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

John Lapeyre <lapeyre@physics.arizona.edu> writes:

> *Per Abrahamsen wrote:
> > Some *users* may want the hottest newest stuff, withouit going through
> > all the trouble of downloading it from the developers and subscribing
> > to their mailing lists.  Well, fuck them.
>   Fair enough.  But, if someone else grabs a package and spoonfeeds
> it to a user, why should the user not say "fuck the developer",
>  ...  an eye for an eye.

So you are saying it is really not an accident at all, the packagers
_want_ to screw it up for the developers?  ...  an eye for an eye.

> > The best you can hope for is theory backed by anecdotical evidence,
> > unless someone is going to make a survey amongst software developers.
>   Perhaps you are generalizing from your experience. I only make changes
> to conform with our standards, or to fix broken things. I would
> really rather not spend the time doing it.  In fact, I wish I
> had more time to modify upstream packages.

If the systemed worked better, you wouldn't _have_ to spend your time
maintaining Debian forks.  I gave 4 specific suggestions for how to
make the system work better.

> Are you saying that the developer should sit there with his hands
> over his ears, refusing to hear that there is a bug in his program,
> to accept a patch, to even look at a problem, until he hears it
> from some certified "user"?   He is only shooting himself in the foot.

_He_ is not holding his hand over his ears, the middlemen are.  

The question isn't "being a certified user", but who is best qualified
to understand and describe the problem.  That happens in most cases to
be the person closest to the problem, in a direct interaction with the
person closest to the code.

> I guess you don't like the  idea of distributions.  

I like the idea of someone collecting (released versions of) free
software, combining them with the minimal amount of changes to make it
work together, and then getting the hell out of the way.

What I do not like is the packagers acting like middlemen between the
users and the developers, each ruling over his own "enhanced" version.

>    As a  final comment.  In our physics department, Xemacs is
> not installed on Sun, Digital or SGI machines, but it is installed
> on RedHat and Debian machines. (really, I just checked them)
>       Any ideas why this is so?

A good guess would be that the users of the proprietary Unixen are
more conservative, and therefore stick with Emacs.

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