[Date Prev][Date Next] [Thread Prev][Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]

Powers and repositories – Ubuntu and Debian

Dear all,
I am an anthropologist who study the organisation of Free Software work. I am concerned with how people and systems manage to coordinate their efforts in this work, and thus about the power of the institutions, systems and cultures that bring about such coordination. In order to study power it can be a Good Thing to focus on conflicts, tensions or (tempered) differences, because it makes power – or the quest for power – visible. Thus I am trying to make sense of the difference, sometimes quite tempered, between (some of) the Ubuntu-people and (some of) the Debian-people. In the process of writing a paper on the case, and I am now posting an early version of it to the lists Debian-devel and Ubuntu-translators. I hope for reactions and comments that may improve it. The current version only contains a one page anthropological introduction, to set the scene, and then goes on to tell a story, that is the story – one of the stories – of how Ubuntu has intervened in the life of Debian. I do also publish this to you in the hope that it might be constructive to both Debian and Ubuntu. I share a personal admiration of both Debian and Ubuntu. Debian both for its principles and its good technology, and Ubuntu for having allowed “wannabe geeks” like myself to enjoy the technology of Debian in a free, open and accessible way. Ubuntu made it possible for me to turn from a SuSE (9.*) that became much too heavy and slow, with applications like its graphical package manager, YAST, to a fast and easy version of Debian. (Moving from the rpm-based YAST to apt-get is an interesting end-user experience: The functionality of apt-get and dpkg is so superior to that of YAST that I find the former more “user friendly” than the latter, even if apt-get is command-line based, yes, I think partly also because it is command line driven.) With this recognition of both Debian and Ubuntu, I present to you this early version of the paper.

The paper is available from this link:

best wishes,
Lars Risan

Centre for Technology, Innovation and Culture
University of Oslo,
P.O.box 1108 Blindern, N-0349 Oslo, Norway
Phone  office: + (47) 22 84 16 07
private: + (47) 22 15 00 94
cell phone: + (47) 924 40 986
Web: http://folk.uio.no/lrisan/

Reply to: