[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

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
better architected.

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 
their base.

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.

Development model:
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 seul@seul.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 
the community.

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 <omega@seul.org> - SEUL Project system architect
       /  \                SEUL: Simple End-User Linux -
      |    | M E G A            Creating a Linux distribution
      _\  /_                         for the home or office user