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Re: Debian companies group

On 05/09/13 at 10:48 +0100, MJ Ray wrote:
> I suggest one reason may be a lack of interest by the project and that
> consultants have moved to discussing debian in other places than the
> project lists, such as social media.
> There could probably be uses for -consultants if project leaders showed
> a fraction of the interest they have in -companies.  -consultants has
> 400 members, which seems a much better starting point for development
> than a list of 4 members.
> It feels a bit like the project is lusting after companies who aren't
> interested in that way, rather than treating the lovers it knows well.


First, I think that it's extremely important that Debian encourages the
existence of a network of business entities able to provide support or
specific developments around Debian. That's the role of the community
around debian-consultants@ IMHO.

But there are other ways for business entities to help Debian. I can
think of at least two:

- long term support. It is well known that our "next release"+1y support
  duration is too short for many use cases. We do not seem to be able 
  to find volunteers to work on improving on that.

- hardware test kit. I remember discussions at DebConf 8 where Bdale
  explained that labelling servers "Debian ready" is something that
  companies such as HP would like to do, but currently can't due to the
  lack of software and testing procedure for that. (My memory might not
  be totally accurate on that, but I think that was the idea.)

Despite existing since 1997, -consultants@ failed to make progress
on those two points. Instead of throwing so much negative energy at
-companies@, I really think that we should encourage this initiative.
If it fails, too bad, but at least we will have tried.

Regarding the secrecy requirement, I can totally see how sketching a
business model involving several business entities on one of the two
examples above could require some secrecy. I prefer to see it happening
on a Debian-provided list where the only criteria is related to the size
of companies, rather than in private discussions between a self-selected
set of companies.

Also, in order to be endorsed by Debian as something official (e.g.
"Debian hardware test kit" rather than "Hardware test kit for Debian
from FoobarInc."), the results of this initiative should be designed in
an open way, so I expect that the discussions happen on other Debian
lists as soon as reasonably possible.

Finally, leader@ is subscribed to -companies@, and I will make sure that
the -companies@ group reports to the project when it's reasonable to do


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