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Re: [Richard Stallman <rms@gnu.org>] Re: Debian & BSD concerns

On Tue, Feb 23, 1999 at 01:34:31AM -0800, Joseph Carter wrote:
> > Gee, I don't recall saying that at all. Let's see, I commented on your
> > insistent belief that since Linux is under fire, directly due to it's
> > popularity, you wish to promote a new OS and try to save the free software
> > community from Linux's eminent doom. Am I getting all this correct?
> No, you're getting it all wrong.
> Linux is under attack, yes.  There are a number of things we can and
> should do about that, and we will as we can.  The only way that a BSD
> kernel affects this at all is by helping to make Debian more portable and
> universal an OS and by helping to some degree to take the focus off of
> Linux in particular within Debian's circle.

Why would we want to take the focus off of Linux which has gotten us
into this stage of development thus far? Taking on Hurd was not for
this reason, it was to support another OS and take on a challenge of
developing another OS based on the Hurd kernel. This was hack value in
it's purest form!

> Yes I would like to see Debian support alternate kernels with the same OS
> because it's good to do it, it helps us not be focused on Linux so much,
> and it's cool hack value.

There is no hack value in supporting a kernel that has been around
longer than even Linux. It's bee done, developed, and it's already
stable. Plus there you go wanting to put Linux into the shadows to
"protect" it. Linux can stand on it's own, let it succeed instead of
trying to hide it like some deformed stepchild.

> At some point we hope hurd can be pretty much a drop-in kernel.  We know
> BSD kernel can be.

There you go again, reap the rewards of work already done, don't bother
payig attention to something that could be better just because it's not
as well developed. You know if corporatations think that way (and they
do) they will stick with windows and macos since it's "ready for the
desktop now".

As far as your comments concerning dropping everything but Linux/i386,
don't even assume my arguments suggested that. In fact, quite the
opposite. I don't want us to ever consider dropping any of the Linux
nor the Hurd ports, which is why I don't want us getting so large that
we have to decide some day "what do we keep, and what goes". Sooner or
later we have to accept that there is a "manageable size limit" to
Debian, and I think we are on the verge of aproaching it. Pure hack
value isn't worth the extra strain on our resources, if we defocus the
project across three kernels each with several ports, we will surely
lose the ability to keep the high standards we wish to obtain.

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Ben Collins <b.m.collins@larc.nasa.gov>                  Debian GNU/Linux
OpenLDAP Core - bcollins@openldap.org                 bcollins@debian.org
UnixGroup Admin - Jordan Systems         The Choice of the GNU Generation
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