Saturday, December 09, 2006

Weekly Debian Nudes #5 - because it doesn't need to be weekly to be called weekly

Let me tell you a story. It is not about a man named Jed. Well, it could be - what with all those thousands of Debian developers out there, one of them might be called Jed. You never know.

But for now, let's just assume that this story is not about a man named Jed. Instead, let us pretend it is about a bunch of guys who think it might be kinda neat to put together some software from various places, test it, refine it, and release it to the world as something called a "distribution".

Let us also pretend that these guys have a strange and inexplicable policy of releasing their "distribution" only when it is really ready to be released. If this policy does not seem strange to you, then most likely you do not work in the software industry, or have never heard of Duke Nukem 3d.

Anyway, these guys go about their happy mission, releasing high quality distributions whenever the holy spirits move them, or, you know, whenever they've been off the spirits long enough, though there be years between releases and the rest of the world has long overtaken them, in terms of functionality at least.

Then, one day, along comes the Dunc Tank, a group whose name apparently derives from some kind of pool games, although it might be nice if they could learn how to spell dunk. Regardless of how you spell it, this Dun[c|k] Tank is made up of some guys who think it might be nice to get the next release of Debian out on time for a change. To this end, and apparently oblivious to the
fact that in the context of the larger group's policy "on time" really just means "when it is ready", the Dunc Tank resolves to pay certain prominent developers to meet the release goals - specifically December 4, 2006.

Which brings me, in a roundabout kind of way, to the point of the story - since the last Weakly Debian Nudes the expected release date for Debian 4.0 (Etch) has passed, with no release in sight. I guess I could have just said that, without the whole story thing, but then what would I fill up the rest of this post with?

Anyway, I suppose this means the whole Dunc Tank experiment was a failure, admittedly from the viewpoint of an outsider, and admittedly from the viewpoint of an outsider who has done no research whatsoever and really doesn't care very much about accuracy.

Now you may notice that, since the goals of Dunc and Debian vary considerably, this is not a failure for Debian. Debian fails only if the next release is not of sufficient quality and stability, and from the viewpoint of this desktop user Etch is already of higher quality than Sarge ever was.

Next week in the Weekly Debian Nudies: Silence. Glorious silence.


jeff said...

Because this column is writ large by a prominent debian blogger, i'd like to provide funding to the extent of uh... [rifles through pocket lint] $1.63 so that the next issue of "Weekly Debian Nudes" can be released according to its precisely defined release schedule. let's call this finely honed policy something entirely other than: Func Dank

Ben said...

Hey! Who are you calling "big nose"?! You can't fool me with your fancy words like "prominent" and "to".

But thanks for the $1.63.

Lorraine said...

'prominent' doesn't only refer to nose you know

and still I comment out of total ignorance but I have cash

Lorraine said...

I like silence...damn good thing!