Maintainers Matter

The case against upstream packaging (postscript)

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For the sake of argument, let us presume that all ISVs are ethical and hold the interests of the community as their utmost ideal. Would this utopia still require maintainers to provide quality control? Yes, because no one can agree on what "quality" is beyond "does it build and run". Any good distribution is not about the file extension on the package - it is about the decisions the software implicitly makes. A distribution is a world view provided by the maintainers and shared by the users. In other words, maintainers don't just ship packages. They provide a certain flavor of consistent and preferred opinions to a group of users. (As an aside, this is why users of different distros often don't see eye-to-eye.)

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