. The comments I left were removed in quick order. Yes, Laddy, that was I who made the original #34 and one BTW comment. The comments were removed and my IP blocked. I’ve revisited the site several times since via proxy. Heh.

Here’s what was censored.

First, I took issue with the whole focus on aesthetics in reviewing a stable-oriented distro like Debian (the unfortunate subject of the misguided review). I pointed out that such distros like Debian-stable, RHEL, even Tiny Core, and so on, won’t measure up on the basis of aesthetics because that’s not their goal. They focus instead on providing a secure, stable environment that a user can install once and rest assured that he or she won’t have tons of crap breaking in an insane pursuit of having the latest version numbers of everything.

I pointed out that reviews might be more useful if they focused on other issues, like security and stability: How easy is it to keep patched? How easy is it to upgrade? Will future major, or even minor, upgrades require completely reinstalling? My follow up noted that my update from Debian Lenny to Squeeze required only changing one word in my sources.list. Does that simplicity count for anything when reviewing a distro? I also noted that the reviewer’s comparison of Debian to its prodigal offspring ignores the fact that many of them still piggyback on Debian for security and other patches. That counts, too.

The crappy little review was more about aesthetics than anything. AS USUAL. The reviewer dissed Debian for having a graphical installer that looked a bit old — like RHEL’s from ten years ago. I wanted to know how many times a user interacts with a freaking graphical INSTALLER anyway. OMFG. How dare they set up their system via a series of pages instead of a one-click installer without any options.

I closed by asking what specific hardware problems, other than lack of an available wireless driver, the reviewer had issues with. She also mentioned problems booting, though not with this particular release. What problem(s) did she have and how did she resolve them? I pointed out that it’s not fair to blame the distro if the reviewer manually edited her computer’s existing GRUB/LILO and screwed up. Those were just BS things mentioned as a reason for not recommending Debian.

Seriously, why the thin skin over there? My critique of the review was civil and fair. It was also spot on.

That’s something you people could learn from me. Your loss.


One Response to “Banned from DW Again”

  1. micheas Says:

    I actually find the state of debian stables desktop an interesting issue.

    It is substantially newer than windows xp, but it is also much more ambitious.

    A lot of the problems with the debian desktop are issues of core problems not really being solved.

    For example Jack and pulse audio solve the issues of low latency and network audio, but the issue of being able to run wireless speakers for your video game is unsolved. (it might even be unsolvable).

    maybe by debian 8 audio will be a truly solved problem. (I am not convinced that it is all that solved on windows or OSX at the moment, but that is a secondary and issue, and only interesting in that there isn’t a really good solution to crib from.)

    I agree that a more interesting issue of a stable/enterprise/long term support release might be that state of php, apache, tomcat, zope, and the likelyhood of needing to use backports to get a server working.

    The included apps might also be of interest.

    A longterm stable distribution with a self compiled application stack would seem to be at a disadvantage to a full stack of an unstable distribution where the majority of the testing of new versions actually happens.

    One thing that is not in debian stable that would be really nice is Alfresco.

    I don’t think anyone has been wiling to make commitment to debianizing alfresco, but it would be a really nice competitor to samba for small offices.

    I do agree that the reviews tend to be a little too focused on installing the os in a vm and calling it a day.

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