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16.2. Debian's Future

In addition to these internal developments, one can reasonably expect new Debian-based distributions to come to light, as many tools keep simplifying this task. New specialized subprojects will also be started, in order to widen Debian's reach to new horizons.
The Debian user community will increase, and new contributors will join the project… including, maybe, you!
There are recurring discussions about how the software ecosystem is evolving, towards applications shipped within containers, where Debian packages have no added value, or with language-specific package managers (e.g. pip for Python, npm for JavaScript, etc.), which are rendering dpkg and apt obsolete. Facing those threats, I am convinced that Debian developers will find ways to embrace those changes and to continue to provide value to users.
In spite of its old age and its respectable size, Debian keeps on growing in all kinds of (sometimes unexpected) directions. Contributors are teeming with ideas, and discussions on development mailing lists, even when they look like bickerings, keep increasing the momentum. Debian is sometimes compared to a black hole, of such density that any new free software project is attracted.
Beyond the apparent satisfaction of most Debian users, a deep trend is becoming more and more indisputable: people (and companies!) are increasingly realizing that collaborating, rather than working alone in their corner, leads to better results for everyone. The number of commercial companies relying on Debian is larger every year.
The Debian project is therefore not threatened by extinction…