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Re: Q to all candidates: what is the long-term role of traditional Linux distributions?

* Matthew Garrett <mjg59@srcf.ucam.org> [2019-04-02 23:22]:
> But upstream development is increasingly diverging from our approach.

You do a great job of explaining how upstream and the world around us
has changed in many ways.

While I'm not sure that all changes have been for the best, it's
important to recognize that things have changed and to ask what the
role of a distribution should be in today's world.  Can we still
provide value by sitting inbetween developer and user, or are we just
adding a delay without any benefits?

> Given these upstream shifts, is attempting to package as much
> software as possible something that actually benefits Debian and our
> users, or is it something that brings us a duplication of effort?

Clearly there is some benefit, but increasingly we're also adding
friction.  Maybe we can do more work upstream directly, and also find
ways to get things into Debian more quickly.

> If we spent time on building tooling to automatically identify that
> (say) installed Go applications that contain dependencies with
> security vulnerabilities and alert users

That would certainly be worthwhile in any case.

> Are our current priorities the best way to serve the free software
> community over the next 10 years? Would we be better off focusing
> Debian as a high-quality base for users who then largely consume
> software from other sources?

I don't know the answers, but these are *exactly* the kind of
questions that we, as a community (and together with other
distributions), have to ask and find answers for.

As DPL, I would facilitate discussion about Debian's role in today's
world and empower people like you to lead such discussions and to ask
how we can successfully adapt.

Martin Michlmayr

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