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The pointlessness of the FSF endorsed distros based on Ubuntu...

The reason why Trisquel is based on Ubuntu is that Ubuntu has a predictable release schedule and long term support. In addition, Ubuntu is very new comer friendly.
Ubuntu is not new comer friendly. Their community let people simply install ppa's, snaps, etc... which makes is unreliable and might break it sooner or later (mostly sooner).

The post Daniel wrote is not about that, it is about using real free software distributions.
To me, it's new comer friendly. if it wasn't for Ubuntu, I wouldn't even be using a distro. So to some, it sure is new comer friendly. For it to be absolutely denied as 'new comer friendly' to everybody is pure silly.
I've been using Ubuntu since it started, and I can't fault it. Before that I used RPM based distros, and got sick and tired of trying to find dependencies. So my desktop computer runs Ubuntu with Gnome Vanilla, and my little HP Mini is running MX18 which is Debian based.
I'm a newbie, Ubuntu, to me, was easy for me to learn 'new comer friendly'. notice how I qualified my response, 'to me'. what you said was 'it's not new comer friendly' as an absolute. I'm a new comer, it was and is still 'new comer friendly' to me. I'm not hard core developer, I'm a simpleton user. I don't care FSF. All I care is, it works for me a newbie. Is Ubuntu the same today as it was 10 years ago? if you had a bad experience riding a bike or driving a car, is it bad for others?
About the release scheduling, we have a Debian stable every two years and an old stable for further two years. Since the moment with Debian you move from a Stable to Stable from a desktop perspective a LTS it is not so necessary, from a server perspective exists a program about a very old stable, but pure libre OSs are not oriented for a servers purpose.

About the user friendly approach is almost killed by the assence of the propietary software. However Ubuntu has a better designed installer than Debian, but the one available in Debian is enough easy for every one.
In my opinion the only newcomer pain in Debian is absence of non-free firmware in the main distro. It can (but not necessarily) make installation trickier. Otherwise I don't see much problem with the installer, it is very straightforward and human-readable.

Myself I don't see much difference between the two from the newcomer point of view.

What I didn't like in past experience with Ubuntu: little things kept breaking. Not anything serious but still. Debian seems solid although I had to install some apps directly to get fresher versions (e.g. Firefox). On the other hand my mom would be fine with the stock Firefox :)
Debian has unofficial versions with blob drivers already available for the installation.
Well, unofficial is unofficial - not something newbie would try :)
I ran pureos in a vm to see what it is like. Seems solid but I am not sure if it will be updated for important dsa's. Maybe I misread about that topic.

I am planning to install it on a laptop soon and see what it looks like when using older hardware.
If you are interested in Pureos you can read this article:

Honestly I would use gNewSense I mean, Purism is super cool, their laptops are super cool, but they are following their path because eventually they have or need to sell their products. Everything they do is based on their needs as a company, even if them are a social company. If you are not using their hardware you don't need to install PureOS and if you are enough strong to survive without making neither a deal with a closed software you don't even need to use gNewSense because Debian by default doesn't install closed software.
@Alexander Those versions are unofficials but officials, are provided by Debian itself, are made for that hardware that works only with blob drivers.
@Daniel I get that. I use Debian myself on my laptop which has some hardware requiring non-free drivers (although in the end I used official image and added firmware myself). I just mean that newbie won't even look for these. They just open the main page, click "Download Debian" button and probably their installation will fail or they end up with mysteriously disabled devices.

I know it is philosophical choice and I kind of approve it but it is that one thing that makes installing Debian less friendly for newbies in my opinion. Everything else seems just fine, I don't get why people complain about the installer.
The debian installer is not so user friendly like the one provided by other distro, requires a lot of steps, doesn't have a very good partioning wizard, you have to wait until the end to setup the grub... I mean it works but the others are better, however the debian installer works for many cpu architectures so perhaps redesign the installer could be a pain the heck.
it made plenty of sense for trisquel to base from ubuntu at one point-- and the results were spectacular, the best fully-free distro ever.

that was a long time ago. i feel your critique is too broad given the history, though not unfair.
Based on how is organized Ubuntu I will never use it especially for a only free-software distro. Debian is not polished and it will never be, that is up to the DE upstream, I mean if the XFCE team is convinced that release their base setup in a so ugly look is the best for them, fine, eventually I like costomize my DE as I like so I don't really care how a DE is provided at the first boot.
@freemedia +1

You mentioned the partitionizer. Very true indeed. We had several machine's installed by co workers and there are some issues when installing a new kernel. Needs finetuning. Then again, someone who is going to install it for official business should be aware upfront.
"This concept of 'friendliness' is unfair because it blames free software-- "

i mean, its unfair as long as "friendliness" only means "helps you install non-free drivers and firmware and software," absolutely.
Richard Stallman recently conceded the need for such things at install fests because most hardware is pure crap that needs non free software. He suggested having a person who knows how to deal with all of that crap, but that person should be in a booth outside of the event and dressed as a devil. That way people can know they are making a deal with the devil if they they are unwilling to buy some respects your freedom certified hardware. Non free software is not friendly, it's the problem. Software owners always break your toys.
a compromise like that, which says up front "this is not good enough, this is less" is the second best kind.

the best kind of compromise is one thats good enough for both (or all) parties, but we have a way to go in that regard. plus, this acknowledges the reality of the gnu operating system for so many people-- that they are going to run it on hardware not designed for it.

now, what to do about grey gpl compliance? compliance that is not commercial, not in physically distributed devices, but simply distros that may not be distributed with all the sources included? where can i get the source dvd for puppy linux or devuan? they are offering sources, but not to the degree that debian is. if i want to distribute refracta (one of the best distros out there) with its source, ive got a lot of work to do. i actually want the source code, but is there a way to do tiered-compliance that brings remastering forward into some lower (but acknowledged) legitimacy? because these remasters are never going away. do we simply scoff, or give them a lesser classification? it will take a while.
@Daniel perhaps so. I found it pretty straightforward and simple enough for something people typically do once in few years. In my opinion if one can follow installer directions and get basic setup working without having to refer to additional instructions - it is good enough, the rest is just prettifying :)
It's not a compromise, freemedia, it's as close as is possible to come to informed consent. The user really has no easy choice because the software owner has already screwed them. Software owners have used their monopoly rents to blanket the market with crap and the user is then stuck choosing between using non free software, doing without some hardware, or abandoning their booby trapped hardware for something that the community has really liberated. It's hard to call that consent, but the FSF is being honest about the choice that must be made and the consequences of each.

Other problems are secondary to this. The important thing is to make people aware of their rights and support distributions that are doing things right. GNU has built a community of sharing and that community has build all of the necessary software. All that we need now is for people to understand the power software owners have over them so that they want to use software that respects their rights. If we do this, the other problems will eventually go away as Microsoft is failing.
I'm a Debian user and I agree with the Free Software philosophy and not with the Open Source one, but I have to admit that I'm not able to say no to all the proprietary software out there, for example avoid all the non-free JavaScript in all the web pages it's very painful (but necessary if you want a free and decentralized internet), instead change some piece of hardware with another it's very easy and less painful.
I am wondering what happened too all the patents Red Hat acquired to protect the free software. Does anyone know?
The main point is buying hardware that work with free software, but sometimes you have a laptop and you can't buy other pieces. Anyway anything that needs GPU acceleration can't be performed without deal with deal with blob signatures, firmwares or drivers unless someone comes out with a free and open GPU based on whatever open architecture (maybe RISC?).

However all those considerations are quite off topic...
Carrying water for software owners is a compromise. Debian hosting non free software is a waste of resources that should go to making better free software. Allowing someone to set up a tent to install non free software outside of a FSF event, as long as the person dresses up as a devil, is not such a compromise, it's just another way of telling people that non free software gives an evil third party control of your computer. I think that Debian did a better job of shielding users from non free software than Ubuntu did, but they can do better still by dropping it all on the floor.
Debian hosting non free software is a waste of resources that should go to making better free software. Allowing someone to set up a tent to install non free software outside of a FSF event, as long as the person dresses up as a devil, is not such a compromise
#specialpleading #splittinghairs

of course it is a compromise. it is just an acceptable compromise. but it is a compromise. if it werent, then “as long as the person dresses up as a devil” would be irrelevant. the “deal” and the “compromise” are practically the same thing. “if you dress like this and stay out of the room, you can be part of our event whereas you werent before.” you might as well say that as long as you put a big warning on cigarettes, it isnt a compromise to allow them to be sold instead of banned. (im not against the move from the fsf, but its a very silly argument that it isnt a compromise.)