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Debian to be Marketed to Japan and China 173

Posted by samzenpus
from the across-the-ocean dept.
darthcamaro writes "Thanks to Sun Wah Linux and VA Linux Systems Japan, Debian is about to get some major exposure in Asia according to a report. Debian developer Matthew Garrett told internetnews.com that Debian has always been one of the most international Linux distributions. "It's wonderful to see initiatives that will increase our representation in countries with a growing interest in Linux," he added. "It's especially heartening to see this move coming from commercial enterprises, as it demonstrates that free software can work with business."" There's also a post on Newsforge as well.
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Debian to be Marketed to Japan and China

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  • all this linux (Score:2, Insightful)

    how is this new and exciting news? Yes yes, we've known linux is good for years, and we've known that it can work in business. Do I have to keep hearing about it all the time? I've used debian before, it's a great distro. I do think it's great how it's making it's rounds in asia, but linux needs to make serious inroads into India. In India linux usage hasn't increased much in the past year I've read.
    • Re:all this linux (Score:4, Informative)

      by lilo_booter (649045) on Thursday March 03, 2005 @05:32AM (#11832262)
      Well, I can't speak for all of India, but I've been employed by a large Indian TV broadcaster to provide a complete suite of video editing and broadcast tools for Linux (and developed under the GPL too).

      From this and other recent articles on /., I feel that India is not only paying attention to Linux, they're using it and some at least are embracing the spirit of the open source movement and contributing back.
  • by LiNKz (257629) * on Thursday March 03, 2005 @12:06AM (#11831327) Homepage Journal
    Maybe Debian will finally start moving again. I understand there have been problems, but I really wish something would happen.. and as much as I love it as a server OS, I dislike spending my time updating every package or recompiling half of the software when I do a clean install to a server.. then I'm stuck with some very old packages that, though I don't use, I fear may be dangerous. Maybe I should use Sarge?

    Off topic a bit, but what is a good distro for servers in general? I've always picked Debian due to the fact it feels Unixish to me, and can be very cleanly installed. Local Community College uses Red Hat, and the SysAdmin swares by it. Any comments?
    • by Anonymous Coward
      Any comments?

      Yeah. They're both great distros. One's mainly corporate; one's mainly volunteer-based. There are advantages and disadvantages to both.
    • Woody is more conservative than almost anyone needs. Testing ("sarge") or unstable ("sid"), are missnamed. Try sarge.

      For any debian users who don't know this; change all 'stable' to 'testing' or 'unstable' in /etc/apt/sources.list and run 'apt-get update' and 'apt-get dist-upgrade' as root.

      • Personally instead of using stable / testing / unstable I've always had my sources.list use woody / sarge / sid

        But I agree totally about moving from woody to sarge. I've been running it on production systems for over a year and had no downtime.
        • by DavidNWelton (142216) on Thursday March 03, 2005 @04:41AM (#11832177) Homepage
          I've been a Debian developer since 1997. I like Debian a lot, and still think it's the best thing out there in many ways.

          But "just run unstable in production environments" doesn't cut it for a lot of people.
          • by OA (65410)
            I guess this (unstable for production use) really depends on what do people want for their "production" environment.

            If it is developer's desktop, unstable is perfectly fine. (At least you do not need to recompile like gentoo.)

            But for hosting any service for others, I agree it does not cut it for a lot of people unless they QA every updates in advance in details.

            What we need is more regular desktop release :-)

            By the way, I have to admit we have not so many active Asian DD when compaired to Europe.

            Osamu
    • I'm using http://www.trustix.org/ [trustix.org] TLS for a few different things, seems as stable as anything else around on cheap hardware. I have no idea about its 'goodness' value, but for me it is good. To my knowledge it has not been compromised.

    • I don't understand why Debian doesn't use a regular six month release cycle like OpenBSD, GNOME, tetex and other 'distribution' type projects.
    • Off topic a bit, but what is a good distro for servers in general? I've always picked Debian due to the fact it feels Unixish to me, and can be very cleanly installed. Local Community College uses Red Hat, and the SysAdmin swares by it. Any comments?

      I like tinysofa enterprise server [tinysofa.org]. But I'm biased, since I created it and maintain it. But, in case you're bored and want to try yet another distribution, here's a description:

      tinysofa is a distribution that's based on Fedora Devel/RHEL4 (with ABI compatibil

    • Off topic a bit, but what is a good distro for servers in general?

      CentOS [centos.org]. Stable and predictable releases as opposed to long drawn out ones which might happen or might not.

      I love Debian but I don't use it much any more for servers. I grew tired of using backports and hearing excuses like "just use testing or unstable on servers" considering both those branches aren't supported by the Debian security team.

  • I can see how this thread is bound to play out....

    A: "Debian is all old!"
    B: "Yes, but it's stable and it rulez in professional environments where you can't crash"
    C: "Um, but Red Hat has pro support, if you're a pro"
    B: "You can buy support from vendors"
    D: "Don't people realize stable means stable, and testing means testing and it's wonderful that there are so many options?"
    E: "My Gentoo system rox!"
    A,C,D: link to sites like funroll-loops.org
    F: Hypes up debian-based Knoppix.
    G: Hypes up debian-based Ubuntu.
    A: "Debian testing is still old, I need new"
    B: 'You could try gentoo, you unfaithful kid".
    yadda yadda yadda. It's funny, laugh.
  • by Statecraftsman (718862) on Thursday March 03, 2005 @12:12AM (#11831359) Homepage
    besides scrap and raw materials. And guess what...it's free!

    People's Republic of the World ---- 1
    United States of the World -------- 0

  • by aendeuryu (844048) on Thursday March 03, 2005 @12:12AM (#11831360)
    Debian is about to get some major exposure in Asia according to a report.

    Debian to be Marketed to Japan and China


    Meanwhile, Korea wonders if it should use its powers of invisibility for good or evil...
    • by dvdeug (5033)
      Korea should wonder? Asia goes all the way west to Iran, north to Siberia and south to Indonesia, including the itsybitsy country of India. Korea is just a tiny speck compared to greater Asia.
    • by incom (570967) on Thursday March 03, 2005 @12:50AM (#11831540)
      They're americans, they can only fit countries with 150+ million can fit into their 8 byte geography buffer.
      • by CAIMLAS (41445)
        Yes, you're right. It couldn't possibly have anything to do with the fact that Japan is a major "westernized" country with large trade agreements with the US and other western countries, or that China is the largest economy of people in the world (3rd largest after EU and US in terms of economic power, I think?) now could it? Absolutely not.

        By the way - learning proper grammar structure would help. What you're to say is obscured by your illiteracy (s/can fit/people/, s/americans/Americans/).
      • by Anonymous Coward
        You're rated insightful?

        How about you RTFA.

        It's about a Japanese company and a Chinese company teaming up together to work on Debian.

        "Ignorant Americans" has nothing to do with this. Mentioning Japan and China but not Korea is not ignorant, it's accurate reporting.

        Of course, information gets lost once posted on slashdot, and their readers who don't RTFA stretch it way out of context. Thanks!
      • by Anonymous Coward
        Nah, we've just got a strict "catch and release" policy, and the small stuff isn't worth going after. ;-)
    • Meanwhile, Korea wonders if it should use its powers of invisibility for good or evil...

      So which one of the Tokyo-based VA Linux Systems and Nanjing-based Sun Wah Linux should be marketing in Korea?

  • Great (Score:1, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward
    now we'll have two gazillion asians using it to be cool and inflate their penis
  • "The Tokyo-based VA Linux Systems and Nanjing, China-based Sun Wah Linux plan to promote and jointly develop Debian's Linux OS for Chinese and Japanese markets." Will the vast majority of code still be directly from Debian? Are they going to sell it as Debian or something else? Not saying any of this is necessarily bad.
    • No you are right on this one. Its not really community based and I am no fan of commercial distros, but the question is how much are they going to give back to the community. I believe CJK support has a lot to catch up on compared with the rest of FOSS projects. So much so that anything is better than nothing.

      In the CJK world there aren't enough i10n developers for the amount of work that needs to be done. (Yes there are some exceptions like Mozilla that is lucky enough to have whole teams of active i10

  • by Xpilot (117961) on Thursday March 03, 2005 @12:23AM (#11831417) Homepage
    One of the selling points of OSS businesses is that it's (usually) cheaper than proprietary closed-source software, but that point is negated by the fact that piracy is so rampant here that every piece of software is "free". Therefore, Windows wins out since it has the most hardware support, and all the (warezed) games run on it, and that it also runs MS Office.

    Sure, OO.o and all that is available, but MS has a head start with their stranglehold, and everyone just uses what everyone else uses. Price isn't an issue. For home users, support isn't an issue either since computer hardware shops that sold you the computer will do the support for you (whether that copy of Windows is licensed or not). Basically, what a typical home user does when his box is messed up is take it to the shop, and some bored technician will just reformat and reinstall things.

    For big businesses, they want a "reputable" brand and therefore go Microsoft. MS has a lot of mindshare, plus they have a monopolistic stranglehold on the iT industry anyway, so Windows and MS is accepted way of running computers.

    It's not all bleak though... OSS is getting momentum around these parts. In Malaysia, there has been a drive by the government [star-techcentral.com] to OSS-ify their IT infrastructure (this made a few Microsofties cry ;) ). Governments are getting more aware of the issues involved with security and transparency of software systems. I think the future is bright, but it'll take time getting there.

    • Ah you beat me to it. China is up there on the corruption index list every year. Not as high as like Bangladesh, but it's up there.

    • If Microsoft started anti-piracy campaigns in Asia it would be the biggest boon to OSS. First government and universities would have to switch, then businesses and finally home-users. And I'm sure they'd engineer Linux game distros for the PC bars.
      Right now it's just too easy to get away with piracy, but that could change the moment governments decide to crack down on it.
    • One of the selling points of OSS businesses is that it's (usually) cheaper than proprietary closed-source software, but that point is negated by the fact that piracy is so rampant here that every piece of software is "free".

      I doubt parent knows what his talking about. First of all, when the cost of using FOSS in business is concerned, it does not only refer to the initial purchase price of a piece of software. It refers to the TCO (total cost of ownership), which includes such fun items as damages incur

  • Enterprises (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 03, 2005 @12:34AM (#11831470)
    I have never understood why Debian does not have "Enterprise Acceptance". I work for a Fortune 500 software company. We have some products which require kernel work. Most of the developers complain about the constant changes in the Red Hat and SuSE kernels. Yet Debian Stable, has little change in comparision. You would think we would support the Debian stable kernel. The low volume of change in stable make it a lower cost to maintain for us.
    Oh Well, I am sure some MBA formula can show me I am wrong.
    • by idiotnot (302133)
      Who would you rather do lunch with.....a cute chick from RedHat or Novell, or some fat dude in a thinkgeek t-shirt?

      Unfortunately, I have seen this happen quite a bit.
      • Who would you rather do lunch with.....a cute chick from RedHat or Novell, or some fat dude in a thinkgeek t-shirt?

        Unfortunately, I have seen this happen quite a bit.
        I assume you were the fat dude? ;)
    • RHEL and Novell/SuSE have better fit and finish than Debian. The starting point for a good business desktop build is set a little a further forward with these than with Debian which is still an enormous toolkit. Not that having 10,000 packages is a disadavantage. Also, suits like the idea that you can pay some company for support aka blame someone when it goes wrong. With Debian or Slackware you only have yourself to blame and let's face facts, true or not, your own executives think IT is retarded and proba
    • Re:Enterprises (Score:2, Interesting)

      by willgott (765108)
      Debian will not be accepted in the enterprise world until the debian project change its goals. After a heated discussion on #debian I realised that the debian-developers do want to create a "universal operating system", but the universe they talk about is theirs. They care about need for stability and the use of free software, but not for much else it seems.

      In order to illustrate this point I take the example of debian's un-scheduled releases:
      Me: When do you release the new stable?
      Developer: When it's done
      • Enterprise Software (Score:1, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward
        IMHO, that's the GOOD thing about Debian, and if Debian DID become 'Enterprise Level', I'd stop using it.

        As an Enterprise software application developer, when I hear the word 'Enterprise', I think 'massively overpriced, buggy piece of crap' - because that's what every single enterprise system I've seen or worked on is.

        Enterprise software is just software that is slapped together as quickly and cheaply as possible, but sold with the most expensive sales and marketting that can be found - because Enterpri

  • other resources (Score:1, Redundant)

    by kuzukiri (612489)
    FYI.

    LWN.net: VA Linux and Sun Wah Linux Join Forces Around Debian [lwn.net]
    LinuxWorld.au: VA Linux, Sun Wah team on Debian Linux [linuxworld.com.au]

    Martin Michlmayr(Debian Project Leader)'s comment [debian.org]

  • by Trogre (513942) * on Thursday March 03, 2005 @12:43AM (#11831511) Homepage
    I'm all for supporting truly Free and independent software like Debian, but the problem of which release should be unleashed upon the general public?

    Stable? Sadly, not an option due to its complete lack of support for modern hardware or moderm features. It's a marvelous example of what computing should have been in 1997.

    Unstable? Far too likely to break at the next apt-get upgrade.

    Experimental? Same as Unstable, but worse.

    Testing? Probably the best bet, though still not recommended for production use by Debian.org.

    • Ubuntu: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by gabbarbhai (719706)
      Because with Ubuntu, I can see all the Chinese characters in my daily spam feed perfectly. Also, they base the distro on Debian Sid, and release every six months.
    • The two servers I admin at work have both been runnning testing for well over 100 days since I upgraded them. It might not be recommended for production use, but it works fine in this instance - just as well as stable in fact (my home server runs stable), it just takes a bit more effort to maintain.

      If you're worried about security updates but still want modern stuff on top, there's always backports.org
    • Stable?

      [...] It's a marvelous example of what computing should have been in 1997.

      Interesting? MOC!

      The parent is an obvious troll. Woody (the current Debian Stable) was released in the summer of 2002, [debian.org] so he is demanding that in 1997, the Debian developers should have provided software which would only have been written half a decade later.

  • by Mr Ambersand (862402) on Thursday March 03, 2005 @12:52AM (#11831552)
    While it is true that there are various piracy issues to be worked out, I'm fairly confident that the Asian market will do as the west has done which is take the best of OSS and adapt it to their needs.

    In fact, with Asia's help, maybe we can finally solve the problem of people following false editors and settle on the one true editor -- nano!
    • While it is true that there are various piracy issues to be worked out, Eh?

      Im sure thats true for proprietary products such as windows but why is this a problem for Debian which is freely available and downloadable both in source and binary forms from a variety of places?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 03, 2005 @01:06AM (#11831609)
    Linux has been raking in the spare change lately.

    • Linux server revenue last year was five thousand million dollars ($5,000,000,000).
    • IBM Linux revenue was $1.5 billion
    • HP Linux revenue was $1.25 billion
    • Dell Linux revenue was $750 million
    See the report. [com.com]
    • by Anonymous Coward
      FYI That's mostly hardware.

      Interesting to note that IBM sinks $billions into Linux devleopment and Dell gets 50% of their revenue for basically doing nothing. Let's all see who can race to the bottom fastest!
  • by Anonymous Coward
    I'm supprised that the editors didn't mention that OSTG which owns slashdot is owned by VA systems (IIRC) and that va sys. japan is no doubt a subsidiary.

    now mod this +3 informitive, or i'll cower in the corner with my fedora2 install.
  • Huzzah for Debian (Score:5, Informative)

    by davejenkins (99111) <slashdot@davejenki[ ]com ['ns.' in gap]> on Thursday March 03, 2005 @02:30AM (#11831909) Homepage
    From Tokyo, I have the following opinion to offer:
    1. Good news. The more the merrier. Debian, the distro of choice for hardcore users and developers, certainly needs a push and some TLC over here. The developer community is sorely sorely lacking in profile, heroes, and most of all corporate support.

    2. Sun Wah Linux and VA Linux are known within the community, but are bit players in the market as a whole. Red Hat has majority shares in Japan, is very strong in Korea, and is the corporate default linux for China. Meanwhile, Novell is non-existant in Korea, and is making a big push in China (they are so-so in Japan). Just as in the US, Debian will be hard-pressed to go against these guys

    3. The drive for this-- a purely community-driven distro-- is welcome to the ears of government buyers. The asian governments hate sending their tax yen/yuan/wan to Redmond, but they would hate it just as much to send to Raleigh or Boston. This is (was) the impetus behind Asianux. unfortunately, Asianux doesn't seem to be going anywhere.

    4. Turbo seems to be making somewhat of a comeback. If Debian can make some headway, then we may have some more play over here, and that is good for everyone.

    Shameless plug: you track these kinds of stories, events, and opinions at OpenAsia.org [openasia.org]
  • fonts and input (Score:4, Interesting)

    by sql_noob (855995) on Thursday March 03, 2005 @03:05AM (#11832007)
    The penetration rate of linux would still low unless certain basic requirment is meet:

    - eye-easy fonts and fonts engine, the asia fonts structure is complex. In 10-12px web page they just look horrible
    - out of the box input methods: intelligent phoenetic type input or chanjei should be enabled as default. (Common newbies cannot install it themself)

    I know that some improvement is progressing like firefly-arphic fonts and iiimf. Unless they become mature things won't start right.
    • Re:fonts and input (Score:2, Interesting)

      by spacehunt (6406)

      To give the problems a bit more perspective:

      1. The firefly-arphic fonts have legal issues and will never be accepted in Debian proper unless they are cleared;
      2. At 10-12px, the ideal would be hand-tuned bitmaps for each of the tens of thousands of characters. Problem can be sidestepped by having larger default font sizes and/or better antialias and autohinting algorithms (these are being worked on), a la OS X/Aqua;
      3. While the design of IIIMF is excellent (disclaimer: I am the one mentioned in the PR who is on O
      • So basically we need a modified Arphic font with APL license, adding more characters and hint it manually like what firefly is doing. Or else we would need another 4-8 years for the expire of the hinting patents

        www.study-area.org/apt/firefly-font/
        cle.linux.org.tw
        www.oaka.org/freefonts
        freedesktop.org/wiki/Software_2fCJKUnifonts

        The input method is another issue yet we have all kind of gui working together.

        If people cannot see and cannot write, they would just turn back immediately. At this rate th
  • What kind of bullshit is this?
    The submitter has no clue about Linux in Asia, but then again, that's why we have editors (perhaps replacing one of current editors ... oh well)

    a) Linux I18N still sucks (you don't need Unicode support on a DHCP server, but still) so it's not like they're not using Debian because they like Windows (or Red Hat).

    b) Everyone knows what kind of user base Debian has - it's certainly not "enterprise". Academic, department, small & medium enterprises, individuals - yes. Enterpri

  • Well, *somebody* had to do it, right?

  • I predict that Debian will have little penetration in China... Every Chinese person I've ever mentioned the name to goes "Did you just say shit??"

    Yes, Debian sounds amazingly like the mandarin word for "shit"...

The key elements in human thinking are not numbers but labels of fuzzy sets. -- L. Zadeh

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