Re: [gnu.misc.discuss,gnu.emacs.gnus] Free software: Packagers vs Developers
On 2 Jul 1999, Per Abrahamsen wrote:
> Stephane Bortzmeyer <email@example.com> writes:
> > That's violently insulting. You mean that someone who took the time
> > to study a package, to find the best way to package it, who received
> > all the bug reports (and who has to deal with them, they are public
> > and filled under his name), who knows about software development
> > cannot make better reports than any ordinary user?
> For their own problems, maybe. For the users problems, the users are the
What skills do you expect the average users to have? Maybe you
overestimate their abilities. As more and more users will switch from
Windows to Linux, more and more just want to _use_ the software and when
they run into trouble they call you and say "It doesn't work" ...
Many of those bugs reports are useless because they are inaccurate as
> > To summary: you're an exception. Most free software authors practice
> > what they preach and they let other people do what they want with
> > the free software.
> And when have I done different?
You at least proposed to stop distributing "enhanced versions".
"The licenses for most software are designed to take away your
freedom to share and change it. By contrast, the GNU General Public
License is intended to guarantee your freedom to share and change free
software[...]" (GPL Preamble)
> Most developers just curse you
How many developers did you ask?
> > Yes, people who modify your Sacred Code are mangling it. Please use more
> > neutral terms, if we want to discuss in an useful way.
> I use "mangling" because the actual practice is harmful, in that it
> hinders the development of the project. There are plenty of ways to
> modify the code without harming the project, some of which in fact
> > I have the feeling that nothing Debian can do will please you,
> > because you reject the whole idea of a distribution, anyway.
> That would be convenient, wouldn't it?
Yeah, abolish distributions, let's fall back into the stone age of Linux...
You must be kidding.
> > > "Oh, you need a 64bit clean version. Just use Debian."
> > "Oh, you need a 64bit clean version. Just ask the maintainer of your
> > current distribution to use Debian patches. Or ask the upstream
> > author to integrate them - or equivalent. These patches are free."
> Which one is shortest?
I don't understand this argument. Is the validity reciprocal proprotional
to the number of words in the statement?
> This actually makes it worse. Getting patches from someone who didn't
> wrote them is _really_ useless.
You throw them away before even looking at them? Nice...
What about the development model of the Linux kernel? Linus has the final
say, but he has several helpers (how does he call them? Lieutenants?) who
are responsible for several distinct parts of the kernel. They accept
patches from other contributors, merge them into their work and give this
back to Linus. So they give Linus patches they at least didn't write
completely themselves. Should Linus drop those patches?
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