This is a weblog I'm keeping about my work on Debian and any other useful Debian related info I come across. It is not meant to compete with other news sources like Debian Weekly News or Debian Planet. Mostly it is just a way for me to classify and remember all the random bits of information that I have floating around me. I thought maybe by using a blog it could be of some use to others too. Btw. "I" refers to Jaldhar H. Vyas, Debian developer for over 8 years. If you want to know more about me, my home page is here.
The name? Debain is a very common misspelling of Debian and la salle de bains means bathroom in French.
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So Ubuntu and Kubuntu 5.10, codenamed "Breezy Badger" was released today. About a month ago I switched my laptop from Debian sarge to a pre-release of Breezy. (The Kubuntu version.)
No Debian is not dying. I'm still using Debian on my server, my other desktop PC and everywhere else I possibly can. My reason for changing was quite simple: Like many people I wanted newer version of packages (scribus, openoffice.org2, and KDE) than Debians stable version could provide, yet with a greater degree of stability than Debians' unstable version. I could have achieved the same effect with a couple of extra apt sources and backports but I thought it would be nice to have everything available from one official source. Since then in the process of customizing things, I've been adding stuff from Sid and elsewhere to the extent that 20% of the 1614 installed packages on my system are not from the official Ubuntu archive. So I guess I basically don't have a good excuse for switching after all. Nevertheless I'm going to stick with it for a while. Apart from the new packages and faster release schedule, aspects of the Ubuntu community and development process intrigue me. I think I shall try to maintin my Debian packages over there too. Now that almost everything is in version control, it shouldn't be too hard.
Supposedly Ubuntu is much easier to use than Debian. On this point I'd have to give it a solid meh. The installation experience is the same as it uses the same installer as sarge. This laptop has no cdrom drive so I had use TFTP. It is somewhat better at detecting devices but I assume that is more to do with having a newer kernel. ACPI was set up correctly which I wasn't able to get working under sarge but again that is probably due to the kernel. On the other hand I still haven't got the hostap drivers set up for my Prism2 wireless chipset. (Ubuntu set up orinoco drivers and they work fine but don't support kismet.) There are a lot of rough edges in various packages that have been smoothed over. I can see how a newbie or someone who didn't want to spend a lot of time tinkering would like that. However it's nothing you couldn't do with Debian if you put some time and effort into it. To conclude, Ubuntu is an interesting experiment which is worth following. One needn't worry about it eclipsing Debian or even stealing its thunder. (Most Ubuntu users come from a different constituency than Debian.) It would be nice if there were greater cooperation at the development level but who's to say that won't happen?