[Mageia-discuss] Attention, please

Liam R E Quin liam at holoweb.net
Thu Feb 24 16:50:47 CET 2011

On Thu, 2011-02-24 at 09:36 +0200, P. Christeas wrote:
> On Wednesday 23 February 2011, André Machado wrote:
> >           T H E [ R E D ] A L L I A N C E
> > 
> > ... which would be a global network where developers and users of these
> > distributions could exchange knowledge and information and share resources
> > to assist in developing mutual their distros.
> > 
> Sorry Pal.
> you come second.
> I've been shouting about that for the past 2 years. Even before Mandriva had 
> dissolved.

Mandriva is in fact still going, at least after a fashion.  Let's not
care who is first or second - the way to build support and consensus is
to welcome newcomers to the fold...

In general, in making a standard, you have to ask
. who will benefit?
. who will use it, and what are their needs? (not the same question!)
. who will need to do work to change?
. what are the costs and drawbacks?
. who will feel they are losing out, and how do you accommodate them?
. is there already work in the area that more or less meets everyone's
needs, and just needs to be tweaked a little? If not, then you first
have to develop a technology.

It may at first sound like, if you can install the same package on all
systems, the users have benefited.  But if it means the strengths of
each distribution are diluted, the result will probably be the emergence
of a single distribution that is easier for most use cases, but that
can't easily be customised for special cases.  So you make it harder for
smaller distributions to survive, and that in the end may hurt users. An
example might be that cross-distribution packages would be less likely
to support the Mandriva XFdrake administrative tools, less likely maybe
to use /etc/alternatives (since other RPM-based distributions often
don't) and so on.

> But, still, the choice of people was to go the SVN, isolated way of working.

So, present an alternative (autopackage?) and make it work.


Liam Quin - XML Activity Lead, W3C, http://www.w3.org/People/Quin/
Pictures from old books: http://fromoldbooks.org/

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