Debian: contempt for "end user" values has to stop!"

John McCabe-Dansted gmatht at
Thu Aug 20 16:59:09 BST 2009

On Thu, Aug 20, 2009 at 11:02 PM, Liam Proven<lproven at> wrote:
> I do think that the blogger had a point, but it /is/ a mistake to
> think about FOSS in the same way as commercial software. There isn't
> much point in just asking for features; you only get out what you put
> in.

Well, my understanding from the post was that he wasn't specifically
asking for particular features, but rather identifying flaws in the
Debian process that caused these features to be removed from Debian.

Additionally he did contribute fixes, in the form of proposed
alterations to the Debian processes. Fixing individual bugs is good,
but it is sometimes important to "fix it twice", not only fixing the
bug but also the processes that lead to the bug appearing in a
finished product

 And as noted previously, in this case he couldn't even fix the bug
himself. Or least he couldn't fix it without forking Debian which
really isn't worth it unless you have ten million dollars to spare ;).

AFAICT, the only thing that could be improved in his approach of this
post. is that he could have worded the title in a more conciliatory
way. However it was his own blog, and I have noticed that if I slack
off until the last minute and Windows runs slow on the final day it is
MS's fault for producing such a worthless piece of shit software. If
on the other hand Linux erases my harddisk and kills my puppy then it
is my own fault for not submitting a patch. Paying MS a couple of
hundred dollars so I am allowed to mouth off on my own blog without a
put-up or shut up response is well worth it. Actually MS just offered
me a "free-as-in-beer" copy of windows 7 Pro, and I am still using
Linux, but that is besides the point. The point is that we should
understand that users like to be "forthright" in their own private
spaces. Not as forthright as, say Linus, RMS or anyone who has to use
any MS product, but forthright never-the-less.

OTOH, I agree with Diesch that the comments on the BTS were quite
unproductive. Indeed the maintainer even mentioned taking the dispute
up with "tech-ctte", the Debian technical committee, offering a formal
venue to complain. Still, A "free market" of package managers would be
a better solution than tech-ctte if there were nice a way of stitching
that free market into a coherent distribution.

John C. McCabe-Dansted

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