To: Sunil Mohan
Subject: Debian or Ubuntu
Some applications which I had backported while using debian etch along with the backporting difficulty level:
ekiga (medium - the etch version was giving problems for IP-to-IP direct calling)
ffmpeg / mplayer / avidemux (quite a nightmare ... I was trying to backport the testing version from debian-multimedia.org)
gwenview (simple - etch version had some bugs)
pidgin (difficult - because it was using libnss .. actually i installed libnss from mepis :D)
wammu / gammu (simple - the etch version wouldn't recognise my phone)
dcfldd (simple - extremely useful software if you use dd regularly as it shows status)
So basic ga what I feel about stability of distributions I am considering is:
Debian Stable (+backports) > Ubuntu (+backports) > Debian Testing > Debian Unstable
where packages provided by Debian Stable are most outdated and those provided by Debian Unstable are latest (i.e. in reverse order of distribution stability).
And reg. the mindset about using the latest software, I agree with you to considerable extent. Most of the times you don't need the lastest software because you might never use those features. But at times it might really make a difference as it may add extra features or involve bug fixes. For ex. gammu / wammu, the etch version wouldn't recognize my phone. Luckily the latest version from lenny did. Similar ga gwenview, I liked all the features but it was crashing whenever I loaded the jpegs imported from my sister's phone. I almost discarded it if not it had struck me that I could try the version from lenny which had the problem fixed.
So basic ga bottom line is I don't think using the latest software is just about mindset. It might have considerable advantages at times. And you never know what feature in the new version you might fall in love with (ex. firefox non-intrusive way of prompting whether you want to save the pasword or possible future thunderbird tray icon). And yeah I could always compile from the source but then of good use would Synaptic be and the entire debian package management be :D.
I think for now I'll proceed with using Debian Testing. If I continue to find this not to be very stable, I'll consider either switching to Debian Stable (+Backports) or Ubuntu (+backports).
Thanks for your feedback.