:: Re: [Dng] Thoughts on Devuan
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Author: Franco Lanza
To: dng
Subject: Re: [Dng] Thoughts on Devuan
first of all, thanks for your opinion so well explained.

On Tue, Dec 02, 2014 at 01:43:16PM -0600, T.J. Duchene wrote:
> I'm just going to express an opinion here, and I apologize if anyone takes
> offense, but I feel it is important that it be said if Devuan is going to
> gain ground and the respect of its peers.

I don't see how anyone can upset for your politely explained opinion,
so, don't worry about that.

> I think that the best effort
> should be made to maintain a friendly dialogue with Debian, especially
> since no matter what direct Devuan decides to go, we are still going to be
> getting upstream code from them.

We are at this point (doing a fork) cause we are tired to fight, we just
want to have the ideal distro for us.

There is nothing against the debian in this, the opposite, many debian
developers suggest many time "if you don't like how debian is going with
systemd, fork it!". So, we just follow this suggestion.

We are not interested in war, or in fight with debian. We just think
that the actual direction where debian is going isn't anymore the same
as we want to follow, so, we fork to create a path that better fits our

If we will succeed in creating something valuable and debian will get
back something for us, we are happy to contribute back with them in a
fully collaborative manner.

> A lot of the posts I see are
> anti-systemd and while this disdain is perhaps will earned, Devuan can't
> just focus on a group hate of systemd. I'm not trying to annoy with that
> suggestion, only that that is what Devuan might appear to be to someone who
> does not understand what we are about.

Well, i must admit that the systemd debate has strong opinions. But
anyway, it's already sayd many times: We are NOT against systemd. We are
PRO-freedom. And we identify freedom with a "bazaar" oriented distro,
and we see systemd as a cathedral. Devuan will not be only "debian
without systemd", will be a distro where we will try to preserve user
choice and freedom before than anything else. Initially this correspond
to clean it from systemd, but this isn't the only goal.

> Devuan should provide a solid statement to the rest of the community about
> its intentions if it is
> going to be taken seriously on any level. Like Debian, Devuan has to
> establish a set of project goals and a standard of quality in order to
> attract contributors. Our concern over systemd lacking that standard of
> quality is really why we are here. Anyone can take code and fork it, what
> really makes a difference is not that we are willing, it is what we do with
> the opportunity presented here.

We are in a very early stage, anyway, we are working on a manifesto and
roadmap that should clarify all aspects of devuan.

> If all we are going to do is repackage Debian to remove systemd and remove
> the dependency chains, then so be it, and we should say so. It's simple and
> easy to manage. Personally, I think we can do better. Systemd is not a bad
> idea. We just don't want to be tied down to it. I
> believe that Gentoo Linux has a sane engineering approach: have it for the
> people who want it, but it is an optional item.
> Debian has done a lot of good things, but has also made a lot of mistakes.
> I think that Devuan can avoid most of them if Devuan is bit less stringent
> in accepting contributors into the community. The process of joining
> Debian can be very difficult and slow, which makes
> it harder to grow. Non programmers are especially hard to recruit to work
> in documentation and other areas, for example. We have all seen that a
> Technical Committee vote can cause a lot of issues and disagreements with
> segments of the developers.

I agree, and i think that at least the VUA group agree too.
How this will happen isn't (yet) fully discussed, we are working on it.

> I think Devuan could avoid most of this, simply by inviting anyone who
> wants to help, but instead of adopting Debian's structure, look at having a
> small "core" version. Everything that goes into the "core" is on the
> proviso that everything submitted is subject to a knowledgeable group for
> QA, but must be kept as small as possible.
> The rest of the distribution is really open to what a particular person
> really needs, and anyone and everyone should be invited to pitch in. Sure,
> you might end up with some packages that are less
> than perfect, the the community can sort that out on its own with bug
> reports or perhaps an overall grading system. One thing that Debian does
> not always do well, and I think that we should devise from the onset is the
> ability to replace packages cleanly with different versions. If our concern
> is to maintain freedom of choice, the ability to replace any binary package
> the end user has issues with is essential.
> Lastly, and I think that this is very important, Debian's source build
> mechanism is very limited to whatever is in the current tree: say Wheezy.
> You can't easily build and integrate code from Testing or any other hosted
> archive into your own version. It would be nice to go the extra effort if
> it is realistic goal. I'm just suggesting that it should be considered for
> review, as an insurance policy against being locked into official archives
> - with all the problems that that might entail should some official archive
> not be to everyone's liking.

There is a LOT of work to come to fix all the issues you suggest, and
probably they will come to be a roadmap in medium/long term, but
generally we all in VUA group agree on those points.

> Thanks for reading and sorry about the length. I hope it made some sense.
> I'm a programmer, not a politician.
> T.J.

Well, we are all tech people :) anyway, it made perfectly sense, it's
just early to put all this meat on the fire, this is the direction, and
we will clearly write it in our manifesto, but it's a long path, and we
will follow our way step by step :)

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Franco (nextime) Lanza
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