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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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