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Re: Gergely and Wouter: the level of independence from other distributions?

On Fri, Mar 16, 2012 at 11:15:59AM +0200, Eugene V. Lyubimkin wrote:
> Hello,
> Do you think Debian project has enough manpower to differ (if needed)
> with other major derivatives and major non-derivatives in the important
> non-Debian-specific software choices? Would you want Debian to borrow
> more from and share more with other distributions for the ease of maintenance
> and uniformity, or rather don't look on others and make the choices
> independently?

Before implementing something, a distribution should decide what it
thinks is the right way of doing something, with very little regard of
what other distributions are doing (if anything).

After having made that decision, it makes a lot of sense to look at
other distributions.

If what Debian thinks is right just happens to be in line with what some
random other distribution thinks is right, then that's great and it
would be silly not to coordinate. Such coordination can happen on many
levels: individual Debian package maintainers can talk and coordinate
with packagers from other distributions and/or with upstreams, sending
patches back and forth; people in distribution leadership positions can
talk with eachother and see where they can cooperate more; teams working
on smaller parts of distributions can compare notes with similar teams
in other distributions; etcetera.

Should we try to do this more? Yes. Getting people to coordinate and
cooperate more is a job that'll probably never be finished; there will
always be that something extra we can do. We should, if it makes sense
and if people in the other distribution are open to the idea; and in
many cases, we do.

In the end, there will always be a difference between the Debian way of
doing things, and the RedHat, SUSE, or Gentoo way of doing things. Not
because difference for the sake of difference is in any way the right
thing to do, but instead because distributions with different people who
have different goals and agendas will inevitably lead to a different
distribution. We shouldn't be different just because difference is good;
but if being different makes sense on a technical or phylosophical
level, and we have the manpower to implement that difference, then we
shouldn't be afraid to be different.

The volume of a pizza of thickness a and radius z can be described by
the following formula:

pi zz a

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