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Re: [gnu.misc.discuss,gnu.emacs.gnus] Free software: Packagers vs Developers



On Thu, Jul 01, 1999 at 08:37:17PM +0200, Rafael Laboissiere wrote:
> a) It is legal, so you have no right to complain.
> b) _We_ test the code, so _we_ know when it is ready.
> c) Our users demands it.
It might be legal, but it's a deplorable attitude.

> would be nice if some ethical guidelines among packagers could be
> developed to supplement the current Debian rules, like:
First, words like "never" are going to cause problems.
> 
> 1) _Never_ distribute alpha releases.
add, as default.  There are cases where you might want to distribute
development versions... Libraries are an example.

> 2) _Never_ distribute improved versions.
I assume you mean, "with added major features" or "with any changes"

> 3) _Never_ distribute with different "user preference" options 
>    than the default.
This is one of the main issues that makes one distribution better than
another.  To take an example, various IRC clients usually come with a
default server to where ever the author normally chats but it would be
better for Debian if the default server was set to irc.us.debian.org
#debian, instead.  

> While this may make the individual distribution "worse" on the short
> term, having the code released by the developers being as close as
> possible to the code used by the users should improve the quality of
> the feedback from users to developers, and improve the quality of the
> code for everybody on a slightly longer term.
Why not change the license to match the desires of the team?  A better
solution is for any distributor who modifies the software in some way
becomes a liason between the developer and the user of that particular
package.  The packager can decide what issues are a result of his changes
and what is an "upstream" issue.  Of course, this only works when the
software developers are willing to work with packagers...

-- 
Please cc all mailing list replies to me, also.
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