Roll the credits, and wait for the sequel?

By now, most if not all of you have seen Philip Newborough’s announcement that he is moving on. First things first: Thank you, Philip, for providing sensible and solid leadership over the past several years. And, of course, all of us are grateful for your bringing CrunchBang — a simple and solid distro that works on a wide range of hardware — into the world.

CrunchBang, if anything, was — and still is, by my estimation — both a textbook case and the perfect example of how a FOSS project should work. One person gets an idea and acts on it, and meanwhile a community grows around it. And there’s a good reason that CrunchBang ranged from the teens to the mid-40s in the Distrowatch rankings: On a technical level, it was the distro’s straightforward simplicity as Debian under the Openbox window manager with the “special sauce” of an install script that hopefully others will adopt. On a personal level, it was the helpful nature of those who brought a positive energy the forums, one of the most well-stocked — if not the most well-stocked — in FOSS.

But now the curtain is falling, the actors are taking their bows, and the question is, where do we go from here?

To be honest, I’m not quite ready to call it a day. In fact, I pretty much fancy keeping the sun from setting on CrunchBang.

Hence, the reference above to “the sequel:” At SCALE 13x this month, I will hold a CrunchBang Fork Birds of a Feather gathering to see if there is an interest in continuing Philip’s work as he left it — Debian Jessie under the Openbox window manager — which is how I see CrunchBang going forward.

Clearly, not everyone is going to be in Los Angeles later this month, so if you have any interest in this, drop me a line at larry-dot-cafiero-at-gmail-dot-com and, thanks to the modern miracle of filters, make sure you put CrunchBang in the subject line to I actually see it.

This will be the final Larry the CrunchBang Guy blog item. It has been a blast being a part of the CrunchBang experience — writing about it here and serving as a forum moderator — and I look forward to a future where another like-minded distro picks up where Philip left off.

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Larry the CrunchBang Guy and all other blogs by Larry Cafiero are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

(Larry Cafiero is one of the founders of the Lindependence Project and develops business software at Redwood Digital Research, a consultancy that provides FOSS solutions in the small business and home office environment.)

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Simply put, silence is golden

Philip Newborough — who we all know as corenominal or the father of CrunchBang or whatever you might call him in private — seems to have a very unique leadership style which you won’t find being taught in any postgraduate MBA program or outlined in any company management manual.

Simply put, it’s this: Appreciate those who help you, and speak when necessary.

So there has been some discussion among some on the forums about not having any current information on the status of Janice as Debian 8 Jessie freezes — as it did a couple of weeks ago — and some have pointed out that corenominal hasn’t commented on the forum for a few months. It leads some to assume that the status of Janice is in peril; or worse, with some saying, wrongfully and laughably, that CrunchBang is dead.

Simply put, it isn’t. To look at our standing on Distrowatch, ranging from the teens to the mid-40s, we are still viable; remarkably viable for a distro with a community of its size. Again, Debian 8 Jessie just froze: Once the 1,100 or so bugs are worked out of Debian 8 Jessie and it is released to the world, there will be a CrunchBang 12 Janice somewhere along the line.

How do I know? I asked. Like many of us, Philip has a lineup of life’s tasks that take up his day-to-day existence: work to do, bills to pay, a family in which he has to be a husband and father — all the things that come ahead of providing the wider public an excelent distro. I’m not making excuses, but that’s just the way life tends to be.

But he did say that a.) there will be a CrunchBang 12 Janice, b.) as of yet there are no betas of Janice or anything like that out there, and c.) he will be making an announcement soon on the status of Janice, so keep an eye out for it.

Simply put, there will be news when there is some to report. Meanwhile, keep CrunchBanging, folks.

Creative Commons License
Larry the CrunchBang Guy and all other blogs by Larry Cafiero are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

(Larry Cafiero is one of the founders of the Lindependence Project and develops business software at Redwood Digital Research, a consultancy that provides FOSS solutions in the small business and home office environment.)

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Movin’ on up

As I’ve said in the past, the DistroWatch.com listing of page hit rankings is a good way to see if one’s distro’s page is being looked at. With folks looking at the pages, one would hope that downloads and actual use of the distro would follow. So while it may not give an accurate description of actual use of the distro, the page hit rankings do give folks an idea which distros are doing well and which may not be.

Bear in mind, too, that what is shown on the Distrowatch front page is the top 100, and there are about 200 others below this. You can see the absolute top-to-bottom rankings here.

All that said, it bears mentioning that CrunchBang, which once ranked somewhere between the 20s and the 40s in the top 100 rankings, is moving up. Looking at the rankings from today (July 17) at different intervals, we see:

Data span: Last 12 months:

12month

As you can see, CrunchBang has broken into the teens at 17. But wait, there’s more:

Data span: Last 6 months:

6month

Well, up to 14 in this category. How much higher can it go?

Data span: Last 3 months:

3month

OK, so we’re moving up a notch to “lucky 13.” How about a look back at the last month?

Data span: Last 30 days:

30day

Oops. Looks like we dropped a bit, but if you’ll notice at the right, next to the number, all the numbers have a little up-arrow — that’s a good sign. So let’s take a look, finally, at last week:

Data span: Last 7 days:

7day

So there you have it — we’re number 11. Over the last week, the 11th most looked at distro was CrunchBang, and with this kind of attention, chances are there have been a lot of downloads.

Not bad for a distro where project leader Philip Newborough has said, “It is a common mistake to think that every developer wants their project to be widely popular.”

So thank you, Philip, for giving us this great distro. And thank you, CrunchBang community, for adding the quality help in the forums — give your fellow CrunchBang community member a pat on the back and, heck, give yourself a pat on the back as well.

This blog, and all other blogs by Larry the Free Software Guy, Larry the CrunchBang Guy and Larry Cafiero, are licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs CC BY-NC-ND license. In short, this license allows others to download this work and share it with others as long as they credit me as the author, but others can’t change it in any way or use it commercially.

Larry Cafiero is one of the founders of the Lindependence Project and has just started developing software at Redwood Digital Research (RDR), a consultancy that provides FOSS solutions in the small business and home office environment. RDR is based in Felton, California, USA.

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