Dear Debian project members == Introduction == We live in interesting times. As citizens of this planet, we're facing many large problems, including (in no particular order) global warming, energy crisis, water crisis, rise of fascism, disease, etc. It's easy to get overwhelmed thinking about these things, but the world is also full of people who will continue to be relentlessly positive. Not in the naïve sense that they're hiding from these problems, but in the sense that they believe that we will overcome our problems by thinking about them and creating solutions that will help us grow and become more resilient as a species. I tend to think of these people as the engineers and architects of our society, and of course they span many disciplines. We stand on the shoulders of these giants because those are the kind of people who have worked for many generations of human beings so that we could be here today enjoying all the wonderful things that we do. I like to think of Debian Developers as these kind of people, we're working together to build something very special, sometimes against incredible odds, and to a large degree, whether the neigh sayers like it or not, succeeding at it. In 1993 when Ian Murdock founded the Debian project, he was just 20 years old, at the time, his vision of creating a Linux distribution that is developed entirely by multiple volunteers with no intent for the project to make a profit must have seemed like an improbable, unsurmountable, unsustainable goal. I'm sure there were people back then who thought that he was just another naïve bright eyed kid with big hopes. Yet, 27 years later, here we are, still working on Debian, with many large organisations using it and contributing back to the Debian project. The Debian project *is* a success story. There are many more distributions now than there were back then. Some are similar, but there are are still none that do what we do at the scale that we do while remaining free in every sense that counts, maintain stable releases with security updates, maintain the level of QA in our packages that we do or who have codified their relationship with their users the way we have in our social contract. Some derivatives come close or have attempted to take some additional steps, although those projects rely entirely on the efforts of Debian in order to make that happen, but I digress... Clearly there were people over the decades who felt a need for Debian to exist, and I would argue that the need for Debian has significantly increased over the years. In the 90's, we watched optimistic sci-fi shows and with wide eyes, imagined that technology will rapidly improve and will help solve the world's problems. Technology has indeed moved at a rapid pace, but it has increasingly become hostile to its users in ways that we couldn't foresee, in many ways making the world a worse place to live in, not for the better. I could delve into examples, but on this list I think I'd be telling people what they already know: and that is that Debian is an important project, worth fighting for, and worth promoting to the outside world. When I say that, I don't just mean some iso image that you can download and install, I mean the very core principles that eventually results in that iso. We face many technical obstacles, many inherent to both computer science and in the goals that we aspire too. If we attract enough skilled contributors, those mountains that we aim to overcome become a little smaller. The idea of APT and dpkg were once lofty goals, now we easily take those tools for granted. Big ideas that we have now can become a reality in the future, too. As project members, we love to point out all the things we don't like about Debian, and why shouldn't we? We are passionate and we have every right to. And I do believe that the vast majority of Debian Developers have good intentions when they point out problems, because they do want to see those problems solved. On the flip side, I don't think we do enough to sing Debian's praises within the project. It's almost as if people are afraid to do so. It's my opinion that we almost have a responsibility to toot our own horns when it comes to the Debian project. It's like we lack a certain type of confidence in the project and world can pick up on that. I feel that we need to do more to celebrate the project's successes and showcase the incredible amount of good work and progress within the project. == What I envision for Debian for the next year == 1. Establish a sense of normalcy We've had a lot of drama in the project over the last year. I'd like to ease that down a bit and help our contributors focus on what they're interested in, rather than open their mail client to see what that latest notification in debian-project is about. 2. Enablement and experimentation If someone wants to step up and do something, I want them to have the support they need to give it a fair try. Even if someone tries and fails, the project can learn from their experience. I'd work towards fostering a culture where we're supportive of new ideas and people who want to run with them. 3. Community building, working towards improving communication Many of us have been to DebConf a few times (and some even to a whole bunch of MiniDebConfs and similar events). Those are great! And if you live in a densely populated area like most of Europe or Asia, you usually have plenty of options for Debian events. For many contributors around the world, getting to those kind of events are hard. I think we should work at improving our communication methods and have better global remote participation throughout the year. Due to covid19 and an increasing number of people who wish to cut down on emissions, I think it's extra important this year that we work on this. == Time and support consideration == Just this morning, I was wondering how I can work more time into my schedule for more sleep and exercise. I know running for DPL is directly counterproductive to those goals, but if there are people who vote for me, then I hope and believe that I could count on those same people for support in the goals above, and that they could help lessen the load. I don't think that a DPL should try to carry the world upon their shoulders, and should be open to letting other project members help and form teams to deal with bigger issues. == Running for DPL == I didn't want to let the nomination period slide over to next week as it did last year, so I'm hereby announcing my intent to run for DPL, and early enough so that others can still post their self-nomination before the week is over. If you have better ideas than me, then please consider running, I ran for DPL last year too and thoroughly enjoyed the experience even though I wasn't elected, and when multiple individuals run for DPL it generates higher quality discussion that is ultimately good for the project. I'm running for DPL because I think Debian is worth protecting and worth working for making it an enjoyable and productive environment, I think in some ways we ended up in survival mode and we need to evolve past that and allow the project to thrive. I'm usually a lot more concise, but if you've made it this far, then a sincere thank you for reading :) -Jonathan -- ⢀⣴⠾⠻⢶⣦⠀ Jonathan Carter (highvoltage) <jcc> ⣾⠁⢠⠒⠀⣿⡁ Debian Developer - https://wiki.debian.org/highvoltage ⢿⡄⠘⠷⠚⠋ https://debian.org | https://jonathancarter.org ⠈⠳⣄⠀⠀⠀⠀ Be Bold. Be brave. Debian has got your back.
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