Re: this post is not off-topic
>>"David" == David Wright <firstname.lastname@example.org> writes:
>> We have decided to release for 11 architectures, because that
>> pleases our muse.
David> Point 4. of http://www.debian.org/social_contract says "Our
David> Priorities are Our Users and Free Software". I think even you
David> will agree that, prima facie, my argument for optimizing the
David> greatest possible user good looks more consistent with these
David> priorities than your statement above.
Our users. Not our users of the most popular
architectures. _all_ our users.
David> Do you really believe that the Debian community should not
David> "worry about the rate of return of our effort"? Your argument
What debian community? Who gets to decide how developer time
is spent? Who do you think has any input in prioritizing the work
that is to be done, and why do you think they have the right to do
David> seems to be that we should not do so, because Microsoft does
David> so (therefore it must be bad?).
In free software, the tenet is those who do the work make the
rules. If that makes us an elitist cabal, well, we always were. If
that means that Debian no longer meets your ideal, well, sorry.
What you are missing is even a modicum of understanding of the
motivation for the people who put in the effort and do the work for
Debian -- I certainly do not do this (working 20 hours a week, over
and above the 50-60 I do for work, and trying to keep the house and
lawn in shape, etc (I also happen to run an active D&D campaign, but
well)) for the unwashed masses. Do you know what motivates the
developers? Developers most certainly do _not_ live to serve.
David> I think the Debian leadership made a mistake in its decision
Debian leadership? The project leader has no say in deciding
what architectures one releases. Indeed, a large number of sub
projects must come together (boot floppies, build daemons, porting
team, number of packages up to date, etc), and some one has then to
finally convince the RM that the port is ready for release. There is
no central leadership that makes these decisions. There is no command
from up on high "And behold, we shall release for 15 architectures
next release. Pass along the bull whips and lick the developers into
shape". Indeed, the decision to add an architecture is a grass roots
effort, and bubbles up from below - by the people who actually do the
David> to support more architectures than Debian could without
David> negatively impacting the mainstream base. Amid mounting
David> criticism from the user base, the posture of many of those
David> invested in that decision has been to adopt a cabal-like
David> attitude ("this is our project and we deign to let you use
David> it") rather than to try to reach out to the
David> community. Frankly, your statement above is exemplary in this
David> regard. I'm afraid that route will lead use away from the
David> free-for-all, inclusive Linux world toward the high quality,
David> but rather austere and unfriendly BSD world.
As far as I have been aware, the majority of people working
for free software work because it pleases their muse (or scratches
their own particular itch). The user base helps by helping make the
software better; in return for getting to use it. Anyone can
participate -- by helping with bug reports and fizxes, patches, etc;
and even getting a say in how debian works by committing themselves
to Debian; no one tells any other volunteer how to spend their
time. All that is needed is essentially "Show us the code" (or help
us improve it). People are not excluded because we are the holiest of
the holy and outsiders are dirt. There is no core Debian team. And
users certainly are not in control; and popularity has never been a
The ``community participation'' does have limitations. Telling
me how to spend my time comes with the obligation of helping me pay
my mortgage. My posted rates are $250 an hour. Anyone telling me how
to spend my time has to pony up the moolah.
What this country needs is a good five dollar plasma weapon.
Manoj Srivastava <email@example.com> <http://www.debian.org/%7Esrivasta/>
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