Say what? Debian developers are 'childish'

"I think Dunc-Tank helped us with (the) release of Etch, but the help could have been greater if some people wouldn't behave as childish as they do," project manager Andreas Barth says.

Andreas Barth and fellow Debian version 4 release manager Steve Langasek probably predicted a little bit of resentment from fellow contributors to the Linux project when they set up an "experiment" help fund their efforts. After all, they called it Dunc-Tank, which naturally reminds us of a really fun carnival sport.

While the rest of the team is getting paid nothing, as is the norm in open-source communities, Barth and Langasek have reportedly raised enough to pay themselves $6,000 each.

They probably didn't predict, though, that Dunc-Tank, which they said was designed to help speed the release of the next version of Debian, dubbed Etch, would have the exact opposite effect. A group of 17 developers, led by well-known Debian maintainer Joerg Jaspert, issued a position statement in October citing its disenchantment with the fund-raising effort.

"This whole affair already hurts Debian more than it can ever achieve. It already made a lot of people who have contributed a huge amount of time and work to Debian reduce their work. People left the project, others are orphaning packages...system administration and security work is reduced, and a lot of otherwise silent maintainers simply put off Debian work (to) work on something else." The release was scheduled for December 4; it is already two weeks late.

Barth is now calling the actions of those 17 Debian contributors childish.

"I think Dunc-Tank helped us with (the) release of Etch, but the help could have been greater if some people wouldn't behave as childish as they do." Barth wrote in a blog posting Tuesday.

I'm guessing that Barth's $6,000 isn't going toward Christmas gifts for the disgruntled Debian crew.

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    Zoë Slocum joined CNET in 2003, after two years at a travel start-up. Having managed the Blog Network and served as copy chief, she now edits part-time and serves as a mom full-time.

     

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