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Re: to DPL candidates: getting new people to Debian

Hi Lucas,

On Mon, Mar 11, 2013 at 03:43:16PM +0100, Lucas Nussbaum wrote:
> First, I don't think that age matters that much.

imho, age does matter. See Bulbullle's notice why he doesn't run. I've
seen people leaving other projects by eg. way of heart attack or traffic
accident, too. Younger people tend to have less of the health problems,
as well as more spare time.

> You write about attracting people to free software. I'm not sure that we
> have a problem here.

I think we have. In my opinion, many users don't realise the value of
"free as in free speech", and only see the value of "free as in free
beer". Although I have tried to campaign in that direction, I have
utterly failed to explain this issue to many people (esp. business

> The number of free software users increases. Free

... mostly by way of accident, eg. by getting Ubuntu after their
umpteenth computer breakdown due to a virus attack.

> So we need to get more free software users to use Debian, more Debian
> users to contribute, more contributors to become regular contributors,
> etc. But I think I addressed that in my answer to Timo in
> https://lists.debian.org/debian-vote/2013/03/msg00014.html

Your roadmap feels quite natural, but it's not yet a plan because the
devil is in the detail: *How* do we get more people to use/... Debian?
Simply saying "we need help" may easily make us look like beggars,
yielding the opposite effect.

Imho, a large part of the answer is in getting the cool back into
Debian. In my discussion with other developers, I get the impression
that Debian is viewed a huge bureaucratic monster, and you almost have
to have a Ph.D. before you can reasonably expect to contribute. Which
would preclude the participation of younger developers, if it were true,
but I am convinced that it deters talent.

Imho, we have to change that, somehow.

OT (maybe redirect to -project?):

I would also like to see Debian to be more inviting to special interest
groups. For a while, it may have been web server administrators, who can
pull Debian out of the box and are quickly up and running with a stable
server platform. But eg. accountants are not yet catered for in a
similar way (let's quarrel about the reasons for that elsewhere), and
similar arguments go for other large potential user groups - eg. I've
been told that significant problems exist for Asian users.  The two
projects I would like to commend for their efforts in that direction
(probably because I have overlooked similar efforts elsewhere) are
DebianEdu and DebianMed.

At the next level of education, it would be great if people could
establish Debian related projects as parts of coursework in high school
or academia.

All the other statements about threats through the sprawl of cloud
computing and locked down devices apply, too, but they have already been

Kind regards,

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