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Re: debian mate

Am 21.11.2012 03:23, schrieb Russ Allbery:
Michael Schmitt<tcwardrobe@gmail.com>  writes:

as I see you, as a member of ctte, are kind of in favour of MATE for
jessie and not wheezy... :(
I have no opinion on MATE.  I personally switched from GNOME 2 to Xfce on
the one system where I use an integrated desktop when gnome-shell wouldn't
run due to the age of the graphics and the fallback for some reason didn't
function properly.  (This was *right* after it landed in unstable, and I
suspect this is a bug that was fixed eons ago.  I'd been meaning to try
Xfce since I make a personal policy of changing desktop environments every
few years -- I used to use GNUstep before GNOME 2 -- so I didn't bother to
pursue it further.)

I can say that, as a light GNOME user, switching to Xfce was trivial.  It
took me all of an hour.  But I can be a somewhat atypical user.
I guess so very much! :) But then again, who is the "typical" user? First, at the end, congrats, I dropped the idea to pursue this insane idea any further! I still believe there will be much grief for wheezy desktop users, but that's just how it is. I do understand the reasons behind this.

I haven't evaluated the quality of the MATE libraries or their
maintenance.  In general, I'm supportive of being discriminating about
what packages we include in the archive, since we're promising bug and
security support, but I'm also in favor of being inclusive and, in
general, welcoming packages for anything that people want to work on.
Good attitude and I can see how MATE lost there.

Xfce or KDE might not be a catastrophe, but you must see the same issue
as I see. You may not be as "paranoid" as I am, but we all know how
"users" tend to be: annoying, complaining, crying. humans at its best!
:) They have no right to complain, we all know that too, but does that
prevent them from doing so? And the only perspective I can see there is
trying to minimize the possible fallout...
I don't believe avoiding user complaints is a primary development goal for
Debian.  One of the great things about working on Debian is that we are
not a popularity-driven or market-share-driven project.  We want to do the
right thing for our users, but that isn't the same thing as avoiding
Right, agreed. After some thinking I had to agree there. After all there are reasons how Debian differs, and at the end, THE reasons why I love Debian so much. :) Thanks to you, mostly, that made me think about certain aspects I might have lost track of during my.

In the specific case of releases, we have a stark tradeoff when it comes
to freeze deadlines and release time frames.  On one hand, some users will
always want something that missed the freeze deadline.  On the other hand,
*all* of our users who want to run stable and not testing or unstable are
hurt by release delays.
I'd not say all, but probably a fair amount up to most of them, agreed. I don't run stable on desktops anymore, but even to some degree for servers, I think a fair amount of users (be it on a desktop or a server) like new releases mostly because they are new releases, not because they really need new stuff... that's just how humans tend to be. For sure in general, it does not hurt anyone, if releases are not delayed more than needed. In this particular case, some will be hurt, but thats fine and kind of an atypical situation, at least on that magnitude.

The way that we, as a project, have chosen (after *much* discussion and
some experimentation with alternatives) to resolve this conflict is with a
freeze that's advertised well in advance, and a clear policy of what's
acceptable after that deadline.  There are other alternatives to managing
a release cycle.  They all have different problems.  This one seems to be
the best compromise.
I don't have the technical insights there... but I guess I can take your word for it. :) At least it sounds kinda sane. :D

But I am not sure it would need that much more time.
It always takes more time to introduce things at the last minute.  That's
why we don't have this discussion every time, and instead have developed
some clear guidelines for how to make this decision.

We can literally have this discussion forever.  There's always just one
more thing that someone thinks is really important.  The advantage of
having clear guidelines is that we can say that it doesn't matter.  It
missed the freeze.  It's too late.  Best of luck next time.

It sounds harsh, and to some extent it *is* harsh, but I'm serious when I
say that without this sort of policy Debian will literally become
I just tend to be a hardcore gnome2-kind-of-UI user, that much hardcore that even similar concepts like Xfce or even gnome3-fallback just don't cut it. A fair amount of it is clearly emotional, but that's just how humans are. There are technical reasons as well, sure, but at the end of the day, I am still human and not a robot with adjustable sensors.... it (all alternatives) just feels horribly wrong! :)

But nice, we do agree that MATE is from a users point of view the BEST
alternative for gnome2?
No, I have no opinion on that.  After all, my personal experience is that
Xfce is a fine alternative for GNOME 2 if one doesn't like GNOME 3 for
some reason.  :)
Damn! ;)

And I know what you have in mind there, with "but down that path lies
never releasing at all" it does just not fit here. Something like this
does not happen regularly.
Quite to the contrary: something like this has happened, about this time
in the release process, in every release of Debian that had a freeze since
I started using the distribution.  :)
Something that made maybe 20% of all Debian users so mad that they felt like killing someone, all at the same time? :)

That all said, I need to express my apologies for such long mails for an
idea where almost anybody seems to be against it. :( I know for a fact
what a wonderful operating system and community (with its humanly common
exceptions *g*) Debian is and my contribution today (which some may
consider to be annoying as hell) is this tl;dr-candidate for some
readers. :) But imho the only right thing to do right now, even if it is
so damn late... :/
Oh, I have no objection to you expressing your opinion!  By all means,
that's what the mailing list is for.  But a lot of past experience has
completely convinced me of the merits of hard release freezes.
Too sad popcon is not used by all users (I even don't use it myself *g*), I'd really like to see how that pans out at the end. Even if I am convinced there will be much discussion and complaints, no real instrument of measurement, as the majority tends to keep quite and grumble in their homes.

We have backports.debian.org for those things that are just desperately
needed but didn't make it into the release.  If MATE makes it into
unstable/testing and is proven stable, backporting it to wheezy would be a
viable option.
I had no idea even something big as a complete DE would be accepted in backports... but if that is an option, indeed, something to hope for.


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