[Debconf-team] Request for a debconf keynote
Hi Joerg & Debconf team
I'm writing with an unusual request, and hope you will consider it
The relationship between Debian and Ubuntu is an important one for both
projects. Debian defines the universe within which its derivatives live,
but derivatives like Ubuntu define the experience that most end-users
have of the Debian system. It has always been important to Ubuntu to try
to improve the level of collaboration between this family of related
projects, and I think good progress has been made in some areas.
However, that progress has really been limited to interactions with
individual DD's who see it as valuable. Those DD's sense, I think, the
importance of keeping good alignment between the work they do in Debian
and the way that work is reflected in Ubuntu. Relationships built on
that basis are constructive.
What I would like to aim for now is a better level of understanding and
collaboration between the projects systemically, rather than between
individuals. In other words, a clear commitment on both sides to find
areas or tools or processes which improve collaboration across the whole
project, not just for subsets of packages. This has been very difficult
to achieve in the past, because there has been a lack of leadership.
From the Ubuntu perspective, to the extent we have failed to provide
that leadership, I would like to improve. From the Debian perspective,
it's difficult to know how much will change, but I hope that new
leadership will create new opportunities to articulate the basis of
The reason I would like to ask for a keynote is straightforward - the
idea of collaboration between Debian and its derivatives is important
for all of Debian, and for all derivatives. I would like the opportunity
to articulate a vision for that collaboration and to invite
participation across the full spectrum of all of these projects. In the
past, I've spoken at Debconf but noticed that the people who were the
most outspoken about Ubuntu didn't come to the sessions. I hope that a
keynote would be an opportunity to engage with the whole project.
A number of folks from Ubuntu are planning to go to Debconf. I'm not yet
certain that I will come personally, as it's a long way to go if the
opportunities to improve the state of our relationship are limited.
I know that it is very difficult for a DD to say "Ubuntu is important to
Debian", even if they believe it to be true. Making that statement
exposes one to immediate criticism and perhaps even harsh flaming. So I
know that what I'm asking for is not a small thing, that it will require
leadership. I hope you will agree with me, though, that the opportunity
to get our projects well aligned and collaborating effectively is
enormously valuable, and will be willing to demonstrate that leadership
by giving me the opportunity to address Debian as a whole at the conference.