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Gunnar Hjalmarsson: Application Manager report

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Gunnar Hjalmarsson has applied in early 2021 to become a Debian Developer with
uploading rights.

Gunnar is a Debian Contributor, already contributing to the Ubuntu Community,
who maintains (and the work there is pretty good) three ibus packages.

After discussing with him (his bio is pasted a bit later below), I got
confident that Gunnar clearly understands the Debian Project Philosophy and
habits and is eager to go with these in his Debian work. Being someone with
some character, I'm also confident if he thinks there is room for improvement,
he'll suggest it, which is also great!

His packaging skills are quite good, and his interest to the things he touches
is not limited to what he has to do. I think he'd be a great asset for the
project and therefore I confirm his advocate's opinion, which is that he should
be a DD, upl right now.

Thanks Gunnar for this exchange!

Gunnar's bio:

My name is Gunnar Hjalmarsson. I was born in 1958, and live in 
Gothenburg, Sweden. I hold a Bachelor's degree of Business 
Administration in Accounting from the University of Gothenburg, and 
worked with the audit and business consulting firm PwC for about 25 
years, of which about 15 years as a partner. I worked as an authorized 
auditor and financial reporting advisor. Due to health issues I had to 
quit prematurely, and the past few years I have contributed as a 
volunteer to the Debian/Ubuntu family.

I have no formal computing or IT education. During the first decade of 
this century I did some web programming and developed a couple of web 
site scripts. The largest of those scripts was the GPL licensed webring 
program Ringlink, which I wrote and maintained in consultation with an 
enthusiastic - at the time - user community.

I did the web scripting in Perl. By participating in e.g. the 
comp.lang.perl.misc Usenet group for several years I got valuable 
knowledge of good programming practice - at first hand Perl related, of 
course, but also generally applicable. I'm the author of a couple of 
simple CPAN modules (<https://metacpan.org/author/GUNNAR>), but please 
don't look too close at those - I'm wiser today.

While I did the web scripting with Linux servers in mind at first hand, 
I used Windows for my desktop. But in 2010 I switched to Ubuntu. I 
instantly identified room for improvement, and my Ubuntu - and later 
Debian - journey started.

Most of my work has been i18n related matters. In the beginning I 
focused on Ubuntu's UI tools for installing languages and setting 
locales. I also got involved in matters which are especially important 
to users of non-latin languages (fonts and input methods). As an example 
I handled Ubuntu's transition from im-switch to im-config when that 
happened at Debian. I'm a member of the ubuntu-desktop team, and in 
addition to i18n I have contributed to the fix of many other desktop 
related bugs.

I also do documentation. For several years I have worked with the 
maintenance of the Ubuntu Desktop Guide 
(<https://help.ubuntu.com/stable/ubuntu-help>), which nowadays consists 
of gnome-user-docs together with some Ubuntu extras.

Besides bug fixing and package maintenance I spend time with providing 
support, mostly at Ask Ubuntu 
<https://askubuntu.com/users/159370/gunnar-hjalmarsson>. Several times I 
have concluded that an asked question was actually due to a bug, picked 
it up, and fixed it. I find it satisfying to contribute that way, in a 
close dialogue with the users.

At first my Ubuntu involvement was mostly Ubuntu specific stuff. But 
gradually I realized the importance of interacting properly with 
upstream, both Debian and the ultimate upstream.

ibus-avro, the first Debian package worth mentioning I packaged myself, 
was an offshoot from my Ask Ubuntu activities. The Avro Phonetic method 
for inputting Bangla had been available for a few years, but not via any 
Linux distro. I noticed an increasing number of questions and 
frustration for a couple of reasons, and realized that packaging the 
piece of software would make a difference. So I did that in the middle 
of 2019.

Last year I packaged ibus-typing-booster, which was already available on 
Fedora but not in Debian. I also adopted ibus-unikey. I joined the IME 
team and have contributed to for instance ibus and im-config so far.

As already mentioned, I'm self-educated as regards IT, so I'd consider 
my technical skill level to be moderate and fragmentary. The good news 
is that I know my limits and act accordingly, i.e. I sense when I'm 
capable of doing things on my own, when to ask for advice/review first, 
and when to keep my hands off completely. I think that the upload rights 
I have been granted so far on the Ubuntu side indicate that others look 
at my judgement in the same way.

One side of my moderate technical skill is that things sometimes take 
much longer time than else would have been the case. A task which an 
experienced engineer would have spent a few minutes on may take me 
several hours including looking up things and testing. But so be it. I 
do it for fun, and I let it take the time it needs to do it at the best 
of my ability.

I have no plans to change the profile of my contributions drastically. 
I'm a member of gnome-team and the IME team, and if my application would 
be granted I would keep working with those teams, but would be able to 
do it in a more efficient manner. I understand the desirability of 
minimizing the delta between Ubuntu and Debian in various packages. That 
way we avoid to split our limited resources, and at best have one 
version of respective package which Debian and Ubuntu developers can 
cooperate to improve further. I was glad to see that Boyuan Yang 
mentioned that side of me in his advocacy statement.


Pierre-Elliott Bécue (via nm.debian.org)

For details and to comment, visit https://nm.debian.org/process/851/

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