|I have yet to try Ubuntu, I will soon when my free CD’s arrive in the mail 🙂 Ubuntu will get a fair testing then.
What does Ubuntu offer that Debian does not? What is Ubuntu’s “unique
selling proposition”? It seems it will essentially have a quicker release cycle. Plus from other posters here it seems you get more automagical hardware detection and configuration. Is this “automagic” actually going upstream to Debian like the Unbuntu people claim they will? If so, then this distinctive feature will become less distinctive since ideally Debian will benefit from it too.
I agree more desktop spit-polish is a very, very, very important thing in winning over a user base of the convenience-addicted masses. Yay Ubuntu!
These things above seem to be the main things Ubuntu offer that Debian does not. Ubuntu’s commercial support is not that unique, as there is commercial support of Debian also. Heck, I offer it!
I don’t feel that Ubuntu is all that revolutionary an idea, because you can approximate the value of Ubuntu by installing the latest stable release of Debian (which as of sarge will become painfully easy), then adding unofficial apt sources for all the (backported to stable) latest software you wish you could get (without moving to testing or unstable) from www.apt-get.org. This “unofficial” mechanism adds “newness” to the “stableness”. I’ve been doing it for a couple of years now and it works well.
In other words, the main problem I see Ubuntu fixing is one of ignorance of the above method. Ubuntu gives warm fuzzies (ie. a quicker release cycle) to people who have yet to appreciate the profound significance of the install-once-no-matter-how-old-then-easily-upgrade-forever goodness of Debian. Debian’s superior in-place upgradability renders the importance of frequent releases less meaningful.
I just hope that Ubuntu doesn’t fragment and detract from the Debian
community too much. Ubuntu heavily relies on Debian, so why wouldn’t it just become a sub-project of Debian? I suppose it would get less publicity that way.
I am glad to hear that Ubuntu people will send their bugfixes “upstream” to Debian so Debian can benefit from their work, just as Ubuntu benefits from Debian. This sharing between the projects makes Ubuntu seem special when I compare it to the flash-in-the-pan Debian derivative distros like Xandros, Storm Linux, etc.
I do like Ubuntu’s decision to only support “the hardware that matters”, namely PC’s and Macs. But when the time comes, I’m going to be loving Debian’s support of my two-years-from-now PDA and my 4-years-from-now ultra-cheap, non-DRM V-dragon computer.