Dunc Tank, Debian, and leadership

I’ve been asked by numerous people for my take on Dunc Tank, the latest “conspiracy” to roil the Debian waters. (Summary: Dunc Tank aims to raise funds to pay Debian developers to complete certain key projects, such as ensuring the next version of Debian, etch, is released on time.)

My take is simple: The kind of childish sniping that has taken place over the past few weeks (which, as usual, seems to come from a small but extremely vocal corner of the community) does far more harm to Debian than any perceived monetary “taint”. It’s no wonder “the enterprise” doesn’t take Debian seriously.

If anything, I’m encouraged by what I’ve seen lately, namely that Debian finally has strong leadership that’s willing to take necessary steps without fear of offending the mob of the few that often paralyzes these kinds of projects.

Bravo, AJ. And keep at it. It takes a steely sort of person to stick their necks out like this, but strong leadership is absolutely essential to the success of any project, open source or otherwise. After all, success doesn’t just happen at random.

4 Responses to “Dunc Tank, Debian, and leadership”

  1. trent says:

    Sadly, these people tend to drive people away from a project, until there’s no one left to leave.

  2. trey says:

    The only thing those vocal people drove me away from was reading planet.debian.org. I can handle the memes, but having to wake up reading the all the bickering reminds me of being in grade school. It’s surely not going to drive me away from the one true universal operating system. There will always be the jealous types who would rather be lazy and let things happen to them instead of taking action and accountability.

    I don’t think it’s the infighting that makes the enterprise not accept Debian as much as others… I think that relates to available professional support, not having many options.

  3. simen says:

    Easy on the generalizations, trey :) Complaining about Dunc-Tank doesn’t necessarily make someone “[a] jealous [type] who would rather be lazy” etc. Consider for instance Martin Schulze ‘going on strike’ with Debian Weekly News. In my humble opinion (me being a normal, interested user with very little technical understanding) it would be a serious loss to the community if DWN doesn’t get up and going again when the dust settles.

    And even though I think most of us agree that funding is a Good Thing, I can see what the sceptics are coming at. Towns seems to be riding two horses at the same time, and for that reason, a lot of people (users, media, developers) perceive Dunc-Tank as Debian’s “official” funding project.

    The critic’s point, to my understanding, is that _Debian_ should be careful not to employ the means of a commercial distro. Agree or disagree. Personally, I agree with that principle; it’s part of what makes Debian great. That being said, I’ve just glanced at the flame wars. I certainly don’t think more flames are what we need right now.

  4. Np237 says:

    “Small but extremely vocal corner of the community”, “mob of the few that often paralyzes these kinds of projects”… Your words are harsh but the reality is otherwise. What I see is an extremely *active* part of the Debian community complaining.

    But well, it just looks like you’re deliberately omitting all arguments that were given, because after all they were given by a mob of communists who don’t want the project to be taken seriously by “the enterprise” (what enterprise?) and who see money as something disgusting they should never touch.

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