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Re: Debian companies group

hi michael.

On Thu, 5 Sep 2013, Michael Meskes wrote:

On Wed, Sep 04, 2013 at 03:31:05PM -0400, davidson@ling.ohio-state.edu wrote:

tldnr: what sorts of transactions are supposed to take place on the
closed debian-companies list? how will their secret-from-users
nature empower users?  how will their secret-from-project-members
empower the debian project?

At the risk of repating myself over and over again. The secret
status has only one reason.
There are companies out there with very restictive rules about
public communication. I am hoping we could get some of those to join
by keeping the list closed.

my intent is not to try your patience.  but the question you answer,
here, does not appear to be among the questions asked in the tldnr
which you quote.

regardless, i was indeed uncertain about the precise rationale for a
closed list.  thank you for reiterating it for my benefit.

i must remark, though, that the "what's in it for the debian user and
developer community" questions remain unanswered.

maybe there are some benefits which, while obvious to you, escape my

but in fact if it was, how is it in the interest of users, for the
debian project to collude in the concealment of companies'
relationships from users?

I beg your pardon, but I find it difficult to digest what you're

i was asking how it empowered users, to enable companies to maintain
their chosen restrictive communications policies.

how do you envision a company with such restrictive policies giving
back to the developer and user community?

and am i to understand that companies *would* nonetheless discuss
such things on a mailing list open to an entire class of

Depending on what it is yes. Of course no company would discuss its
own strategy with competitors, but there are things that might
benefit all but only be reachable by joining forces. Just as an
example, assume there was a hardware vendor willing to put Debian on
its boxes but requiring local expertise for helping their customers
before doing so. Now one company may have the relationship in place,
but at the same time may not be able to deliver what's needed. Why
shouldn't they ask for help from competitors, because after all
it'll help their own business as well.

thank you for constructing the example.  i think i now have a better
idea of where you are coming from.

so the list would be a safe forum for companies with strict policies
against sharing information, to seek help from other companies (with
all privy parties being companies of some minimum size, and employing
some minimum number of debian project members).

would it be wise to hold such a discussion on a mailing list open,
again, to an entire class of competitors?

Again depends, most companies cannot do all that's needed in such a
large scale project. So wh not asking for help?

i see now.  the example helped a lot.  thank you.

if a company's resistance to deploying debian is misguided, why not
crowd-source the arguments, on an open list?

This is already possible, but my gut feeling is that it didn't bring
us where we should be. We as in Debian.

you are measuring where debian should be by market share, or something
like that?

fair enough.

you know, the way a *community* does?

This is why I deliberately used the term "company community".

'community' is a term that crops up frequently, when discussing free

it is characteristic of these communities that they exist to enable,
and thrive upon, open acts of sharing.

as for this privy group of companies, their resemblance to such
communities appears tenuous at best.

in another branch of the present thread, concrete mention was made
of extended (paid) security support, as a possible topic of
discussion.  sounds like a good topic, but hardly one whose
fruitful discussion requires a closed mailing list.

I beg to disagree. It may very well need it.

like in a particular case of the scenario you sketched above, i guess?
okay, interesting.

regarding such special needs, i can think of a few projects that could
use hosting that provides a degree of confidentiality not provided by
the google-way.  do you suppose that google could make an exception
for them?  maybe forgo a little data-mining, deny access to
three-letter agencies, etc?

probably not, eh?

does it puzzle you more, to encounter some resistance to secrecy here?


the list, under the proposed restrictions, is closed not to
competitors, but to *users* and many (or most?) project members.  i
am puzzled how this is supposed to nonetheless benefit users, or
the debian project.

And I'm puzzled why this initiative gets shot at so much before it
even has a chance to get of the ground.

puzzles all around, then!

perhaps the closed nature of the list has something to do with it?

perhaps the prospective hosting community, which makes no secret of
the high value it places on the open sharing of solutions, would like
to know what is in it for them?

i speculate here, of course, and can speak only for myself.

Hardly the only thing that's non-public with Debian.

i sincerely hope that other non-public aspects receive all due
scrutiny as well.

don't you?

A companies community should only contain companies.

what kind of community contains only companies?  such a thing does
not warrant the term 'community'.  i worked for too long in a
marketing department to swallow this metaphor.

I don't understand that at all. Companies work together on a daily
base, why shouldn't they here? Or is it just the wording?

i would say it is the meaning.  to pick one difference, there is more
to a community than working together for a profit motive.  otherwise
communities would be called syndicates.

but we can agree to disagree on that.

best regards,

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