in reply to Re^6: Emacs, Elisp and PerlMonks (redhat--)
in thread Emacs, Elisp and PerlMonks

If you want to spend 6 hours debugging a problem when one eventually crops up, because you have neither any idea how the underlying configuration works nor which layer of the config tools built on top of that to look at.

I'm having trouble seeing how this militates for any distribution over any other1. Basically, what your complaint comes down to is that it pays to know how configuration files work. Apparently you think RH discourages learning how to use them, while more barebones distributions such as Debian and Gentoo encourage ... well, ok, demand, but I won't put that word in your mouth ... that kind of learning. You know what? If you use RH, you can do it all by editing text files if you want to. You don't have to use any of the custom tools they provide, whether X or curses based. If you want to run a server for a serious purpose, you're remiss if you don't do this anyway. You're also likely remiss if you don't compile all the interesting bits from source.

Anonymonk was right in the first place when he pointed out that the mere fact that something takes longer to install doesn't make it better. The mere fact that it takes more knowledge to install doesn't make it better either. If you're arguing that distributions that don't impose extra Darwinian overhead2 ought not to be used or are for that reason worse than distributions which do, then I don't see the point so clearly. Easier gets it more accepted; more knowledgeable admins makes it more secure. Both have a role to play. And the already knowledgable can use both effectively.

1 I'm also failing to see why it should take any longer to figure out why something isn't working under RH than under, say Gentoo, provided one is familiar with the system in question. Even if it's true that it takes RH users longer to debug problems, that is more likely to result from a difference in general skill level than from any inherent defect in the system they're using.

2 if this characterization strikes you as rhetorically slanted, read it the other way: some distributions remove Darwinian overhead while others do not.

If not P, what? Q maybe?
"Sidney Morgenbesser"