Democratic Linux

All the current Linux, BSD distributions I know are pretty much dictatorships. There is either one person or a small group of developers that make all the important decisions. The most important group of people is mostly never asked about the change, the users. The attitude is we
"We make it, you deal with it" + "By all means you can always fork it and make your own distro"

From :
DICTATORSHIP : When dictatorship relates to a mode of governing in modern states, it labels the unrestricted power of one person (or a group of individuals), who actually monopolizes and exercises all political powers. Dictators shape rules without being subjugated to them, and their actions cannot be sanctioned by anyone. All these features stand in sharp contrast to DEMOCRACY. Dictatorship can also refer to a particular mode of exercising power within a community or an ad hoc group of people, which is unrestrained by exterior forces and not dependent on the will formation within the group. (BP)

I think this fits pretty much all *NIX distros, I know of. So why has no one come up with the idea of having a democratic distro. Where the users can vote on what they want the developers to do. This of course might not be as fun for the developers, but surly you can get a better OS out of this.
So my idea is that with the install you get a little vote tool. Here you can get some information on what you can vote on and then you submit your vote to a central server. Through this the developers can get a good impression on what the community wants.
Of course there are some problems:
  • How can you be sure no one has n virtual machines and votes n times
  • What should you be able to vote for (People, package changes, etc ..)
  • Should it be more like direct democracy or do you vote a representative every n months
  • etc...
I will try to investigate a little more. But why can something that works in the real world not work in a distro. I think this would give the users a feeling of being involved in the distro even without writing code.

1 comment:

Slinky said...

I'll expand more later, but experience says (there are examples out there..) that democratic software development hinders, more than it enhances. Too much time is spent deciding, rather than just doing. With the speed that developments move at, there isn't time to consult the user on 'everything', so a general consensus is sought and those in the position to do so, make the cut throat choice. It's not like you do not have an avenue to make your feelings/opinion know. You have a mailing list, irc #'s etc.

A loose analogy can be a democratic country. Everybody generally agrees the country is a democratic one, but does the population vote on everything.. no. They use their avenues to the governance, such as their local MP. $0.02 for the morning.