Is Debian Dying?

By Steven Vaughan-Nichols  |  Print this article Print


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Opinion: Torn into petty political battles, Debian developers seem more interested in scoring points on each other than they are in furthering their Linux distribution. Linux-Watch

For a while, Debian was the community Linux darling. In its heyday, Debian was known for its strong moral point of view and its outstanding code. Numerous important distributions, such as Linspire, Knoppix, and today's most popular distribution, Ubuntu, have sprung from it. Things have changed.

Today, Debian is a troubled distribution. In order to get Debian GNU/Linux 4.0, code-named etch, out the door by its scheduled date of Dec. 4, 2006, Dunc-Tank.org, a group of Debian developers and fans, was formed.

Historically, Debian has been notoriously late ever since Debian 1.2 was released almost a decade ago in 1997. So, Dunc-Tank was created to accelerate Debian's development.

Dunc-Tank's membership includes Anthony Towns, the Debian Leader; Steve McIntyre, the assistant to the Debian Leader; prominent Debian developers Raphael Hertzog and Joey Hess; and well-known Debian and Linux kernel developer Ted Ts'o.

Dunc-Tank plans to accomplish its mission by raising funds to be used for "financially supporting the volunteers working on managing the release process, allowing them to devote their full attention to that task." Specifically, the group's goal is to be able to raise enough funds to pay "both release managers enough to work exclusively on the release of etch for a month each, having Steve Langasek available full-time during October and Andreas Barth available full-time during November, with the release expected to follow soon after in the first week of December."

Simple, straightforward, practical, and it has led to calls for the head of the Debian Project, Anthony Towns, to be recalled because he's a member of the Dunc-Tank board.

Read the full story on Linux-Watch: Is Debian dying?

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Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols is editor of eWEEK.com's Linux & Open Source Center and Ziff Davis Channel Zone. Prior to becoming a technology journalist, Vaughan-Nichols worked at NASA and the Department of Defense on numerous major technological projects. Since then, he's focused on covering the technology and business issues that make a real difference to the people in the industry.

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