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Re: Debian Corporation.

I agree with most of what Rick said, but I do have a few things to say:


I don't know how Debian is arranged, and I'm not too worried about it.  
They do give money to other projects, and that's a good thing.  Beyond 
that, I don't know, and it's their problem.

I will say, however, that I would have no problems with being salaried to 
lead SEUL.  If the opportunity presented itself for me to work on SEUL full 
time, I'd go for it.  I would, however, make certain that the majority of 
said salary would go towards SEUL work (some would go, for instance, to 
tuition).  However, such a situation is unlikely.


Bruce's attempt at splitting this project in two was sickening.  I read 
that and just sat there dazed for 15min trying to figure it out.  I still 

I have something to add that most of you haven't heard before: what led up 
to his mail.

When jfm first posted his resignation and critique of the project, I 
e-mailed Bruce asking about a proposal I had mailed him a week previous.  
The proposal suggested that a list be created with the leaders of all the 
major distributions, project, and commercial entities.  This list would be 
responsible for coordinating effort at a high level, such as arranging the 
best way to help the GNOME project, given Debian and RHAD's involvement.  
Another important goal would be to coordinate (20 or so) existing advocacy
efforts into an uber-project that could finally have some impact in the
commercial world.

At the time of jfm's mail, I had not heard back from him.  I outlined the 
reasons why I think such a list is important, specifically in the context 
of the points jfm raised.

His response was to tell me that "while _I_ am willing to listen, people
in other projects will not consider you an equal", and to be considered 
even close to equal we would have to produce something.  In effect, he 
denied that such a list would be useful, on the grounds that I'm unknown.  

I asked him two more times to clarify why he thought the list was a bad 
idea, and neither time did I get a decent answer.  At that point, he said:

"I think it would be best for both projects if we terminate the Debian
involvement with SEUL. We will initiate our own ease-of-use projects
and get them done quickly without all of this talk."

From this I have concluded that, for all his facade of cooperation and 
understanding, he does not want to work with anyone unless it serves his 
(or Debian's) purpose.  What makes it difficult is that it is very unclear 
what his purpose is.  It seems to me that he wants to run the SPI and make 
strategic alliances where he can effectively take over and assimilate.


He told me when we first talked on IRC that he wanted to see Debian become 
the basis for distributions, more than just a distribution in itself.  The
Core/Layers idea was already forming in my head when we talked, and it 
solidified when he mentioned this.  I figured that he would embrace the 
idea, and that the aforementioned list would be the logical vehicle in which
to develop this.  I was wrong.

In his last mail to me, which I quoted part of above, he cites the fact 
that if I want to know what is going on with other project, I should listen 
to the lists.  Hah!  Since when were lists the authoritative source of 
information about a project?  Never have I seen a project where that is the 
case.  The leader(s) of the project are almost always a step or two ahead 
of current discussion, planning for the future.

The list would provide Linux with the ability to coordinate *future* plans, 
which is what is needed the most.  Coordinating current operations is 
trivial compared to that, and can be done in full bazaar mode.  Planning 
for the future is not something that just happens, it is something that has 
to be done carefully, and intentionally.

Specifically, the Core/Layers idea needs the cooperation of existing 
groups.  While I agree that an initial draft might be necessary before 
groups consider it useful, I know that a completed spec will not be 
accepted by RedHat or Caldera if it is the first they've heard of it, 
regardless of how good or bad they think it is.  Unless they have had a say 
in the process, they will not consider it.

I have ~4hrs today before I have to go to URS and then class, during which
I have many things to do.  I will try to outline some of my uber-goals for 
the project and send it to the -leaders list, so you have an idea what I'd 
like to do in the long run (short if possible).


     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

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