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DebConf6, Hot and Spicy 90

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the fun-in-the-sun dept.
What do a space tourist, a skinny dipper, politics, and code have in common? This year's DebConf, of course! Robin 'Roblimo' Miller has the writeup over on NewsForge (Also owned by VA). From the article: "Shuttleworth was back in Oaxtepec Wednesday, hanging out and chatting with individuals and small groups, checking his email, and otherwise behaving like most other DebConf attendees. It was obvious that even if not all of them loved him -- or Ubuntu, or his for-profit company, Canonical Ltd. -- he considered this small group important enough to be worth more of his time than the 14,000 people who went to JavaOne."
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DebConf6, Hot and Spicy

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  • by c41rn (880778) on Monday May 22, 2006 @07:52PM (#15384541)
    Using the Debian logo for this story makes sense, but it has also been used on Slashdot for stories about Ubuntu exclusively. I think it's about time that Ubuntu have it's own logo for Slashdot stories in a similar manner to other distros. I know Ubuntu comes from Debian, but it has reached a unique prominence on it's own. Some of the content of the article would seem to support the idea of having an Ubuntu logo to differentiate Ubuntu stories from those about Debian.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      Ubuntu also tends to become more and more the evil guy, too.
      Especially considering the recent stink with Sun's Java license, when certain high-ranked Debian Developers who just happen to be Canonical employees pushed through an obviously non-fit piece of software few days after a Sun-Ubuntu deal.

      Ubuntu has a lot of followers here, but let's not forget, it's primarily a corporation rather than a volunteer organization.
      • What the heck does this have to do with it getting its own icon?
      • Even if that was true, in what way does that influence this unique logo suggestion? Better that way, because Debian logo would remain immaculately free (as in Freedom).
    • I have said this before and I say it again: I agree with this idea.
    • The Ubuntu logo is a registered trademark of Canonical Ltd. Debian's logo may be used in all situations, provided that the logo is used to refer to the Debian project.

      Of course, that doesn't really matter. It's good fair use to put a logo of Ubuntu here.
    • Some of the content of the article would seem to support the idea of having an Ubuntu logo to differentiate Ubuntu stories from those about Debian.
      You mean like this? http://www.flickr.com/photos/86444323@N00/81971182 / [flickr.com]
  • Seems they forgot (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward
    To report tat 2-time DPL candidate Jonathan/Ted Walthers was thrown out of the conference for being an asshat.
  • heh.. (Score:5, Funny)

    by Mgns (934567) on Monday May 22, 2006 @07:56PM (#15384556)
    What do a space tourist, a skinny dipper, politics, and code have in common?

      They mostly don't do well upon close inspection 8)
  • by dedazo (737510)
    he considered this small group important enough to be worth more of his time than the 14,000 people who went to JavaOne

    This is childish. What is the point of such a comment? How a fully-developed adult can think this - let alone put it in print - just boggles my mind. Very unprofessional.

    • Could have something to do with the fact that Sun has started pushing Ubuntu on its server hardware.

      Just a guess.
    • This is childish. What is the point of such a comment?


      You must be very new here! ;-)
    • > This is childish. What is the point of such a comment?

      I don't think you're getting the right connotation. It was intended to be a paean to Shuttleworth's loyalty and attachment to his own community, that he chose them over some big spectacle. It seems out of place (Shuttleworth isn't a big Java booster by any stretch), and I agree it looks really bad in print, but I really don't think snideness was intended.

  • Shocking (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Ajehals (947354)
    ..."he considered this small group important enough to be worth more of his time than the 14,000 people who went to JavaOne"...

    Im shocked,

    Its not like ubuntu is based on debian.

    As far as who Shuttleworth spends his time with and what conferences he attends, well its not that surprising he went to this one is it, if Gates and Ballmer had attended however that would be news.

    Seriously though, I dont like Ubuntu and I wouldnt use it, frankly I prefer debian proper, but if someone who had never touched

    • What does Debian have over Ubuntu?
    • ..."he considered this small group important enough to be worth more of his time than the 14,000 people who went to JavaOne"...

      Im shocked,


      Why are you shocked? Java has lost it's hype, isn't the only and not anymore the best solution for cross-platform and has never done anything for OpenSource. Mark did right when choosing a small but important group above some Java managers and their forced followers.

      O. Wyss
  • by Beniamino (21297) on Monday May 22, 2006 @08:26PM (#15384664)
    This article bizarrely fails to mention the fight involving one of the Debian Project Leader candidates (and self proclaimed "Debian Pope") Jonathan Walther [reactor-core.org] which disrupted the inaugural dinner. The Debian high-ups seem to be doing their best to keep it quiet: a few Debian bloggers wrote about it, others hinted [eu.org] but said nothing concrete, some entries on planet debian were later redacted, and all the DebConf organisers had to say was this [debconf.org].

    It makes you wonder (a) what kind of lunatics are running Debian these days, and (b) whether Debian can hold together as an organisation.

    • by KiloByte (825081) on Monday May 22, 2006 @08:39PM (#15384709)
      Well, it makes you wonder whether you have been to any conference that included even a small social-like part where no one causes some stir. Usually, with alcohol involved.

      Considering the amount of people involved in DebConf, it is pretty strange that there was only one scuffle.

      I wish I was there and got a chance to cause some mayhem (not a fight, but surely something reportable :p)
      • by JanneM (7445)
        Well, it makes you wonder whether you have been to any conference that included even a small social-like part where no one causes some stir. Usually, with alcohol involved.

        I've been to any number of conference dinners large and small, and you'd be amazed how often people do not start fights. I have never seen that happen, in fact.
      • Well, it makes you wonder whether you have been to any conference that included even a small social-like part where no one causes some stir. Usually, with alcohol involved.

        Well, I just got back from a six-day conference with more than 14000 people (guess which) and I didn't see any bad behaviour once, even on evenings when there was a lot of free booze.
    • It seems that he called a local businesswoman a prostitude [livejournal.com].
    • by Xtifr (1323)
      > "one of the Debian Project Leader candidates (and self proclaimed "Debian Pope") Jonathan Walther"...

      Any member of the project (about 800-1000 people worldwide at this point) can toss their hat into the ring. Saying that he was a candidate is true, but the implications may not be as serious as they seem. Mr. Walther was the first person ever to be ranked below "None of the Above" in a Debian Project Leader election (in the 2005 elections [debian.org]) In the 2006 DPL election [debian.org], two candidates came in below "None o
      • Mr. Walther was the first person ever to be ranked below "None of the Above" in a Debian Project Leader election (in the 2005 elections)

        That's not all that surprising, given that Mr. Walther is alleged by some to be a fascist, racist kook. (Unfortunately he has since deleted some of the self-incriminating evidence from his website.) Of course Debian doesn't have any "no platform for fascists" principles, so they couldn't consistently exclude him from the event even if they wanted to. It does however rais

    • by John Sokol (109591) on Tuesday May 23, 2006 @10:40AM (#15386935) Homepage Journal
      As someone who actually prevented the Fight. There were no punches actually thrown.

      First I want to say that this was my first experience with the Debian community and I knew almost nobody at all.
      I have known Ted a long time and we shared a room there.

      Throughout the conference there was a small group (about 10) that seemed to be out to get Ted Walther any way possible. Probably because he is outspoken and not afraid to say what many others were thinking but afraid to say. Or that he had sent some E-mail's that challenge the Debian management. I don't know or even really care, because it shouldn't matter really.

      So last Thursday night, way the hell out in the middle of no where at a resort 1.5 hours south of Mexico City they had "formal dinner" with rumors of a dance afterwards. Ted decided to invite a lady, a friend of the local ISP's owner, named Hilda.

        This group, after spreading many rumors about Walther that were totally false, one of which that his date, Hilda (a local entrepreneur in a very small town where everyone knows everyone and runs a dental administration company) was accused of being a prostitute, and this was because Ted couldn't possible get a woman on his own. Being that I was there when Ted met her at the local Internet cafe, this vicious rumor is definitely not true.

      After rumors failed, 7 guys tried to rush him and became quite agitated and violent. I am a fairly big guy and happen to be standing in the doorway at the time of the attack against Ted.
      Several people where behind him and they would have pushed Walther and several innocent bystanders over the 2 foot ledge that lead to the street, probably injuring some of them.

      I actually stepped in between and told them, "Do you want to get physical?" not really knowing what the hell was taking place, but that it wasn't good. The group backed off very quickly.

      The management assured me they would listen to all sides and make a decision.

      That night at 4 am a group was in the hallway talking and I approached them and introduced myself,"hello, we haven't been introduced, my name is .." when I was screamed at by man with oddly colored hair (who I am told is)Holger Levsen, to shut the F**K up. and he motioned a threat to hit me.

      But the next morning at 7am the Andreas Schuldei entered our room and demanded Walther leave the premises immediately for his own safety. That his presence would provoke violence, and promptly dumped him out on the street, broke and stranded out in the middle of nowhere.

      They then removed him totally from the Debian project, his accounts, E-mail and even blog posts and photo from the groups mugshot collections.

      I am incredibly offended by the management decisions to punish the victim and not the perpetrators and the way they went about this in secret!

      • Ted was not a saint (Score:1, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward
        First, there are two issues here: Ted's expulsion from (and the mess he was involved in) Debconf6, and the second (believe it or not) separate issue of he being expulsed from the Debian project itself.

        The Debconf6 events are not clear, and I am not in a position to talk about them other than to say that not everyone agrees with how it was handled (and that I personally don't agree on how these events were handled, either).

        But if you are kicked from Debian, we do it right: you are NOT given a time window to
        • by Anonymous Coward
          Who was the camel, and what was it that broke their back? Twice the Debian project as a whole refused to sponsor a GR (General Resolution) to remove Ted, which is the mechanism the project has in place to remove people for social reasons. In the past, the DAM's have only used their powers for people abusing Debian resources. This has happened three times in the past; Ted makes the first time these powers were used for non-technical reasons. In fact, in Ted's case NO reasons were given, even to other Deb
        • by John Sokol (109591) on Tuesday May 23, 2006 @12:13PM (#15387699) Homepage Journal
          Again, no one has been willing to state a real reason why he was attacked or kicked out of the project. Even when I tried to personally inquire in a polite and honorable fashion, then wouldn't tell me or just make some mention of emails accusing them of being unfair, which at this point is starting to seem very much true.

          Even a wacky conspiracy theorist starts to look credible when some one trys to assasinate him.

            Does kicking someone out of the project involve not telling them at all. Or for what reason even after the fact.

            They invited him there! He went there at great expense with the sole intention of trying to make peace and mend relationships. It seems as though the intention was to lure him there and beat him senseless in the middle of some forign country!

          He didn't do anything while at Debconf to provoke anyone as far as I can see. Please someone tell me a specific case if he did do anything, but wearing a plastic crown and carrying a foam rubber bat, that was just a prop to be the jester of the crowd. Isn't cause or provocation. He didn't hit anyone with the bat, nor did he act agressive or even speak to any of his attackers.

          Had this been in the US, I'm sure police and lawyers would be involved.

          • by The Vorlon (15731)

            Even a wacky conspiracy theorist starts to look credible when some one trys to assasinate him.

            Err... what part of suggesting that people tried to assassinate Ted is not a wacky conspiracy theory in its own right?

            They invited him there! He went there at great expense with the sole intention of trying to make peace and mend relationships. It seems as though the intention was to lure him there and beat him senseless in the middle of some forign country!

            Who are you claiming invited Ted to DebConf? The co

          • by Anonymous Coward

            Again, no one has been willing to state a real reason why he was attacked or kicked out of the project.

            There was an extensive email sent to debian-private detailing this, so we all know why. Leaking this information is a violation of the rules of the project that we all abide by, so you'll have a hard time getting it. The reason why this isn't posted publicly is out of respect for the person being kicked out, so they aren't ostracized by future friends/employers/etc for past behaviors.

            I believe that J

            • by John Sokol (109591) on Tuesday May 23, 2006 @07:47PM (#15390611) Homepage Journal
              I have seen the debian private list posts, Ted isn't the only friend I have on the inside there.

              I still fail to see a real reason. How can holding a foam rubber bat be so offensive to people that they should try to beat him up or remove him from debian?!

              If you read Anthony's letter it never states specifics just "disruptions", "disturbances", "provoke"

              As example requesting Kosher Food. Oh my god! If requesting Kosher food is disruptive then ... Well draw your own conclusions.

              For me personally I don't eat Pork and it was impossible to tell what the meals were made of some really look like pork. Being Pork free in Mexico and at the Debconf when you don't speak the language was a serious problem.

              Then later claims such as "Nazi propaganda and Holocaust denial information" this is based on them never having read what he had, or the context that it was in, which was in a very pro-jewish, we must never let it happen again light. I also believe that people need to see these documents! That hiding them will only doom us to repeat the past.

              Well which is it Anthony? Is he a NAZI or a JEW!

              "Why Didn't King Solomon Kill The Two Prostitutes".
              Did anyone bother to read this one!!!
              It's all bible quotes. But for many I'm sure the bible is too offensive!

              From that very blog post:
              You cannot hit one party with the full penalty then let another get off free for the same crime. It is better to err on the side of mercy, so if you do not convict one, you should not convict another. This is violated daily by un-Godly governments who selectively enforce their laws to "make examples" of people. Such selective enforcement is neither fair or just.


              How appropriate since they did just what he spoke against the very next day.

              from the Debian private list that I am not bound to silence on

              Anthony Towns
              to debian-private
              Hi,

              It's my regret to report that the Debian Account Managers, James Troup
              and Joerg Jaspert, have decided to expel Ted Walther (aka Jonathan
              Walther, with IRC nicks SirDibos, SirDinosaur, Dinosaur, and account
              name krooger@debian.org) from the project.

              Ted has been a continuing source of disturbance within the project, and
              whether deliberately or accidently has repeatedly acted in ways to provoke
              other members of the project and make their participation in both the
              project at large and DebConf 6 in particular difficult and uncomfortable.

              The triggering event for this expulsion was a disturbance at the DebConf
              Formal Dinner, which I'll detail as best I can in a separate mail.

              This has followed a number of other incidents at DebConf 6. The first
              of these that has been communicated to me were a number of disruptive
              communications with the travel sponsorship team in April, where Ted
              attempted to override the deadline for travel sponsorship in various ways
              [0].

              This was followed in the next few days by complaints regarding the lack
              of food conforming to his dietary requirements, which he described as
              the "Karaite Jewish version of kashrut" in contrast to Jewish kosher
              food. When informed that the vegan/vegetarian menu would conform with
              his requirements, and that the hotel would not be able to conform with
              his requirements otherwise, he responded by accusing the organisers of
              "kosher discrimination", and booking a "second rate hotel in a third
              world country" where the cooks are "not worth their salt".

              In order to ensure that the debconf lists remained useful, his posts
              were moderated, with only the mails containing a question others might
              be interested in, or some information others might find useful being
              allowed through.

              Ted's conference registration was accepted, and he obtained room and
              food sponsorship for the period of his stay.

              After arriving at DebConf, Ted brought along a foam rubber bat
              labelled with "clue", and hit a number of organisers and delegates
              with i
    • http://www.aigarius.com/2006/03/10/interview-with- ted.html [aigarius.com] So the people "running debian" are "lunatics" and Ted, Jonathan or whatever-his-name-is Walters, is what? I don't really see how you can spin this.
    • There's a pre-fight interview with Ted here [aigarius.com]. His straight-up opinions may have offended some of the political correctness proponents that seem to have infected Debian lately.

      I wonder if the group that tried to attack him was made up of PC thugs?

      Of course it may have nothing to do with that at all. For all I know the guys that attacked him may have been Muslims upset with his support of Judaism.
      • I was the one doing the interview. I must say that Ted was clearly trying to make his arguments look as reasonable as possible and was (barely) succseeding at it, but even I was dissappointed at his attitude at the conference itself. What should have been an event for him to show up as a resonable man that people can chat with and have fun with turned out to become a farce.
        He managed to piss off enough people by almost everything he did or said. That is a rare talent. He actually managed to even piss me off
    • I really love slashdot. While the Debian guys are privately slandering Ted, and modding my posts down, others keep modding them back up. It's been exciting watching the posts go to 5 then down to 3 then 4 then 3 then 4 then 5 then 4 then 5. I have 5 posts and they have been modded 20+ times.

      It's good to know there are others out there that support us or at least my efforts to be honest and not let this get squelched.

      Mad Duck one of the Debian developers there posted in his blog.
      http://blog.madduck. [madduck.net]
  • ISO 9001 (Score:1, Troll)

    by mangu (126918)
    Shouldn't Debian make an effort to conform to the ISO 9001 standard for quality management? I read TFA and thought that many of the problems mentioned is that they don't have a well-managed (from a QA manager's pov) quality assurance system. Perhaps if people in the Debian high-level hierarchy did a detailed study on the ISO 9001 they could get some useful tips.
    • Huh? First there is little, if any at all, "heirarchy" in debian, it is fairly close to direct democracy. WTF does ISO9000 have to do with anything? It's corporate managerial BS.
  • :O (Score:2, Funny)

    by scott_karana (841914)
    Holy hell, a for-profit company?!
  • by Ossifer (703813) on Monday May 22, 2006 @10:11PM (#15385012)
    "...five out of 12 laptop screens in my line of sight were running Ubuntu."

    That is because Debian won't install on modern laptops! Well, not without grand efforts.

    Seriously though, it seems that many Debianites begrudge Ubuntu for being what they don't want Debian to be: up to date.
    • Amen to that. To rehash what I said in a earlier thread [slashdot.org], I bought a wifi card which had an GPL driver provided by the manufacturer themselves, only to find that it had not been merged into the Debian kernel or made into a binary deb file, and I had to apt-get install the source and compile the damn thing myself. Barely an improvement on downloading a tar.gz from the vendor's site.

      Meanwhile, Ubuntu 5.10 supported the card out-of-the-box. No compiles, re-configurations, or downloading additional software need
      • I've only skimmed the discussion, but it seems to boil down to this:
        Nobody is willing to take the extra burden of another driver outside of the vanilla kernel and for some reason, the module is not included in the vanilla kernel. While I agree with you that it would be nice to have such drivers, I also see the maintainers' point of not letting more work on their shoulders.
      • I've recently bought a Belkin card which is based on a RaLink chip. Debian doesn't have binaries, but that's because they would need a binary package for each driver for each kernel in the archive - completely pointless considering that it's a snap to make your own binary with instructions from the driver homepage [serialmonkey.com].

        It boils down to

        apt-get install module-assistant rt2500-source
        module-assistant prepare
        module-assistant auto-install rt2500-source

        Which gets the correct kernel headers for you, builds the drive

        • I found myself forced to do a kernel upgrade over the weekend, and module-assistant made it shockingly trivial to install my IPW2100 wireless drivers, as well as my ATI drivers, on an HP NC8000 laptop. This was a huge change from the last few times, when I had to manually compile and install those drivers.

          It is MUCH easier than it used to be.
        • It's kind of difficult to apt-get some packages to get your network card working when your network card isn't working. For something like a video card this would be excusable, but network devices really have to work out of the box, because otherwise it's difficult to download the stuff to make them work.
          • Oh my god, this is exactly the problem! How the fuck do you expect to get networking working on any Linux distro without a network connection? Downloading and burning like 20 CDs isn't a viable solution for this problem, so to Ubuntu we go for networking support.
    • What's really quite sad is that at LCA2006 nearly half the laptops delegates brought were Apple.

  • by Enrique1218 (603187) on Monday May 22, 2006 @10:48PM (#15385129) Journal
    It's Linux. There is nothing hot an spicy about that. Just take a look at this guy [linux.org.au]. I going to have to immerse myself in porn for a day to get that image out my head. Disturbing
  • he considered this small group important enough to be worth more of his time than the 14,000 people who went to JavaOne.

    Gee, thanks for that little dig. I was at Java One this year and was delighted to see Mark Shuttleworth there and hear that Sun are going to support Ubuntu on their servers. Many others liked it too considering the applause he got (much more than Marc Fleury for instance...). On Netbeans day (day before the official start of Java One), when Jonathan Schwartz asked Rich Green on stage "So,
  • by wysiwia (932559) on Tuesday May 23, 2006 @03:13AM (#15385305) Homepage
    It will be tough for Debians to accept Ubuntu but there's no alternative. While Ubuntu has made the deb package format state of the art, it will also squash Debian out of the market. It's just a matter of time until Ubuntu will become the single most important distribution. So instead of cursing about this fact Debian developers should just go over to Ubuntu and accept it. It might not make everybody happy but that's normal in real live.

    O. Wyss
    • Why would Debian users and/or developers have to accept Ubuntu? Ubuntu doesn't have as many supported packages as Debian and it has far less supported architectures. I think there is room for both Ubuntu (providing easy-to-use distro with a limited set of supported packages) and Debian (trading easy-to-use for a larger set of supported packages and archs).
    • On the contrary. Ubuntu users should accept what Ubuntu developers have accepted from the beginning: Ubuntu is a distro that cannot stand on its own feet. If Debian died today, Ubuntu would die within one year. Or, at least, Ubuntu would become a mere shadow of what it is now. But if Ubuntu died today, that wouldn't have any effect on Debian.

      Person'lly, I wouldn't mind if Ubuntu died today. :-P

    • You are an idiot. Ubuntu 'competing' with Debian is like you competing with your own spine.

      Ubuntu has some 50 package maintainers riding on the work of some 5000 in Debian that actually compile software and prepare it in packages ready for use downstream by distributions like Ubuntu. Ask any of the Ubuntu developers or maintainers altogether and they will say "If it wasn't for Debian we wouldn't be here."

      Secondly, Debian couldn't give a damn about being a 'desktop' OS. They don't call it the "Universal
  • The article passes on rather a lot of sour comments about Ubuntu. But carping is no substitute for analysis. Ubuntu is here to stay and most would regard it as a huge success. There are important things that need to be worked out, though, around conflicts of interest when you have a lot of folks who are both Debian and Ubuntu devs and who in some cases might received money from Ubuntu. For example, whose packages and bug fixes do they process first, Debian's or Ubuntu's? The side that comes second is bound

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