Re: Standardization, large scale changes, innovations
On Thu, Mar 25, 2010 at 7:22 AM, Raphael Hertzog <email@example.com> wrote:
> 1/ Do you believe that it's a good move to standardize our packaging tools?
> (example: debhelper is almost standard, quilt is gaining status of the
> standard patch system thanks to the new source format)
I do not think that we should force a standard. I think the best way
to come to a standard is when the big majority chooses to go with it.
What we may do is have clear documentation that state that there is a
preferred way of doing things, and so new people will do them that
way. However, imposing standards on people that are already working in
some other way would only bring flamewars and frustration.
The most important way of establishing standards is through common
use, and then through policy. Many standards have been first
introduced as a suggestion and then turned into an obligation in our
policy, and that's how they become real standards.
> 2/ If yes, what would be the next thing that it would be good to try to
I think (hope) that in the future there's going to be some convergence
regarding VCSs. However, it won't happen through someone deciding
that one of them is the right one. It will happen when most of us
decide to choose one in particular, and it will probably take some
> 3/ Do you have any preference on the tools that we should try to
> standardize on (which source format/patch system, dh7/CDBS/yada/etc.,
> VCS helper, etc.)?
No. I don't think that we should _try_ to standardize.
> 4/ Organizing changes that have an impact on (a large part of|all) the
> archive is very difficult:
> How can we change our processes so that doing/organizing such changes
> is less of a burden?
The only way is to make it easy and rewarding for people to adopt new
tools. I don't think there's any kind of bureaucracy that would make
people more willing to change their way of working. Only technical
advantages and easy migrations paths work.
> 5/ I have the feeling that Debian is innovating less than it used to do.
> We are more often followers rather than leaders.
> Do you share that feeling?
> What shall we do to make that change?
I definitely share the feeling. I also definitely don't think that
imposing standards is the way to become innovative.
Now, I do find very interesting this question very interesting. One
thing is to be more open to new ideas. Another thing is to encourage
people to try new things. It's mostly a cultural thing, we used to
have a culture of innovation and now we don't. We need to bring it
back, but I don't see an easy way for this. I'll ponder some more
In any case, I think this question deserves its own thread.