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

Re: Re: Re-Proposal - preserve freedom of choice of init systems

Hi, Svante,

I fear your wonderfully terse phrasing may cause some people to react
more negatively to what you said than you perhaps intended. Please
forgive me for the boldness of suggsting alternate phrasings below, in
the hope of clarifying things for everyone.

Svante Signell:
> It is well known that the users are second class citizens with respect
> to Debian.

I suggest, instead:

    It is well known that in Debian, most of the time, those who do
    the work get to make the decisions. Since almost all work in
    Debian is done by volunteers in their free time, it would indeed
    be strange to require that other people could dictate what they
    do. It would not be fun for long to be a Debian contributor, if
    any random person on the Internet could order them to do
    something, at the random person's whim, on pain of insults and
    Users are very important to Debian developers, and it even says so
    in the social contract the Debian project has published. Its users
    can have a big impact on how Debian gets developed in the future,
    when they join development discussions to explain their use cases,
    needs, and individual situations, and engage the project in a
    constructive way. Despite this, Debian quite sensibly sticks to
    the principle of "those who do, decide" and only counts votes for
    those who've contributed enough to become formal members of the
That's a bit longer, and not nearly as pithy, but I hope it conveys
your intention better.

> The same applies to many upstream developers, they develop software
> mainly for themselves, not the users, see for example the latest
> development of Gnome. The only way to change this is by creating a large
> enough user group taking side by refusing to use software that is going
> in the wrong direction and promote alternatives.

I would phrase this like this, instead:

    The same thing applies to everyone who works on free software in
    their free time: they'll work on what they want to work on, and if
    that is to a random person's liking and benefit, that's a very
    lucky random person. Most developers do listen to their users, and
    even random passers-by with an opinion, but they don't let them
    decide things. However, the developers get a big ego boost from
    making something that people like.
    A similar thing applies to those who get paid to work on free
    software: they work on things their employer wants them to work
    on, and perhaps make decisions that benefit their employer more
    than a random person. This tends to mean they keep getting paid.
    One can imagine a hypothetical situation where random people show
    up and demand and insist that they get to decide on what
    developers work on, what they do, how they do it, etc. These
    people might even be long-time users of the software, who feel
    they such a long history with the software, they're entitled to
    some decision making power. To make the situation even more
    ridiculous, the random people could use really inflammatory
    language, such as substituting "wrong" for "I don't like".
    This situation would be really stressful and depressing for the
    developers, and one would wonder why they would put up with it. It
    would be much easier for them to just quit and go demand other
    people do what they want.
    It's a good thing that's a hypothetical situation, and not
    reality. Free software would die if it were reality.

Again, this is a bit long, but sometimes clarity overweights brevity.

If I've managed to misunderstand, or misrepresent, what you meant,
Svante, please forgive me, and post a explanation to correct me.

http://gtdfh.branchable.com/ -- GTD for hackers
http://obnam.org/ -- HAVE YOU BACKED UP TODAY?

Reply to: