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Re: Senseless Bickering and Overpoliticization

On Tue, Aug 31, 1999 at 05:13:25PM -0700, Brent Fulgham wrote:
> However, when we get involved in the messy, organic nature of human
> interactions we find ourselves sinking into a morass of bickering
> and ineffectual behavior.  

You mentioned organic. Therefore, I'm entitled to point everyone to


which is about the `chemistry of perl', and which, as well as being an
interesting and amusing read about the current state of Perl's affairs,
and has some nice comments at the end like,

] I feel like I'm still playing with my chemistry set here, and I still
] don't know what I'm doing entirely. Doubtless there will be more cool
] stinks and explosions this year, just as we've had our fair share of
] stinks and explosions in the last year. But face it, we've made many
] more good smells than bad ones. And the explosions haven't done much
] besides ruffle a few feathers.

Perhaps our bad smells have been worse, and our explosions have been
bigger, but in our defence, we don't have Larry or Linus to bust our balls
when we get out of hand. Personally, I think this isn't an entirely bad
thing, and I don't think we're managing all that badly.

I just keep getting the feeling people are overreacting to the whole
issue: Debian's about making a great distribution, and we're doing that.
The flamewars and whatever in the lists don't *really* matter as long
as we're still doing useful stuff on the development side. And we are.

> For example, three months ago we talked about trying
> to define a release date.

Eh? We're freezing Nov 1st (presuming the Release Manager thinks we're
in a position to), and we'll release as soon as we're ready to after that.


> If we are not willing to make decisions about when a release is
> going to happen and then create strictures that encourage people
> to do so, we will have longer and longer cycles between releases.

We've always [0] had long release cycles, they're not getting any longer.

> Debian has gone from being the best technical distribution, to being
> quite stable but way way out of date.

*shrug*. Debian's always been more about having a stable, usable system,
than supporting the latest nifty gadgets whether they've been debugged
or not.

Which isn't to say that we couldn't do both, and do it better than
everyone else, but talking about it isn't going to change things, cutting
code is (ie, making the BTS support whatever's necessary, making dinstall
support whatever changes to releasing you want to make, making sure that
the mirrors don't bear an undue burden trying to mirror the archive,
stuff like that).

Seriously, if anything we spend too much time talking about coding, or
talking about talking, or talking about how to talk about talking. We
should spend more time coding, and then talking about the coding we've

And yeah, I'm as guilty as the next guy, but fwiw, I'm trying to at least
be balanced. ObBug: #43817 (admittedly, my own fault in the first place)

aj, ever the optimist

[0] Or so rumour says. They've been about this long since I've been around,

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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