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Re: debian culture

Glenn McGrath wrote:
> (Reflecting on debians culture of flaming, mindshare and our structure,
> inspired by a -private thread)

Hmm, never thought about it as a culture, but... well... maybe it is one.

> I used to hold individual developers accountable for percieved problems
> within debian. However, im starting to realise those individuals are
> only partly to blame, its debians culture thats warped them.

A culture is always built on the people implementing them.

When discussing about problems and causes I'd first like to see a
definition or listing of the problems you're talking about.

Problem: long release time
Causes: many

Problem: flames on -devel
Causes: several

Problem: pkg takes long from NEW to ACCEPT
Cause: needs to be checked, takes time
However: reasonable timeframe for "regular" packages

etc. pp.  

Which problems are you talking about exactly?

> When a NM joins i doubt he realises the self-destructive "mindshare"
> battle that goes on within debian.

If the mindshare is really self-desctructive, why does Debian still
exist?  Or when will Debian have itself finally destructed?

> Debian is more a "team of champions" than a "champion team". As

I tend to disagree and say that Debian is both, and I don't believe
that one of them makes the other one impossible.  If you're looking at
the success of the Debian distribution, I believe that the Debian
project is quite a champion team.

> individual developers we only have a narrow scope to improve debian, it


> is relatively difficult to change something that isnt your
> sole responsability.

You'll have to use the power and rules of Free Software.  You cannot
tell somebody else what she has to do, of course.  You can, however,
try to improve her work and demonstrate to her that she can save time
and effort by switching.

Or you can realise that a new tool needs to be implemented, make a
good design, get it discussed and try to find people who help you with

You can always help others by providing good and helpful input.  You
cannot "help" others by telling them what to do.  That's how a
hierarchical company works but not Free Software development.

> To change something that isnt your responsibility you have to either
> directly convince the person who is responible to change something, or
> get into a "mindshare" battle (aka flamefest) on -devel, get a rough
> concensus there and try and guilt the person responsible into changing
> something.

That's the wrong way of doing so.  You're trying to tell people what
they have to do.  That won't work in this area.  You may want to offer
your help and provide helpful input instead.

> If the person responsible for the area being debated doesnt participate
> in the flamefest, they are percieved to be ignoring their
> responsabilities and they get flamed for not participating in the
> flamefest.

Only very few people like to be beaten all the time.  No wonder people
don't participate in flamefest that are directed against them.  They
can only lose and will finally end up at a therapists.  Not helpful at
all, even though you may find it helpful to kick people around and off
their work.  From my experience, it is not.

> Perhaps debian needs structural change, Lieutenants ?

What are they supposed to do in your opinion?



It's practically impossible to look at a penguin and feel angry.

Please always Cc to me when replying to me on the lists.

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