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policy and userfriendlyness (Re: adding desktop files to misc packages)

* Sam Hocevar <sam@zoy.org> [070716 12:15]:
> On Sun, Jul 15, 2007, Steve Langasek wrote:
> > On Sun, Jul 15, 2007 at 09:56:42PM +0200, Josselin Mouette wrote:
> > > The way Debian works is that developers have the final word on what
> > > happens in their packages.
> > 
> > No, the way Debian works is that we have this little thing called Policy
> > that's intended to ensure consistency between packages in the distribution
> > so that the system works as a cohesive whole instead of being fragmented
> > as a result of pigheadedness on the part of individual developers who think
> > they know better than everybody else, and this other little thing called the
> > Technical Committee to enforce Policy.
>    Sorry to interrupt, but the way Debian works is that we have this
> other thing called the Social Contract that says we do what our users
> want. Not directed at you, Steve, but it looks like most of this thread
> is slowly losing track of it.

But there is no single user. (If there was, we could go and ask him/her
what the users want, and would not need the whole discussion). I don't
think anyone here is not claiming to supporting what the users want.

The problem is that users have different needs and and wishes, even to
the extend of mutually exclusive ones, and different priorities.
Which especially mean that people do not want to think about everything,
so if there are decisions, there should be easier to memorize patterns
than "maintainer X does not like Y" or "gnome people don't think X
is intresting for users they can imagine". That's why having a policy
is one of the biggest advantages of Debian in being useful for users.

	Bernhard R. Link

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