This is a summary of the AM reports for week ending November 1st 2006.
14 applicants became maintainers.
Michael Biebl <biebl>
I'm a German guy, born and grown up in a small village in south Germany.
I'm 25 years old and currently studying computer science at the
University of Karlsruhe and hope to finish my study in the next three
to four semesters. Before that I went to military service for almost a
year which is mandatory here in Germany.
I'm fascinated by the ideas and ideals of Open Source and Free Software
and Debian embodies this ideals for me. I want to volunteer my time to
Debian because I hope it will also benefit other people. I want to work
together with other interesting people on a large project and be part of
this great project. And besides all it's just great fun working with Debian.
Ana Beatriz Guerrero López <ana>
I'm a girl from Andalucía, in the south of Spain and I have studied
computer sciences at the University of Sevilla.
I had listened about Linux and free software before start the University,
but until the summer of 2001, i didn't get my own computer and internet
at home, facts that indeed helped me to install my first linux and learn
a lot :)
For some time, I was testing several distros, and I am a happy Debian
user since 2003. I had always been interested in Debian development, but
when i started to use Debian i thought i have not enough understanding
to contribute. (yeah, i even rejected the idea without try it).
The debian-women project made me re-think, and i decided i could at least
learn a bit more about Debian before reject such idea.
So, i started lurking Debian mailing-list and all the stuff, and well,
here i'm :)
In Debian, i'm not only interested in maintain packages, i'm also
interested in help to improve the areas that do Debian easier for the
Neil Williams <codehelp>
I began computing with a ZX-81 where everything had to be programmed by hand
and, initially, nothing could be stored between reboots. I moved on to the ZX
Spectrum and the BBC micro. Then a quick trial on Amstrad PCW's before I had
my own 386 PC running Windows 3.0. I learnt BASIC, C++ and a little Pascal. I
started a code based website (www.codehelp.co.uk) and the difficulties in
writing perl scripts and configuring a usable web server on a Windows machine
peeked my interest in Unix and therefore Linux. My first distro was Mandrake
7.0, running dual-boot with Windows98. I now have Debian testing on an old
server, Debian unstable on my workstation and OSX on an iBook.
My programming background now touches on Perl, PHP, HTML, XML, WML, C, C++,
assembly language, a little Pascal and a little Java. Previous experience on
DOS, Win3.1 and Win95/98 has been superceded by GNU/Linux platforms. I'm
trying to stay away from Scheme, Lisp, Emacs and Python but I suppose they'll
get me eventually.
I learnt about free software from my GNU/Linux user group and I try to do what
I can to spread the ideas and concepts as well as helping in the continuing
fight against software patents. (I attended the meeting with Lord Sainsbury
at the DTI in 2004 and the workshops on technical contribution that
I chose Debian for the community feel, the packaging tools and because I have
come to respect the quality and scope of the distribution. When I became
involved in gnucash development, it was natural to consider becoming more
involved in Debian as well. I had met Wookey at a series of LinuxWorld Expo
events from 2003 onwards and discussions with Debian developers at events
like this encouraged me to pursue a wider goal in my gnucash development that
could extend the freedoms of source code into the realm of user data. I feel
that we are familiar with the freedom of source code and documentation but
data seems to have been left behind.
Free software developers can be forgiven for remaining in their comfort zone
but there is a real need from users that the packages on their system
*cooperate* and share the same data wherever possible. I feel that it should
be the norm that all packages support data exchange with any package that may
need some user data from any other. Parts of KDE can do this, parts of Gnome
too, but it is rare between KDE and Gnome and rarer still between free
software desktops and embedded free software projects like GPE.
I've tried to cover the ideas at http://www.data-freedom.org/
My main area of interest within Debian is emDebian - supporting GPE in
particular and embedded platforms in general.
I also want to increase the proportion of Debian packages that have a en_GB
translation (two nations separated by a common language), sponsor some other
prospective developers via debian-mentors and eventually help out with the NM
Matt Brown <mattb>
I'm 21, married, currently living in Auckland, New Zealand. I work as a
Network / Systems administrator for a company called MediaLab
(www.medialab.co.nz). I also spend half my time contracted back to the
WAND Network Research Group (www.wand.net.nz) at Waikato University
(www.waikato.ac.nz) where I maintain and develop software for the CRCnet
Wireless Research Network (www.crc.net.nz).=20
My involvement in Free software started around 5 years ago and was
nutured by my workmates and tutors as I progressed through University. I
first used Debian around 4 and a half years ago and I have been
maintaining Debian servers since then. Part of the CRCnet project has
involved creating a derived Debian distribution for use on very low
resource biscuit computers. I have gained significant experience
recompiling and building a wide range of Debian packages through this.
(The glibc and kernel packages scare me - but I got them working in the
end!). Without the flexibility of Linux we would not have been able to
build the CRCnet project. This has been an excellent example of the
power of Free software for me.
I am active in my Local LUG (www.wlug.org.nz) having served two years on
the committee and I help out maintaining the wiki code base. I have
written a logfile analyser for the Squid Web Proxy
(www.crc.net.nz/software/srg.php). I also contribute to various other
Free software projects as I have time (see
http://www.mattb.net.nz/software.php for details).
Vincent Danjean <vdanjean>
I do not know how to tell it, but I really like the ideas between Free
Software. I already tell you I personnaly suffer from proprietory
software. And I found that nowadays Free Software is good enought (and
even often best) for all of my tasks.
I wrote several sofware that were all under a free licence (GNU GPL
most of the time). And I promote these kind of licences around of me, in
particular with my colleagues.
When I was at the ENSL, I was in charge (with a few other people) of
the computer ressources for students. We installed lots of Linux for the
new students that would like to try it. I also installed lots of
softwares system-wide, but in a separate partition : we were not root.
So I had to solve lots of compilation issue (we had Solaris/sparc and
Debian/PC) and installation problems (library versionning, ...)
Hubert Chan <uhoreg>
I am a Ph.D. student in Computer Science at the University of Waterloo
in Ontario, Canada. I enjoy programming, and am pretty comfortable in
C/C++/Objective-C, Perl (as long as I have my camel book with me), and
am learning Python. I also do some shell scripting, when I'm forced
to, and I've done some hacking in Emacs lisp. As for non-computing
interests, I enjoy biking, photography, camping, and playing soccer.
I've been playing with computers for almost as long as I can remember.
I first came to Linux way before Linux 1.0, with the SLS
distribution, which came on about 100 floppies. At the time, it was
just a toy for me, but I didn't spend much time with it. I guess my
first real major contact with Free software was with emx, an
environment for OS/2 using the GNU tools, including gcc. I think it
was around that time that I was entering University, and it was nice
to be able to use the same compiler that they were using at school.
Of course, eventually IBM stopped supporting OS/2, and so I decided to
switch to Linux full time.
I tried a few distributions, and on the recommendation of a friend, I
gave Debian a try when it was time for a reinstall (either because of
a borked hard drive, or new computer -- I forget). I was impressed
with the ease of package management, the quality of the distribution,
and the openness of the developer and user community. I started
contributing by answering questions in -user and -laptop, and by
submitting bugs to the BTS (and offering patches or solutions on the
few occasions that I was able to). I eventually learned how to create
my own packages, and now have a few packages in Debian (hashcash,
asymptote, alsaplayer (co-maintained), the GNUstep core libraries, and
a few other GNUstep things). My most recent major undertaking was
making the GNUstep packages (more) compliant with the FHS. I was also
fairly active with the Debian Interest Group at the University of
Waterloo, while it was active, and gave a few talks and helped
administer its machines.
I really enjoy working with Debian and with its developer community,
and I hope that I can help make it a better distribution. As a DD, my
main focus would be on packaging. But of course, I would try to
contribute in any other ways that I can -- reporting (and fixing)
bugs, being active on the mailing lists, cooperating with other
Developers, writing documentation, helping users get started.
Benjamin Seidenberg <benjamin>
I'm a senior in high school in North Carolina, US, and am 18 years
old. Next year I will be attending Cornell University in Ithaca, NY. I
first installed GNU/Linux (Red Hat 7.3) in the summer after 7th grade (I
was 13). I spent a month downloading the two ISO images over a dial-up
connection. I wanted Linux because it was supposed to be what all the
people who really knew what they were doing used. I now use Linux for
stability and power. I use windows at school and always find myself
missing the command line, many of the tools, the stability, and the
ability to customize the interface. I switched to Debian after a friend
convinced me of the superiority of it's package management tools, and I
haven't looked back.
As I used Debian more, I got more interested in the makings. One of
the biggest draws for me was how responsive the developers were. I
really was amazed that the people who made this listened and interacted
with their users. You just don't see this in the proprietary software
world. I started reading various mailing lists, and following IRC
channels. I decided I wanted to help contribute, but wasn't sure where
to start. A friend of mine is the upstream author of iptstate, and had
released a new version, and the debian maintainer hadn't yet packaged
it. I decided to try to create a package, and followed the New
Maintainer guide. While I was successful, the debian maintainer
obviously continued his own package.
However, once I had convinced myself I could handle the process, I
skimmed the RFP list and found another package (dav-text) that looked
simple and packaged it. I posted an RFS for it on debian-mentors and
Anibal Monsalve Salazar sponsored it. I then found another package,
graphmonkey by hanging out in #debian-mentors. The upstream author came
in and was asking for someone to package his software, so I agreed.
Anibal also sponsored this package. I then decided to apply for NM,
since I decided I wanted to become a DD. I knew I wasn't ready, but I
also knew how long it took to have an AM assigned, and decided to apply
anyway. I decided I should join a team, but I couldn't find one that
seemed to suit me.
At one point, I bought an iRiver H10 mp3 player, having heard of how
great iRiver's Linux support was. Silly me. On Linux, you need a custom
tool, EasyH10, to build the databases. It didn't exist in Debian, so I
now had my third package. This is my most active package, and I have a
good relationship with the upstream author. I've contributed several bug
fixes, and he even used my machine to debug an issue I was having,
finding a file descriptor leak. I also wrote a man page for EasyH10,
which nyaochi then edited and shipped upstream.
A bit after this, my problem with finding a team was solved, as a
team found me. When Sven Muller responded to an email I sent to the
Debian Cyrus Team about their backported version of the Cyrus 2.2
packages, I offered to help and joined the Debian Cyrus team. On the
Cyrus team, I focus on packaging, bug triage, and other debian specific
aspects of the packages. We have recently released 2.2 packages into
unstable, and I'm proud to say I was part of this effort.
During all this time, I of course contributed in other ways to
Debian, I have filled and helped fix bugs, contributed to mailing lists
and more. I tested a woody -> sarge upgrade, and found a fairly large
bug in the process, and have contributed in other ways as well. I look
forward to becoming a full developer, and being able to participate more
Bastian Venthur <venthur>
I'm currently 25 years old and study computer science (major), physics
(minor) and business administration (minor) at the Free University Berlin.
I started using Linux during my first year at the University (2001).
I've tried a few distros until I sticked to Debian. I was quite
impressed by Debian's package management which was superior to what
other distros could offer those days and made Debian (against the major
opinion those days) more user friendly than other distros I've tried.
During my studies I discovered, that Debian (or Linux in general) is an
excellent platform for programming and due it's open nature a great
source of material to learn from. So I became interested in free
software in general. I realized over time what free software offers
(apart from being free of charge) and how much it already gave me.
Knowing that the existence of free software projects strongly depends on
contributions/ors and being very interested in learning more about
Debian as operating system, I decided to become a DD.
Besides being an active member of d-u-german, and reporter of quite a
few bugs, I'm currently maintaining mainly kde-related packages. I want
to help Debian to stay what it is already well known for: a rock stable,
free system with an excellent and reliable package management. Besides
those more general goals I'd like to see Debian becoming more user
friendly -- and by user friendly I mean newbie friendly.
Joost Damad <andete>
I'm Joost Damad, 30 year old from Belgium. I'm married for 3 years
already. My hobbies are gardening, computer games, squash, cooking,
reading, dogs, and music and synthesizers, MSX, computers. I studied
Computer Science at the universities of Limburg and Leuven. I work as a
software developer and integrator for a large multinational. I currently
already maintain openMSX and it's related packages. I'm also interested
in debian-multimedia and midi applications.
Arjan Oosting <arjan>
I am studying computer science at the University of Utrecht and working
parttime at a helpdesk of a Dutch ISP. And now some history ;-)
When I finished high school, I started studying physics in Utrecht in
1997 and had my first real contact with computers that year. I found
them pretty interesting and spent quite some time breaking and restoring
the computer of my girlfriend (as I did not have my own just yet).
My study did not go so well though as a was more interested in playing
with computers and internet at the time. Then for one course we had to
do some stuff in Mathematica and that was my first contact with
programming. At home I tried some stuff with Visual Basic (uggh) and
later on Java.
Then I decided to switch from physics to computer science in 1998. I
guess it was 1999 when installed windows NT4 on my pc and I tried to
install some linux distributions that year as well (Red Hat, Suse) but
still kept on using Windows.
Then I got my second pc which I used as fileserver and firewall and on
which I installed Debian. But I still was a complete newbie and wanted
to learn more and decided to give Linux From Scratch a try. After using
that for a year or so I got sick of compiling everything myself and
installed Debian again on my server which was somewhere in 2003.
Mattias Nordstrom <mnordstr>
I'm 22 years old and study at Helsinki University of Technology. Most of
my time at the moment goes to running a business that I co-founded with a
few friends, which in a nutshell is an ICT and custom solutions provider
for small to medium sized businesses. At work I install, maintain and
develop exclusively for Debian systems, including embedded installations
on boards such as the Routerboard 500 (www.routerboard.com) and similar
When applicable we try to develop open source software and every piece of
software we create has Debian packages for ease of installation and
maintenance. In fact, every software (application or library) that I've
needed that doesn't have a Debian package now has one, and I always try to
get these in the official Debian archive.
I personally began using computers at a young age, beginning with a
Commodore 64. I became familiar with Linux in the late nineties and use it
(particularly Debian) exclusively now. I've used several different
distributions but Debian was just so much better than the next one, and
I've stuck with it since. I believe I began using it around 2002, not
quite sure. I was a Windows user before using Linux but once I found out
how much more efficient one can be on a Linux box (being a developer and
all) it didn't take long before I had completely switched away from using
Windows. It didn't take long before I became familiar with the open source
development model and realized it's advantages over proprietary software
development. I'd have to reconsider many times now before I would
implement anything using proprietary solutions as I can never be sure they
work the way I want. With OSS I can always adjust and extend.
David Watson <dwatson>
I work in Liverpool as a Network Manager in a secondary
school, and am currently working on my Computing degree with the Open
University. I've been "into" computers since I was 10, and have been
programming since about the same time.
I first used Linux in 1996 when I ordered a copy of slackware, my first
experience of Debian was when I installed Potato in work to run as a
Samba server. I quickly moved my other computers to Debian, and have
used it ever since.
I have wanted to contribute to Debian for a while, and when I discovered
that the package for ntlmaps (which I use at work) was up for adoption I
offered to help. Since then I have also packaged another piece of software
called geximon, becoming upstream in the process as the original author no
longer wished to maintain the software. I found geximon very useful and
felt other Debian users would benefit from having it available.
Shachar Shemesh <shachar>
My first Linux expereince was back in 92 or 93 - me and a friend tried
to compile a kernel on one of the early Ygdrassil distributions.
Wasn't easy. I've been actively sysadmining Linux machines since
around 1996. My first real free software contribution was on the Wine
project, where I took the task of adding BiDirectional support (i.e. -
support for langauges such as Hebrew and Arabic). Search for my name
at http://www.winehq.org/site/who for more info on that.
Since then I took on several other tasks, some of which I'm actually
main (usually sole) maintainer. Most prominant of these is rsyncrypto
(http://sf.net/projects/rsyncrypto), which is a file encryption
program. It's uniqueness lies in the fact that files encrypted with
rsyncrypto maintain their wire transfer efficiency when synched with
rsync. In other words, the local changes to the plain text files
result in bounded changes to the encrypted file. Rsyncrypto is
available under the GPL.
Ghe Rivero <ghe>
I'm 24 years old, from Spain.
My first contact with Linux was with SuSE 6.3. A friend of mine
installed it on my pc, and just take me a couple of hours to reinstall
Windows on it. On 2000, i started studying computers science at
university and need to use linux for some courses. I met the local group
and just felt in love of free software during some conferences and with
Now, i work as the main system administrator at my university. Some
servers are Debian but the number of them is increasing continuously.
After a lot of years like user, i want to give something back to Debian
and try to improve it from inside. Also i would like to help to have
more importance in the enterprise market.
Mohammed Adnène Trojette