gravityboy (gravityboy) wrote,
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Communities

I spent some time playing with haskell over the past month or so. One of the most incredible things about it is the wonderful community that has sprung up around the language. The haskell homepage is a treasure trove of information, excited users throw all sorts of new articles at reddit every day, and the #haskell channel is exactly what you want out of an irc channel. A nice bonus for Debian types is the incredibly close ties the haskell community has with our distro.

Comparing this to Debian is instructive. The haskell community seems to be having a ton of fun using their language. The sense in #debian, or from whatever Debian tutorials I read, is that people aren't using their system to have fun any more. The air of joy and occasional whimsy that traces its way through #haskell (and also very strongly through the ruby community) seems to be somewhat surpressed in Debian, as though we're so big and cool and technically competent that we don't have time for frivolity. It's hard to have fun and create a warm and inviting community with this kind of attitude. Turf wars, protocol, and politics only compound the problem.

Doing something fun for its own sake should be a part of the Debian experience the same way that it's inherently part of the free software experience. It's way too easy to lose that in the mountain of packages, emails, and bug reports. Using Debian makes me happy, and I want to try and let that spirit out to play a little more.
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