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Re: Some thoughts about problems within Debian

Hi Colin!

You wrote:

> > What the people writing about this matter seem to be after is
> > - what is expected of a maintainer?
> > - how does the debian project fit together?
> > - what can I do?
> > - what must I know to be able to do this?
> > - where do I go to ask if I must know something?
> One very important characteristic of a hacker is self-motivation.  You
> have to find those problems you want to solve, and solve them.  Since
> hackers are almost invariably volunteers, you can't be forced into doing
> something that you're not interested in.  If you haven't found your
> place yet, that's fine; it will come.  

While of course what you are saying here is formally correct, this
shouldn't mean that a project consisting of hackers (such as Debian),
shouldn't have a clear internal structure, a clear idea of what things
people can work on, or clear ideas of what the problems in the project
I think this is one of the biggest problems of Debian: Debian has grown
a lot in the past 3 years, but the internal structure didn't grow with
it: while the number of packages has tripled or quadrupled, the amount
of coordinations and QA work as stayed roughly constant.
While in the past the current structure (with only a few official
functions: DPL, DAM, Release manager, Technical committee) was probably
sufficient to manage the project, IMO it is not for a project of the
current size.

> So, I don't think you're going to get anyone to answer the above
> questions for you; the answers differ for each person.

Of course, but this doesn't mean we shouldn't provide the infrastructure
for people to make it easy to answers these question for themselfes.

> > I think the real "debian problem" is not about maintainers MIA, orphaned
> > packages or slow release cycles. The real problem is about lack of
> > smooth introduction of new participants, and a complicated, undocumented
> > internal structure. It is about unclear goals - what is the target
> > audience or audiences of debian?

> The target audience is everyone who uses a computer.

OK, but that is not very clear a goal. What do we want with all those
people? Do we want them all to use Debian? If so, what should be done to
accomplish this goals?

Kind regards,
| Bas Zoetekouw                  | Si l'on sait exactement ce   |
|--------------------------------| que l'on va faire, a quoi    |
| zoetekw@phys.uu.nl             | bon le faire?                |
|    bas@A-Es2.uu.nl             |               Pablo Picasso  |

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