It's really depressing to compare the comments from this story to this one. I know Ubuntu is the hot item right now, but the vast majority of the comments are saying that Debian should just die already and let Ubuntu take over or that we should just relegate ourselves to happily having the role of being the base of other distros. I find this very depressing, even if it is mostly slashtrolls.
Maybe we have gotten too big for our own good, with tons of developers only concerned about their little wiki/language/insignificant library package and not working on core pieces of Debian in any way. One of the most exciting developments within Debian as of late has been Debian Women, which is mainly exciting because it is working to help build and improve the Debian community. Key word there: "working", as in they are actually doing it, by going to meetings and giving talks, setting up a mentoring program, etc. They're doing the work to achieve what they want, and I think that's why they've gotten such a high profile in such a short time.
What I see from too many of the more traditional Debian people (though obviously not all!) is exemplified in the large etch wishlist, with no visible work by most of the participants putting such a list together in terms of actually achieving these goals. Debian doesn't just happen by itself, what happens is what you make of it. I got sick of waiting around for X.Org to be in the archive, so I started working towards that goal and I'm happy to say we're almost there. During sarge, I got sick of waiting around for the installer to be done, so I worked on discover a bit, and I wish more than anything that I had been far more bold about what I could do.
I want this to be exemplary to anyone out there who's not happy with Debian, or wants etch to really be incredible, or is just plain worried about Ubuntu-driven conspiracies to kill Debian: just roll up your sleeves, stop complaining, and do the work that you want to see done. If you want a newer package in Debian, help get it in there by doing what needs to be done for it. If you want to release on time, join the release team and help them get etch out the door the way we'd all like it to happen. And if you want Debian to be pushing the technology barrier in terms of what a distro can offer, the way we did when apt first showed up, then please do the work to make it happen. All the exciting developments are happening in Ubuntu right now because they've simply made these decisions for themselves and have gone after them fearlessly. Any Debian developer can do the same.