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Re: our users as one of our priorities

oohara@libra.interq.or.jp (Oohara Yuuma) writes:

> can you tell me what "Our Users" in #4 of the social contract means?

When the Social Contract was originally drafted, the title "Our Priorities 
are Our Users and Free Software" was meant to strike a balance between meeting
the needs of those who would use Debian and the idealism of the Free Software
movement that we emerged from.  The most concrete example of this balance is
the existence of non-free.

> Since Debian is not a market-share-seeking organization, we don't care
> about people who don't use Debian, so it seems a tautology.

While Debian cares more about quality and freedom than about seeking market
share in the traditional, commercial sense...  One of the many ways that 
members of the Debian community are "rewarded" for their efforts, and receive
positive feedback that encourages them to continue to do things, is when the
work they do is appreciated and used by others.  

Another way to look at this, which I think is more practical and helpful to
Debian package maintainers on an average day, is to think about it in the
context of how we package software.  I often get asked for advice about how
something should be packaged, and I almost always start by asking "well, how
do you expect it to be used?"  This reflects my underlying belief that "it
works for me" isn't good enough, and we should try to deliver software that
"users" (whether they are other members of the Debian community or kids in
a classroom somewhere) find relevant and helpful.


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