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Re: this post is not off-topic

>>"David" == David Wright <ichbin@shadlen.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
 Debian goal.  

	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   <srivasta@debian.org>  <http://www.debian.org/%7Esrivasta/>
1024R/C7261095 print CB D9 F4 12 68 07 E4 05  CC 2D 27 12 1D F5 E8 6E
1024D/BF24424C print 4966 F272 D093 B493 410B  924B 21BA DABB BF24 424C

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