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Re: [Gnu-arch-users] james on Canonical

From: Andrew Suffield
Subject: Re: [Gnu-arch-users] james on Canonical
Date: Thu, 20 Oct 2005 12:23:04 +0100
User-agent: Mutt/1.5.11

On Wed, Oct 19, 2005 at 06:28:36PM -0400, Adrian Irving-Beer wrote:
> > In what is at least graceless and arguably unprofessional ways y'all
> > screwed both the users and the upstream project, thoroughly.
> IMO, they didn't screw the users -- at least, not by abandoning baz,
> which I have to assume is what you mean.  Unless they found some magic
> legal way to escape the GPL, anyone is free to pick up their work and
> continue or extend it, same as Canonical was free to pick up yours.

Except that anybody who does will be the target of subtle attacks by
Canonical and others, attempting to drain off developer mindshare and
starve the project. That's how they've really screwed the users -
they're sinking development time into a big hole.

> Also IMO, they only "screwed" tla by legitimately attracting more
> development interest.  As far as I can see and extrapolate from
> the posts on this list, they did this by themselves paying people
> to work on it, by accepting patches, and by creating a more
> appealing development platform.
> Why is this bad?

Because 'more appealing development' is not the same thing as 'useful'.

> If "Canonical" were merely the handle of a user, or a group of users,
> I would praise him/her/them without reservation.  "He" took a project
> that had lots of contributors but little overall progress (that I
> could see at the time), branched it, brought in lots of contributions,
> and kept it going at full tilt.  When "he" inevitably lost interest,
> it was up to someone else to pick it up and keep going.

> Is it somehow suddenly different because "Canonical" is a company?

Yes. If the hypothetical "Canonical" had been a person, it would
probably have been called "Robert Collins", and arch development would
still be active now and progressed considerably further than it
has. There would also not be a hostile entity present that was making
active efforts to prevent further development by dissuading people.

People lose interest in projects and move on. Corporations lose
reasons to promote projects and switch to destroying them as potential
competition. It's a significant difference.

Let's be honest here: arch got killed because the corporate strategy
was to use python. That's all this was ever about. The rest is excuses
and justification for a decision made on a religious and emotional
basis. (Of course they'll deny it - what corporation doesn't?)

  .''`.  ** Debian GNU/Linux ** | Andrew Suffield
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