[Date Prev][Date Next] [Thread Prev][Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]

Re: Q for the Candidates: How many users?

On Mon, Mar 22, 2010 at 05:46:49PM -0700, Russ Allbery wrote:
> I suppose I shouldn't really be discussing this too much since it's a
> question for the DPL candidates rather than a general discussion topic,

I believe this kind of interaction is perfectly fine, as it is showing
various hidden facets of previously raised questions, giving to
candidates the possibility to voice their opinions on them.

> I want Debian to continue to be an excellent server operating system that
> I can use for Stanford University's internal IT infrastructure.  If it
> changed in a way that made it a bad server operating system but made it
> much more popular in the broad sense, that to me would be a bug, not a
> feature.
> Obviously insofar as we can, we all want Debian to be all things to all
> people, and I think we all owe each other an obligation to try to find
> good solutions for everything that people want to use Debian for, among
> those people who are working on it.

Absolutely.  As a minor point on this: exactly _because_ Debian can't be
all things to all people out of the box, we are quite fond of
configurability in what we offer. The resulting flexibility is what, I
believe, makes Debian the server operating system you can use at
Stanford, among other uses. I don't think that changing a specific
default can make Debian no longer suitable for your, or any other, use,
as long as we are as flexible as we are now.

> But, even acknowledging good questions about how to attract new
> contributors, I don't think pure popularity should be a driving goal
> for the project, and certainly shouldn't override other goals such as
> sound technical judgement.
> AJ's question, and particularly his other longer response to the question
> about disappearing DPLs, really highlight what I think are some
> disagreements between he and I about how we see Debian.  I fundamentally
> do not believe in the "grow or die" model or think that projects need to
> constantly move on to the next shiny thing.

I agree that our technical values are more important than the "grow or
die" model, but that kind of reasoning should not led us thinking that
growing is not important at all. While growing in number of users is not
a goal per se, the number of users has a high correlation with the
number of *contributors* (in fact, every user that even only submit a
bug report is already a useful contributor). That kind of flow from user
to developer is, shamelessly re-using your nice words, part of the
"grand open source tradition" too.


Stefano Zacchiroli -o- PhD in Computer Science \ PostDoc @ Univ. Paris 7
zack@{upsilon.cc,pps.jussieu.fr,debian.org} -<>- http://upsilon.cc/zack/
Dietro un grande uomo c'è ..|  .  |. Et ne m'en veux pas si je te tutoie
sempre uno zaino ...........| ..: |.... Je dis tu à tous ceux que j'aime

Attachment: signature.asc
Description: Digital signature

Reply to: