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Re: Future of Debian uncertain?

On Tue, Feb 25, 2003 at 05:22:29PM -0800, Philip Brown wrote:
> On Tue, Feb 25, 2003 at 05:35:17PM -0500, Noah L. Meyerhans wrote:

> > Show me where in our constitution, social contract, or any other
> > official document we make the official claim that we are "aiming at more
> > experienced users".  We make no such claim.
> >....

> In fact, just the opposite, if you take item #4 in the social contract at
> face value:

> 4. Our Priorities are Our Users and Free Software

>   "We will be guided by the needs of our users and the free-software
>    community. We will place their interests first in our priorities. We will
>    support the needs of our users for operation in many different kinds of
>    computing environment." ...

> It is certainly in the interests of "our users" to have an easy-to-use
> system. Nor is this directly in conflict with having advanced options
> available "on the side".

On the surface, this appears to be true.  However, consider that "our
users" refers to people who *are* users of Debian, not to some
indefinite market segment we might wish to capture in the future.
Therefore, given that our users are people who use Debian *in spite of
its current warts*:

  - it's not necessarily true that Debian users in general find Debian
    hard to use
  - diverting resources to make Debian easier to use, and to
    subsequently field bugs and support requests from new users, may
    result in a lower level of support for our existing users

I'm not saying that people shouldn't try to make things like the Debian
installer work more smoothly, just pointing out that the Social Contract
is not an unambiguous mandate to compete with Red Hat for userbase.

Steve Langasek
postmodern programmer

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