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Re: Proposal for new fully free distro based on Debian

Hi Yogesh,

Quoting yogesh powar (2015-01-25 12:11:08)
> Swaraj Gnu/Linux wants to be a fully Free alternative for Indian 
> community with long term goal of spreading awareness about Free 
> Softwares.

Quite interesting!

> 1. Why yet another new Libre Gnu Linux ?
> In Jan 2015, Indian Government [1] decided to move on a Made In India 
> Gnu/Linux operating system, which unfortunately is not a Free Software 
> [2]. Free Software means the users have the freedom to run, copy, 
> distribute, study, change and improve the software.
> Hence there is a need of time to provide a fully Free alternative.
> Swaraj will be completely build by the community and for the 
> community.

To me the fact that Indian Government makes yet another fork is not an 
argument to make yet another fork. Seems above really only answers "why 
must it be Libre?" and I am curious what is your reason to make it a 
fork rather than improve Debian itself in the areas you find is weak 
currently for your needs.

My guesses are that a) you feel Debian is "too english oriented" and 
that b) you want the distribution tied to a *local* community rather 
than the international one of Debian.

Here is a concrete suggestion: Go ahead and launch Swaraj, but instead 
of forking most possible, fork the _least_ possible, and have as goal to 
get all of your works assimilated by Debian.  Why?  Because then you 
keep your branding and concrete product but is not bogged down by the 
heavy(!) burden of maintaining dulpicated big infrastructure - you leave 
that to Debian.  And your users will gain *both* the many eyeballs of 
Debian *and* your passion for their special needs.

That style of development has a name: Debian Blend.  And the goal is 
called a Debian Pure Blend¹: 

What are your ideas more concretely? Do you expect to setup a compile 
farm and rebuild packages for your distro?  Will you make a subset of 
Debian or offer all but re-prioritize which parts are installed by 
default?  Do you expect to maintain parts unique to your distro?  Will 
you redesign some structural parts (e.g. different bootloader or init 
system than Debian default, or perhaps hardcode Indic script support)?

I am developing a tool for Blend-style development (i.e. for staying as 
close as possible to Debian while having room for some customization) 
called "Boxer".  I have already included tracking of all Indic languages 
for common desktop use (Xfce/GNOME/KDE+Iceweasel+Icedove).  I would love 
to collaborate with you, and make Boxer cover your needs for Swaraj!

You can find inspiration for ways to design Debian derivatives at the 
Debian Derivatives Census - and are encouraged to register your own 
there as well: https://wiki.debian.org/Derivatives/Census

NB! Beware that your colored title at your website cause some characters 
to almost blend in with the background.  For practical reasons (looks 
like the title is "Sw aj" some search engines punish text colored 
similar to the background by ranking lower (because it may be attempts 
at gaming the ranking systems).


 - Jonas

¹ Since goal is complete assimilation you will only find the term 
"Debian Pure Blend" mentioned among developers: When you have succeeded 
in having Debian cover _all_ your needs in the main Debian releases you 
have no need for your own product any longer and noone will call it "the 
Swaraj Pure Blend of Debian" but just "Debian".

 * Jonas Smedegaard - idealist & Internet-arkitekt
 * Tlf.: +45 40843136  Website: http://dr.jones.dk/

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