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Re: Leadership, effects on Debian and open source community

>> "A" == Anonymous  <nobody@replay.com> writes:

A> (1) Anonymous because I'm a coward.  Right or wrong these arguments
A> are presented to you the Debian community to judge and make up you
A> mind on.

Of cause. But I assure you, there is no need for anynomous
postings. If there once is a time that someone has to fear posting to
a debian list using his name, I will leave the project.

So far, I have no reason to do so. Especially I you are a debian user, 
you should have trust in your fellow developers.

A> sadly concede, mostly thanks to that nightmare known as dselect.

We all hope for apt :-) dselect's development has stoped somwhat.

A> manner, the leadership has great amount of influence.

The Leader has much less influence than Bruce had.

A> (1) Such drastic changes of the DFSG will drastically change
A> Debian.

This is why we are discussion this. Note that this is a public
forum. We don't have anything to hide on this matter.

A> (3) It is widely perceived that these changes are a direct
A> counterattack on Troll's QPL.  I must say I tend to agree with this
A> perception.

Yes, the timing is really bad. I was also somewhat stumbed by the

A> What could be the motivations for this?  

Joey and Ian have stated that this was planed long ago. And that they
spoke about this at the Linux Kongress in June. I do not doubt their
words for a second.

The timing is still bad. Maybe Ian doesn't have the delicacy needed
wrt the whole process (Linux Community and Qt/KDE that is). Maybe he
is very much concerned about debian itself and free software, so that
he didn't realise the full implications. Or it had no meaning to him
that Qt released their draft.

A> It is well known that Debian is an avid supporter of GNOME.

Debian supports all free software. If KDE were free, it would also get 
the "official" support.

A> It would NOT do to have Debian be the destructor of KDE.

This is and never was a goal. Copyright/Licance restrictions make KDE
non-distributable. Thats all.

Many Debianusers and -developer use KDE. 

A> Afterall, what is the point if Debian will be stupid and will NEVER

A great amount of work and discussion has been thrown in to make sure
the QPL will be DFSG free. Reread the messages about this topic. Many
developer have argued that the QPL draft is DFSG free. And many make
proposals to assure it stays that way for DFSG v2 (if there will be a
v2 anyway).

A>  KDE is GOOD for the community even though Debian thinks it is
A>  not as good as GNOME.

Debian as a Project has never made any statement about "technical
quality" or "usefullness" or such. We just made a statement about the
legal status.

Debian consists of people with different oppinions. Some like GNOME,
some like KDE, some don't care. But all of them will accept a official 
Debian policy.

That is: KDE as a part of debian will get all support any other
package gets. If someone wants to package it, the packages will get on
the mirrors. If the maintainer has trouble, we will help him. If there
are bugs, we will try to solve them.

A> (4) QPL.  Is free.  The patches clause means nothing.

This is your opinion, others have stated theirs.

A> It is a nuisance but the software is free nonetheless.  Ian Jackson
A> claims patches prevent use of CVS.  This is hogwash, Ian Jackson
A> shows his ignorance of what CVS actually is.

He has showed arguments why he does think it matters. We will be
gladful, if you could reply to these arguments and show us why you
believe they are wrong. 

We have a discussion about legal matters. These is generally a
difficult topic. Maybe you can show give as another view of the matter 
or arguments we didn't consider yet.

But please don't use offensive language. We try to have a civilised
discussion. name-calling and flaming are not welcomed.

A> If QPL is free for Richard Stallman (of GNU project fame), why is
A> not free for Ian Jackson?  Why patches?  Ask Knuth.  He knows what
A> purpose patches against pristine sources serve.

You will find that other developers also have stated similar

A> I would still like for Debian developers to think and decide for
A> themselves and even ridicule this letter if it is wrong

What makes you think we don't think about this but only say "yes and
amen" to it? We do decide as a community. Ian is the leader, but we
are the body.

Please read the duscussion made so far about the QPL draft and DFSG v2 
at the mailinglist archives. I think you have missed big parts of the

Also take a look at the constitution at
http://vote.debian.org/constitution.html if you have doubt about the
deciding powers in the Debian Project.

The times when the leader could easaly abolish a board which had a
different oppinion than he had (like Bruce did) are over. 

A> (I am anonymous, my feelings and pride will not be hurt).

You hurt my feelings, if you think you have to post anonymously.


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