iTWire: A Conversation with Anthony Towns

[ Thanks to Sam
for this link. ]

“When the Debian GNU/Linux project made its second release in
January 1994–version number 0.91–there were a few dozen people
involved. The project was five months old and the release itself
had no name. The last release, in June 2005, version 3.1 codenamed
Sarge, contained around 15,400 binary packages and 14 binary CDs in
the official set. There were more than 1000 developers

“One would think that, with this number of people involved, a
huge management structure would be needed, with memos flying hither
and thither, with meetings occupying most of the day and with
politics ruling over process. The reality is that there is a
structure, there are teams, there are leaders but the conversation
flows between equals, not superiors and hirelings. There is
politics as there would be when more than one human is in a place
for any length of time. But in toto, this is the one of the best
examples of a volunteer project producing high-quality software. It
is also the best example of a democratic project…”


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