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Re: SEUL: Resignation as seul-install leader
I am surprised that these issues weren't raised in this manner much
earlier, if you thought them to be a problem. As it is, I am now in the
position of scrambling to fix what can be fixed.
You have raised several very good points, but unfortunately some of them
are either misunderstandings or things that have been poorly communicated.
The most obvious disagreement you seem to have with the plan of this
project stem from the Debian choice.
First of all, Debian was chosen over RedHat for, as you say, partially
political reasons. There is nothing wrong with doing so, regardless of
how much you may disagree. The reasons are such: Debian is completely free
while RedHat is a commercially control distrib, Debian appears to have more
support in the free software (Linux) community, and Debian appears to be
RedHat is a commercial distribution, which means it can change direction at
any time, at the whim of their CEO. Yes, I know roughly what their
direction is, but sad to say, corporate America has been known to change
its mind. Debian, on the other hand, is a known quantity, and will remain
so. It is the obvious choice for *precisely* the same reason that Qt is
*not* the obvious choice. You yourself have iterated those reasons better
than anyone else here, so you should understand why RedHat is not a good
RedHat is still a very good source for ideas and software, though. Just
because we will be starting from a Debian base does *not* mean we will not
consider RedHat pieces. The installer is the most obvious. There are
several policy decisions that RedHat has done better on than Debian. I'd
like to incorporate everything that works from RedHat, but not be tied to
I have heard from Bruce (but it has not yet been confirmed as fact) that
he would like to see Debian become more of a basis for distributions, a
kind of packaged software repository (like what Yggdrasil is doing). The
Core/Layers concept that I've proposed fits very neatly into that, and SEUL
would be a logical extension of that, 'simply' by adding and replacing
appropriate layers, with those layers being contributed back into the
Given that, Debian is the right choice. Any other would force us into the
choice of either following down the path of a diverging commercial
distribution or breaking away completely and becoming Yet Another Standard.
IMHO the development that we've built is sound. The problem is that no one
is willing to work within the model and actually start doing something.
Rather, only a few people have, the most prolific of which has been forced
to leave for personal reasons. Even he had problems with people telling
him to stop what he's doing because it was stupid. Great.
I have tried many times, without success, to get people to start doing
something. Your claim that we are spending too much time in phase 1 is
true, but that's not due to lack of effort on my part. If people had been
willing to simply accept some decisions rather than continually question
them, we would have a pre-alpha distribution *RIGHT NOW*.
As for the leadership infrastructure, several of us (luka, arma, and
myself) have spent hundreds of hours apiece working out the details. It
has been carefully crafted to meet the needs of this project, which is a
unique in its goals and requirements. It is a huge project, calling for
bazaar-style development of individual pieces, but those pieces must be
coordinated in a way that only the 'cathedral' model can.
These methods have been built hopefully with the best of both worlds. If
you have comments, please email firstname.lastname@example.org and we will address them and
refine the methods.
Without dreams, this project wouldn't exist. You mention the 'dream' of
writing books for SEUL, yet later on you mention that SEUL cannot succeed
by using Debian because there are no books for Debian. First of all, there
is a serious flaw in that logic, as what make you think that a book for
RedHat would apply for SEUL anyway? But primarily, my dreams include
coordinating many of the existing documentation projects and actually
writing the books you mention are missing. If you think that's an
impossible dream, why are you working on Linux in the first place?
Like it or not, they exist, and we are a part of them. Cooperation is the
name of the game, and without politics there can be no cooperation.
I am working towards a more unified Linux community, one in which groups
work together to make things happen faster, share data, and bring Linux to
the desktop in a year, rather than 3. I have proposed a list be created
for the leaders of the major projects, where high-level information can be
shared and organizational decisions made to further Linux.
This effort will hopefully encompass every aspect of Linux development,
from development to advocacy. There are hundreds of projects out there,
most of which have no notion of each other, and each can accomplish very
little on its own. Together all these project have the advantage of
numbers (there are 4 or 5 advocacy projects with too few people to do
anything, but combined they'd have enough to tell every journalist on the
planet, if organized properly) as well as communication with the rest of
I emailed the list proposal to Bruce almost a week ago and haven't heard
back yet. As soon as I get his comments, I will rewrite it as appropriate
and attempt to get this list going. I will also attempt to write a paper
describing the methods I see necessary to accomplish this, likely the
largest software development project ever.
I am very disappointed that you insist on starting up yet another project,
with almost the same goals as SEUL. Project Independence seems to me
nothing but an allergic reaction to those things that are broken in the
SEUL methodology. I would encourage you to work towards *fixing* SEUL
rather than abandoning it. Creating another project does nobody any good.
There are many ideas in the Independence manifesto that can and should be
applied to SEUL. I would rather see SEUL apply those than a separate
project start up.
As I mentioned above, I am now in the position of scrambling to keep this
project alive. For this reason I will become much less responsive to email
for a week or so while I attempt to work out all the details. Anyone
with comments on methodologies or time to volunteer should still contact
me, of course.
Erik Walthinsen <email@example.com> - SEUL Project system architect
/ \ SEUL: Simple End-User Linux -
| | M E G A Creating a Linux distribution
_\ /_ for the home or office user