| Sid _IS_ supposed to be scary, trust me.
I’v been using Debian for a few years, and I’m pretty much the stereotypical computer geek that knows the pinout for most of the cables that come out of the computer…
But there’s no way in hell I’m letting my mother even approach a Sid box. Anyone remember the switch from X3 to X4? From perl5.0005 to perl5.6? The latest “Can’t login AT ALL anymore” libpam problems? There’s no way in hell (there’s not an awful lot of ways in Hell it seems) your typical newbie could have reacted to those. Sid _IS_ a scary distribution, it’s not for the faint of heart, (update libpam and you can’t LOG-IN! Think about it) nor for the unexperienced.
No one’s responsible for what goes into unstable, for the damages it causes to your hd, for the virgin’s blood that suddenly appears on your firstborn door, etc. And that’s the way a developer’s distro should be. Developers should have the freedom to torture every single package in horrible ways to make sure that its ritual of passage from unstable to testing, and later on to frozen and, if its worthy, stable, goes well for users.
Testing fits the ‘wants all the latest’ stereotype as perfectly as it can, and stable fits the ‘we need this machine to survive hell without a reboot or security hole’ camp as perfectly as it can.
Unstable is for us, weirdos from an other world, that can understand pinouts, that know what a C trigraph is, that can survive 50% hd corruption without actually losing a single file (did 2 weeks ago — an advice to all kids: Don’t play with hdparm’s DMA settings at home) and that can psychologically survive a mean uptime of 3 days. Not that it ever reached that low…