[nSLUG] Article on why monoculture gets picked

Ben Armstrong synrg at sanctuary.nslug.ns.ca
Thu Apr 26 09:20:29 ADT 2007

On Thu, 26 Apr 2007 08:56:41 -0300
"D G Teed" <donald.teed at gmail.com> wrote:
> That would be great, but developers claim there is a lack of resources.

Which developers?  Which projects?

> I've suggested updating the Debian installer CD's kernel on debian-users
> and I heard it would take too much effort.  I know from real life
> experience that this is an obstacle to Debian acceptance.

To be sure, getting support from Debian is a messy business, and I am
not excusing every fault in how Debian runs itself.  But I can't see
how it could be any other way.  You're just not going to get Debian to
care about protecting the "image of Linux" or catering to the needs of
"CTO types".  However, you might get a *subgroup* of Debian developers
to care, and that's what the CDD concept is all about.  For example,


> Perhaps I've got it wrong.  I thought it was desirable
> for things to be done in software development which aid in
> personal and corporate adoption.


> With the responses I get
> in this LUG, it seems that people prefer it to remain
> something you can get if you can figure it out and RTFM.

When have I given you that impression?  I intensely care about making
Debian work well for my target users: children and those who look after
them and their systems.  I strive to make things clearer to my users
through discussions on the mailing list, irc and our wiki.  I have
never bluntly turned someone away with a smug "RTFM".  And I don't think
I just speak for myself.  I know other people who have responded in this
thread and mostly what I see is a bunch of people who strongly oppose the
idea that a monoculture would somehow be good for Linux.  I'm not seeing
them say "it's supposed to be hard; if you're having problems, tough --
it builds character!"

> Make something for the black T-shirt crowd and the
> white collars can use it if they feel like it.  Maybe there
> is a bit a elitism at hand too?

You confuse "taking pride in our work" with elitism.  Many people here
care about *their particular problems* that they are solving daily.  They
don't necessarily have any concern about the same problems you care about,
so when you encounter a "disconnect" with them, you confuse their pride
in their own work and their wanton disregard for anything that is outside
of their work for "elitism".

> Personally I think this mode of thinking is outdated and needs
> reform.  But then in 1980 I was talking about recycling and
> everyone told me I was nuts, it would be too expensive, it
> will never happen.

I hope people who work on Linux never stop caring about the problems they
have set their minds to solving, giving back generously to the community.
And I totally understand if they fail to worry about the "image of Linux"
in the process.  I agree that *some* people care about such things, and
more power to them if they can help polish it up so that it will have
broader appeal.  I will not attack you for caring, and wish you well in
your efforts.  In the meantime, I'll continue to work for my particular
users with little time or energy devoted to the "global problem" of how
to ensure that Linux reaches everyone, even CTO types.  I just don't find
that very fun.  I don't like that world and don't really want to ever be
a part of it.

 ,-.  nSLUG    http://www.nslug.ns.ca   synrg at sanctuary.nslug.ns.ca
 \`'  Debian   http://www.debian.org    synrg at debian.org
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