AM report for Barry Warsaw
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I recommend to accept Barry Warsaw as a Debian Developer.
1. Identification & Account Data
First name: Barry
Middle name: -
Last name: Warsaw
Key fingerprint: 8417157EDBE73D9EAC1E539B126EB563A74B06BF
My name is Barry Warsaw, and I have been involved in the Open Source and Free
Software communities, and their intellectual ancestors, since the early-1980s.
I began my career working for a USA federal government research lab,
developing and sharing various software over UUCP, Usenet, and the Arpanet.
Being funded by the USA government at the time, our software was not subject
to copyright (essentially, public domain), and so it was easy to share,
although the tools were quite primitive compared to what's available today.
It was through this experience that I really came to love not just the
technical aspects of FLOSS, but also the social side too.
Most of my early software contributions are no longer in general use, but some
of my contributions to GNU Emacs of that era still live on. My first
experience with *nix systems dates from that time frame.
Fortunately, I've always been able to balance paid work with FLOSS since then,
so this has instilled in me a very strong ethos of community, collaboration,
sharing, and contributing. In the mid-1990s, I joined a private,
not-for-profit R&D shop which subsequently hired Guido van Rossum, the
inventor of Python. I have been a deeply involved, core Python developer
since that time, and continue to work closely with that community. I have
been the release manager for several versions of Python, was once lead
maintainer for Jython (the Java implementation of the Python language), and
have been the project leader for GNU Mailman for over a decade, which
My involvement with Debian comes via my current employment by Canonical. I am
a member of the Ubuntu Platform Foundations team at Canonical, where my
primary interests are in the care and feeding of the Python stack. While I
have been a GNU/Linux user since the 1990s, I've only been involved in the
Debian and Ubuntu communities since about 2007.
I have a strong interest in contributing to Debian for several reasons.
First, its Free Software principles align closely with my own philosophical
ideals, both as it pertains to software development, and in its wider
implications for improving the world we live in, through positive social
change and individual empowerment.
Second, as someone who develops lots of FLOSS software on this platform, I'm
selfishly interested in helping to maintain those packages, and others like it
that my own software depends on, or that I personally use.
And finally, I strongly believe that a vibrant and robust Python stack on
Debian benefits everyone, and I have a keen interest in working with the other
excellent Debian Pythonistas to make it rock. While I have diverse interests,
I do plan on concentrating on the Debian Python stack. One of the strengths I
bring is the ability to bridge upstream core Python development with Debian,
and downstream Ubuntu. So for example, my work in upstream Python 3.2 which
allows multiple versions of Python to more easily coexist (PEPs 3147 and 3149)
was a direct outgrowth of witnessing some of the pain in Debian with Python 2.
My interest in the Python 3.3 feature called "namespace packages" (PEP 420)
was also precipitated by unique difficulties on the Debian platform.
My involvement with Ubuntu is also key because I think that at their best,
Debian and Ubuntu can be fantastic partners, each bringing their own
advantages to the table, strengthening the other. Whereas Debian has a huge
pool of great developers, with diverse and deep technical skills, and
when-it's-ready releases, Ubuntu can provide laser focus on key release goals
during its cadenced releases. As an example, when dh_python2 became the
official helper for Python 2, we made a commitment in Ubuntu to switch our
main packages to it, even if it meant carrying temporary deltas from Debian,
but we were always diligent to ensure the patches made it back upstream to
Debian. I've been quite happy with the success of that model, and I'm hoping
to repeat it for our push to Python 3.
I do plan to keep focusing on the Python stack in Ubuntu, I hope to branch out
to more aspects of that than just the packages I currently maintain, or may
maintain in the future. I'm interested in improving the test coverage in
packages as they are built, and improving the build system so that it's even
easier for folks to package Python code for Debian. Transitioning to Python 3
is also crucial for the long-term health of the Debian Python ecosystem, and I
will continue helping with that. I have also volunteered to help maintain the
interpreter packages, so I hope that I will be involved in that aspect as
I really want to see Debian (and by extension truth be told, Ubuntu) be the
premier platform for developing Python applications on.
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