The Great Devuan Mystery– Finally Solved?

by FigOSdev

Silly title is silly– I have a serious point to make, though I’m not obligated to be serious about every jot and tittle. Once upon a time, the free software movement had a sense of humour.

Dissatisfaction breeds theories as to what is really wrong; and while I have entertained (and continue to entertain) whatever people tell me may or may not be wrong with Devuan, I also entertain (and even lean towards) the possibility that it is entirely legitimate. This is not news, I’ve said it many times– it’s not my fault if you don’t believe me.

I’m no authority on the matter and I do not claim to be. I’m a guy with an interest in free software and coding and education– who freely admits associating with Devuan in terms of creating a derivative; just don’t ask the forums about it, they will pretend they don’t know me. Aww, shucks.

Well, you know some of us (including myself) were around and watching this since late 2014, and some of us (not including myself) were around even earlier than that. I’m told I was late to the party; maybe they drank all the good booze already, maybe all the hot girls had already found someone to go home with, maybe I don’t dance– I dunno. But I’m not a noob, I’ve already found a good derivative and remixed it– and that was in 2016!

But for nearly that long, I’ve asked myself “What’s going on here?” I don’t think it’s just five of us that have their doubts and questions. I also don’t think many people really care about any of this shit. You may think I’m waiting for everyone to be outraged. Not at all! I am waiting for people to be a little more reasonable. Yes, it’s just about as silly.

But the practical side and the cynical side, the big-picture side and sometimes even the what-if side can all find themselves on the same page on some days. And when there’s consensus, you have to at least consider the possibility. So my latest theory is that maybe I just overlooked the most obvious possibility of all:

I kept asking, I’ve asked since 2016, “Doesn’t this matter? If Devuan loses a lot of potential supporters, isn’t that a bad thing?”

Maybe it was the wrong question. A purer cynic might have said: “What if Devuan has all they really need?” This is both a positive (Devuan will ein out) and a negative (Devuan doesn’t actually care about most of this.)

I’m not saying they don’t care at all, you can keep calling them liars and I will keep saying “but lying about what, exactly?” I think that’s a fair response. But what if the real truth we are missing is that Devuan has everything it needs already?

“They’re soooooooooo slow!”

“Well, they need developers…”

“Then why do people keep getting shit on?”

“Ok, maybe they don’t need developers.”

“WAIT! Hold on a minute!”

First of all, I’m not saying that everyone’s getting shit on. Just enough people to make me wonder. It’s my fault! I was the one who was curious all this time! I never did manage to pair the situation on the ground with the ones higher up. Jaromil still seems like a decent guy to me! If you’ve got beef with him, you can tell me! But I don’t get it yet!

Maybe Jaromil is doing everything he needs to (according to him and his own needs.)

You and I may not be happy with that– I don’t blame him for what’s going on, but I can’t resolve Devuan’s mission with the attitude of those at the gates. I just can’t!

But what if!

What sparked this nonsense (you’re still reading this? Really?) was the realisation that… I read (via speculation about Void) that Mint– one of the most popular distros on Distrowatch! Has very few developers!

Antix has TWO. (Sorry, I only counted that far. I’m sure there are slightly more.)

And yet Devuan takes its time. Hmm. Well, I can tell you there’s a LOT of stuff you can get saddled with for a couple years of development, and Devuan has always acted like Time is No Object (it’s not, but then that’s not how the saying goes.)

So wild an obvious theory time: maybe they’re in no hurry!

(Seems fairly obvious now…)

It gets better– no hurry, no major need, no problem at all.


Ok, you don’t like systemd. Neither do I. And it’s going to hurt the free software ecosystem in major ways. So we say (and yeah, I still think so. Make no mistake.)

Time is a funny thing, and I figured we would be at war with most of the planet the same day the towers fell. I was pretty concerned, and I don’t necessarily think we aren’t at war with quite a lot of the planet now. But that started 17 years ago. If you got married that week, Your kids might be looking at colleges already.

Take a seasoned free software developer like Denis Roio, and maybe you’ve got a guy who understands timeframes and politics better than some of us do– especially when those politics revolve around software.

I’m not saying they aren’t trying. I’m just saying their perspective is different than ours.

So while we ask: “Don’t they need donors? Don’t they need volunteers?”

For what? Wishlists? You can always find more things to wishlist. Why not? Can you name a non-profit organisation that anyone else has heard of, that doesn’t wishlist things that are… extra?

Yeah, Devuan has stuff they would love to do right now, or a year ago…

But so what? They’re happy doing what they’re doing.

So you don’t support them– they have supporters.

So you don’t volunteer after all– they have volunteers.

So they could use 50 volunteers just as easily as they could use 20.

So what? Devuan is a tortoise, in a world that wants a hare. You want a hare. I want a hare. A hare Devuan ain’t.

There’s got to be a reason though! And the reason is right in front of us: Devuan is fine without anything more than they’ve got.

Simple– Easy– Plausible.

Hanlon– sorry! Occam gets his clean shave, Devuan gets their init freedom and everybody’s happy.

Or close enough. You think that’s nuts? That’s most of the world.

Debian is still worse, after all. You know who else is in it for the long haul and obviously in no hurry? Ian Jackson. If he were in a hurry, he would have probably… Mmm, there’s no way to finish that which doesn’t go somewhere very much unintended.

So, keep up the good work, Devuan. You’ll get there someday.

Probably, right? Yeah… Probably so! I just hadn’t considered that for some reason. I thought they were in a hurry.

Have you ever seen a tortoise? They’ve been doing this for millions and millions of years! Ya can’t stop em!

Devuan since 2014 or 2015. They just hatched! They haven’t even had their coffee yet. We have, that’s obviously our problem.

Results? Hey- it boots! It’s still got “50+% LESS systemd™” than the mainstream competition.

Being satisfied is only a requirement depending on who you talk to, and what you mean by satisfaction.

Is that really such a surprise? I guess it shouldn’t be.

Devuan: Take it or leave it, it’s all good.


license: creative commons cc0 1.0 (public domain)

4 thoughts on “The Great Devuan Mystery– Finally Solved?

  1. anonymous without even a pseudo-nick-name is just like saying “I am one of the big players in Devuan”.

    This culture that has plagued linux systems for ages is proof that people misunderstand what “free” software is. “It is free, if you don’t like you shouldn’t criticize it, you should get your “money” back and buy something else.” And this goes for developers as much as it goes for users.

    Just because someone does “free” work and shares it, it doesn’t mean that others “owe” it to them to shut-up about it. Your freedom to produce and contribute is just as big as my freedom to condemn what you did as useless trash, as long as I have logical arguments about it being trash. Trash is not better than nothing. Illusions are not better than nothing.

    Braindead butt-kissing distro-forum larkers will clap no matter what trash is thrown at their face, while they will act like a group of wolves and attack an outsider exercising critical analysis.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. debian sabotaged itself and then erased the relevance of its critics by calling them a “very vocal minority.” it cant be a valid critique if the critics dont really exist, so obviously debian is great like it is. take it or leave it.

    three years later, critics of devuan dont exist either, so obviously devuan is great too. take it or leave it. the stupidity of the argument isnt as bad as the hypocrisy of it. theyre doing exactly what was done to them– trying to use their position of authority as a counter to criticism, and trying too hard to make their critics look unreasonable.

    ive actually stopped posting there, but if i hadnt it would still be a stupid question. the logic behind it is ridiculous, and the logic behind it should be familiar– after they got shut out of debian exactly the same way.

    the difference is, i really dont care at this point. 10 years of debian and 3 of devuan is plenty, and there are other distro families. debian/devuan isnt worth the constant bs…

    the differences between debian and devuan are too small now. same tactics, same software, for the most part. some people are different. i still like ian jackson, i still like miyo. i just dont want the hassle that comes with debian. they tried to separate it– then they (near the top at least) actually became it. no thanks. at a certain point, you do stop supporting this kind of garbage. if they want to be a little club instead of more universal, they can be a club. or a stick. or whatever sort of phallic object they are these days.

    Liked by 1 person

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