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Re: Bits from the Release Team - Kicking off Wheezy

Stefano Zacchiroli <zack@debian.org> writes:

> On Sat, Apr 30, 2011 at 11:28:17AM +0200, Marc 'HE' Brockschmidt wrote:
>> In the last years, Debian hasn't been able to contribute any important
>> feature to the F/OSS distribution world - change (leading to both good
>> or bad results) happens at other places (namely Ubuntu) at the moment.
>> I believe this has a simple, technical reason - Debian has become too
>> big. Every change requires a massive amount of work on thousands of
>> packages, interaction with hundreds of (sometimes absent) volunteers and
>> is thus increasingly costly. This high cost makes experiments
>> impossible, because backing out of a change is a waste of the scare
>> resources of the Debian project.
> No, no, and ... uhm ... no :-)
> (although we're getting a bit off-topic here, I'll bite)

Can I get my "I've successfully baited the DPL" shirt, please?

> I agree with your analysis above, but exactly because I agree with it, I
> argue that you cannot single out "big" as the main cause. To disprove
> that as the main cause, it would be enough to notice that some of our
> derivatives are, by definition, as big as Debian is, but still can make
> significant changes on top of what we offer them.

Uhm, not really. Ubuntu, as main example, is not as big as Debian (well,
that of course depends on your measure, but still...). It doesn't need
to care about the weirder architectures, and its support for non-core
packages is minimal. Our derivatives do not only extend Debian, they
also cut away (or demote to be of lesser importance) some of the
complexities that they do not want to handle.

>> Debian is perfectly good at holding the status quo - it's a
>> well-integrated, stable, mostly state of the art distribution suited for
>> almost anything you can come up with. Trying to repaint one of the
>> existing bikesheds with your new "rolling" color will not attract the
>> developers (nor users) interested in making it a hip place again.
> And how do you know that?

I don't. I believe it - it should have been worded accordingly, of course.

> In fact, I'm even happy to see becoming manifest the various
> disagreement and different expectations we have around testing: on such
> "vague" aspects it's hard to have upfront agreements.  But both you and
> Raphael are taking guesses on the number of users / developers / effects
> of a thing which does not exist yet. At this point, it can only be
> speculation. You might disagree how much as you please, but there is
> only one way to know who is right: build the thing.

Well, of course I would love to see how Raphael does a
rolling.debian.net archive and proves me wrong here - but I don't have
the impression that this is what's supposed to happen here. 
In his blog, he presented a GR draft that wants to rename the existing
testing suite to rolling. In this thread, he furthermore explained
that he wants that rolling is governed by a different policy than
This would replace a core part of the current development model and
doing that on the unfounded belief that this will attract new users and
contributors is something I want to avoid.


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