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Re: Debian's problems

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>>>>> "Joe" == Joe Drew <hoserhead@woot.net> writes:

    Joe> I've got some experience in leadership and what people need
    Joe> and don't need in order to get things done. I pride myself on
    Joe> my ability to simply put, get things done, period.

No comment.

    Joe> The problem with Debian is that it's currently got sort of a
    Joe> mushy structure instead of having something concrete, "here
    Joe> are our plans, now go forth and implement them, O our
    Joe> developers."  This isn't from any one person, or any group of
    Joe> people; instead, it's because as things go on, anarchy
    Joe> ensues. It's a rule of the universe and it's a rule when
    Joe> you're dealing with people.

'Anarchy' is obviously a very bad word for you.  But anarchy != chaos.
At least not in my world.

Don't forget that this is a bunch (ok, rather a horde ;-)[1] of
volunteers.  Whips don't do good in that context (especially given the
leanings of most hackers I know).

[SNIP incorrect stuff about release goals]

    Joe> Now, in order to run things properly, there are some things
    Joe> that everyone needs.

    Joe> 1) People need direction. Very few are good at leading, but
    Joe> many people are good at following directions.

There are a lot of sheep, yes... but 99% of the people in Free
Software are not sheep (or they'd be using Windows).  So, I do *not*
think that most Debian developers are "good at following directions".

Sorry, but stuff like that really gets me riled...

    Joe> 2) People need limits. If you give someone a centimetre, they
    Joe> will take it, and anything else they can.

*aarrrgggh* (I'm biting the wooden table I sit at... lucky for you I
 don't have my flamethrower here)

    Joe> 3) People need to be able to say "We're done."

No dispute here... it's just the definition of "We're done" that we
differ here (though in that, we obviously differ fundamentally).

    Joe> Right now, none of that's being done with Debian. It's not an
    Joe> insurmountable task, either, putting this into our structure.

Can you spell bureaucracy? (I hope I spelled that right ;-)

    Joe> Direction can be brought by our fearless leader,
    Joe> Wichert. Ruling by committee is a good thing, but for certain
    Joe> issues a leader has to put their foot down. Declare what
    Joe> we're doing, and how we're going to go about it.

I guess we're lacking a proper "chain of command"... [2].

    Joe> Limits can be brought about by doing one thing, that everyone
    Joe> will bitch and moan about: /not/ forking off into unstable
    Joe> once potato freezes, and having every single maintainer of
    Joe> every single critical bug incessantly tortured about it until
    Joe> it is fixed, if it's possible to be fixed. Believe me, frozen
    Joe> will be finished quickly.

We had *that* discussion lots and lots of times (even in the short
period of time I follow -devel).


    Joe> I really do think that it's a doable thing. It requires some
    Joe> strong leadership, and some talented individuals, but we've
    Joe> got that in spades.

See, I don't have anything against leadership... but your
understanding of "leadership" is obviously quite the kind of
"leadership" that I hate.

Believe me Joe, you do not even begin to understand the mindset of the
Free Software developer.[3]

Bye, J

[1] So one could say Debian is hoarding software ;-)

[2] I did my mandatory military service... and I learned to hate
"command and obedience" (or however you translate "Befehl und

[3] When I began my first real job a few years back, people told me
that I'd certainly not work at a computer in my spare time... that I'd
have enough after 8h sitting at one at work.  At first, they were
right... but after 2 or 3 weeks, I got my interest back.  Why?
Because in my spare time, I can work on whatever I like, in whichever
way I like, and can release whenever I like.  Then I understood why a
lot of people even at the big companies, even after working 10 or more
hours a day, did their own stuff in their spare time... and you
*can't* command them around![4]

[4] Sorry for such a long footnote... ;-)

- -- 
Jürgen A. Erhard      eMail: jae@ilk.de      phone: (GERMANY) 0721 27326
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