Sunday, December 7, 2008

Why Debian?

I was installing Bugzilla on CentOS today and it reaffirmed my preference for the Debian distribution. Debian has an official Bugzilla package. CentOS does not. If there are unofficial ones, I haven't found them yet. Bugzilla is a well known application so it is not unreasonable to expect there to be an official package, and yet there is not. Perhaps one reason is a lack of resources. It takes man-hours to package an application and that effort might be needed elsewhere on more critical packages.

And that is where Debian is different. There is a Bugzilla package in Debian because someone volunteered to do it. Perhaps the person needs it for some project, or his business depends on it, or maybe she just likes the application. Whatever the reason, the Debian developers maintain the packages on their own time. The result is there are almost 24,000 (I don't have an exact count for lenny) official packages in Debian. This is a phenomenal resource. When I need an application or library for a project there is a excellent chance I can just install it with aptitude, and get on with solving the problem.

Debian would have to change radically for me to switch to another distribution. There is no chance of that happening soon.

1 comment:

  1. FWIW, I'm pretty sure there's a Bugzilla package in the EPEL repo for CentOS.