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More project leaders!



I hereby declare my intention to run for project leader.

I have been with Debian for a couple of years now (end 1995, beginning
of 1996, I'm not really sure). In that time I have seen the project grow
and prosper. More importantly, after seeing lots of discussions,
flamewars, success stories and romances (okay, maybe not the last). I
think I have gotten a good `feel' for the project. I've learned a lot
while being here and seeing things happen or fail to happen.

Would I be a good project leader? Frankly I don't know. I do not intent
to be as dictating and vocal as Bruce was, but neither as silent as Ian
was the last year. Both have done a good job, but things are not what
they were. Debian has grown to be too big for Bruce's style of
leadership, and Ian has lain a great foundation for a new period by
giving us the constitution. This also means the role of project leader
is now very different: most functions have been delegated, leaving the
leader to act as a kind of benevolent overseeing person who nudges the
project in a good direction.

For the obligatory free-software statement: of course I support free
software.  I think it is great and everyone should use it. If I felt
otherwise I would not still be here. The recent advances of free
software make me feel good, but there is also still a lot of confusion
about what free software really is and people are muddling the free
software ideology pool.  The Debian Free Software Guidelines are a great
method to help both us and others to focus on really free software. But
I am not a fanatic who tries to convince everyone free software is the
one and only true way. There are already others who are doing a great
job with that, and I do not see it as the role of project leader.

My plans for the next year: generally speaking we are doing fine. With
the growing popularity of Linux I think we will want to focus on some
interesting new projects. Most noticably configuration management, which
will make installation simpler and make it possible to manage clusters
and labrooms more efficiently. Another important aspect is dpkg:
development there has been close to non-existant for too long now. There
are additions that we really need, such as a new source format to
support multiple patches and source tarballs. I am looking forward to
see Ian work on dpkg again. I do not think we need to change anything in
the organizational structure of the project. We have just ratified the
constitution and it will be interesting to see how it works out. It
introduces a bit of official rules and politics, but I think it will
allow us to work as a the sort of organized anarchy that we have always
used while adding some much needed safetynets.

Please note that I do not intend to run as president of SPI. In my
opinion SPI is doing a good job and should continue to grow further, and
having the Debian project leader automatically on as SPI president would
not be beneficiary to SPI as an independent organisation.  I would be
very happy if Ian Jackson would continue his task of president there.

Some of you are probably wondering who am I and what I usually do.
Currently I'm a 22 year old CS student (23 in 9 days :) ) trying to get
his MSc in 1999. I've worked for 20 months as systems administrator at
the Math & CS department of Leiden University where I setup and managed
a network that grew from 0 to about 120 Linux machines. I have also done
a couple semi-commercial programming projects in my spare time.
I've been involved in organizing and leading a couple of things at a
local student club (1437 members currently and still growing).

Wichert.

-- 
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E-Mail: wakkerma@cs.leidenuniv.nl
WWW: http://www.wi.leidenuniv.nl/~wichert/

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