Not Just More Information, We Need Consolidation Of Information
So I came home from Connecticut and opened up debian-devel for the first time in four days to find a General Resolution had been proposed to get the amd64 port into the archive and a huge flamewar has resulted. The amd64 porters feel they are being blocked by ftpmaster intransigence and lack of communication. Other people are sickened that Debian, which has always prided itself on doing the right thing not necessarily the popular thing, is now using voting as a means of coercion and the ftpmasters are unfairly being hassled. Who is is the real victim?
I'll tell you who the victim is, it's ME! Why am I forced to have to sift through large piles of crap, just to keep abreast of what's going ? Just kill the threads you aren't interested in I hear some people say. The problem is threads drift. Occasionally, there is some useful and important bit of information amongst the drivel. (Again, remember ajs' social contract bombshell? Delivered during a massive and unrelated tread on debian-vote.) I am subscribed to 18 mailing lists and hang out on IRC a couple of times a week and I still don't know exactly what the deal is with things like the amd64 port. This is a major development one should know about don't you think? If I could devote my life to the project as some people seem to be able to it wouldn't be a problem but I can't do that. God, family, rent, Debian has to take a back seat to all of these nowadays. I don't like this situation. Working on Debian has been both pleasurable and brought me material benefits but something will soon have to give. Of course I could just follow the lead of atleast 50% of the developers (according to recent voting patterns) and just live on the little island of my own packages not paying any attention to what goes on within the project. But doesn't such a view make a mockery of our ideals of openness and collaboration?
Manoj says we should have a little sympathy and respect for the people behind the titles. This is sage advice and I agree. But how about if those people showed a little sympathy for us? I'm sure writing status reports is a boring waste of time but think of how much time is wasted by other people when they aren't written. For a great example of something I wan't to see more of, read Roger Leighs' report about the LSM Free Software Printing Summit. (The only criticism is that it should have been posted to debian-devel-announce.) Frankly if people in key positions can't do something like that once a month, they are a hindrance and should step aside or be replaced. Debian is not a little club anymore. The amount of communication which was adequate in those days is not adequate anymore.