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[Debconf-team] Request for a debconf keynote

Hi Joerg & Debconf team

I'm writing with an unusual request, and hope you will consider it favorably.

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 collaboration.

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.


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