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Re Debian Pure Blend

Hi Bryan,

Am Thu, Mar 09, 2023 at 12:24:21PM -0600 schrieb Bryan Hammond:
> Hi Andreas
> Thanks Very much for that prompt reply!
> You have my permission to post/relay my email to that
> "debian-blends@lists.debian.org' list. *In fact, please do relay it for me.*
> Though I've been using a computer and email extensively since Jan 87, I've
> never used a mailing list - and don't know how, yet. I'll learn soon, but
> that email is urgent and I think its great that you're going to post it
> where it will probably come to the attention to the most appropriate people
> on the planet.

Well, using a mailing list ist simple: You write to that mailing list
address.  You can find the mailing list archive here:

> Thank you, and the many others, who create these Debian Pure Blends - and
> Debian itself.  Its the best example of international activist cooperation
> and collaboration that I know of!  I just hope the CSOs/NGOs whom this blend
> would be for will set as good an example, by making prompt and holistic use
> of it.

How can you promise that people working in CSOs/NGOs will make prompt
and holistic use?  Do you have some grip on a certain amount of such
organisations to replace their current software setup by something else?

I'm afraid you have a too optimistic illusion how Free Software works
that there is someone sitting down for coding with the only goal to make
other people happy - but see below for my more detailed answer. ;-)
> On 2023-03-09 11:46, Andreas Tille wrote:
> > Hi Bryan,
> > 
> > just a "warning":  We have the mailing list
> > debian-blends@lists.debian.org  where mails like this are perfectly
> > on topic.  I have the very bad habit to violate netiquette and bounce
> > such private mails to public lists to give my answer in public where
> > it belongs to.
> > 
> > So either please resent your mail to the mailing list (there is no
> > need to subscribe this pretty low volume list - but in case you are
> > not subscribed just add a note and ask people to keep you in CC which
> > is not default) or give me permission to answer right in public
> > quoting you.
> > 
> > Next time I'll do so without warning. ;-)
> > 
> > Thanks a lot for your interest in Debian Pure Blends
> > 
> >      Andreas.

I just keep my first answer here as information how I usually deal
with e-mails sent to my private address if its about team topics.

> > Am Thu, Mar 09, 2023 at 11:37:43AM -0600 schrieb Bryan Hammond:
> > > Hello Andreas
> > > 
> > > Since you seem to be the key author of the Pure Blends Manual, I've sent
> > > this to you, hoping you will discuss it with the appropriate Debian
> > > developers.

As a general note: Please always try to reach a team for your own
profit.  The person you have in mind could be on vaccation, overly busy,
not interested any more, whatever.

> > > What I’m hoping is that a “Debian Pure Blend” will be created to serve the
> > > activists of the world, who on the common ground of compassion and
> > > intelligence, are working to do the best they can - in whatever ways - to
> > > help create viable alternative systems based on cooperation.  The Pure Blend
> > > would be designed *specifically to enable any coalition of well-known and
> > > trusted CSO's/NGOs*, in any city - who are willing to collectively create a
> > > node for the use of the whole spectrum of activist orgs. in that city - to
> > > quickly become part of a local to global P2P mega network. This Pure Blend
> > > would be able to do as many as possible of the things those NGOs would
> > > collectively want to do. The software would also be designed so that when
> > > they are ready, they can securely connect with other nodes/cities who have
> > > reached the point they too are ready to connect with other nodes.

This project existed and had its own mailing list:


Please note the '[dead list]' comment.  The Blend that was started at a
time when the concept was known as "Debian Custom Distributions" (we
dropped this name since it was to confusing) was named Debian NGO.

> > > Though it wouldn't be my decision to make, ideally creation of this Pure
> > > Blend would be a collaborative effort between Debian developers, and a broad
> > > spectrum of trusted activist individuals and NGO leadership - with the
> > > collective expertise to proceed comprehensively and wisely.  At first it
> > > should probably only be securely distributed to their NGO counterparts
> > > around the world.  After a secure local to global P2P network of these nodes
> > > is reliably functional, the general membership of any member NGOs would be
> > > able to connect to their local node, and through it to others of their
> > > choice. They could quickly zero in on who has or needs what - and share
> > > whatever info they please as securely and quickly as possible - locally,
> > > nationally, and/or inter-nationally. Maybe at that point it wouldn’t matter
> > > if this Pure Blend were made available to the general public.
> > > 
> > > Doing this will probably give humanity its best chance to Unite to an
> > > unprecedented degree, and enable a just transition to a viable local to
> > > global system of systems - based on compassion and intelligence - and
> > > capable of surviving on a habitable, and still beautiful, planet. It will
> > > also be the biggest boost to GNU/Linux software that there has yet been.
> > > 
> > > I've written a more detailed proposal, just under 3 pages, with about 3
> > > pages of endnotes - links to quotes and interviews mainly - that emphasize
> > > the urgent need for the Caring People of Earth to work together as never
> > > before, and ASAP.

Where did you wrote this.  Do you have some link?

> > >  There may be points therein that could be of practical
> > > use to a Debian team interested in developing a Pure Blends such as
> > > described above. The following interview with Noam Chomsky emphasizes the
> > > urgency.
> > > Noam Chomsky: “We’re approaching the most dangerous point in human history”
> > > - New Statesman<https://www.newstatesman.com/encounter/2022/04/noam-chomsky-were-approaching-the-most-dangerous-point-in-human-history>
> > > 
> > > Attached are scans of a magazine I founded in Winnipeg, Manitoba in 1988.
> > > Though it was only published for a few years, I'm hoping that a similar
> > > magazine - with sections for international, national, provincial/state,
> > > city, and perhaps distinct communities within a city - will become one of
> > > the projects of all such city nodes, once they are ready to make collective
> > > outreach to the general public. They could feature a lot of "big names"
> > > respected by a broad spectrum of society. Life on Earth has probably
> > > deteriorated enough that finally, a majority of people around the world will
> > > be eager to participate in such a grand collective effort.

I admit I personally subscribe to all your points.  On the other hand
I'm afraid we will not save the world by just creating a Blend for NGOs.

> > > I'm not a programmer, but hope I may be useful as a catalyst to help kindle
> > > this.  I recently posted these ideas in the FSF's Associate Member Forum.

Now we come to the weak part of your proposal and you possibly too
optimistic view on how Free Software works.  In payed software business
(no matter under what license this software might be distributed) there
is some mind with money that is handed over to programmers who just
realise these ideas.  You seem to imagine there is a wide resource of
gifted programmers that are just waiting for this mind to speak out
great ideas and than these programmers start working on this task.

First of all: Even in the payed programming the programmer needs a real
specication of the job.  I can't see this in your mail (except for the
hint to a more detailed proposal).

But Debian (and probably the whole software world) works differently.
In the beginning a person has some idea or need, turns it into code and
publishes this code to provide some solution to people with similar
needs hoping some of these people will contribute enhancements.  In
Debian we call this principle "Do-O-cracy": Those who do the work decide
what finally gets done.

So the first and most important step in getting some free software
solution started is that someone provides some sensible solution or at
least something that is promising in some direction and *than* find
people who have the same problem and contribute to this solution.

Your mail boils down to:  I believe in you (which is a great compliment
- thank you for this) and now please do something (which does not work).

The good news is that probably lots of puzzle stones of what you are
seeking for exists and crafting a Blend is just joining those puzzle
stones to the image you have in mind.  But its your task (may be by
the help of someone who is comfortable with the technical background)
to pick those puzzle stones and join them.  May be your mail here on
this list will help finding someone.  I promise to help you (and your
small crew you might find) with technical **details**.  But I do not
have any spare minute to start things from scratch.

The founder of Debian NGO in 2003 was Benjamin Mako Hill.  You can find
his e-mail address and the names of other contributors / interested
persons in the mailing list archive.  You might consider re-vitalising
the old mailing list.  And may be you read this mailing list archive[2]
first to find some clue what might have been the reason that people
did not followed that project idea from about 20 years ago to make sure
the mistakes made at this time will not be repeated in future.

> > > Sincerely,
> > > Bryan Hammond

Hope this helps

[1] https://communitywiki.org/wiki/DoOcracy
[2] https://lists.debian.org/debian-nonprofit/


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