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AM report for Florian Schlichting

I recommend to accept Florian Schlichting as a Debian Developer.

1. Identification & Account Data
   First name:      Florian
   Middle name:     -
   Last name:       Schlichting
   Key fingerprint: 30B23C8B4E6A3B09EAA6B65212973B6E72DC07B5
   Account:         fsfs

2. Background

I'm a 36 years old sysadmin-developer working with Debian and Perl at
Freie Universität Berlin, Germany.

I first came in touch with Linux in the late 90s, when a fellow student
at my hall of residence gave me a set of Suse 5.2 CDs including a mighty
manual. But I quickly postponed my enthusiasm for Free Software when I
failed to get it to work as a new file server for a small Windows
network after two nights trying. The next attempt followed in 2001, when
I got a new laptop with a big enough hard drive that could hold more
than one OS, this time Suse 6.4 from a local library. Using it as an
alternative desktop system was a lot easier, but I became annoyed when I
found out that there were packages to upgrade, but they had to be
downloaded and applied manually and one-by-one, and when I stopped
halfway through, lots of applications would segfault on startup.

And then I heard about this Linux system that didn't come in a fancy box
but included a magic 'apt-get' command that would just do everything
automatically to keep the software current and secure. So I downloaded a
set of CDs and installed potato, and a few months later upgraded to
woody, and when I saw that it "just worked" and didn't just apply
security fixes for the OS but cared for all the user-facing applications
as well, I made arrangements to make the "alternative" system the
default. Soon I wanted even more current software and switched to
testing, subscribed to mailing lists, found and reported bugs, and
slowly learned about Debian and Free Software.

And while I always thought that not just being a "passive" user and bug
reporter, but actively contribute to the development of Debian and "give
back" by maintaining packages "of my own" would be a cool thing to do,
it took many years (and a career change into IT) before I found a piece
of software that I needed but wasn't in Debian. I was fortunate to be
introduced to pkg-perl at a time when an online packaging tutorial
coincided with a switch from svn to the familiar git, and since then I
have found that packaging a new Perl module or upgrading an existing
package can be a leisurely activity to finish a day off with.

Besides pkg-perl, I have taken over maintainership of two packages, vpnc
and irssi-plugin-xmpp, which I use myself and where the previous
maintainer didn't have enough time to stay on top of upstream
developments, let alone Debian bugs. While I think I've made a dent on
the bug count, I always feel a little guilty when postponing work on the
remaining "difficult" bugs in favour of some easy and quickly-rewarding
pkg-perl work.

More recently, I've started to meet Debian people in Berlin at
key-/beersigning and BSP events, adding a welcome social dimension to my
Debian activities.

Regarding goals, I think I'm quite happy the way things are now and I
mainly hope I'll be able to keep up the level of activity I've held over
the last year.


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