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Retirement, some thoughts

August 28, 2008 — BarryK
Right now I'm going ahead full steam on 4.1, and will see that through to 4.1-final. if it turns out that we need another bug-fix release soon after, then I will definitely keep going to create 4.2. I may even feel motivated to do 4.2 anyway. Basically, I'm thinking of retirement at about the end of this year.

I have been offered work at the Perth Royal Show again this year, from 22nd September to 4th October, so will have much reduced input to the Puppy project in this interval. 4.1-final should be out before then, so there will be a lull anyway.

Not that I'm really going to retire of course -- I'm too darn enthused by Puppy, even after all these years. But, I'll be developing my puplet, at a slower pace and with less community interaction, just tinkering, doing my own thing.

There is one thing that I would like to see, that is the systems-level developer guys getting more direct control in what happens to Puppy. Up until now, everything gets channelled through me and I decided what's in and what's out, and I modify what others have done. There are those who have wanted more control so they forked their own projects, and Nathan's Grafpup and MU's Muppy are good examples -- those guys have a lot of initiative and also the dedication to create and manage their own distro.

But many other developer guys would prefer to remain part of the team. Besides, "Puppy Linux" is the distro that most people are drawn to, it has the name, the reputation, the widespread presence in the web and various publications. So staying and supporting the main Puppy Linux makes sense.

Guys we trust
I started to think of some of the core systems developers who I think should have more direct control of Puppy:
UPDATE: John Murga

There are lots of other guys who are probably more on the application development side:
UPDATE: rarsa
...but some of those may also fall into the first category.

Those lists are not complete, just some names I thought of in about 5 minutes. They are guys who have been with us for some time so have proved themselves. We can trust them with the "keys" to Puppy. It's a starting point, more names can be suggested.

Of course there are some, like Raffy, who are probably more in the 'management' category rather than core-developer or application-developer.

Probably an SVN/CVS system, as has already been created for, would be what is needed for these guys to be able to have more direct control of Puppy.

This blog
One little implementation detail. I want to keep my blog going. This is primarily "Barry's blog" and will continue with news about my puplet and other stuff, perhaps some mainline Puppy Linux news too.

The problem with that though, is the URL, If I change to another URL, that is going to break a lot of links, which I don't want to do. Perhaps if I give domain to the guys, they can put a redirect into to my new URL? -- can that be done in your Hostgator site?


Some thoughts
Username: dogone
Finally, he puts retirement in quotes. I am relieved. I'm relieved as I am reminded that retirement is just a state of mind. We won't loose you Barry. We'll just trade you in for the latest model. The 2009 Kauler will be more fuel-efficient and packed with interesting new features. That said Barry, you have created a bit of a problem for the rest of us. Puppy Next is shaping up as a truly outstanding release - one very tough to top without help. So you'd better brace that (re)tired old frame, Barry. A couple dozen guys are gonna reach the next level by standing on a certain pair of shoulders.

All Good Thoughts
Username: cthisbear
"" One little implementation detail. I want to keep my blog going. " That's right BK. We don't want to hear about all that Puppy stuff. No! The windmill, bike etc and the big plant outside of your outback mansion.... that's what we want. Chris.

Username: Prit1
"Barry, The redirect from to your new site will definitely be possible I believe. I have a hosting account with godaddy for another 2.5 years and would be more than willing to host your new site. Just let me know. I will be continuing my hosting past the 2.5 years for sure.

Also relieved by quotes
Username: dogle
"Transition is not without dangers. Ever seen a ship run by a committee? My worst fear is that any disharmony within a new development politburo could lead to Puppy losing its shining edge and slowly merging into the general distro mush. Barry has been a wonderful skipper, piloting the crowd along with the lightest of touches on the tiller; the level of harmony achieved in so wide and diverse a community is awesome. I for one would be very happy if on reflection Barry were willing to act as (3rd?) umpire, retaining the option of final say on 'what's in' for a little longer, at least until new navigators are seen to be safely on course. Barry, thanks for bringing so much joy to this old world - may you receive a goodly slice yourself now.

What a great list
Username: playdayz
"Man, that is a great list of fine people. In just my few months it has been an excellent experience to see them work. IMO Lobster does awesome work in making the forums work, in making them welcoming and inclusive and in providing people the opportunity to make contributions to Puppy. It's hard to imagine how much work he puts in. If BarryK is the brains of puppy, then it looks to me like Lobster is the heart of the Puppy forum community, and if we needed just one person at the top and it wasn't Barry I for one would be perfectly comfortable with Lobster. I must sound like a sycophant but i am a teacher and if I could do for my classes what Lobster does for the forums I would be a happy man.

Quotes and Names
Username: Raffy
"Thanks for the quotes - "retirement" will now mean some easing of load on your part, and that's perfectly understandable. You'll be as effective being in the sidelines as leading. Developers will surely listen to what you say. Names are a good starting point for a "developer organization", and eventually, it's doing (fun) work that matters (This is the way of the community's merit-based, ad-hoc organization). Lobster is a good example - he may have been forgotten in the list, but he is always there in the forum and at tmxxine.

OMG - Noooo!
Username: metre9dmt
"I hope your 'retirement' is not permanent. We need your guidance and direction in Puppy Linux development to battle those 'bloated Linux distributions.' The best in luck in your next move. Regards.

List of names
Username: BarryK
"I suppose that I had to suggest some names, but it is a bit risky as I haven't thought of everybody. There are a lot of guys who are in the "tester" category, who I haven't listed. Then there are some who are a bit of both tester and developer, Pizzasgood for example. I can think of many more people who have been around for a couple of years or more and have proven their mettle, for example, Flash, dvw86, jcoder24, Jesse, Bruce B, BlackAdder. I wonder what happened to GuestToo? I think that Lobster mentioned he lurks sometimes under a different name.

And so on
Username: BarryK
"And prehistoric of course. Argh, I had better stop this! Trying to list everybody. Seemed like a good thing to do when I started this thread.

Forum members
Username: Raffy
"This page lists the earliest forum contributors at the top: Sorting the list via total posts/descending order will list the most active members. And Mark Ulrich is way way up there :) - that's knowledge shared to those who need it.

Guys we trust
Username: WhoDo
"Barry there are too many great contributors to Puppy to try naming them all. Your first idea was best - a short list of the guys YOU trust to keep Puppy safe for the future. I feel honoured that you count me in that category, as do the rest of those named I'm sure. You have the core YOU trust, and this thread tells us they are not by any means the list of those who have breathed life into Puppy as we now know it. The only remain step is to nominate perhaps one or two of those trusted guys, with their consent, to take over the very loose reins you've handled since the beginning. The group contains managers, diplomats and technical wizards. Surely that is all that needs to be said except to say which is the go-to guy for a final decision on any new direction and which will carry the kernel into the next second decade of the new millennium. Whether that is one person or two, thankfully YOU will still be available as patron and advisor.

Tags: retirement