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Re: Q: Do you believe in Supercow?

On Mon, Apr 01, 2019 at 11:04:17PM +0200, Jonathan Carter wrote:
> > for DPL Candidates"[1] article as stats about the prospective DPLs seem
> > to be in demand[2] I had to wonder if the DPL candidates wanted to take
> > the opportunity to "perhaps" "make" "nice" and "good" comments "maybe"
> > about "absolutely" "valuable" "foss" "software" or on "ways" one "might"
> > "focus" "work" on to "help" "make" "something" to "believe" in "easier".
> I'm sorry but my little brain breaks after the 4th or 5th set of
> airquotes already.

The airquotes are around words DPL candidates used to use most before
the stats were updated today – but interestingly many are still in. :)

> Ok done, you should now have full memories of those events as they happened.
> > of him on deity@, but he made a video about APT and talked to a high-
> > priest of Supercow at DebConfs so he might still get a hall pass.

That seems to will have had worked.

> that any Debian Member can just show up and make use of the place. With
> our fantastic working conditions, and infinite funds to pay for travel
> and fine food at all our locations, we will attract the very best
> volunteers to our project that will eagerly do your bidding.

A commune seems to have a negative ring to it, so I would suggest doing
it like student corporations: Low-cost/free rent in exchange for
contributions (instead of fencing), but yeah, that general idea seems
a rather popular one. In terms of students (with a loose definition) we
sort of have a very light and time limited version of this with the
different Outreach programs Debian participates in. It was a major
discussion point in previous elections, I take it that everyone agrees
on that front this time around? Is that it in terms of DPL sponsored
on-boarding or are we set on removing potential pain points for now?

> If I *could* go back 20 years in time, I guess I might ask the APT
> overlords to have considered Python instead of Perl, but my time machine
> only goes back 10 years and we had that conversation back then already
> so I won't get into it now again since it's only been minutes for me
> since we had that conversation.

uhhhm. I think we have a dimension-shift problem here… APT in this
dimension is neither written in Python nor in Perl, but there are
bindings for both (in different states of maintenance I guess).

One language to rule them all would indeed be nice, but I think that
ship sailed thousands of years ago. Damn babylonians and their tower!

> > 3. The package managers of the day of the languages of the day always
> > seem to have a billion active contributors, hundreds of "nether knew
> > I couldn't live without them before" features and are all around just
> > great. Expect that they have this annoying problem solved by apt
> > years ago, but all the advocates haven't realized it (yet). What is it?
> No idea, I don't have an aptitude for riddles.

Brownie points for mentioning aptitude, but that was actually supposed
to be an open question asking for a positive aspect after the last
question would have been about a negative one of your choice. I will
count it as dodging both questions.

Assuming aptitude isn't your answer which I guess is possible. Supercow
is friends with that elefant eating snake, so that would be sortof okay.

> and ask... what do you think APT can do in the future? Do you think that

See there for half an answer.

On a wider scale in terms of APT future I am looking at the past and see
lots of failure. I mean, that thing started as "deity" and was supposed
to be a friendly GUI application replacing dselect and in time all of
dpkg. "apt-get" was supposed to be a demo to show and use the library.

We all see how well that went.

So of course I see failure in the future as well. I see ideas thrown
around where I fail to see how that should ever be achievable. And then
I remember 2010 and "MultiArch in APT". People are still complaining it
isn't documented enough, too complicated or whatever, but somehow, after
years of discussion MultiArch ended up being rolled out in Debian in the
following years. Still not perfect, but lightyears ahead of what we had
before and most other distros are still using as a crutch today.

MultiArch happened mostly without DPL involvement, but perhaps due to it
it was drama at various points and lacked a bit of "Debian is doing this
thing now" compared to "okay folks, it would be very nice if you could
perhaps consider to eventually do this >absolutely mission critical
thing for us< in the next decade pretty please with a cherry on top".

I realize that the DPL post has the traditional politics problem of
having serious problems with planing (in a very loose word definition)
beyond the term in office, so asking a DPL candidate for wishes
involving multiple years is a stretch, but if I have learned one thing
from APT then it is that all your dreams can be a complete failure but
you can still be doing a fine job at whatever it is you do now. ;)

> you care about mine. There does seem to be clear separation between
> scope and consequences of bikesheds and APT... or do you see a
> connection and timeline that I don't?

Well, some application needs to download and install all these packages
contained in the bikesheds talked about elsewhere on this list and there
are potentially practical usability problems to be solved… but that
aren't the bikesheds I was thinking of.

I was alluding to combine the previous questions about teamsizes, future
and wishes. The color just thrown in because I know deity aka APT had
a logo in the dark ages, but it seems lost in time, so I was hoping to
recover the color scheme in this roundabout way.

If you are asking me what would be the talk of the hour in this
cathedral-sized bikeshed it would be of course how the future DPL 21
years ago unbeknown to most people including himself at this time wrote
a mail to d-vote@ setting in motion what would change Debian forever.
(Just like all the DPLs before and after him.)
What it is/was/will be? As a timetraveler adage goes: Spoilers!
At the same time, it could be a small room with a bunch of people
lamenting the time they lost working on that thing which fell out of
fashion soon after the DPL was revealed to be a redhat sockpuppet.
Some timelines might be more likely than others.

In summary, I was kinda expecting a different reply with less dodging,
but then again I am not sure what I was really expecting. After all,
what are you expecting than you sent out a bunch of questions roughly
qualifying as small talk with hints of drama seeking to a bunch of
politicians campaining for election.

So desperate the apparent lack of actual APT specific content there are
still some bits I will give supercow to chew on further. Thanks!


David Kalnischkies

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