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Trouble on the Debian Front?

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 7 years ago | from the everyone-has-their-burnout-limit dept.

255

Linux.com is reporting that Matthew Garrett, one of the more active Debian developers, has called some ongoing problems with the Debian project into focus with his resignation. While he didn't hold any actual office, many prominent Debian developers described Garrett as "high profile". From the article: "In his own blog, Garrett relates his gradual discovery that Debian's free-for-all discussions were making him intensely irritable and unhappy with other members of the community. He contrasts Debian's organization with Ubuntu's more formal structure. In particular, he mentions Ubuntu's code of conduct, which is enforced on the distribution's mailing lists, suggesting that it 'helps a great deal in ensuring that discussions mostly remain technical.' He also approves of Ubuntu's more formal structure as 'a pretty explicit acknowledgment that not all developers are equal and some are possibly more worth listening to than others.' Then, in reference to Mark Shuttleworth, the founder and funder of Ubuntu, Garrett says, 'At the end of the day, having one person who can make arbitrary decisions and whose word is effectively law probably helps in many cases.'"

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255 comments

Debian's demise has been fortold for years (2, Informative)

nurhussein (864532) | more than 7 years ago | (#16031761)

Especially when Ubuntu was released, everyone thought Debian was "dead" or "irrelevant", despite Ubuntu being based off Debian.

However, Debian's release cycle is picking up the pace, as Etch is set to be released soon (a quicker release cycle than Sarge's). Things are looking good as far as a mere user like me is concerned. There are a lot of hardworking people working on Debian, and the politicking is nothing new.

DEBIAN AND UNBUNEGRO SIGNIFY THE FAILINGS OF LINUX (0, Troll)

CmdrTaco (troll) (578383) | more than 7 years ago | (#16031796)

It's like two gangs of ethnics fighting over perceived slights. Fucking faggots, this is why you'll never make it. Unify behind a strong server distro and be happy because that's the best you are ever going to see.

Re:DEBIAN AND UNBUNEGRO SIGNIFY THE FAILINGS OF LI (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16031937)

It's like two gangs of ethnics fighting over perceived slights. Fucking faggots, this is why you'll never make it. Unify behind a strong server distro and be happy because that's the best you are ever going to see.


You fucking bigot. Fucking NAZI pig.

Re:Debian's demise has been fortold for years (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16031811)

Besides, Ubuntu would not exist and remain in existence without Debian.

Perhaps Ubunuto is just evolution (3, Insightful)

WebCowboy (196209) | more than 7 years ago | (#16031927)

Besides, Ubuntu would not exist and remain in existence without Debian.

Errr, what would keep Ubuntu from continuing if Debian simply and abruptly came to an end? Perhaps it would somewhat affect the course of Ubuntu's development but it wouldn't spell the end of Ubuntu or any other successful Debian-based distribution should Debian itself become defunct.

H. Sapiens remain in existence today despite the fact that H. Erectus ceased to exist long ago. Perhaps Debian is reaching the end of its predominance and the frontrunning Debian-based offshoot, Ubuntu, is finding its place as a replacement. It really looks to me like evolutionary development occurring within the Free Software ecosystem--Linux went from being a student hacker's experiment, to a hobbyist/enthusiasts toy, to a few rough-around-the-edges distributions managed usually by individuals (eg. Slakware), to full-fledged community-driven collaberative efforts (Debian) and commercially-driven products (Red Hat, SuSE).

Since the commercially-driven efforts continually evolve (Red Hat dropping consumer-level products and establishing Fedora, Mandrake and Connectiva merging and re-inventing their businesses, SuSE being bought by Novell and releasing a community edition of its own) what should keep purely community-driven efforts from evolving as well? Ubuntu is a reponse to influences and pressures of the Free Software community--it shares the same technology, much of the same content and has some common roots in its founders and contributers. It keeps Debian's strengths (package management system loved by many, lack of direct corporate influence and commitment to the concept of Free Software, relatively high commitment to stability etc.) and abandons other characteristics that are weaknesses (lack of organisational structure, political disputes impeding on technical progress, slow pace of development at times, unpredictable release cycle).

This is exactly what makes Free Software so valuable--even if Debian were to disintegrate as a project there will be nothing to keep Debian's code and heritage from living on in new projects that pick up the pieces and move forward in great and exciting new directions. I have personally seen a couple of closed software applications of great value pretty much die because the companies responsible for development went insolvent, and for what I can only think are financial reasons nobody ever let the code go Free (perhaps doing so would make the intellectual property asset worthless from a balance-sheet perspective--in one case the receiver sold all IP to a competitor and all that remained of its applications were what was incorporated in the competing product. In the other case much of the software became abandonware).

So while this news may be cause for sadness towards a legendary Free Software project, it is far from cause for alarm. Debian itself will evolve into something better, or perhaps go extinct while its resources fully migrate over to a new project, likely Ubuntu. In the end we'll all get better software as a result.

Re:Perhaps Ubunuto is just evolution (5, Interesting)

smilindog2000 (907665) | more than 7 years ago | (#16032102)

What's wrong with having Debian be the technology proving ground while Ubuntu builds stable desktop operating systems for average people?

What are the odds that all those Debian developers will wake up one day and decide to work for Ubuntu instead? Clearly, many of them are bitter that Ubuntu is stealing their thunder. It's doubtful that Debian developers will abandon ship anytime soon for Ubuntu. It's also doubtful that Ubuntu will get the huge numbers of developers needed to compete with RedHat anytime soon. For at least the near future, Ubuntu requires Debian to thrive.

As for me, I trust Debian's open style of development to never be corrupted by any single person. It's amazing growth and activity is a tribute to the spirit of the open-source community. Sure, there's no all-powerful leader who can make things happen quickly. But then again, that can be a good thing. It's kind of like the US vs European Union.

Re:Perhaps Ubunuto is just evolution (1)

yo303 (558777) | more than 7 years ago | (#16032103)

'At the end of the day, having one person who can make arbitrary decisions and whose word is effectively law probably helps in many cases.'

Benevolent dictatorships have long been known to be a better form of self-organization than outright democracy.

Heh... having the member population at large choose who's in charge? That's crazy!! Who knows what could happen? Any smiling idiot could be placed in power...

Uh... of Ubuntu.

yo.

Re:Perhaps Ubunuto is just evolution (1)

FST777 (913657) | more than 7 years ago | (#16032118)

The problem with the "Bazaar"-model is not that the majority elects the leader, but that there is no leader to begin with.

I'm glad more and more people are beginnning to realize that the Cathedral might not be so bad for really large projects. I wonder what ESR has to say about all this (first NetBSD, now Debian...).

Re:Perhaps Ubunuto is just evolution (1)

Tet (2721) | more than 7 years ago | (#16032236)

Heh... having the member population at large choose who's in charge? That's crazy!! Who knows what could happen? Any smiling idiot could be placed in power...

"Democracy is based on the assumption that a million men are wiser than one man. How's that again? I missed something.

Autocracy is based on the assumption that one man is wiser than a million men. Let's play that over again, too. Who decides?"

-- Robert A. Heinlein

Re:Perhaps Ubunuto is just evolution (1, Insightful)

kan0r (805166) | more than 7 years ago | (#16032134)

Just for information: Ubuntu *would* have a problem if Debian came to an end all of a sudden. Look at the Ubuntu development cycle, for instance: Ubuntu developers take a Debian 'unstable' snapshot (which wouldn't be there if Debian was dead), freeze it, stabilize it and release it as Ubuntu. They depend heavily on a proper working Debian!

Re:Perhaps Ubunuto is just evolution (1)

Chaffar (670874) | more than 7 years ago | (#16032239)

Perhaps Ubunuto is just evolution
I honestly believe that from now on, anyone who misspells Ubuntu should be modded -1 Go back to school.
Ubunto is unacceptable, Ubonto is unbearable... Ubunuto is bordeline criminal.
If this trend continues I'm gonna have to switch to Dabien or something :)

Re:Debian's demise has been fortold for years (4, Insightful)

cloricus (691063) | more than 7 years ago | (#16031904)

Debian's demise is an annoying catch cry for all those who want to start pointless flamewars instead of helping the community move forward. Ubuntu has many problems and cannot hope to replace Debian, ever, as the focus just isn't the same. Linux isn't Windows, in that it wants to be everything for every one, people so please remember that and really if you don't like the way some thing is run go where you do like it...That being said I hope any well thought out points that make sense in this mans blog are implemented for the betterment of the Debian community.
 
Just for the record I use Debian and Ubuntu in server and desktop configurations daily at home and work and I enjoy both.

Re:Debian's demise has been fortold for years (2, Interesting)

Simon Garlick (104721) | more than 7 years ago | (#16031955)

I think of Debian and K/ubuntu as akin to BSD and OS X. One is just the other with a cool GUI.

Re:Debian's demise has been fortold for years (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16032232)

I think Debian is heading no where. In a couple of years, the distro will be legacy, probably continued by a couple of die-hard hackers.

Ubuntu has direction.

Yeah, What Problems? (5, Insightful)

twitter (104583) | more than 7 years ago | (#16031928)

Things are looking good as far as a mere user like me is concerned.

Exactly. What problems are actually showing up in software?

A developer is leaving, that's a problem. It's sad to see a talented developer go, but someone else will step up the the plate and prove that every developer indeed deserves a voice.

A developer claims that mailing lists made him irritable. That's a problem that has one of two causes, the lists have been infiltrated by trolls or he needs to more tolerant and less easily bothered. The solution treats both causes. Realize that some people on your list are intentionally provoking you and ignore them. Realize also that differences can always be worked out and that not everything has to go exactly your way. If you are right, the project will get back to your way even when it makes mistakes.

Free software has enemies, that's a problem. Back in 1998, Microsoft declared war on free software with their Halloween Document and targeted the user community. Trolling lists is something they have been doing all the way back to Steven Barkto. It disrupts useful activity, promotes ill will and distrust of your neighbor and can even move organizations to the wrong conclusions and in the wrong directions. Eventually, the truth comes out so the strategy is ultimately wasteful. There is nothing M$ can do to make non free software competitive and they can't really shut down free software. There are far too many projects and damaged communication channels are routed around. The co operative spirit of free software depends on good will, but free software creates that good will in abundance.

The answer is not to make a king. If you think your peer is annoying now, imagine them with the king like power to make decisions you want for yourself.

None of these problems is an actual software problem. The kind of people who pretend such things are a big deal are the kinds of people that said free software could not make a friendly user interface, usable documentation, a coherent distribution, a kernel, a compiler, a text editor, etc. Etch is a fantastic distribution that shows that things are working very well.

Re:Yeah, What Problems? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16031985)

This is insightful?

It's paranoid shit. This guy actually blames people's irritability with FOSS mailing lists, not on zealots, leeter-than-thou sorts, etc... no, couldn't be them, I mean, after all, no-one's seen anything like that on Slashdot. It must be ... Microsoft!

Re:Yeah, What Problems? (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16032064)

twitter, please read this carefully. Following this advice will make Slashdot a better place for everyone, including yourself.

  • As a representative of the Linux community, participate in mailing list and newsgroup discussions in a professional manner. Refrain from name-calling and use of vulgar language. Consider yourself a member of a virtual corporation with Mr. Torvalds as your Chief Executive Officer. Your words will either enhance or degrade the image the reader has of the Linux community.
  • Avoid hyperbole and unsubstantiated claims at all costs. It's unprofessional and will result in unproductive discussions.
  • A thoughtful, well-reasoned response to a posting will not only provide insight for your readers, but will also increase their respect for your knowledge and abilities.
  • Don't bite if offered flame-bait. Too many threads degenerate into a "My O/S is better than your O/S" argument. Let's accurately describe the capabilities of Linux and leave it at that.
  • Always remember that if you insult or are disrespectful to someone, their negative experience may be shared with many others. If you do offend someone, please try to make amends.
  • Focus on what Linux has to offer. There is no need to bash the competition. Linux is a good, solid product that stands on its own.
  • Respect the use of other operating systems. While Linux is a wonderful platform, it does not meet everyone's needs.
  • Refer to another product by its proper name. There's nothing to be gained by attempting to ridicule a company or its products by using "creative spelling". If we expect respect for Linux, we must respect other products.
  • Give credit where credit is due. Linux is just the kernel. Without the efforts of people involved with the GNU project , MIT, Berkeley and others too numerous to mention, the Linux kernel would not be very useful to most people.
  • Don't insist that Linux is the only answer for a particular application. Just as the Linux community cherishes the freedom that Linux provides them, Linux only solutions would deprive others of their freedom.
  • There will be cases where Linux is not the answer. Be the first to recognize this and offer another solution.

From http://www.ibiblio.org/pub/linux/docs/HOWTO/Advoca cy [ibiblio.org]

Re:Yeah, What Problems? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16032243)

lol...so...every developer deserves a voice. Which means everyone who THINKS he's a developer deserves a voice. Guess you haven't worked in a team environment before, have you? I contracted at a major corporation for over 10 years - I saw many a coder come and go (and, btw, making me look like a bargain in the process - it's amazing how many coders are incapable of finishing a project) The number of wannabes out there is huge - giving them a 'voice' on the net simply makes it easier for them to not recognize the either they need to improve their skills OR just flat out don't have the talent for it.

Yah, power to the people, mob rule. That works. You're missing the point of the article - which isn't suprising.

Re:Debian's demise has been fortold for years (1)

WgT2 (591074) | more than 7 years ago | (#16032116)

Yes, it seems Ubuntu's competition, if merely only a perception, has given Debian a shoot in the arm. It wasn't but a week ago that I wondering what character from Toy Story was next to be used in Debian's developement cycle.

Perhaps Debian's position is, has been, and will always be that of a producer of 'raw' material which can be used by others [ubuntu.com] to their [knoppix.org] own refinement [osdl.org].

difference between anarchy and free-for-all (5, Insightful)

darkonc (47285) | more than 7 years ago | (#16031764)

In the early net, some people would regularly confuse the anarchy (lack of fixed leaders) of the Usenet/Internet universe with lack of any rules... ("I can do whatever I want! (and you can't -- i.e. you have to put up with my stupidity).)

Lack of leaders is not the same thing as a lack of rules, and I expect that the real problem with the Debian project is that they haven't yet gotten to the point of fully defining rules that enable decent and useful conversations while discouraging the less productive kinds of conversations.

rulemaking isn't pretty either (4, Insightful)

SuperBanana (662181) | more than 7 years ago | (#16031799)

Lack of leaders is not the same thing as a lack of rules, and I expect that the real problem with the Debian project is that they haven't yet gotten to the point of fully defining rules that enable decent and useful conversations while discouraging the less productive kinds of conversations.

The sad bit is that you usually need a leader to help make rules; when it comes down to it, the top couple of people most interested/involved/popular/whatever set some basic rules. Too many cooks etc. Add in egotistical or socially clueless people...and the number of practical cooks drops. Radically.

The really sad bit is that "just enough" of the people left out will devote endless amounts of time to arguing about said rules. BTDT in many clubs, for example. The best approach is to write the first draft of rules to be simple, un-evil, and able to be modified in the future, but not too easily.

Re:rulemaking isn't pretty either (1)

Jesus_666 (702802) | more than 7 years ago | (#16032244)

The best approach is to write the first diraft of rules to be simple, un-evil, and able to be modified in the future, but not too easily.
101. All players must always abide by all the rules then in effect, in the form in which they are then in effect. The rules in the Initial Set are in effect whenever a game begins. The Initial Set consists of Rules 101-116 (immutable) and 201-213 (mutable)...


Detecting whether a interviewee has MacOS experience prior to OS X: yell "Frog blast the vent core!" If they run, yes.
I see your Marathon and raise you one Aleph One.

Re:difference between anarchy and free-for-all (5, Interesting)

mdhoover (856288) | more than 7 years ago | (#16031802)

The thing is, even with rules in place, mailing-lists always end up being a place for megaphone diplomacy, he who shouts loudest and longest (even if they have no clue) wins.
The lists end up being political flamefests so anyone of actual consequence (ie: folks that do the work) will just depart the list to use IM/IRC/private email so as to avoid the bullshit and get on with work.

Maybe to avoid this projects should use Slash instead of mailing lists, at least the smack-tards could be moderated out of existence ;-)

Re:difference between anarchy and free-for-all (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16031853)

"Smack-tard" is not a word, ass-hat.

Re:difference between anarchy and free-for-all (4, Interesting)

suv4x4 (956391) | more than 7 years ago | (#16031846)

Lack of leaders is not the same thing as a lack of rules

It's not the same but you'll quickly find out how you emulate "authority" with your set of rules sooner or later, effectively ending up with leaders.

It's the natural way. We all want to be leaders, or be equal, and that's ok, because it means there's a competition and possibility of change for the better. But if there's no concentration or "strategy" in a system, what results is a mess.

Every system needs just about the right amount of "chaos" and "order" for it to thrive. Even democracy has elections once a few years, no every day or every hour.

Re:difference between anarchy and free-for-all (3, Informative)

LordLucless (582312) | more than 7 years ago | (#16032085)

Actually, that's representative democracy; true democracy would have no elections. Rather, every law would be voted on by everyone before it was enacted. That's the way it was in ancient Greece. Of course, there's a large difference between an ancient Greek city-state, where only male landowners can vote, and a continent-spanning nation with general suffrage - true democracy would result in chaos in most modern nations, especially with the number of laws we currently have (although I think that a lot of that is an outgrowth of having professional lawmakers). But still, the American system of representative democracy should not be used interchangeably with democracy; they are very different beasts.

Linux hype is over (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16031988)

Linux is dying...

Castles in the sky. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16031765)

"From the article: "In his own blog, Garrett relates his gradual discovery that Debian's free-for-all discussions were making him intensely irritable and unhappy with other members of the community. He contrasts Debian's organization with Ubuntu's more formal structure. In particular, he mentions Ubuntu's code of conduct, which is enforced on the distribution's mailing lists, suggesting that it 'helps a great deal in ensuring that discussions mostly remain technical.' He also approves of Ubuntu's more formal structure as 'a pretty explicit acknowledgment that not all developers are equal and some are possibly more worth listening to than others.' Then, in reference to Mark Shuttleworth, the founder and funder of Ubuntu, Garrett says, 'At the end of the day, having one person who can make arbitrary decisions and whose word is effectively law probably helps in many cases.'""

Wow! Sounds a lot like the cathedral model. Doesn't it?

Re:Castles in the sky. (2, Insightful)

LordLucless (582312) | more than 7 years ago | (#16032090)

Nope. The Cathedral and the Bazaar talks about the source of contributions. This is talking about project management. Ubuntu can still receive code from anyone who wants to write some; that's the Bazaar model. The project management decides which code, of all received, they want to use. If someone disagrees with the project management of Ubuntu, they can fork it, and manage it in the way they say fit. It's all still Bazaar.

Interesting... (5, Interesting)

SaDan (81097) | more than 7 years ago | (#16031767)

It's kinda interesting, the last comment regarding having a single individual who's word is basically law in a project. It's worked for the Linux kernel, and the longest surviving Linux distribution (Slackware).

I was never a fan of the political backend of Debian, but I recognize the developers' contributions to the distribution. Maybe now that Ubuntu is popular and succeeding, a change in the way politics are done at Debian is on the horizon?

Other *nix OSes, and a little rant (4, Interesting)

lullabud (679893) | more than 7 years ago | (#16031838)

It's also worked for Apple's OS X, which claims to be the most widely distributed desktop version of *nix ever.

I tend to agree that there needs to be somebody to make final decisions on matters of wide questionability. Just the other day I compiled an app on Ubuntu and moved it to RHEL3 only to find that the static libraries were in a different location. I praised Apple's build system as well as the efforts of LSB and gave up on my quest to run hacked code on RHEL3 since I'm nowhere near a guru developer. (The app compiled and ran flawlesly on OS X and Ubuntu using debian packages.)

Re:Other *nix OSes, and a little rant (1)

kestasjk (933987) | more than 7 years ago | (#16032021)

FreeBSD has a board and it's successful.

Re:Other *nix OSes, and a little rant (4, Informative)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 7 years ago | (#16032113)

The difference with FreeBSD is that it is a meritocracy. If you regularly contribute code, you will be invited to become a committer, and granted write access to the repository. The core team is then elected by the committers. You only get to vote if you are an active contributor, and the elected core team then sets policy. This helps to insulate the project from people who have a lot to say, but nothing helpful to contribute.

Take from this what you will (4, Interesting)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | more than 7 years ago | (#16031768)

NetBSD is dying [slashdot.org]

What you have here is someone who has taken an either/or position on formal structure. This is a fallacy that is refuted every single time it is used. 'You're either with us or against us', 'Emacs, not vi', and 'cathedral, not bazaar'.

What is necessary is not a central bureaucracy that keeps people in line. Nor is it absolute freedom that allows any idiot to speak with equal stature of someone with multiple credentials. There are no hard and set rules that will make one project more successful or attractive than another. The best you can do is to take care of the community members that are productive and useful and try to avoid those members who are more prone to religious wars than code reviews.

I blame the PC users (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16031813)

You will have to forgive me. My definition of PC user has expanded in the past couple of years from big-haired douchebags from Wintel who trolled Tekserve at night trying to get through Crystal Quest or Inside Macintosh. (Ahh, the '80s.) I now use "PC user" as a general term to describe the wannabes who exhibit an attitude of "Yeah, we cool. We're Mac users," when they are clearly from some other part of the universe.

However, to prevent further confusion from the teeming masses, I will use the term poseur. Or in this case, switcheurs. These are the dunderheads who proclaim their trendiness because they use a Mac even though they were probably maximizing their windows until last week.

They try to act counterculture by making comments about good taste and how everything is beige, and think of themselves as nonconformists, which is laughable since all they are doing is conforming to another lifestyle.

What is really pathetic is when these expatriates proclaim their love for their adopted platform. When I hear it I cringe and automatically think of that Daphna Kalfon song "I Love My Mac [ilovemymacthesong.com]." Not that there is anything wrong with Daphna.

That phrase reeks of such vomit-inducing pretension. You think you are cooler than the rest of the world because of your computer? Because of your zero-button mouse? Because of the fact that you have to manually sort the Desktop upon failing (inevitably) to understand the Mac's right-handed icon arrangement? Where I come from, this is called "trying too hard."

The Mac platform today is ground zero for the switcheur epidemic, which means more tourists and more expatriates moving in. It has become way too mainstream and too damn self-congratulatory to live here. And with more corporate giants moving in, the Mac is so ovah.

Re:I blame the PC users (2, Insightful)

misleb (129952) | more than 7 years ago | (#16031897)

Wow, this wasn't even off topic. Try -1 nonsensical

Re:I blame the PC users (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16032161)

For him, I would go -1, jackass

Could it have happened any other way? (5, Insightful)

pepeperes (731972) | more than 7 years ago | (#16031778)

I doubt many of Debian's greatest contributors would have been there building stuff for these years had the organization been different. Much of Debian's beauty and attractive for many is based precisely on its 'loose' or rather free structure. If it survives, or if it will disappear we do not know yet, but it right now its offspring have shown they are really strong and effective, and I guess thats one of the main reasons-to-be for almost any entity, be it living or algorithmic.

Not debian, UBUNTU !!! The king is dead, (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16031779)

.

.

.

. Not debian, UBUNTU !!!

.

.

Long live the King !!!

.

.

Paraphrasing Uncle Ben... (2, Insightful)

ciurana (2603) | more than 7 years ago | (#16031787)

...with great power comes great responsibility.

I believe that Ubuntu is on the right track because of the rules they have in place. Some open-source advocates confuse structure with lack of innovation, or with coerciveness, and thus eschew these rules which, in the long run, will hurt their cause. Anarchist behavior appears to be a good thing only in fiction. In real life it leads to erosion of the institutions that harbor it.

The open-source community wields great power now that our software is being adopted for solving a wider range of problems. Our responsibility is to create an environment that will promote cooperation and the continuous evolution of our products and services. An environment where flamewars and egos are flaring all the time will always end up hurting the projects until they wilt and die. This hurts our collective credibility and hinders our ability to bring more open-source projects in-house.

Cheers,

E

Misquote! (1)

EnsilZah (575600) | more than 7 years ago | (#16032009)

I believe to correct quote was "With great power comes great Ownage.".

Re:Misquote! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16032183)

One day, you will join us in the world of adults and realise just how stupid you were when you hit "submit" on that message.

Moo (1)

Chacham (981) | more than 7 years ago | (#16031792)

i feel like a traitor, but should i at least look at ubuntu?

I love the wide support of Debian. That's why i've been using it for so long.

Re:Moo (-1)

doublebackslash (702979) | more than 7 years ago | (#16031826)

IMHO
Stick with Debian. It may not be perfect, but there is a huge process behind things. Ubuntu has a different process that brings newer (read: less stable inherently) things in sooner. Debian starts with proven code, so it can get away with more, shall we say, pointless politics and squabbles.

I love Debian, I used to love fedora, but that was before I had to use Linux at work. In work environments Debian rocks. Ubuntu is... not for work, it is a windows replacement. What else can I say?

You couldn't be more wrong. (0, Troll)

NDPTAL85 (260093) | more than 7 years ago | (#16031852)

First of all whats with the hostility with Ubuntu being a Windows replacement? You got something against technology being accessible to regular people? Does it diminish your value as a geek when people no longer have to defer to your black magic ways?

Anyway yes Debian is stable because it doesn't integrate new stuff too often. Its also antiquated. If you want really stable you could always use Windows 3.11 for Workgroups but that would suck wouldn't it? Do you really have to wait 2 years before updating a package before you will trust it?

Your attitude concerning Debian's rate of development is one of the _core_ issues that caused Matt (and many others) to leave. It used to be funny how old th estuff in Debian stable was. Why is OpenBSD able to use modern packages yet remain stable and secure while Debian is not?

Re:You couldn't be more wrong. (1)

udippel (562132) | more than 7 years ago | (#16032036)

If you want really stable you could always use Windows 3.11 for Workgroups but that would suck wouldn't it?

Why do you mods call this a Troll ?? This is a person who has never ever used WfW 3.11. Otherwise he'd shiver while typing 'stable'. So far to the second paragraph. The first one surely is no Troll; and the third one kind of truelly; maybe. If I had mod points, I'd give it a 'slightly funny'. Not even a Windoze zealot could call WfW 3.11 'stable', seriously.

Re:Moo (2, Interesting)

grammar fascist (239789) | more than 7 years ago | (#16031888)

In work environments Debian rocks. Ubuntu is... not for work, it is a windows replacement. What else can I say?

It really depends on what you mean by work, doesn't it? I mean, what does "work" mean to you, and why would it describe any work that could possibly be done?

My work is computer science research, and Ubuntu is perfect for that. It just sets itself up (on both my laptop and lab desktop) and gets out of my way. The development libraries are all there when I need them. This is as opposed to Windows, where I'd have to hunt for and/or pay for libraries or IDEs I want (been there, done that, never again), or Debian, where I'd have to spend a lot longer getting the software to talk to the hardware.

Re:Moo (1)

BrookHarty (9119) | more than 7 years ago | (#16031865)

i feel like a traitor, but should i at least look at ubuntu?

Debian is mostly generic builds, but you miss few of the gnome/kde tweaks and third party applications.

I always end up getting applications that are not in the repositories, so it comes down to the best installer. Command line and rescue mode, Debian, Graphical live boot cd, Ubuntu.

But, I'm really impressed with Ubuntu's forums and support (Which is one of the things mentioned in the article) Some developers don't support through the main channels due to politics...

YMMV, IMHO, WTFBBQ.

Doo? (2, Interesting)

twitter (104583) | more than 7 years ago | (#16031939)

i feel like a traitor, but should i at least look at ubuntu?

That depends on what you want to do. If you want to play games with accelerated graphics or watch YouTube or other flash stuff, you need Ubuntu's non free goodies. If you want a sane place to put your email, web research and 95% of what computers do for people, you want Debian's free goodness. Debian runs well and upgrades gracefully. A simple rule might be: Stable on the server, Testing on your desktop, Ubuntu, Mepis, Xandros, Linspire, etc on your toybox. If playing with the software itself is your thing, go for Sid. Give the people what they want. That includes yourself.

Re:Doo? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16032013)

Agreed 100%, but shold be noted that installing under Debian for example the latest Nvidia drivers or Flash player is a matter of 5 minutes (install kernel sources, gcc, then execute the script downloaded from nvidia.com, and simply copy two files into the right /usr/lib/firefox/plugins directory).
The only thing I could never try under Debian was the xgl+compiz eyecandy. Yes, there are howtos and someone also posted an automated installation script somewhere, but there's always some problem that makes it impossible to run, namely the many dependencies on unstable libraries and stuff. This suggested me that sticking to Debian is the right thing. Probably I'll try Ubuntu on a client, but on all other machines debian is certainly the choice. Should someone, some day, kill the Debian project, I'd then go for Slackware or Gentoo.

Re:Doo? (1, Informative)

the grace of R'hllor (530051) | more than 7 years ago | (#16032127)

Yes, because you'd have to be INSANE to use Ubuntu for E-mail, Firefox and 95% of what computers do for people, such office work, solitaire and software development.

You're full of it.

Ubuntu is fairly stable (I've had no package dependency problems, nor untoward crashes) and is actually up to date with some packages, rather than being 1-3 years out of date with everything but security patches. If you're a developer, you may want to use it simply because you get the latest standard libraries every six months, rather than every year or so (in a fast cycle). It has a lot more packages that do useful stuff. Important to me: Does Debian have the sun-java5 packages yet? Or will that be present in a year or two?

Ubuntu runs well and upgrades as gracefully as Debian. While you can be doubtful about putting it on your server (though so far I've felt it worked well), for workstations it's probably better, given that you get more updates, more recent software, and altogether more bang for your buck. Metaphorically.

Re:Doo? (1)

Chacham (981) | more than 7 years ago | (#16032251)

Heh.

I do use stable on my server. But i use unstable if i use it at home. I can deal with the occasional bug. :)

If you want a sane place to put your email, web research and 95% of what computers do for people, you want Debian's free goodness.

Good point.

Re:Moo (1)

chaoticgeek (874438) | more than 7 years ago | (#16031982)

I'm not saying I'm great at using linux, but I know a bit of info to help me get around and have fun. with that out of the way I shall express my point...

I used to use debain, it is great, I still remember when I said I will not go to anything other than debian. Then Ubuntu came around and I tried that out and loved it too. For the longest time I ran dual boot debian and ubuntu. Then one day I decided to give up debian because I noticed the fact that I was not booting into it anymore. I now run two computers one windows one ubuntu LAMP server install, no gui. Its a box to play around with and test stuff out. And as soon as I can get my windows box out of the way I'll have ubuntu on that too for my desktop. I love the debian packagmanager system, that is why I never wanted to go to anything other than that. I've compiled stuff by sources before and it sucks. apt-get is so much better and ubuntu has that which I love. To me ubuntu is debian with the desktop feel that I wanted for my main desktop machine, without the hassle I had in debian.

I only use windows because of software that I have to have for school, I"m in college right now and as a network admin and software development dual major I need certian software they want me to use, like VB.net stuff so I have windows because I can never get wine to work.

Sounds like a good idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16031794)

...kind of like the USA President .... oh.

More bad news for Linux... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16031800)

Linux is also having trouble on the embedded front as well. Companies are switching to Windows CE for their next generation devices. An example of this is here: http://www.windowsfordevices.com/news/NS9790345771 .html [windowsfordevices.com] but there are several stories like that floating around. I am suspecting this kind of stuff is growing pains

Re:More bad news for Linux... (1)

larytet (859336) | more than 7 years ago | (#16032121)

depending what type of embedded systems you talk about. my experience in telecom/datacom is exactly opposite. cos move from vxWorks to Linux, not to WinCE. and may be eCOS, but again, not WinCE. i worked with WinCE development environment is bad. i mean truly BAD.

Drop it. (0, Offtopic)

bruno.fatia (989391) | more than 7 years ago | (#16031804)

Why doesn't he simply drop it and join Microsoft. Microsoft has all he needs!! Microsoft Windows has even more like WGA, Microsoft Office and Microsoft Visual Studio, which comes with my favorite reading, MSDN, which will help you out with your way into .NET 2.0 Final RC Beta 32 bit AND x64 versions. And you'll always have Microsoft DirectX for all your 3D needs! Even hits 4th on Google if you query "best operating system ever"!

Re:Drop it. (2, Funny)

Paolo DF (849424) | more than 7 years ago | (#16031981)

strange: number three result is :"Gates says Linux best OS ever". Really. try it yourself

omg dr4m4 (0)

ClamIAm (926466) | more than 7 years ago | (#16031807)

I'm kind of getting sick of this. Every once in a while a story gets approved that is little more than some developer angsting away on his blog about some scene drama. It's not really "news", it's not stuff that matters much.

The irony here is that the blog post in question here is about the virtues of having leaders who can make arbitrary decisions. Apparently this doesn't apply to Slashdot.

Waah Mommy (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16031823)

Waaah I don't like all this freedom and individual expression of opinion and I need organization and hierarchy and I wanted my cocoa in the blue cup not the red cup

What a little bitch. If he needs structure so much let him go work for Microsoft

Geeks without rules = too many pissing contests (3, Interesting)

winkydink (650484) | more than 7 years ago | (#16031827)

Put a group of alpha geeks in a room and start a discussion. Inevitably, they spend more time trying to prove to each other who is the smartest than they do actually pushing forward the discussion. Why is that?

Re:Geeks without rules = too many pissing contests (2, Insightful)

grammar fascist (239789) | more than 7 years ago | (#16031889)

Because we're all a bunch of intellectually narcissistic gits?

That's a serious answer.

Re:Geeks without rules = too many pissing contests (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16031902)

Inevitably, they spend more time trying to prove to each other who is the smartest than they do actually pushing forward the discussion. Why is that?

Because they are also experts in politics, philosophy, and life in general.

Except getting a date.

Re:Geeks without rules = too many pissing contests (5, Funny)

gardyloo (512791) | more than 7 years ago | (#16031916)

Put a group of alpha geeks in a room and start a discussion. Inevitably, they spend more time trying to prove to each other who is the smartest than they do actually pushing forward the discussion. Why is that?

      Is THAT your best attempt at starting a discussion?!? What a freaking IDIOT!!!

Re:Geeks without rules = too many pissing contests (1)

JanneM (7445) | more than 7 years ago | (#16031921)

Put a group of alpha geeks in a room and start a discussion. Inevitably, they spend more time trying to prove to each other who is the smartest than they do actually pushing forward the discussion. Why is that?

It's not inevitable at all; in most projects that is not what happens. I don't know what Debian does wrong to have that constantly happen but they'd better fix it or it will cripple the project at some point.

Re:Geeks without rules = too many pissing contests (1)

RLiegh (247921) | more than 7 years ago | (#16031980)

It happens on most Linux IRC channels and pretty much every *BSD project that's come down the pike. Of course, it does cripple OSS; why do you think Linux users have the reputation for answering everything with "RTFM"?

Without Debian (0, Troll)

alucinor (849600) | more than 7 years ago | (#16031837)

Without Debian, where would we have the amazing, huge codebase for every Ubuntu, Jibbajabba, or Lilixinidros distribution out there? Debian is the closest thing to a "standard Linux" if there ever was one. Slackware is a good candidate, too.

But NOT Fedora. That's a commie plot, I tells ye.

Re:Without Debian (1)

misleb (129952) | more than 7 years ago | (#16031909)

Without Debian, where would we have the amazing, huge codebase for every Ubuntu, Jibbajabba, or Lilixinidros distribution out there? Debian is the closest thing to a "standard Linux" if there ever was one. Slackware is a good candidate, too.


Yeah, it is too bad commercial software vendors don't see it that way. It can be a PITA sometimes to get an RPM to install correctly when it has been tailored to Fedora or RedHat. But I guess they have to standardize on SOMETHING.

-matthew

Re:Without Debian (1)

EvilIdler (21087) | more than 7 years ago | (#16031991)

Some Linux vendors in Europe are starting to warm up to Ubuntu.
CentOS is also being used more in place of RHEL, depending on
a customer's wishes.

Re:Without Debian (2, Interesting)

natrius (642724) | more than 7 years ago | (#16032062)

Without Debian, where would we have the amazing, huge codebase for every Ubuntu, Jibbajabba, or Lilixinidros distribution out there?

No one is questioning the contribution Debian developers have made to the Linux ecosystem as a whole. The question is, is Debian able to do anything groundbreaking on its own anymore? If someone were to try to move to a new init system [netsplit.com] in Debian, how long would it take to actually get done?

Personally, I think Debian should embrace its role as a distribution that others derive from. It is doing an excellent job in that respect, and I don't think the current organizational structure of the project could allow it to function as anything else in a more effective way. If some of the developers would stop antagonizing Ubuntu and embrace it instead, I think we'd all be better off.

No. (5, Insightful)

MrNaz (730548) | more than 7 years ago | (#16031842)

I disagree with this developer's comments, and suggest that perhaps his way of thinking is perhaps not suited to a meritocracy. Perhaps he needs an authority to appeal to in situations of disagreement.

While having one point of authority is good if you are looking to conduct a project under corporate type structures, it is undesirable if you are looking to adhere to principles of community involvement and community focused agendas.

I agree that it must be acknowledged that not all developers are equal, but disagree that this must be explicitly stated somewhere. In an open, meritocratic forum, relative skill levels become apparent fairly quickly, and if you need full and formal recognition of your work, then you are out of place in the open source community.

I have found the Debian mailing lists to be quite helpful, and if there genuinely is a lack of an appropriate forum for technical discussions, then this is a minor administrative problem (i.e., get a moderator to keep discussions on topic in the developer lists), not an intractable structural problem.

In any case, the proof of the pudding is in the eating, and I find it difficult to accept that the "Debian Way" is broken when the project is so old, so well regarded, and so successful.

Garrett: If you are unable to work in the Debian project becuase your ideas conflict with it, then don't be blaming the Debian project. It may simply be the case, as with many relationship breakdowns, that your ideals and theirs are simply incompatible.

Re:No. (2, Informative)

JanneM (7445) | more than 7 years ago | (#16031915)

I disagree with this developer's comments, and suggest that perhaps his way of thinking is perhaps not suited to a meritocracy. Perhaps he needs an authority to appeal to in situations of disagreement.

"Meritocracy" means having authority - selected with skill in the field as the criterion (as opposed to connecitons, external resources, charisma or what have you). It means some people have more say than others based on their skill, not that there is no authority.

Hmm. (1)

cheros (223479) | more than 7 years ago | (#16032087)

As I posted earlier, even in a meritocracy you need leadership. As long as participants (a) recognise that leadership is a skill in itself (b) respect the person herding the cats for doing that job and (c) the leader has the trust and support of the group (which is where the authority comes in, as well as strong personal ethics and honesty) it'll work.

The trust is the hard bit - it's a special skill to manage a number of often quite strong personalities. People that are good at what they do /know/ they are good - the challenge is to make them see that they can even be better by allowing the team to work as a team. And I know from happy experience that it only takes one team session where everyone works as a team to convert those people forever to the idea. /THAT/ is leadership in my book.

Re:No. (4, Insightful)

jsebrech (525647) | more than 7 years ago | (#16031968)

In any case, the proof of the pudding is in the eating, and I find it difficult to accept that the "Debian Way" is broken when the project is so old, so well regarded, and so successful.

Speaking as a disgruntled ex-debian user, I can assure you that a lot of people only consider the project old, not well regarded or successful. I consider it a niche OS that will remain a niche OS until it gets its act together.

The failings of the debian project that made me move away from it were numerous but revolved around a lack of direction. The project came across as a collection of developers that solved their own pet problems, instead of a community focused on a clearly defined central goal, led by knowledgeable leaders. What I wanted out of debian was first of all for it to be up-to-date (something it never succeeded in, despite many attempts to "fix" the system), and for it to be well-suited both as a server OS and as a desktop OS. It was well-suited as a server OS, but only if you didn't need to run anything too new, and only if you weren't afraid of the command-line. The only way to make it usable as a desktop OS was endless tinkering.

It's no mystery why the most successful OSS projects have strong central leadership. Vision can't be parallellized. You can maintain a piece of software in cooperative fashion, but if you try to apply direction to it you need one or a few people who have the authority on what that direction is, or your ship will just sail in circles.

Re:No. (1)

mickwd (196449) | more than 7 years ago | (#16032091)

"What I wanted out of debian was first of all for it to be up-to-date....."

This would read better as "What I wanted out of [my (linux) operating system] was first of all for it to be up-to-date".

Of all the popular Linux distributions you could have chosen, you made posibly the worst choice of all if what you wanted first of all was something up-to-date. That is not Debian's strength.

Also, I don't think anyone wanting to run a Linux server should be "afraid of" the command line.

Re:No. (1)

ultranova (717540) | more than 7 years ago | (#16032092)

The failings of the debian project that made me move away from it were numerous but revolved around a lack of direction. The project came across as a collection of developers that solved their own pet problems, instead of a community focused on a clearly defined central goal, led by knowledgeable leaders. What I wanted out of debian was first of all for it to be up-to-date (something it never succeeded in, despite many attempts to "fix" the system), and for it to be well-suited both as a server OS and as a desktop OS. It was well-suited as a server OS, but only if you didn't need to run anything too new, and only if you weren't afraid of the command-line. The only way to make it usable as a desktop OS was endless tinkering.

Okay, so Debian is focused to be a server OS which uses command line a lot - a sensible choice, since remote administration is much easier with ssh than with VNC. Because of this focus, major updates happen rarely, since they tend to require at least some reconfiguration, which means that the system will be running older (but still upkept as far as bugfixes go) software versions.

It is somewhat illogical to accuse Debian from lack of direction, when by your own words it has a direction: a commandline-driven server OS. It has direction, the direction simply happens to be different from what you want it to be.

It's no mystery why the most successful OSS projects have strong central leadership. Vision can't be parallellized. You can maintain a piece of software in cooperative fashion, but if you try to apply direction to it you need one or a few people who have the authority on what that direction is, or your ship will just sail in circles.

Actually, I think that it's the matter of getting a project past the tipping point - the projects where the original developer was not strong never got to the stage where they began attracting more developers. A strong leader isn't neccessarily needed once that point is reached, it's simply inherited from the early stages of development.

Disagree - leadership is essential (1)

cheros (223479) | more than 7 years ago | (#16032005)

I disagree with you. Even a meritocracy needs some method of breaking deadlock. The challenge is to find what I'd term an 'enlightened' leader. To define the term, it's a leader who him/herself is as ego-free as you can get it, sets achievable aims and who can balance out discussions in a fair but focused and constructive way. I certainly class Linus Torvalds and Mark Shuttleworth in that category, Linus by reputation and what he does, and Mark because I know him (and again, by what he has done and is doing). BTW, 'enlightened' does not mean 'perfect' - we're all human :-).

I have led tech teams myself, and I can still call any of the people I've worked with and ask them to come and work for me - out of a 100 people I would be disappointed if not at least 90 would want to (barring personal circumstances). THAT is a matter of personal pride to me. Not that I screwed some more hours out of a poor slob, and I've had to re-educate quite a few managers on that topic. I've had often enough that I had to instruct team leaders to drag their team off their chairs into a restaurant or cafe because they were working too hard (yes, company paid :-) - you don't abuse the priviledge of people wanting to work for you and it's a two-way street.

Leadership is making a team of 10 think as if they were 20 strong - it sort of 'sings' and is one of the best working experiences you can have. Few teams do that by themselves because it's a different skill..

Re:No. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16032079)

Except for the fact that debian is ***NOT*** a meritocracy, but a buch of people on crack disucssing stupid things in a discussion planned to end when the sun gets cold

Re:No. (3, Insightful)

Anthony Boyd (242971) | more than 7 years ago | (#16032132)

While having one point of authority is good if you are looking to conduct a project under corporate type structures, it is undesirable if you are looking to adhere to principles of community involvement and community focused agendas.

While that may be true in some cases, it's not true in cases like Linux, or Perl, or Ubuntu. Therefore, while I am not going to suggest that your point is incorrect, I am going to suggest that your point is diminished by counterpoints.


I agree that it must be acknowledged that not all developers are equal, but disagree that this must be explicitly stated somewhere. In an open, meritocratic forum, relative skill levels become apparent fairly quickly, and if you need full and formal recognition of your work, then you are out of place in the open source community.

I'm going to 100% disagree here. It has been my sad experience that -- as someone else mentioned here on Slashdot -- "megaphone democracy" is what you get. The person who speaks loudest the longest wins. But I'm not even upset about that, now that I've experienced that and understand it. You see, the core group that does the most is very often very small. And they're surrounded by a large group of sorta-disconnected sometimes-contributors. That large group is not well informed, and you cannot blame them. They have lives. They've decided that other things are priorities. That's fair. But that also means that they cannot be expected to judge who has skills. All they know is who has been helpful for the 3 interactions they've had on the project. And sometimes, the person who has been helpful to them was a PITA to everyone else.

This is how humanity is. I do not blame, because I've had to pick & choose what gets my attention, too. But now that I understand this, I know that your argument that skill levels become apparent just ain't so. Not for the majority. It's a pipe dream. Especially in this context -- chatter on mailing lists.


Garrett: If you are unable to work in the Debian project becuase your ideas conflict with it, then don't be blaming the Debian project. It may simply be the case, as with many relationship breakdowns, that your ideals and theirs are simply incompatible.

That may be true. It may also be the case that as an insider who has been a good contributor, he has seen the core of the apple, so to speak. He may be in a good position to reveal what's rotten. Write him off at your own peril.

Leaders are important (1)

jarek (2469) | more than 7 years ago | (#16031881)

That is nothing new. Linus fills that position for the kernel. Mark has the potential to be that for the whole Linux OS. Lets hope he is into Ubuntu for the long haul.

debian = too much politics (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16031894)

This is one of several reasons I switched to OpenBSD after nearly a decade of Linux (first Slackware, then Debian). Nowadays I won't touch Linux at all unless it's mandated by the project leader or customer.

Oh no! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16031901)

The Islamists have a fat man who cannot even read off of cue cards correctly tell me that I better accept "truth" or else.

There is NOTHING more inspiring than a barely literate fat man!

Twinkallahu akhbar!

The.... (1, Troll)

Wienaren (714122) | more than 7 years ago | (#16031935)

... only problem with Debian is the amount of politics involved. X is severely broken for weeks, but let's discuss politics and ethics instead. Nice goin'.

Re:The.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16031957)

99% of the people that are the loudest on the Debian mailing list never contribute any code anyways. What do you think they're going to do about X being broken? A lot of the developers have moved into private IRC channels and have unsubscribed from the mailing list completely. Right now a lot of "wannabe" developers are looking for recognition and thus are being very loud about their views. Unfortunately for the project, these "so called" developers don't actually have the knowledge/ability to code anything and get something done, so instead they bicker and yell on the mailing list 24/7.

Re:The.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16032117)

Still a problem, because lots of the so called developers in the lists holds lots of admin rights in the project, preventing people from doing hardwork

Dont ask me to tell where-who-when, Ive left this debian mess long time ago

Interesting, in light of some of the NetBSD issues (1)

mrcpu (132057) | more than 7 years ago | (#16031948)

posted by Charles... Maybe this is OSS evolution in action.

who would've thought... (3, Insightful)

CAIMLAS (41445) | more than 7 years ago | (#16031953)

Who would've thought that civilized, focused discussion would be more productive than a free-for-all...

I love Debian, but I've long had the suspicion that part of the reason Debian has such a long time between releases (which I view as a mostly good thing) is because they've got too much of a "free form" development process. That's good for small projects, and it served Debian well in the past, but Debian's scope has broaded so much in the last 5+ years that new considerations should be made...

Yeah, right... (1)

und0 (928711) | more than 7 years ago | (#16031975)

So, if someone leaves Canonical/Ubuntu, lets say jdub (Jeff Waugh), then they are in troubles too?

P.S. i give you that Garret and Waugh resignation motives are different...

Two problems with the comments - (4, Informative)

tonymercmobily (658708) | more than 7 years ago | (#16032104)

Hello,

I can see two problems with the way people are interpreting what happened.

The first one is that a lot of people are implying "One developer has left. Big deal. Somebody will step in". FALSE. A single, skilled developer can make the difference between a successful project and an unsuccessful one. As many good manages know, replacing a good worker is _very_ hard - sometimes impossible.

The second problem, is that a lot of people here have written comments without reading the mailing lists. Somebody implied "oh, it's the developer's fault, he shouldn't have been bothered in the first place". FALSE. Garrett really cares about the debian project; I generally agreed with what he said; lately, I was thinking "Geee, if I were him, I would quit". He found some of the tones grating as you guys would have if you cared about the project - and, above anything else, if you had read some of the messages in the mailing list. Accusatory. Unnecessary. Excruciating. Always coming from the "usual suspects" - who nobody seems to be able to shut up.

More and more people will leave, unless things change - rapidly.

Merc.
Editor In Chief
http://www.freesoftwaremagazine.com/ [freesoftwaremagazine.com]

Ubuntu on servers = no X Windows (0, Redundant)

stereoroid (234317) | more than 7 years ago | (#16032146)

A lot of the comments here seem to be along the lines of "use Ubuntu for as a Windows replacement, use Debian for servers". Not necessarily. Ubuntu installs Gnome by default, which is not as much of a Windows replacement as KDE (as used in Kubuntu). For working servers, though, I've done server-only installs of Ubuntu, which leaves off X-Windows entirely, giving me a lightweight install I can customize from the command line. Then, as a test, I've added the Xubuntu components to one server, which adds Xfce4 and some X apps like the Synaptic package manager. I don't need Gnome or KDE on a server, even Xfce is a luxury I could easily do without, and Ubuntu lets me decide which way I want to go.

My point is that the monolithic Ubuntu Gnome install that gets the most publicity is not the be-all and end-all of the Ubuntu project. In particular, this "Windows replacement" talk is misplaced, if you stick with the Gnome defaults, instead of KDE.

Churchill (2, Insightful)

Britz (170620) | more than 7 years ago | (#16032150)

"Indeed, it has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except all those other forms that have been tried from time to time."

That's what Churchill had to say about such matters. Indeed many people still don't know how to deal with trolls. Some people just like to get all up in arms from time to time I suppose. Other than that maybe he should have just announced that he was ignoring some people and that replies to those people should be marked somewhere so that he can sort them as well automatically. So that those people that like to respond to trolls can do so and don't confuse the ones that don't.

Traditional corporate structures (3, Insightful)

bettyfjord (787431) | more than 7 years ago | (#16032151)

Although no one's come and out explicitly mentioned it yet, it strikes me that Mr Garrett is saying that traditional corporate structures work best when developing software.

Enforced rules of conduct, a formal structure, an acknowledgement that not everyone is equal is skill or knowledge and a single leader who has the power of final decision. Strip out the jargon and it sounds pretty much exactly like a traditional office environment.

Does this mean that while OSS has made many people rethink distribution and revenue models, open source development will mature into exactly what we have now?

Often, it is just that somone has to be in charge (1)

xoundmind (932373) | more than 7 years ago | (#16032215)

Think of any group activity in which you are involved. Being in a musical group is a great example and one which I I have quite a bit of experience. In the end, SOMEONE has to be in charge and perform the vital role of focused leadership. I have my problems with the peacock strutting attitude of Ubuntu, but I think they will succeed because of the organizational structure. Debian? I hope so too, but Ubuntu will get to the point where it doesn't need Debian. Though I suspect that will require Canonical hiring some key developers to really keep the process moving properly.
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  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
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