Leadership, effects on Debian and open source community
(1) Anonymous because I'm a coward. Right or wrong these arguments
are presented to you the Debian community to judge and make up you
(2) Debian is technically excellent. I have been using it for 2-3
years and I adore it. I wish the more widely available Red Hat
was as good because unfortunately Red Hat is what the public
generally focusses on. Debian is not half as easy to install, I
sadly concede, mostly thanks to that nightmare known as dselect.
I have been concerned lurker of this list lately. Suspect proposals
have been made to balkanize the DFSG which has worked so well in the
past. This troubles me because although Debian works in very open
manner, the leadership has great amount of influence.
(1) Such drastic changes of the DFSG will drastically change Debian.
It has been claimed the SPI is basically Debian and changing the DFSG
thusly will further reinforce this belief. Why? DFSGng is trying
to be the GPL. We already have the GPL and the GNU project which
are doing fine. However, we know that GPL is not for everyone.
We *need* the Open Source guidelines for the people who would
otherwise reject GPL and free software.
(2) We do not, repeat DO NOT, want to go against opensource.org.
Whatever hatred is haboured towards BP and ESR (people who have
produced RESULTS in the free software community) such divergence
will immensely HARM the open source community and our public
image. BP and ESR may have faults, may have made mistake, but
their intention and direction is obviously GOOD and IMMENSELY
SUCCESSFUL. They have been the marketing genius and laying
foundation of many successful projects INCLUDING (perhaps) Debian
(3) It is widely perceived that these changes are a direct
counterattack on Troll's QPL. I must say I tend to agree with
this perception. What could be the motivations for this? It is
well known that Debian is an avid supporter of GNOME. Good. It
would NOT do to have Debian be the destructor of KDE.
You have already harmed the direction of the KDE project. KDE was
well on its way to switching to Artistic license that is QPL
compatible but Debian behavior has put a stop to this. Afterall,
what is the point if Debian will be stupid and will NEVER ship KDE
ANYWAY? KDE is GOOD for the community even though Debian thinks
it is not as good as GNOME.
(4) QPL. Is free. The patches clause means nothing. It is a
nuisance but the software is free nonetheless. Ian Jackson claims
patches prevent use of CVS. This is hogwash, Ian Jackson shows
his ignorance of what CVS actually is. If QPL is free for Richard
Stallman (of GNU project fame), why is not free for Ian Jackson?
Why patches? Ask Knuth. He knows what purpose patches against
pristine sources serve. Community has complained that QPL
prevents REUSE. Same is for GPL! You cannot reuse 1 line of GPL
code without making your project GPL.
I am sure I have missed many points but I would still like for
leadership of Debian to be more careful about what is done to Debian
and OPEN SOURCE COMMUNITY image and well-being. I would still like
for Debian developers to think and decide for themselves and even
ridicule this letter if it is wrong (I am anonymous, my feelings and
pride will not be hurt). Thank You.