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Re: Doom of Debian Re: Debian Weekly News - February 18th, 2003

On Wed, 2003-02-19 at 15:58, Davide Inglima wrote:

> If I open aptitude or dselect or browse the list of packages, I can see
> gazillions of k3wl packages which are old and many times don't work well, or 
> come without documentation, for gazillions of architectures


[other mail]
> 3) either [1] Debian has the guts to cut the number of packages that it ships,
>     or the Debian mantainers become part of the upstream package devteam for
>     any single package they mantain, or, simply put, the distribution will be
>     doomed.

Old/unmaintained packages are bad for Debian, and OSS in general,
agreed. There was a relatively long thread about exactly this some
months ago: should Debian be more aggressive to remove unmaintained
packages? (The not so clear answer was, iirc: probably yes, for the
stable distribution. No for the unstable distribution. To this I agree -
but there should, of course, be a stable distribution more often - but
this is another topic alltogether, and a much has been written on that

Generally, however, I have the impression that packages in Debian work
most of the time (and this is using a quite crazy testing/unstable mix
on my personal workstation), and that maintainers are responsive.
Packages that don't work usually are very specific, and thus don't have
that many people testing it.

[from se oser mail]

> Other enthusiast will help doing funding.
> If you think that the free software community can do without fandom, you are 
> (IMO) wrong. Free Software needs people who believes in it. Otherwise people 
> would just become software-apathic and get back to closed-software... because... 
> "Who cares? Bad software is Gnu, and Bad software is Windows, but at least I can 
> do useful job with Windows, let's give 200$ to microsoft this year as well..."


People who don't care go to what they use now, and what their neighbour
uses. Cost is not so important - people are used to software being
expensive, or they just steal the software. I doubt that anyobody who
doesn't really care switches operating systems, regardless of what they
are currently use (I'm amazed again and again what people are ready to
tolerate. If they don't care, they also don't think about what could be
different. 640x480/16c/60Hz on a state of the art 17" display is a good

Back to the subject topic: if there are fewer people who care about open
source, there may be fewer people who switch *to* OSS software. But
there won't be many people switching away to other software because of
that. (same for switching Linux Distros, or whatever else).

Generally: trying to look into the crystal ball is always difficult.
Pointing out what's wrong is easy, most of the time. Providing solutions
is the hard part.

-- vbi

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