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Re: Proposal for new fully free distro based on Debian

Hi Jonas,

Thanks for going through the mail.

Please see inline.

On 1/25/15, Jonas Smedegaard <dr@jones.dk> wrote:
> 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.
You are right with b. We want a fully free distro (just like
gnewsense) but with a
made-in-india tag.

> 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.
I agree completely.
In fact, if I am not wrong, debian without non-free and contrib would satisfy
the requirement of fully free OS. This plus some customization related to
different Indian languages support would get Swaraj.

> That style of development has a name: Debian Blend.  And the goal is
> called a Debian Pure Blend¹:
> https://wiki.debian.org/DebianPureBlends#Terminology
If (Debian Gnu/Linux - contrib - non-free + indic support customization) falls
into this development style then blend it will be.

> 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)?
So far the stress is on hardcoded Indic script support.
Doing rest of the things would be rework and it might not work as Debian
is already doing that.

> 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!
That would be terrific.

> 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
This link is a resource. Will study it.

> 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).
Never stressed on that. Will note that.
It matches the India national tricolor flag  hence 'ar' from 'swaraj' is white.
Will find some way out.

> Regards,
>  - 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".
I think it would remain as a Blend (remaster/remix) but would not
become a pure blend if we stick to our core princle of fully free
software. Mainly because of reason mentioned at

Yogesh Powar

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