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Re: support for merged /usr in Debian

Svante Signell <svante.signell@gmail.com> writes:

> No you are not. Debian following the commercial vendor track will make
> them extinguished. Technically there are no real advantages of the new
> (in many youngsters mind revolutionary) ideas. The idea of a Debian
> Universal Operating System, supporting Free Software (not Open Source
> Software), is dead.

What will kill Debian faster than anything else is to have every idea for
changing something large, interesting, or possibly revolutionary in Debian
be met with anger, derision, and attacks.  The process of proposing doing
interesting things inside Debian is already so miserable that it surprises
me people are willing to attempt it.  Those ideas are always met with
furious pushback from at least a few people who don't want anything to
ever change in that particular area of the distribution.  That this is
often different people for each change doesn't really help.

If it's not possible to do interesting things and it's not possible to try
to improve Debian, maintaining Debian becomes a job rather than something
one does for fun, which in turn will mean that Debian will become stale
and stagnant and lose contributors.  Then *everyone* loses, since even
those who would be happy to see absolutely nothing about the distribution
change expect incorporation of new software and support for new platforms
and new hardware.

If you want people to do maintenance work without getting to do anything
creative, interesting, or exciting, you had better have some method for
paying them, because that's a job, not something people do for the love of

That doesn't mean we need to break things.  Ideally, we don't.  But if the
entire burden of making everything work exactly the way it always has is
put solely on the people who are trying to do something that excites them,
the stability that we will get will be the stability of death.

I do not believe people working on Debian want to break other people's use
cases for the fun of it.  However, enthusiasm is fragile.  Please, try to
engage with people, find creative solutions, and try to preserve the
things they're excited about in their projects, rather than muffling them
in layers of obstructionism.  We need excited people and enthusiastic
people to make Debian something we can all be proud of.

Russ Allbery (rra@debian.org)               <http://www.eyrie.org/~eagle/>

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