Saturday, November 29, 2014

Debian Forks as Stormy Seas Lie Ahead.

Johannes Hermanus Koekkoek - Sailing the Stormy Seas (Image credit:

Seriously, I think some people just have self-destructive personalities.

Such is the case for Debian, where a few souls have foolishly convinced themselves that a Fork is necessary.

For what, exactly?

I submit the big unspoken reason is 'work avoidance'.

It would seem, the majority of major Distros have had no difficulty merging systemd and there are no reports I am aware of that would indicate problems of any kind aside from planned and routine systemd maintenance upgrades.

So, I am thinking, What kind of effect will such a fork have?

Most likely, it will create fear, uncertainty, doubt about whether either Distro is viable and if either should be taken seriously at this point.

Thus, a cloud now has formed over the Debian camp and all indications are that Devuan will be the name of a newly announced Fork.

Will Devuan be taken seriously?  Will there be a fractious split and move en masse from Debian to Devuan?

I am going to say No to both questions.

This marks the end of the systemd controversy at Debian.  Those who wish to leave for greener pastures are welcome to do so.  Debian will continue their slow, pragmatic, sloth-like progress and those who have hitched their wagons to it, will submit to whatever happens.

The cheering for Devuan will eventually reach a crescendo, then fade.  Reality will set in.  A very large volume of work must be done if Devuan will ever come to fruition.  Work avoidance won't suffice this time.

It should come as no surprise, and for good technical reasons, I wouldn't touch Debian with a barge pole, much less a fork of it.

As far as I am concerned, neither has anything to offer that would be considered superior to Red Hat (Fedora ) technology.  For one, Red Hat is fully Linux Standard Base and systemd compliant. Two, it is a commercial Distro that actually makes a 'profit', unlike Canonical Ltd.Ubuntu where Mr. Shuttleworth plucks down an occasional IOU to cover operating expenses so he can keep his insolvent business going.

You see, unfortunately and in retrospect Mr. Shuttleworth made a bad strategic decision early on.

Namely, Ubuntu hitched its wagon to Debian, which, as we all know, now has forked. Canonical Ltd. regardless of their gantt charts, project management milestones, and other various metrics will have to 'cow-tow' to whatever Debian chooses to do.  That, alone, breeds much confusion and has taken its toll.  It even pushes out the planned roll-out of Mir display technology for at least another year (16.04 tentatively).  Unity, the Ubuntu desktop GUI, has become effectively an island unto itself.  None of the other Distros will support it.  Not one.  Mr. Shuttleworth succeeded in only driving a wedge into the upstream development community.  Unlike Unity, GNOME with Wayland is on time, stable, and well supported, particularly by Red Hat.

There is no confusion in the Fedora camp.  It's full steam ahead for the anticipated release of Fedora 21 Workstation, along side the newly created divisions for Server and Cloud, this all being done under the governance and financial assistance of Red Hat.

Fedora is the largest Community Distro and the R&D factory for Red Hat Enterprise Linux.  No confusion exists due to their thoughtful planning and execution.

Stay the course Red Hat, Fedora, stormy seas lie ahead.  -- Dietrich


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