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Re: Debian concordance

On 6/18/05, Matt Zimmerman <mdz@ubuntu.com> wrote:
> For open source software as a rule, the most important interface level is
> the source code. [...]
> [...]
> The cost of guaranteeing ABI compatibility is high, and the benefit to free
> software is marginal.  It is a problem for proprietary software vendors to
> be concerned with, and we should leave it to them.  We have more important
> work to do, and we're doing it in source code form.

I don't know if you release this, but this is exactly what Red Hat
says too. "RHEL is free, because we provide the source code.
Binaries aren't important to free software." Well, they're pretty
damned important to Red Hat, to the tune of about $200 million
per year (and growing at an impressive rate too). No
wonder they don't want anyone else to think they're important.

> Surely you can see that there is quite a lot more to what we do than GNOME
> and X.org, both technologically and organizationally, and our release
> process is part of it.

Sure, I've never disputed that. I'd argue, though, that your
release process *was* part of it. Now that sarge is out, we have an
opportunity to fix the problem at its source, rather than
continuing to provide a workaround. Why not take advantage of that?

> If Ubuntu had somehow
> been constructed atop Woody, rather than unstable, consider how much more
> difficult it would have been for Ubuntu patches to be used in unstable.
> This would have been like forward-porting patches from Linux 2.2 to Linux
> 2.6.

You're being dramatic again. I'm not suggesting Ubuntu should track
a Debian stable that's released "whenever it's ready". I'm saying
Ubuntu should base on stable if and only if Debian can fix the
release management problems. If, 12 or 18 months from today, Debian
seems no closer to fixing these problems, Debian will deserve what
it gets, and I'll be Ubuntu's biggest chearleader.
In the meantime, let's give Debian a chance. That's all I'm saying.

Ian Murdock
317-578-8882 (office)

"A nerd is someone who uses a telephone to talk to other people about
telephones." --Douglas Adams

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