Debian to Adopt Time-based Release Cycle

Free Software 2 Comments »

UPDATE: Debian’s freeze periods will be time-based, not the release cycles, read Matt Zimmerman’s explanation.

Debian is adopting a time-based release cycle:

Freezes will from now on happen in the December of every odd year, which means that releases will from now on happen sometime in the first half of every even year. To that effect the next freeze will happen in December 2009, with a release expected in spring 2010.”

Which means that Debian’s release cycle will now more or less match that of Ubuntu LTS. There’s been a few comments about it on Planet Debian, some a bit more negative and some more positive. Some people feel that releasing when it’s good and ready is better than the predictability that time-based releases bring (and the amount of RC bugs they usually are released with). In my opinion, I think it’s the best thing that Debian could do right now.

One of my biggest selling points with Ubuntu is its release cycles. It’s great knowing when the next release is due, especially for large deployments, and perhaps more importantly, knowing exactly how long the current release is supported. It makes planning easier, and makes more unknown things known.

Lucas Nussbaum asks why people would choose Debian over Ubuntu if Debian has older versions of the same software with the same release cycle. I think there are many users that will prefer Debian because it’s not a commercial distribution. Now and again I get slightly aggetated by Ubuntu’s commercial nature. If you’re using Karmic already, you’ll notice that every new Firefox tab will contain an Ubuntu branded custom Google search page, with no aparrent way to disable it. It also comes installed with Ubuntu One, which relies on a non-free server ran as a service by Canonical. Ubuntu also reminds you that you can manage your system using Landscape, which has an open source client but again, a non-free server that you can buy licenses from Canonical. It doesn’t put off a lot of people, but I can see how it can make Debian so much more attractive. Having things like the Landscape and Ubuntu One clients installed by default reminds me of those Windows 95 default desktops that was filled with things like “Sign Up for AOL!”. Ubuntu isn’t anywhere close to that at least, and I don’t think it will ever be, but it’s good to know that Debian is there and that it doesn’t have any adware properties to it.

I hope that the time-based releases work out really well for Debian, and that developers find ways to make it as beneficial as possible for both Debian and Ubuntu.

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Microsoft and Launchpad

Free Software 3 Comments »

1. Microsoft is releasing some Linux drivers they wrote under the GNU GPL-2 license so that it can be included in the Linux source tree.

2. Canonical have released under the GNU AGPL-3 license.


09:46 < ogra> see, MS commits code to the kernel and immediately later LP is opensourced :) 

I sincerely hope that Canonical makes heaps of money and that they can prove that you don’t have to license your products under a non-free license in order to generate revenue from it. Perhaps if ogra is right we can convince Microsoft to release a few more lines of code under a free license and then we can have the Ubuntu One server released under a free license as well?

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Women are not crazy

Free Software, Project Mayhem 15 Comments »

… or at least, not any more crazy than any other gender.

Emacs Virgins

I’ve been trying to avoid getting involved in these discussions, but the RMS Female Emacs Virgin “joke” has brought some issues to my attention that I haven’t realised are quite as big as they are. There’s a number of people who actually believe that women are stupid and annoying and that they should stay out of the way in the free software world, and that’s quite disturbing. You would think that people who care about free software are mature to the level where they won’t discrimitate against someone based on gender, race or sexuality.

Some say that Richard Stallman’s joke was innocent and that it wasn’t meant as being discriminating. In my opinion, even if that’s the case, it was wrong to do so. It’s a known fact that there’s a very low ratio between female and male contributors to free software, and doing something that could alienate even a small percentage of female contributors is a big deal. Those who feel that it’s innocent, how would you feel if he specifically said “male emacs virgins”? I think I’ll keep my distance from him anyway.

The Blog From Hell

What brings me to this post is AJ Venter’s Blog From Hell. AJ himself isn’t that important, and I usually manage to ignore him quite efficiently, but when he spews out things like his last entry titled “Women are crazy” I find it highly annoying. He sells himself as being a big proponent and contributor of free software.

Making yourself a representative of a community comes with a great amount of responsibility, when you say something in any context, people will link that to the communities and organisations that you represent, even if you don’t see it that way. When you spew out things like this, it affects something much bigger than yourself. I also ask that you stop aggregating your posts to CLUG Park and other aggregators until you grow up. Saying “ew, girls!” is supposed to get old when you turn 7 already. Women aren’t there just to bring sexual pleasure for men and they’re not all stupid, crazy or useless. Why can’t you at least try to be a grown up? If anything, just for your own sake.

Update: If you can’t access the original post, it’s because AJ has deleted the blog entry. The post is still available as a Facebook note if you would like to read it there.

continuing to be
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