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Re: the danger of specialized Debian

On Sat, 12 Feb 2000, Jacob Kuntz wrote:
> is anyone else out there scared of the idea of project forking? is there
> another way to provide the same funtionality without adding confusion?
> i'm glad to see that people are interested in making linux availale to first
> time computer users, k-12 schools, and people with disabilities. the
> internet community as a whole needs more of this kind of initiative. i am
> however concerened that if not properly organized, these projects may dilute
> Debian's energy.
> perhaps instead of creating specialized branches, the developers interested
> in Debian for Kids, GNU/Schulinux, etc would consider putting together
> robust packages that fulfill these needs.
> am i off the mark or is there a real danger here?

This is a concern of mine too.  Please see the debian-kids goals post I
made earlier today (or find a copy of it in the draft of a web page I have
at http://master.debian.org/~synrg/debian-kids/).  I address exactly this
concern in it. The work I would like to see done here would be
complementary to the work of Debian as a whole.  I hope to see general
improvements in Debian come out of it as well as specific things for kids.
It is by design to be integrated with the main work of Debian. 

So rest at ease.  We're not talking about a fork, but rather a
contribution to Debian that will allow a Debian system to be put together
that *includes* stuff for kids, not one that is exclusively for kids
(although that too is a possibility ... just not the primary goal, and is
achievable too without forking). 

As for where *my* energy is going, I have one package, period.  I maintain
'typist' (perhaps not so coincidentally, an instructional package for
learning keyboarding skills :)  My energy with the Debian project is just
beginning to be focused by these ideas.  If I had not found this niche, my
contribution to Debian would likely have remained minimal.  I hope to
attract like-minded people with some time and energy to devote to this. By
"specializing" Debian we broaden the base of people Debian touches and
attract new blood and find new energy to make Debian more than it is now. 
It's a process that builds up rather than drains.  That's the beauty of
working in a large volunteer efforts like this.  There's something for

    nSLUG       http://www.nslug.ns.ca      synrg@sanctuary.nslug.ns.ca
    Debian      http://www.debian.org       synrg@debian.org
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