Steve Kemp's Blog Writings relating to Debian & Free Software

I miss the old Debian

Thursday, 11 November 2010

I miss the days when Debian was about making software work well together.

These days the user mailing lists are full of posts from users asking for help on Ubuntu [*1*], people suggesting that we copy what Ubuntu has done, and people asking for "howtos" because documentation is too scary or too absent for them to read.

Yesterday the whole commercial spam on Planet debate started. Its yet another example of how in-fighting[*2*] seems to be the most fun part of Debian for too many.

Me? I started and folded a company. I got Debian help and users. Some threw money at me.

Joey Hess? Started making the nice-looking ikiwiki-powered branchable.com.

Commercial? Yes. Spam? No.

I guess there is little I can do. I could quit - as over time I've become less patient dealing with the project as a whole, but simultaneously more interested in dealing with a few specific people. But I suspect the net result would be no change. Either people would say "Ok , bye" or worse still offer my flttry: "Don't go - we lurve you".

Meh.

I shouldn't write when I'm annoyed, but living in a hotel will do that to you.

Footy-Mc-Foot-notes. Cos HTML is hard. Lets go shopping Eat Cake.

1

The Ubuntu forums are largely full of the blind leading the blind. Or equally often the blind being ignored.

I do believe that an Ubuntu stackoverflow site would be more useful than forums. But that's perhaps naive. People will still most often say "My computer doesn't work" missing all useful the details.

The only obvious gain is you can avoid "me too!!!" comments, and "fix this now or I'm gonna go .. use gentoo?".

2

Back a few years when people were less civil some mailing lists and irc channesl were unpleasant places to be.

These days we've solved half the problem: People mostly don't swear at each other.

The distractions, the threads that don't die, even if you ignore them and don't join in the "hilarity" they still have a devisively negative effect.

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