back to article Concerns build over Debian delays

Organizers of Debian are taking too long too approve new contributors and are threatening the future of the project according to some working on the open source initiative. Many Debian members are using the Planet Debian forum to express their dismay at delays of more than four months in approving new developers. The last new …


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  1. Del Merritt

    Why not let it take 22 months?

    It seems to me that there are boatloads of distros out there. I happen to like Debian precisely because - thus far - it Just Works(sm). Of the machines here, one runs MacOS, three run straight Debian-latest, one runs Kubuntu, and one is RHEL4. And there's plenty of Knoppix boot CDs around.

    If you are in *such* a hurry to be a developer, then start your own. Or contribute where it's "faster". If you look at what the project team expects, it's impressive, to the point of staggering. At least if you are hoping to be a full-blown package maintainer.

    If the current problems are really representative of inefficiencies*, then by all means, "fix" the problem somehow. But if it slows down the process of adding the 69th music player app or the 432nd paint program, that's fine. Too many cooks really can spoil the broth.


    * too lazy to follow the link to the current forum furor.

  2. Will Godfrey Silver badge


    As a mere user of debian. I don't notice any problem. Updates seem to come along often enough and there's a nicely paced version development.

  3. Anonymous Coward

    debian? what's that?

    I'm a systems engineer/administrator, not an antiques dealer, so I stopped using debian.

    I'm not a corporate lackey, so I don't use Redhat.

    I'm not a sheep, so I don't use umbongo, sorry, ubuntu.

    No, I'm a wanna-be steve ballmer bum-licker so I use SuSE!

  4. Steve McIntyre

    Response from the incoming DPL

    There are some bottlenecks and problems with delays in some of the core teams in Debian; that's an acknowledged issue that I'm going to be working on very soon. As in many volunteer projects, it's not always easy to ensure that all the "boring" tasks get done as quickly as some people would like.

    My term officially starts in just under an hour(!), and over the next few weeks I'll be reviewing the work of all those teams to see where more effort is needed and how we can improve performance. That's the most important of my campaign promises.

  5. Steven Knox

    1,2,3,4 I declare a distro war!

    C'mon, if you aren't using Slackware on hardware you built yourself from scratch (bonus points if it's at least 1% electrical tape), you might as well use OS X or something else from Fisher Price.

  6. This post has been deleted by its author

  7. Solomon Grundy

    Why does it matter

    It's open source, what did you expect? No one really took it seriously or more than a whopping 18 people would have tried to become developers in the past four months. Obviously not a lot of interest. Seems that people might not really want to give away their work after all....

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Debian love

    @Steve McIntyre

    I hope all this talk is just FUD and perhaps Del Merritt has a point - don't know. But if there is a problem I hope you sort it out - Debian is too precious to let die.

    Good luck and thanks in advance!

    @Solomon Grundy

    How do you know only 18 people tried to become developers? These are only the ones who weren't put off by the process (the point of the article if you'd read it properly. sigh) and got through the initial stages.


    I can't speak for all the packages in Debain but all the major ones are very well maintained. If you want a stable server and run the important packages you can't go far wrong.

  9. joe

    Re: Why does it matter

    Thats 18 more "competent" programmers than Microsoft has.

    5. 6. 7. 8.

    Lets all start spitting venom about the OSes we hate.

    SK you rock :)

  10. James Dunmore


    If you want cutting edge, use something like Ubuntu - all the debian advantages, plus the latest developments.

    If you want trusted, stable, go with Debian.

    Works well for most

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Debian is not Windows

    @ Del Merrit/James Dunmore: I'm with you dudes - if I want lockups and crashes then I'll use my Ubuntu-running laptop (my own damned fault for using 64bit - the s.o.b. locks up at least three times a week). Meanwhile, my media server etc runs Debian because "excitement" is the last thing I want - I need it to just work (which it does)!

    @BKB - Debian packaging has to follow the rules of where to put stuff, if it doesn't then it becomes a flippin' nightmare to find anything (think Windows!). If some of the scripting is amateurish, then I'll agree that the packaging engineer needs a bit of mentoring. And they say to report the bugs to them first in case it IS their packaging at fault and not the core package.

    Hey, if you think it's that easy a job to do then YOU have a go! Part of my job is repackaging software for Unix platforms (not Debian though), and I'll tell you now - it's not as easy to do as you'd think - especially the (de)install scripting that goes around the main package.

    @Steve McIntyre: Nice to hear your feedback. All the best to you and the rest of the packaging team. As you'll see from some of the comments here, most of us are appreciative of what you deliver!

  12. dave lawless

    Happy Debian User

    I use Debian *because* of the package system, not despite it.

    Mind you, BSD's /usr/ports is still the best around.

    Smug anti-Linux / anti-OSS bitches contribute NOTHING, so it's safe to ignore you.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    good work

    i've only once hard debian crash on me, which was my fault as i was messing around with desktop settings and then deleting it didnt undo what ever it was i did :-S. i run debian as a tin client server and i have found it to work fine. im really pleased that i can update as its being used with out any problems.

    if i cant find a how to guide for debian i look on the ubuntu site or anyother debian based distro as it is often very similar to how to do it in debian.

    the debian packaging engineers do it in they're free time, which means they things might not be done on time, but who cares its free and works

    good work keep it up, the next new PC i get will be running debian from the start

  14. Daryl Caudill
    Thumb Up

    Debian quality in a production environment

    We run Debian on all of our servers, and linux-based workstations. It is incredibly reliable, uses less memory and runs faster.

    I'm not going to rag on other so-called "cutting edge" distro's. On the other hand, I would never rely on them with my business data in a production environment either.

    @Steve McIntyre:

    Good luck to you Steve. We are all looking forward to you addressing this and other issues.

  15. Alan Donaly

    Go Steve

    They are picky if you get to do it good if not do something else. I use Slackware there is only one guy working on it though he gets lots of help and I trust him and he trusts them so far this works, but for a distro with the kind of broad appeal of Debian there has to be a gauntlet to run.

    @Steve McIntyre

    Good luck, all Linux distros benefit from a strong and reliable Debian.

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