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Re: Linux Core Consortium

Whoops, I guess that's what I get for trying to be concise for once. 
I'll try again.

Bruce> Well, please don't tell this [i. e., "outsourcing your core is
a bad idea"]
Bruce> to all of the people who we are attempting to get to use Linux
Bruce> as the core of their products.

me> "core" (software architecture) != "core" (customer value).

In other words, Bruce seemed to be conflating the usage of "core" in a
software architecture sense (kernel, toolchain, libraries) with "core"
in a business sense (value proposition to the customer).  It's smart
for many businesses to adopt the GNU/Linux core precisely because
writing operating systems isn't their own core competence and wouldn't
make their products better.

Bruce> Also, please make sure to tell the upstream maintainers that we
Bruce> aren't going to use their code any longer, because we have decided
Bruce> that it's a bad idea to outsource the core of our product.

me> Debian isn't a product, it's a project,

[snip Manoj's response, which seems to have been aimed at someone else]

me> and the core of the project isn't code, it's principles and
me> processes.  Outsourcing the core of Debian would be delegating
me> judgements about software freeness and integrity.

What I was trying to say is that Linux (or any other chunk of upstream
code) doesn't represent the "core" of Debian, so Bruce's argument that
we've already outsourced our core doesn't hold water.  Our core is the
DFSG and the Social Contract, plus the processes we have in place to
deliver on the promises they contain.

I would argue that any strategy that consecrates particular binaries
-- even those built by Debian maintainers -- flies in the face of
those principles and processes.  Even a commitment to sync up at the
source code level constitutes a delegation of judgments about how to
maintain software integrity, and it risks a delegation of judgments
about freeness (think firmware BLOBs, or the XFree86 license changes).
 That's the part of what the LCC proposes which I think would
constitute outsourcing Debian's core.

Is there a paper tiger lurking in there somewhere?

- Michael

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