Dear Groucho and list :
Groucho Marx wrote:
>>Is Groucho Marx your real name ?
> I'm confused. My original mail was sent to some of the listed contact addresses
> taken from Debian's web site. Then you answered. Thus I regarded you as a member
> of Debian. Are you?
I consider myself a friend of Debian.
They are the nice people who gave me an enjoyable operating system,
thereby returning control of my computer to me.
(together with Linus et al., XFree86, GNU, and lots of others )
(Thank You, Debian People ! :-)
They are also the people who provided a degree of personal contact
by letting me hang out on their lists,
where I saw many likeable personalities and learnt a lot about Debian.
I found that in Debian things get done because Individuals spontaneously step
and do them (ranging from reporting a bug that bugs them to taking on a
responsibility as maintainer of complex soft- or hard-ware).
(they do usually synchronise their efforts).
When I saw your email, I clicked the link because someone has to do it, so why
then when I saw that the problem was within my analyzing capabilities,
and being confident that hanging out on the lists had made me sufficiently
familiar with Debian's people's attitudes, I butted in, hoping to make a
I think that if my response is considered inappropriate, someone will let me
(and quite possibly as politely as they can be :-)
I hope this unconfuses you. If you can mail to the list, then why do you think I
>> You may be interested to know that I am not a Debian developer (yet).
> You surprise me. But nevertheless you are making some usefull work for the
> project, such as answering e-mails. Is that correct?
I do hope that is correct :-)
Seriously, i have been teaching myself Perl lately, from the manpages,
and to force myself to be somewhat thorough about it,
i kept notes in the form of a tutorial,
which i hope will be included in Debian when they are finished.
Working title is "Siward's introduction to programming with Perl".
If you would like to learn to program, I can mail you a preliminary version,
THIS OFFER GOES FOR ALL OTHER DEBIAN PEOPLE TOO, OFCOURSE !
It is already useable,
but the reference section( which makes brief mentions of advanced topics like
sysV ipc ) is unfinished, the structure needs some changing, and I'll have to
clean it up a bit because it contains some parts where I went wild.
( not evil or anything, but, well, it's kinda like when I played in this band,
we didnt feel comfortable to let other people hear the awfull false note's I
played during rehearsal, so we kept rehearsals kinda private (occasionally a
bandmember would bring a guest though )).
>>> The page is trying to sell Debian CDs... That's fine, of course. What I feel
>>> to be wrong is that it never gives credit to Debian, one way or the other.
>> There still exists the possibility that you are right about this website.
>> (your presentation of your point could then maybe be improved).
> I'll think about it.
It's really none of my business, but if you do, you might want to consider these
* If you want that webpage changed, Debian cant do that for you,
the ProjectLeader (Ben Collins) has more important things to attend to
(especially since he is not only ProjectLeader, but also at the same time
maintainer of some important packages,
(which might not be a totally ideal arrangement)).
So if you want the page changed, you'll have to contact its author.
* This author sells Debian CD's.
It is therefore likely that (s)he reads mailinglist debian-cd.
It is not unlikely that (s)he also reads debian-project.
It is likely that (s)he likes Debian.
* This author is a person.
This person may like the page as it is,
even if (s)he sees imperfections in it (maybe high existing workload),
and/or may be busy creating an improved version of it.
* This person does not ow you anything.
(s)he probably doesnt like to be bossed around, so you'ld have to ask
and I think you would do well to search for common ground,
like eg :
furthering the interests of Debian,
making whole Debian thing look more attractive to prospective CD-buyers,
when buyers get involved with project they are more likely to buy next
release too (to make sure that the source is with them).
and only if you have no other arguments left :
Debian fans, being extremely fanatical about properly acknowledging the
of the free software people, as this is the only reward they ever get,
might choose an other vendor because the omission on the page would lead
to (unfortunately and erroneously) assume that the author doesnt really
* If you would not clearly express that you do not represent Debian's view on
matter, then it is expected of you to first present
such_a_communication_with_the_page-author on debian-project for feedback.
(because it is Debian's right to decide what is proper use of its name.)
* The page author may have read your (maybe somewhat caricatural) posting on
This may have been a not-nice experience.
It would be nice if you would explain that you meant no harm.
* Since you discussed his/her page on a public mailing list, I think it would
polite to acknowledge his/hers existence by contacting him/her, whether you.
still want the page to be changed or not.
(and if you no longer think the page is bad,
you might send a note saying so to debian-project
to remove any negative image that might have been created).
* You might increase the likeliness of getting what you want by
eg making a draft of what you think is missing and presenting it as a way to
make the page be and look even better than it already is.
(which would require that you designed such draft from that point of view).
This could also significantly reduce the trouble the author would have to go
through to actually change the page.
> Thank you for your encourageing (do I spell it like that?) words.
Yes, you did :-) I understand what you mean perfectly well. I'm glad you like
> Well... it is my long term goal to eventually become a Debian Developer,
> but there is so much to learn first... I'm looking towards being incorporated
> into some team, so I can easy learn from others.
> I belive I can make a good work translating documentation from English to
> Spanish. Don't take our conversation as a sample of my skills, I can read
> English much better than I can write it :-)
** Could someone on the list please provide the relevant contact-info ? **
(I'm not sure I know all involved parties.)
> I can also be useful on the quality asurance area. As you may gess, I'm
> happy to spot little details that others ignore.
> I checked the "more than two-year old bugs" page and offered to solve one
> easy enought to my skills: to write a man page for koth.
> Unfortunately, koth's manteniner (Eduard Bloch) never answered me.
> Should I send him my proposed man page anyway?
There is always the chance that your email got overlooked or accidentally
so i think you should try contacting him again,
and if that doesnt produce result, you can mail to relevant list.
If you put work into that manpage it would be a shame if it got wasted.
> Please advice me on how to get started.
> > > > ( and what do you have against a free bear ? )
> > > I'll invite you one anytime you came to Argentina!
> > > Not likely?
> > Would you consider it acceptible if I ate one of your guests?
> It depends... Are you Siward "Hannibal" de Groot? :-)
No, I am just Siward. I crossed the alps in a Toyota.
> > P.S. I'm cc-ing debian project, because I think that is a good idea,
> > I hope and trust that you dont mind me revealing your part of our
> > communication.
> Please go ahead.
Same this time.
I can read and I can write and I can even do simple math.