It's too long to explain it all in detail, but in the open source ecosphere, people organize themselves in projects that develop software, then distributions distribute a selection of that software, with some added value such as easy access to software repositories, desktop integration, and so on, while some sort of darwinian selection keeps it all healthy
I don't know if that's anything along the lines of libertarian anarchism, but I wouldn't be surprised if there were strong similarities between the two.
Before you start ranting and calling people names ("those little napoleons"), maybe you should do your homework.
recommended reading :
the CLI is a view into a community of verbs moving nouns anywhichway I want because these verbs are my workers and I am leader and reign supreme in file village. To answer "Why?," because it's good to be king, although you can't learn to do it in a day, I wouldn't want to because that would be boring.
Someone has stated that my negative view on excessive parallel development is based on unsupported assumptions and is unscientific. I think when it comes to problems this complex, methods of any kind, scientific included, are only applicable with a lot of unsupported, simplifying assumptions. We just don't know enough about how to design and manage complex systems. We know what we've done, and what has worked 'good enough' over the centuries, but there's a lot to learn. It's my intuition that, given the thousands of use-case scenarios that need to addressed, the more eyes addressing a narrower field of view, the merrier (which is in fact drawing a key point from the Bazaar argument itself).
To reemphasize the point I was making about anarchy vs. chaos. In my opinion, most OSS projects function as a kind self-organized anarchy. If it were chaos, nothing would get done. But once you move up the latter to the community in general -- to the distros -- you don't have some kind of fractal reproduction of that anarchic structure, but rather something much more chaotic. I would like to see the OSS community self-organize beyond the project level up to the distro. That means the individual project managers have to voluntarily give up some degree of control in order to support the overall vision of the community. But this is idealism on my part and really reaches far beyond just making a 'great OS' to making a diametrically opposed alternative to the corporate oligarchy that average people are likely to choose.
I don't see anything chaotic about distributions. there are a lot of them, yes. There are also lost of different makes and models of cars, and I don't hear anyone complain that the car industry should get its act together, that BMW should take over Ford and assume leadership and set the standards or call the shots, or whatever.
Distro's are the marketing and distribution channel for open source software projects. If they offer something the market wants or needs, they'll continue to exists. If they don't, they'll become extinct. The system as a whole organizes itself.
There is an overall vision in the community. It's embedded in the free software / open source definition, the customs and values of the community, and in the craftmanship of developers : adhere to open standards, support interoperability, and create programs that easily interface with other pograms.
So far, this seems to be working, and if something like more centralized control would be needed, the evolutionary forces would drive the ecosystem in that direction. My guess is that if two or more of those self-organized projects need coordination between each other, they'll coordinate, or work together the way Ubuntu works with Xorg or Gnome to get the features it needs as a distro, with both the upstream projects and the other disto's that use them, benefiting from it.
And so it comes to pass that a reputedly "difficult" distro such as Debian automagically gets a user interface and provides a user experience that is not unlike the one in Ubuntu.
(and we're back on topic)
Last edited by koenn; July 3rd, 2008 at 11:35 PM.
Best thread everCode:while true; do echo -n "RiceMonster "; done
I realise this is a really old discussion, but still wanted to drop my 2 cents.
As a hobby developer, Bazaar struck me, as said above, really bizarre. It took me quite awhile to get anywhere (A week maybe?). My biggest surprise was just how many projects and tools out there are the contributions of a single individual sharing what they found useful and gave to others because they thought others might like it and/or hoped others would make it better.
Linux Torvalds took on Linux as a hobby project. He didn't expect it to go anywhere, especially since Herd project took the place of a free kernel. He just thought what eventually became Linux would be fun, and initially sought out others that might think it would be fun to hack a kernel together. The rest is history.
Most of my forks have gone nowhere. In part, bazaar made it easy for me to have a central location for code, and if anything came of my work, or if others were interested, they would be free to see it, download, modify, and share.
But despite the "mess" that may appear on my code page, I have fixed minor bugs, and taken patch testing to completion, and even had my work merged into trunks. The first time that happened was SUCH a thrill.
I was originally sceptical about getting involved, and even afraid that my contributions wouldn't be significant enough, or that my questions in IRC would be a hinderence, but what I kept hearing was "do whatever you want, and don't worry, that is what branches are for". As I got used to the system, I began to see how EASY it is to do code comparisons, get reviews, and most people were excited I had noticed their project on a personal level.
Not to get too political, but I see the Linux sphere as the only true objectivist / free market system in existence; it is the only place where by design government has been unable to "regulate", forcing people to work together in some way against their will. Individual projects can be tightly regulated, but each developer has the free will do do so at their discretion, but GPL/OSS et al sends a certain message about the freedom of the work.
THANK ALL that Gnu/Linux has the minimal central control necessary to allow people to be free and aspire as they wish. That freedom has been passed to me, and with gratitude I selfishly contribute where I can for my own learning, and a recognition that strokes my ego... just enough.
That is why I contribute. The only thing that could happen with a tyrannical central authority, as suggested by some; fewer forks and fewer distributions; is fewer developers and fewer contributions, no matter how you may judge their futility. The last freedom embraced under such a system would be for those that contribute their time, energy, and intelligence freely, will be their freedom to walk away.
If you like a project whose constant forking and disagreement on project direction frustrate you, you have the freedom to organize your own team, on your own time, fork your own project, and provide that type of leadership. And to any end you are successful, your contribution will be appreciated and preserved.
To what good could it be to deny that freedom of choice to yourself, and to what good would it be to deny it to others? My heart breaks for those that do not understand, but for those that do, I have begun to see why people become so fanatical about Linux.
If all else fails, read the documentation. There's nothing sissy about a MAN page.