Maintainers Matter

The case against upstream packaging (postscript)

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Maintainers also shield users from developers, offering a layer of quality control. At the very least, all the software in a distribution should play friendly with any other piece of software in the repositories. Maintainers are responsible for that, as well as choosing a subset of the (subjectively) best software FOSS has to offer. Maintainers will disable features that they feel act in bad faith. Maintainers' greatest power is the ability to outright say "This is not good enough for our users" and consequently punish an ISV by either patching out the offensive part or in extreme cases removing the software from the repositories. ISVs know this and so don't act out. After 20 years of enforced good behavior this has lead to the idea of ISVs as "the benevolent upstream developer." This is why Linux doesn't have spyware, doesn't come with browser toolbars, doesn't bundle limited trials, doesn't nag you to purchase and doesn't pummel you with advertising.

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