Last week we talked about whether or not the Debian project would include Mono in its default GNOME installation. This incited some heavy debate on OSNews, but sadly, the Mono debate also lead to some very nasty blog posts in the Debian community. Time for damage control, Debian project leader Steve McIntyre must’ve thought.
iTWire contacted McIntyre about the matter, and the project leader said that in the end, it’s up to the people working in the area in question to make decisions like this. “The GNOME team are free to pick their own selection of applications that they think make the best GNOME desktop that will fit on a single CD, in much the same way the KDE make their own choices (like staying with 3.5.x for Lenny),” McIntyre explains, “Josselin Mouette has updated the dependencies of the gnome2 meta-package, converting Recommends: tomboy into Depends: tomboy | gnote.” We already explained in our previous article the how and why behind this move.
Still, McIntyre also stated that the decision is still up for debate; how exactly that fits into the GNOME team making their own decision – which has already been made by Josselin Mouette – is a bit vague to me, but I’m assuming McIntyre has more insight into the Debian release process than I do.
McIntyre’s own view upon Mono isn’t exactly favourable, but not more or less so than when it comes to C++ or Python. “I’m personally no fan of Mono, but equally I’m not a great lover of C++ or Python either; I’m certainly not about to suggest that we drop any of them right now,” he told iTWire, “There is some fear in the community about possible software patent attacks, but that hasn’t stopped us packaging and shipping other software in the past. If a real problem arises, we’ll deal with at that point. That has been our policy for quite a while now.”
He added that he regrets the tone of the blog posts in this discussion. “It seems that some of our developers are more interested in ranting and raving in their blogs than having a rational, productive discussion on the mailing lists. That’s not helping anyone.”