Re: SPI Workshop/Brainstorming Session at Debconf

From: Marcus Brinkmann <marcus(dot)brinkmann(at)ruhr-uni-bochum(dot)de>
To: spi-general(at)lists(dot)spi-inc(dot)org, spi-board(at)lists(dot)spi-inc(dot)org
Subject: Re: SPI Workshop/Brainstorming Session at Debconf
Date: 2003-07-19 12:09:18
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On Sat, Jul 19, 2003 at 01:29:40PM +0200, Wichert Akkerman wrote:
> I already disagree here. Debian's aim is to provide a free operation
> system, developer in an open manner. SPI's aim is to help organisations
> to develop and distribute open hardware and software (see
> It naturally follows that Debian fits
> that very well, but there are also many other projects which fit just
> as naturally.
> Yes, SPI was founded because these services were needed for Debian, but
> the founders were wise enough to realise that Debian is not unique in
> needing them. In my opinion it would be an error to suddenly forget
> about all other projects and focus solely on Debian.

You can also try to look at it from the different angle: What happens
if Debian would found a new Debian foundation and move its stuff over
there and leave SPI. What would happen to SPI?

What Ean says here is that Debian defines SPI, and that without
Debian, SPI would not exist at all. Which is probably true. And if
it is true than SPI can not be thought of being independent of Debian,
and it is an illusion to think so.

> Of course there are disadvantages to not using the name Debian; it is
> much harder to get donations for example (SPI has needed a second server
> for a long time for example but all donations seem to go directly to
> Debian). However how is this different from say FSF and the GNU project?
> You don't see the FSF being renamed to 'the GNU foundation'. Their goals
> are compatible, but they are not the same. Just as Debian and SPI.

The FSF does not try to uphold a virtual distinction between the FSF
and the GNU project. In fact, and point to
the same web page. I think it was attempted once to make them more
separate, and it proved to be a failure, in the sense that without
being closely tied to GNU, the FSF didn't receive a lot of attention
(my memory might be skewed, though). This seems indeed to look
remarkably like the situation the SPI is in now - maybe the FSF
learned something here that the SPI didn't learn yet?



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