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Re: Senseless Bickering and Overpoliticization

On Mon, Aug 30, 1999 at 05:50:28PM -0500, John Goerzen wrote:
> It's been a long time since our last release, which was already
> outdated when it came out.  Our current release has numerous
> release-critical bugs with little progress.

So instead of starting a thread, how about fixing some RC bugs?

Better idea: how about an "ObBug" thing that lists a bug you've helped
fix in the last 24 hours?

BTW, what of Bug#42714, Bug#42897, and Bug#42339?

> Boot disks have problems.

So join debian-boot, download the source and start fixing them.

> dpkg is writhing away in the abyss,

In that it's had another new maintainer upload just the other day.

A bunch of other poeple have started the Herring project (and another
project which does not officially exist, and shall not be named) to
make sure that even if dpkg takes it last gasp and doesn't even bother
writhing anymore, we've got a backup.

> dselect is bordering on uselessness, 

Which is why there are things like console-apt, and gnome-apt (remember
the Apt project? To provide a replacement for dselect and such?); and
in any case it's just as useful as it has been the past (n) years.

> bugs get completely ignored for over 800 days,

While others get dealt with within a couple of days.

> and
> egotistical or power-greedy maintainers are actively compatative with
> those that submit bugs or try to help. 

While others try to remain friendly and helpful even when bug reports
are miscategorised as `critical' instead of `wishlist', have almost no
information to help diagnose the problem, are obviously the result of
user error, or are just irritatingly impolite.

(All of which are annoying, but most of which are emminantly forgivable)

> Some maintainers think they
> are important enough that they can ignore policy;

Or they thing policy is wrong, and think correctness is more important than
a bunch of stupid rules; or they think either way is fine, and it's better
to do what's documented than what's not.

> others are powerless to helpp.


> The SPI moves slower than a glacial pace, often ignoring
> important issues or botching paperwork.

AFAICT this doesn't really have any effect on whether we release potato,
so I don't really see how it matters at all.

> Granted, some of these things are being addressed, but:
> Where is all our effort going?  Flamewars and power struggles. I have 
> been essentially away from the lists, barely skimming, for two or
> three months now.  What have I missed?

From my point of view: The beginnings of a replacement to
/etc/init.d/network (ifup/ifdown, see /etc/network/interfaces), heavily
reworked spoof-protection that's now much more convenient to configure and
starts in the right place, splitting and dynamic-izing TCP wrappers.

From other points of view: the latest X has been uploaded, there's plans
afoot to make both a security update of stable and a feature update of
stable in the very near future, we've got a free Debian install/user's
guide in the archives (debian-guide.deb), the latest BIND has been heavily
reworked so that it's FHS compliant and even has a -dev package. And all
this is aside from the constant rash of new and update packages that I
haven't deigned to notice.

You also seem to have missed the Perl update in that timeframe too, if
DWN is anything to go by.

> Very little indeed, despite
> the thousands of messages that have flowed past.  Yet more flamewars
> about FHS transitions, with still no resolution and more pointless
> bickering.  Debates about who has authority to do what, discussions
> about utterly useless or trivial points, etc. are frequent.


As long as we keep doing all the work in the background, who cares?

> Why do we have all these problems?  What has happened to civilized,
> thought-out discussion?  Why is it that growing formalization
> (Constitution, etc) has only made things worse?  And most importantly, 
> how can we get people away from wasting their time insulting others on 
> mailing lists and instead work on the distribution?

Why do we have all these rhetorical questions based on invalid

ObBug: 43094


Anthony Towns <aj@humbug.org.au> <http://azure.humbug.org.au/~aj/>
I don't speak for anyone save myself. PGP encrypted mail preferred.

 ``The thing is: trying to be too generic is EVIL. It's stupid, it 
        results in slower code, and it results in more bugs.''
                                        -- Linus Torvalds

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