Article:
  What's So Java About Sun's Linux Desktop?
Subject:   Debian, older!=stable
Date:   2004-10-07 14:10:55
From:   eeanm
When did Debian have new software? What world does this guy live on? And who is calling it "Popular Linux" exactly?


Also, older does not mean more stable. The opposite has been my experience with trying to get the old software on Debian (like its default dhcp client) to work compared to Gentoo. Gaim 0.70 is an example of that, I'm sure that's too old for several protocols. RealPlayer 8, with its own weird widget set, is less stable and harder to use then RealPlayer 10 which uses GTK 2.


I suppose I wouldn't mind Sun tossing the brandname Java onto everything, if it wasn't already a name for a programming language and the common practice is to tack on program language names when the software is /written/ in that language. Though ever since Netscape made JavaScript its been an abused name, so I guess I don't really care.

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  • Debian, older!=stable
    2004-10-07 18:46:21  adrianus [View]

    "older does not mean more stable."
    To be more precise to my opinion "older does not always mean more stable" but older program has more chances and potential to be more stable because most bug should already be found and hopefully fixed. But that depends on the time and effort the maintainer has.
    For example to my experience firefox 0.9.x is more stable than firefox 1.0PR.
    I have no experience with Debian (heard many good things about it) but I notice that Redhat Enterprise (which supposedly more stable) is not using newer version of packages like say Fedora Core. I think that was the reason why Sun choose the older version.
    Admittedly newer program has new feature that older program don't have. Gaim 0.70 maybe already can be called stable, but Yahoo's decision to alter its protocol to make other client difficult to connect to it force user of gaim to get newer versions.

    The brandname admittedly annoys me in the beginning, not because it is a community property (I think Sun owns "Java" brand name), but the misleading effect it have to people already know "Java" as a language name. I just accept it later knowing if JDS itself become more popular the occurence of misunderstanding will become less and later it will more have Java applications afterall.
    • Debian, older!=stable
      2004-10-07 22:51:52  eeanm [View]

      That could be your experience with Firefox, but the difference between Firefox 1.0PR and 0.9.x is primarly that 1.0PR has more bugs fixed. (I personally found them both to be stable, I suspect in your case its Firefox balking on using a configuration created from an earlier version because I've had this problem, but thats neither here nor there.)

      I guess there's two uses for the word stable. Stable as in unchanging. Stable as in less likely for a program to crash. The former doesn't mean you release a distro with old software, it means you release a distro and maintain it (security updates) for several years, perhaps with a longer update cycle. And its the former that enterprises want. And as I already stated a program being older doesn't magically mean its going to crash less, certainly when talking about minor revisions (like the difference between 0.7 and 1.0 of Gaim) newer is better.