Re: Doubts/suggestions with event organization(MiniDebConf '14)
This would be a long one so have your kool-aid or whatever it is that
will help you read through this somewhat elaborate prose.
Before I get to the specifics of the conversations, this is for
Amritapuri students. It may look like we are fighting, but this is in
fact a microcosm of how Debian operates. Debian is full of opinionated
people and that's a good thing. So we each see Debian - the project
and the distribution which are both different entities, in our own
ways. While it may look similar to the old cartoon where all the
people are blind and they just feel a part of the elephant and they
think that is the elephant, all of us are here to fight the good
fight. We all bring our unique perspectives as that makes it richer
both to understand the project and the distribution as a whole as well
as each other. It's similar to how democracy should work but doesn't
but that's a topic for a different day altogether.
Getting back to the specifics now, Debian is a 'Universal'
distribution. This is one of the reasons I came to Debian. While I was
impressed by apt (libapt) and its various sister utilities, what
pushed me to Debian was the unthinking attitude of Ubuntu Developers.
They would fix only those utilities or packages for which they had
interest and they would be fixing for the next 6-monthly snapshot. I
do not if it is true now, but it was definitely true then and fixing
for the next snapshot means being constantly on broken alpha builds.
Hence Debian was a life-saver in the sense none of the packages would
get special treatment from other. You will have good, bad and absent
maintainers but this would more of how and where people are rather
than a policy of discrimination which some other distributions follow.
Most of the packages I love and enthuse in Debian were not born in
Debian but are treated as first-class citizens in the distribution.
For e.g. I love iceweasel ( some of you might know it as 'Mozilla
Firefox' ) and it's loved and used by millions. Mike Homney, the
maintainer of iceweasel has been nurturing iceweasel for so long that
he has upstream commit access. There are lot of people who had similar
experience as him that I know of.
And I know quite a number of packages where the upstream has packaged
and is the maintainer as well. So the idea of we should talk of only
those things which were born out of Debian would be a different
distribution and not the 'Universal' OS debian strives to be.
Another interesting thing is that Debian is getting a WebRTC
implementation via the GSOC model. So it isn't as if Debian doesn't
have any interest in the private communication space.
In fact most of the Debian Developers I know, read and talk with are
some of the bigger proponents of encrypted, De-centralized
Also the idea that only one package would be able to serve all the
varied interests and be aware of all the threats and the ideas is a
falsification. To take my favorite example of browsers again, we have
not less than 8-10 different browsers in the repository, this is
simply to take into account both different people's habits and knacks
as well as for the unexpectedness. The more number of implementations
there are (of different languages, ways etc.) the less likely is the
possibility of Debian being compromised. The old adage "better are the
chances of someone who has more cards of winning" or something similar
would be apt here as well.
What is and was not also taken into account is it takes months and
years to have both the passion and the expertise on a certain
software. While Praveen might be able to do that, he would certainly
not derive as much pleasure as he would with debian-diaspora. The
whole idea of the event is to have fun sharing what you know .
Now, as far as inviting people from different organizations is
concerned, it's for the whole community to strive and not just us. As
shared by Praveen before, if anybody has any specific contacts, phone
numbers, feel free to talk and invite them on behalf of the community.
If you want that I or Praveen should take that task, share those
contacts with us and we can try.
For the record, as far as C-DAC goes, we did have some initial contact
with some people from C-DAC but for reasons unknown to us (probably
internal office politics) we were neither able to meet the right
people or take it any forward.
Incidentally, Praveen had met people from the Akaash project (for the
Debian@Akaash) and as per whatever was shared with me, the discussions
weren't particularly fruitful or at least that was the sense I got
As far as sweecha is concerned, the name is familiar but unable to
place it. I think that organization is in south (in bangalore to be
precise) so Vasudev should be nearest as he also lives in bangalore
and can talk on behalf of the community.
On the topic of doing Openstreetmap or GIS or what have you, we are
more than open for it. While we could certainly map Amrita (which I
guess Pavi would have already done, as he has been a guest of Amrita
University at least couple of times if not more) both of us know about
openlayers, databases etc. but are not at at all familiar with the
intricacies therein. I don't think that either of would be able to
give justice to what OSM or OpenGIS deserves. If you know somebody who
could walk the students through both the concepts, the idea and the
implementation, let us know and we will try to invite him/her.
Hopefully, this was not too long or too boring. Looking forward to know.
Shirish Agarwal शिरीष अग्रवाल
My quotes in this email licensed under CC 3.0
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