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Re: Are we losing users to Gentoo?

On Tue, Nov 26, 2002 at 11:18:18PM +0100, Volker Dierks wrote:

> >	Silly, perhaps, but it still conveys the message that the
> >Gentoo user is in control. Do the cutting edge enthusiasts in Debian
> >have the same amount of control? Have we become so complacent at
> >believing that since we have the some of the strictest policies and
> >heaviest bug resolution/testing procedures around that we're the best
> >distribution around that we no longer need to seek improvements?

> I'm not involved into Debian development but if it would be true
> it would be sad. I assume that improvements on the policy as well as
> on the technical side are taking place.

Yes, this seems to be random, unfocused ranting.  If there is a belief
that Debian is failing to improve itself technically, no evidence is
offered in support of it (except "Gentoo does some stuff that we don't,
and which some people think is cool").

Also, note the progression:  there are a thousand Debian developers whose
responsibility is to maintain and increase the technical excellence of
the Debian distribution (or at least their part of it); Debian is not
improving technically, due to developer complacence; therefore, I'll
exhort developers to be more interested in things they apparently don't
care about, by pointing out to them that they're losing users.

Unfortunately for this line of reasoning, the interest of DDs tends to be
biased in favor of technical excellence even at the *expense* of
userbase; so if DDs are not already motivated to work on these issues of
their own accord (which happens to be false -- there *are* DDs working on
all of the issues discussed, each according to his interests and
priorities), cries of "we need to get more users!" are not likely to
sway. :)

In truth, there is no shortage of work to go around in the project.  It
remains that the best way to ensure that the things *you* want to see
worked on get attended to is by working on them.  Otherwise, our finite
resources guarantee that there will always be room for improvement.  If
our priorities for improving Debian disagree with yours, your challenge
is to make it *your* priority to work on fixing the problems you see,
rather than to try making it someone *else's* priority.

Steve Langasek
postmodern programmer

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