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#1 2018-02-17 11:30:12

Registered: 2018-01-11
Posts: 8  

"I am devuan" advertisement


#2 2018-02-17 17:01:33

Registered: 2016-11-25
Posts: 1,912  

Re: "I am devuan" advertisement

Looks more like a Libre Office advert to me.   Why not get it from the Devuan repos?


#3 2018-02-26 16:53:31

Registered: 2017-02-04
Posts: 123  

Re: "I am devuan" advertisement

As good as your intentions appear to be, I think you've kind of put your foot in it with this ad.

To be honest, I find it amusingly off, which is why I've chosen to reply in the end. (I was going to ignore the whole thing at first.) So, let's evaluate this – at least some of it.

As a preliminary remark: If at any point I should come across a bit cynical or nitpicky, don't take offense. I'm just trying to clarify what's wrong with your approach to the best of my knowledge (some of it newly acquired while writing this).

1. "I boot classically"

What's that supposed to mean? Presumably, using SysVinit. But Devuan is not about booting classically, it's about booting reasonably. Therefore, it's not about using SysVinit in particular, but about offering the freedom not to use systemd and, ultimately, to use a variety of reasonable init systems. As a first step towards that, OpenRC will be available as an alternative to SysVinit through the expert install in ASCII.

And then, booting also involves a bootloader, doesn't it? Devuan, like most Linux systems these days, uses GRUB. And while it's also possible to use something else, there'd be some tinkering involved there. But, maybe, after init freedom there comes bootloader freedom (by way of a menu to select from in the Debian Installer). Anyway, you'd probably tread on quite some people's toes going out and suggesting that GRUB is the classic Linux bootloader. Before it, there was LILO, which had been the de-facto standard bootloader for Linux systems from the release of Linux 1.0 in 1994 up until the early 2000s. Additionally, there are a bunch of other bootloaders available for Linux systems, SYSLINUX (which is actually a bundle of different bootloaders) being one of the more prominent ones.

2. "I use SysVinit"

See above.

3. "I browse the internet"

First, it should be "browse the web", not the "the internet".

The second problem here is that you're advertising Firefox as Devuan's way of browsing the web. Despite Firefox being part of the default desktop installation, this is not the best idea – for two reasons. First, there are at least five other (graphical) browsers in the package repositories for Jessie and some people might occasionally choose to use a console browser like Lynx or w3m. And second, quite some people involved with Devuan are seeking refuge from what Firefox has become (including me). There has been some discussion about this on this forum, too. For example, see:

Then, just two days ago, the documentation team has put up a list of alternative browsers – basically meaning: alternatives to Firefox and Chromium – on the Friends of Devuan Wiki.

3. "I am always new and secure"

I would never trust any operating system vendor telling me that the system they provide is "always new and secure". Luckily, the Devuan project has never done that and I'm pretty sure it never will. Why? Because there's something fundamentally wrong with making such a claim. Everybody who knows a few bits about software – and believe me, I'm really not an expert – also knows that there is no such thing as "always secure". While Devuan's current stable release is very stable from what I can tell, this doesn't make it secure per se. Security depends very much on how responsibly you run a system. Also, there's no fits-all solution to make a system secure, because, one, there are several aspects to security that might not be able to coexist easily, two, the meaning of "secure" may vary across different use cases.

Additionally, being "always new _and_ secure" is kind of self-contradictory. There's a reason that, for example, Debian has an unstable, a testing and a stable branch. And that reason obviously is that new software, especially when it is supposed to work smoothly in an environment as diverse as a general-purpose or "universal" operating system, often needs extensive testing.

Generally, I'd say that being new is not a reasonable category for evaluating software at all. What really counts for software is, I think: being mature and stable, getting things done efficiently and getting bug fixes deployed in proper time. (Ok, you might, for what it's worth, consider the latter as a form of being "always new" as long as there are bugs to fix.)

And if there's one thing you can definitely name a drawback of using Devuan, it is that the software packaged for the stable release is rather dated. For example, nano 2.2.6, which is in Devuan Jessie, doesn't even have the undo/redo functionality that was introduced with version 2.4 in March 2015. This is because creating and maintaining a fork is a time-consuming effort. However, this doesn't mean Devuan will always drastically lack behind. Further optimization might bring it pretty close to Debian's release cycle in the future. This is already evident if you compare the length of the time period between the release of Debian 8.0/Jessie and the Devuan 1.0.0./Jessie beta to that between the release of Debian 9.0/Stretch and the Devuan 2.0.0/ASCII beta: Debian 8 was released in late April 2015, the Devuan 1.0.0 beta release followed 19 months later, on the 1st of December 2016. Debian 9 was released in mid June 2017 and, this time, the corresponding Devuan 2.0.0 beta followed only 8 months later on the 14th of February, which is already less than half the time it took to put out the Jessie beta.

By the way, Devuan's software not being "always new" is also pretty much exactly the reason why you would download the latest and greatest version of LibreOffice from their website rather than install it from Devuan's package repositories – "if you're a technology enthusiast, early adopter or power user", that is. But if you do that in a presentation, you should seize the opportunity to demonstrate how to handle these things correctly, which would include getting the checksums and PGP signature for the package you've dowloaded and verifying it before you execute it. (They are clevery hidden under the "Info" link beneath the yellow "DOWNLOAD" button.) You should actually never execute unverified software on your working system if you have a choice.

4. "I can do anything"

Bold claim. Well, it includes "I can crash badly", when you think about it. Still, you may want to insert "virtually" there and explicitly restrict that to operating systems.

Last edited by msi (2018-02-27 18:27:07)


#4 2018-03-03 03:01:23

Registered: 2017-02-04
Posts: 123  

Re: "I am devuan" advertisement

msi wrote:

But, maybe, after init freedom there comes bootloader freedom (by way of a menu to select from in the Debian Installer).

I've just found out that you can actually choose LILO over GRUB in the expert installation. So, I tried LILO. It takes ages to boot now, but it works.

Last edited by msi (2018-03-03 03:02:50)


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