2 Nov 2002
(updated 3 Nov 2002 at 15:19 UTC) »
, you're not alone in your assessment of the state of affairs in software development. Connection to money/management has the upper hand over connection to the technology, and when inevitable schedule disappointments arise (exacerbated by the richest law-breaking monopolist around), management reverts to its conventional hierarchy to make decisions, and skilled contrarian technologists are jettisoned one way or another.
The keystone issue has been (will be) how to make software more reliable, and software development more cost effective and predictable. Two theories have emerged -- study of the source which promises to make it easy for you after much hard practice versus control by a single all powerful entity that promises to make it easy for you in a little bit.
Of course the money is going to follow the money. However, this leaves intact the disruptive nature of any source intensive approach. There will be innovative businesses that get a competitive advantage by retaining control over their software. After all our efforts in the world of free software, we have a long way to go to reach the level of professionalism and cooperation that are the hallmarks of the medical or legal profession. We've only just begun.
daniels I just searched the devel-changes archive for the first 9 months of 2002. There was no discussion of removing ivtools from woody. Yes, there was a single RC bug submitted in April for not building on alpha, and yes the maintainer failed to address it in time (I was unaware of the dilemma, else I might have prodded him to accept my patch in a more timely fashion).
People are under the impression the Debian process is completely open and democratic, but I can tell you from experience that the unwieldiness of the release process, combined with the inevitable time pressure, causes the release manager to make undocumented removal decisions. The salt in the wound is the policy that once released, packages cannot be re-introduced into a distribution, without a security reason or a successful appeal via an undocumented process.