It’s hard to believe that Debian has 17 years under its belt, but the project celebrated its 17th birthday on August 16. Though Debian may not be quite as well hyped as other distros, it’s still one of the most important FOSS projects around.

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Created by alienhub 7 years 36 weeks ago – Made popular 7 years 35 weeks ago
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benasselstine's picture


7 years 35 weeks 6 days 21 hours ago


Debian a FOSS Project?

Debian is literally a FOSS project. It's even "upstream" for Ubuntu. But is it right to call it a FOSS project?

When I think of a FOSS project, I think of projects that produce a single or small set of programs; for example: OpenOffice.org, Firefox, Inkscape and so on. I just have a greater appreciation for these FOSS projects because:
1. it's more of a creative expression
2. they're making a program that enhances my computing lifestyle.

Obviously the program needs to be integrated into an Operating System at some point, and upstream might not have Debian in mind. Integrating the program into an Operating System is a very different task than writing the original program.

Debian will always be one of the most important projects on the net, and has a huge number of very talented developers. Many DDs are also upstream developers.

But I think Debian is more accurately called a FOSS (re-)distribution project, and the other projects like OpenOffice.org and Firefox are defacto FOSS projects.

Both activities are very very important, but we should be more specific when naming these different kinds of projects.