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Debian Core Consortium Releases First Code 126

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the more-than-just-words dept.
daria42 writes "It looks like the Debian Common Core Alliance announced a while ago is going to make good on its promises: the project has released its first code this week. The release consists of a base installation of Debian 3.1 with the Linux Standard Base and security updates attached. But the project also looks like it has attracted some criticism from within the Debian developer community - with a spoof Web site having already been set up to poke fun at the Alliance."
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Debian Core Consortium Releases First Code

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  • Spoof mirror (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 15, 2005 @11:28AM (#13566841)
    Screw the real site, the spoof is what's important: http://www.dccalliance.biz.nyud.net:8090/ [nyud.net]
  • link (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 15, 2005 @11:30AM (#13566865)
    The story includes a link to the spoof website but not to the actual one. Great reporting.

    The address is http://www.dccalliance.org/ [dccalliance.org] btw.
  • by ShawnX (260531) on Thursday September 15, 2005 @11:31AM (#13566879) Homepage Journal
    There should be no problem with this as long as they're following the proper licensing for all the code they distribute.

    It won't matter anyway to the Debian groups.
  • Bah... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by JohnnyBigodes (609498) <morphineNO@SPAMdigitalmente.net> on Thursday September 15, 2005 @11:33AM (#13566901)
    Just what we need: some more kids (or grown-ups acting like kids) fighting among themselves. This is all we need to project that trustworthy Linux and open-source image.
    • Re:Bah... (Score:1, Flamebait)

      by wolf31o2 (778801)

      While I do agree with you, this is Debian. Unfortunately, Debian has the reputation of being a bunch of elitist assholes and flaming kids. Not that Gentoo's reputation is any better, but at least people just think we're a bunch of ricers and not likely to flame the hell out of anyone who asks us a question. *grin*

      I really hope these kinds of attitudes can change in the future and that some developers (in all camps) can grow the hell up and start acting like adults.

      • by joib (70841)
        Umm, yeah.

        Sometimes I wonder how amazingly better than it already is debian would be if the debian developers would spend even half the time they spend flaming each other, and anyone unlucky enough to set his foot in their mailing lists, on actually improving the software.
    • by CyricZ (887944) on Thursday September 15, 2005 @12:08PM (#13567221)
      Conflict often brings about the biggest changes, and conflict between OS developers is nothing new.

      Take OpenBSD. Had it not been for Theo quarreling with the NetBSD elite, then we would not have the ultrasecure system that we have today.

      And of course there's the revolutionary DragonflyBSD. If Matt had not been ostracized by the FreeBSD team, then we wouldn't have what will most likely become the premiere workstation BSD in the near future.

      Then there's the whole CTSS/ITS/Multics debacle of yesteryear.

      While not an operating system in itself, the whole XFree86/Xorg licensing incident has proved to be one of the greatest influences on UNIX GUI development in the past 20 years.

      I believe that conflict is essential for open source projects. For if it were not for conflict, we would not have such great products as OpenBSD, DragonflyBSD, and Xorg. I, for one, support this sort of conflict. It often leads to increased productivity in the long run.

      • Well, I do agree that conflict is usually necessary for change, naturally.

        However, *childish* conflict such as this (the spoof site and whatnot) only serves to degradate one's own image, and drag their peers down the same way.
      • by Anonymous Coward
        Conflict serving as a catalyst for people to break away from current mode/model/whatever, and do what they think is right is a Good Thing, in my opinion.

        That said, continual pissing matches/flame wars accomplish nothing. The examples given are pretty much people getting tired of the bs, and wandering off to do their own thing, not sticking around and rolling in the mud.

        Aside from that, the examples you give to back up "conflict is a good thing for FOSS" is a bit daft; people broke away to work on the code
    • At least they are't suing each other...
    • Much better to have development disagreements settled behind closed doors at the flip of a coin.
  • by Compaq_Hater (911468) on Thursday September 15, 2005 @11:40AM (#13566974)
    let's face it if more Linux Distros worked the same way and had the same layout, plus if all lib,Sources were the same that would help out a lot.

    CH
    • Which is the precise reason why they are different - everyone wants to be the leader.

      That's why on the one side we have these DCC guys (at the moment underdogs, of course) trying to pool resources and, on the other side, the big shots (RH, Novell, Ubuntu) trying to be as different as possible.
      • Funny, I find most Debian packages I pull in to my Ubuntu box integrate quite well. Same goes for Mepis. (Linspire is a noted exception for me)

        I'm not saying everything's perfect, but I've had no problems. In contrast, my experience mixing packages between Mandrake, Fedora, SuSe, and RedHat has often been quite frustrating.

        My $.02? My ultimate system would be a best-of-breed mixing of Debian and Gentoo. Just imagine...

        # USE="mysql dbx hardened -X" apt-get install php5-cgi
        * No binary pkg available wi
    • by Anonymous Coward
      All linux distros work the same way. The only differences are the directories where the binaries are kept, the packaging systems used, chosen included packages, administrative tools, and the options used to compile stuff. It's all the same code.

      I can walk into any linux system and get stuff done, whether it's SuSE, Ubuntu, Debian, Knoppix, [insert distro here] and do regularly.

      Maybe I am the minority but I certainly hope not. I've found you can glean anything you need to know from ld.so.conf, modules.conf,
  • Ubuntu (Score:1, Informative)

    by Doros (887174)
    The real benefit of the alliance that I see is that .deb packages should be compatible across multiple distros. Unfortunately, Ubuntu is not part of the alliance, and there are a lot of 3rd-party Ubuntu .debs out there.
    • yeah i have often wondered why they would choose not to participate in somthing that can only bring them more users and stability ?

      CH
      • Re:Ubuntu (Score:4, Insightful)

        by hungrygrue (872970) on Thursday September 15, 2005 @11:51AM (#13567077) Homepage
        DCC is based on older versions of most packages than those in Ubuntu. Ubuntu can't really be part of DCC.
        • Ah, i see did not know that well now that makes more sense. thanks for the Info. :)

          CH
        • Re:Ubuntu (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Donny Smith (567043)
          I think that's a very superficial reason.

          Nobody's versions match those of DCC (even Debian itself) - if all members felt that way, there would be no DCC.
          DCC is a good idea, and so was United Linux, which got screwed up by a member. DCC is not facing such risks, so I think it will prosper.
          In any case, DCC is targeted at people and companies sick of dicking around with distro incompatibilities and frequent version updates - a bit different from Ubuntu and Fedora.
          • well then the DCC is for me, becuase you just described what i would like to see more of.

            CH
            • That's actually also what Debian stable is for. The 'stable' means that it doesn't change much, and is not describing whether it crashes or not. Even 'unstable' is stable in that regard. This point gets missed quite frequently due to the poor namimg choice and the "VersionTracker mentality."

              If geeks are the new gold standard for "coolness" then there is still hope that someday reliability and functionality will be "cool" rather than keeping your machine on the bleeding edge.
              • The problem with Debian stable is that it went so long in between releases that it has a reputation of being out of date. Everyone I know running Debian (or one of it's children) is running either testing or unstable. Of course, they would probably stick with stable if it was easier to pull specific packages out of testing/unstable while maintaining Apt at stable.

                And I looked at Ubuntu, but noticed that there were Ubuntu specific versions of packages. I got sick of that years ago with RedHat and Mandrake. I
                • The problem with Debian stable is that it went so long in between releases [...]

                  If you ask me, that's a feature. They keep up with security updates, so why change what works? If you want something that's more up to date, that's what unstable is for. Hell, that's what 'unstable' means. You want to run a server that just works and doesn't change and have to be updated and reconfigured all the time? Run stable. You want the latest desktop environment updates as the appear? Run unstable. Simple really.

                  if it was
                  • >If you ask me, that's a feature

                    It is, but there was a problem where security updates and many packages were becoming overdue or late (too many supported architectures, plus the conservative policy that turned off many voluteer developers who went to Ubuntu, Gentoo and other bleeding edge distros).
                    It'd be good if DCC could keep Debian's good points and add some commercial backing to its maintenance and development.
                  • I don't rely on Debian's classification to decide what packages I'm going to install on my servers. I don't do dist-upgrade. If I'm worried about a security update, I'll do that package individually.

                    I actually run my systems at 'testing'. And occasionally pull some unstable packages. Personally, Apt is why I run Debian. But Apt needs a little work. For instance, if you get Apache, you will get the Apache 1 (which is what I wanted). But if you do an 'apt-get install apache', there is no where to tell what v
                    • And my favorite; set unstable and pull KDE. You will get KDE, but no KDM. Although you'll get every kgame ever written. It won't check to see if X is installed. Then you can install xserver-xorg, and when you start it you find that you have no fonts. Where are those dependencies?

                      Because of the client/server nature, those things aren't dependencies. If you want a working KDE/X desktop, there's a meta package that depends on the parts you need to do that. If you want to run KDE, all you need are the x librari
          • Re:Ubuntu (Score:2, Informative)

            by g2devi (898503)
            There are two reasons why Ubuntu is unlikely to join:

            * Debian isn't even part of the DCC *commercial Debian* Alliance. Debian like Ubuntu aren't commercial distributions, so the DCCA isn't for them. If Debian were to join (or more likely, the DCCA join Debian), this barrier would disappear since Ubuntu tries to stay close to Debian SID as is stable.

            * Ubuntu is based off of SID. DCC Alliance code is based off Sarge plus some selected backports. The only way Ubuntu could be based off of DCC Alliance code is i
      • Ubuntu take a snapshot of Sid every six months and then work on that to get it good enough for release... DCC is based on Debian Stable... currently Sarge.

        I like Ubuntu cos the apps are more up to date. Currently KDE3.4 as opposed to 3.3? and Xorg as opposed to xfree86... I'm currently playing with Breezy on my testing box and it's very nice... latest Gnome 3.12 as opposed to 3.8 on Sarge...

        I reserve Debian stable for my workhorse server...

        • Surely you mean GNOME 2.12 and 2.8, eh? :) I'd hate to think I'd missed that many releases overnight.

      • Ubuntu takes a snapshot of Debian Unstable (the cutting edge Debian) and then stabilizes it. Ubuntu can only be compatible with Debian Unstable.

        For instance, if Ubuntu was to be DCC-compliant, it would have to be using Gnome 2.8 instead of 2.12.
        • ...I've been trying to find out exactly what DCC specifies, but from my skimming, I don't think anything as high-level as Gnome is part of DCC.

          Couldn't they start with DCC and plug any Gnome they want on top of it? Or KDE/fluxbox/XFCE/whatever instead?
      • Re:Ubuntu (Score:3, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward
        The Debian release cycle has left many people unsatisfied. Some are working within the Debian Project to improve the release process. Some, such as Ubuntu, have elected to step outside of Debian to do short-term forks, while feeding changes back into Debian.

        "Release early, release often" is a good approach for software development. Large numbers of small, frequent changes can produce rapid improvement. Debian Experimental and Unstable show how well that approach can work.

        But what's good for developers is
        • As a server administrator, I love Debian stable. The fact that new releases (and thus new features) are years apart is a great advantage: everything that is working stays working. The Debian project works very hard to keep it that way; they backport security fixes so that you don't have to upgrade to a later version of a package, and when the new release comes, they make every imaginable effort that your upgrade will be seamless.

          It's good that one distro caters to the needs of people who believe in "if it a
  • by Doc Ruby (173196) on Thursday September 15, 2005 @11:49AM (#13567056) Homepage Journal
    What is the actual difference between "Debian Common Core" and "Debian" (since Dv3.1)? Is DCC just an organization that certifies that (its own) Debian-based distros are actually both Debian-based, and comply with "Linux Standards Base" specs? Does Debian v3.1 itself not pass that test?
    • by LiquidCoooled (634315) on Thursday September 15, 2005 @11:54AM (#13567101) Homepage Journal
      I believe the full Debian distribution and the DCC are 2 complimentary items.

      From the DCC website:

      What is the "DCC" of the DCC Alliance?

      The DCC is not a Linux distribution; it is a "base" Debian system composed of essential programs or "packages" from Debian GNU/Linux, combined with member additions to attain LSB certification and achieve broad commercial acceptance and support.

      It appears as thought this is the low level never changing set (just up from the kernel), and is similar to a bare Windows release, ie you have to add your own applications.
      • So I guess the difference between "DCC" and "Debian" is that DCC is just the core of the distro (kernel and some minimum apps), that is certified by the DCC Alliance to comply with LSB specs. While Debian itself contains extra apps that are not necessary to comply with LSB specs (and could, in theory, even conflict with LSB, or at least are not certified to comply).

        So people who want to distribute a customized "LSB compliant version of Debian" should start with DCC and expand it, not start with Debian and c
        • I'd bet that you can't market your distro using the Debian Common Core Alliance name, unless you cough up some cash for a license, and what that license contains is obviously their prerogative. The DCC can't LSB certify your custom distro, that's for the opengroup.org people to do. Pure Debian as it stands now, wouldn't pass a LSB certification (atleast not the most recent spec.).
  • Fragmenting (Score:4, Insightful)

    by kevin_conaway (585204) on Thursday September 15, 2005 @11:49AM (#13567060) Homepage
    Somewhat on topic is the issue of fragmenting. For a while, if an application or OS didn't do something you like, the common response was:

    - Dont like it? Fork it! - Dont like it? Roll your own!

    Problem is that it leads to a lot of confusion and fragmentation within the community that confuses the hell out of outsiders.

    I think consolidation is a good thing and folks should work together more often rather then just splintering a code base.

    (Note, fragmentation CAN be a good thing in the cases like Security Knoppix or RTLinux)
    • I can't agree more. It's good to see so many Debian based distributions working together to make sure the base OS is compatible across forks. They certainly seem more committed then UnitedLinux was. On a plus side, maybe LSB will finally see some new development. Hopefully, this will also spur more 3rd party development.
  • by Eil (82413) on Thursday September 15, 2005 @11:56AM (#13567110) Homepage Journal

    "Hello world, we released an open source operating system so that all may benefit from our efforts and... Oh noes! People are modifying it to suit their needs! Evil! Strike them down!"
    • Eh? I'm not saying that at all. I'm entirely in favour of what the DCC's doing. What I'm not in favour of is calling it Debian when it's not, and saying that it's not a fork when it is. (To clarify further - there's nothing wrong with forking)

    • Before I get lambasted with troll mods and flames, I just want to note that I really have nothing against the Debian people and their excellent work. It's just a little funny how they go on the Stallmanesque defensive whenever a Debian fork makes the headlines.
  • why the spoof site? (Score:5, Informative)

    by digitalderbs (718388) on Thursday September 15, 2005 @11:58AM (#13567129)
    The DCC seems like a good idea to me. From an earlier progeny [progeny.com] news article, the DCC mandate is :

    • Assemble a 100% Debian common core that addresses the needs of enterprise business users
    • Maintain certification of the common core with the Free Standards Group open specification, the Linux Standard Base
    • Use the Alliance's combined strength to accelerate the commercial adoption of Debian
    • Work with the Debian project to ensure predictable release cycles and features important to commercial adoption


    This seems very reasonable to me. There's something I'm missing -- Why the resistance and the spoof site?
    • by mjg59 (864833) on Thursday September 15, 2005 @12:12PM (#13567256) Homepage
      A few things:

      1. The use of the Debian trademark without permission, and the laughable claim that calling it "DCC" where "DCC stands for Debian Common Core" avoids infringement (rather than, say, getting involved in discussion and not using the Debian name until it's resolved)
      2. "Will the DCC "fork" the Debian project?

        No."

        Except it will. It won't be a big fork. The only packages of any consequence that aren't identical to the Debian ones are X and the kernel. But it's still a fork. Denying that merely panders to the idea that forking is somehow inherently bad, rather than being an entirely natural process in free software development.

      3. Because the idea amused me.
      • Debian/kFreeBSD [debian.org] has its web site's pages copyrighted by SPI, web pages which mention that "Debian" is a registered trademark without mentioning the status of "FreeBSD".

        But the people I blame are the directors of the FreeBSD Foundation [freebsdfoundation.org] which now owns the FreeBSD trademark [freebsdfoundation.org] at least as far as it applies to "CD ROMs featuring an archive of computer programs which may be accessed for use archived on a CDROM." (And it appears the FreeBSD Foundation is working to expand the applicability of the FreeBSD trademark.
        • Considering that a simple cease and desist was sufficient to force CentOS to scrub references on its web site to the phrase "Red Hat" and other such trademarks ...

          No one forced CentOS to do anything. A letter from a lawyer isn't a legal decree. It's a start of a conversation. There was nothing preventing the CentOS people from opening a dialogue with RedHat's lawyers to work out an agreement that would satisfy both sides. The CentOS people chose not to pursue that dialogue and instead just remove al

    • What else do you need to know?
    • by Anonymous Coward
      DCC is not a Debian project. It should not use the Debian name.

      The DCC Alliance FAQ claims that the official name is 'DCC', and that doesn't infringe on the 'Debian' trademark. But they also claim that 'DCC' is an abbreviation of 'Debian Common Core', so they ARE using the Debian name.

      The very existence of a FAQ trying to explain away the name and trademark confusion between the Debian Project and the DCC Alliance proves that they've picked the wrong name.

      The DCC Alliance claims that they aren't forking Deb
    • " Assemble a 100% Debian common core that addresses the needs of enterprise business users"

      They are backporting xorg from Etch, so it is 'not' 100% compatable. You won't be able use a Debian sources.list/mirror and get 100% of your packages, so whose mirror do you use.

        Ian Murdock says this isn't a fork, I say its a salad fork, smaller one goes on the ?

      greg
  • disappointing (Score:3, Interesting)

    by kwoff (516741) on Thursday September 15, 2005 @12:15PM (#13567293)
    I was expecting a "spoof site poking fun" to be, you know, funny.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      I was expecting a "spoof site poking fun" to be, you know, funny.

      Fork it! Roll your own!

  • by bad_outlook (868902) on Thursday September 15, 2005 @12:22PM (#13567351) Homepage
    Sorry to be harsh, but when I started using Debian 3 years back, I wasn't treated well as a 'n00b' even though I had 2 yrs prior Slackware experience, and just felt like the entire project was too splintered. I mean, running on multiple archs is cool and all, but if it pulls down the medium range then what's been gained? The plus of this approach is it was ripe for someone to come along, take what's good (APT-GET!) and create something specialized, which is now Ubuntu Linux. Building on the Debian base was just their beginnning, but it was an ace move.
    • by ivan256 (17499) on Thursday September 15, 2005 @12:41PM (#13567510)
      take what's good (APT-GET!)

      Apt isn't what makes debian great. The package repositoiry is what makes Debian great. Without it, apt is just a simple tool that works no magic whatsoever. For a perfect example of this, try running some of the apt-rpm ports out there. If there isn't a consistant, well maintained package archive to point apt at, you're still in dependancy hell. Too many Debian copycats don't understand this.
      • The package repository is indeed important. I think Debian's strict packaging guidelines and quality control have made first-class repository possible.

        For several months I have tried using RHEL4 system and it has been quite frustrating. APT is there and RPM is actually quite good low-level package manager. However there are no software packages! It seems like nobody wants to build packages for RHEL. Several important things are missing: Totem video player, Evince document viewer, Gtkmm devel libs, Epipha

        • It seems like nobody wants to build packages for RHEL.

          That's because developers don't want to pay for RHEL in order to build packages against it. Really, can you blame them?

          But you paid RedHat all that money. Tell them to get off their asses and package the software you want to use for that distribution you paid too much for.
          • That's because developers don't want to pay for RHEL in order to build packages against it. Really, can you blame them?

            No. I can't.

            But you paid RedHat all that money. Tell them to get off their asses and package the software you want to use for that distribution you paid too much for.

            I didn't pay anything and I am really glad I didn't. I am using Scientific Linux 4.0 (a distro built using RHEL4 srpms). I installed it because I had some compiler problems with Debian Sarge and Ubuntu. Their gcc

      • Can we make that +6 ;)

        Abandon Ubuntu back for Debian on the one box I did persist with Ubuntu on - turns out something bad happened to the libraries named used in Ubuntu.

        Don't get me wrong, I love my Ubuntu Live CD, and I've used it to recover several poorly PCs, but you do get the feeling it was forked from an early "unstable" in both senses version of Debian.

        I'm sure the Ubuntu effort is helping push Debian to new heights, but this release every 6 months turns out software more like Microsoft's than Debia
    • I mean, running on multiple archs is cool and all, but if it pulls down the medium range then what's been gained?

      Exactly. Throwing out features to appeal to the lowest common denominator in the name of portability is great for the those fringe architectures that hardly anyone uses, but lowers the standard for the vast majority of users (i386 etc).

      What's wrong with going on a feature by feature basis?
      eg
      "
      Feature X: Supported platforms:
      i386, PPC, AMD64
      Unsupported platforms:
      the rest
      "
  • by UnixRevolution (597440) on Thursday September 15, 2005 @12:31PM (#13567426) Homepage Journal
    Always poking fun at the Alliance. Why is it that I always find myself drinking in an alliance friendly bar on Unification Day?
  • by nietsch (112711) on Thursday September 15, 2005 @01:04PM (#13567735) Homepage Journal
    Thanks to the very generous move from slashdot to /. the spoof site, it is not clear why others are critisising DCC.
    the spoof site at http://www.dccalliance.biz.nyud.net:8090/faq.html [nyud.net] is pretty slow too, here is my analysis (and a copy of their 'faq':

    What is the DCC Alliance?

    The DCC Alliance is a collection of invdividuals with a link to Debian. It exists in order to counter the idea that the use of the Debian trademark is permissable if it's hidden inside an acronym.

    So somebody is upset about basing the name of a separate organisation on 'Debian' and abbreviate that to a 'D'. Well wanker, I tell you something: you cannot trademark a single letter, or we'd only have about 36 possible companies.


    What Does "DCC" stand for?

    "DCC" is an abbreviation for "Debian common core Cheerleaders and Critics". Since "Debian Common Core" is a trademark of the DCC Alliance, only the abbreviated form is used in referring to the DCC Alliance.

    (this seems a rip-off from the 'real' DCC faq entry. see above, no trademarks on single letters.


    Will the DCC "fork" Debian?

    Yes, the Debian Common Core alliance will fork Debian. As an example, the Debian kernel will be modified. Maintaining a branch of a package that is not identical to the upstream one is a de-facto fork.

    Aha, a somewhat real-ish bone to pick. Except that creating a patched kernel is not such a big deal. You can find several in testing, does that mean that testing has been forked with every new kernel release? As long as the new kernel is interoperable with the one it replaces you can hardly call that forking.

    is DCC necesary?
    Debian has grown into a big organisation, and thus also has it's share of people with 'uncommon personalities'. It is all a volunteer effort (and thus?) some people in debian react a little allergic to commerce baseed on Debian, even though the licence allows it. Commercial Debian-based distro's have a vested interest in Debian, so they seek some influence. It can be vey hard to have to argue with every maintainer whose package they have altered to get him to accept the changes(There are 1000's of developers and and at least ten times more packages in Debian). Even with proper conflict resolution it quickly becomes a nightmare, so a lot of distro makers don't feed their changes upstream/to Debian at all.

    That is a problem and something that a separate repository can solve. Yes that is in effect a fork, in the same sense that Ubuntu or Knoppix is a fork (not for the silly reason above). If the Debian derived distromakers have their own repository where they can work together changing Debian to their common goals without getting bogged down in Debian rules/games, then that is just great, IMHO.

    It is great for the Debian-derived-distro-makers(DDDM?), as it allows them to cooperate and improve Debian while they are at it. It is great because it avoids conflict and bottlenecks. Commercials distro's (can) have a different interest than induvidual Debain developers. With this construction no single Debain developer can obstruct a DDDM. It is great because It will concentrate all enhancements made by DDDM's into one place, so the Debian developers don't need to track all different DDDMs for changes to their packages. And most of all, it will concentrate efforts into coding and cooperating, and that is good for all.

    • If the Debian derived distromakers have their own repository where they can work together changing Debian to their common goals without getting bogged down in Debian rules/games, then that is just great, IMHO.

      So if they want to fork Debian, why not just admit they're going to fork it and call it something that doesn't use the name "Debian"?

      As I see it, the problem is that they want to fork Debian because they have different goals from Debian, but they don't want to admit it.

      • Yes they try to avoid the word fork, probably for the connotations it has ('forks ar *bad*'). But there is nothing wrong with a fork an-sich. The size of the Debian project is what made it great(lots of packages, lots of testing, lots of development), but the size of Debian also makes it hard for commercial enities to cooperate with them directly.

        Usually forks are considered 'bad' because of the duplication of effort. This fork is good because it prevents the structure of the Debian organisation to slow the
    • So somebody is upset about basing the name of a separate organisation on 'Debian' and abbreviate that to a 'D'. Well wanker, I tell you something: you cannot trademark a single letter, or we'd only have about 36 possible companies.

      Great, I'm going to start a new Linux distribution tomorrow. I'll call it, oh, "Microsoft Windows Inspired Operating System". Then I'll get worried about trademarks and change it to "MWI Operating System", but make it clear what "MWI" is an abbreviation for. Finally, on the

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