Friday Aug 22, 2008

An Inside look at Debian -- Chatting with DPL Steve McIntyre

Down in Argentina I grabbed some time with Steve McIntyre, Debian's 11th project leader since its founding 15 years ago.  Steve has been on the job since April of this year and I checked in to see how it was going.

My interview with Steve (17:36)  Listen (Mp3) Listen (ogg)


Right after this picture was taken Steve took second in the Mar Del Plata Caber toss

Some of the Topics we tackle: 

  • What Steve's been doing his first four months on the job
  • The survey he sent out to all the teams to see what was working and what wasn't, and what he learned
  • Progress on the search for the sender of the death threats
  • The dunc-tank brouhaha and how things have quieted since then
  • The power of derivatives (e.g. Ubuntu, the City of Munich, Spain...) and trying to make it easier for them to contribute back.
  • How decisions are made in this organized chaos -- a do-ocracy rather than a democracy and how things be dictatorial as a release nears
  • How Debian is similar to kernel.org

Extra credit reading: Debian GNU/Linux: 15 years old and at the Crossroads


Pau for now...

Sunday Aug 10, 2008

Opening Day Debconf8, Argentina

After 24hours of travel I finally arrived yesterday afternoon at the hotel here in lovely Mar Del Plata, Argentina.  I'll have to admit that I'm still confused by this whole Winter-in-the-Southern-Hemisphere thing with the cooler temps and sun setting early.


The Mar del Plata boardwalk.  The low building on the far right is the Casino. 

The Conference Kick-off 


Team Argentina - our hosts. 

A couple of hours ago the conference kicked off with an introduction from our local hosts who have been busting their butts over the last year to get ready for this week.

After that was the introductory keynote from the current Debian Project Leader (DPL), Steve McIntyre.  This debconf is special since it marks the 15th anniversary of the starting of the Debian project.

My notes from Steve's talk

  • It was 15 years ago that Ian Murdock sent out an email announcing the starting of Debian
  • There have been 11 project leaders since then, 10 releases
  • The releases, since the Toy Story theme was adopted, are in order:  Buzz, Rex, Bo, Hamm, Slink, Potato, Woody, Sarge, Etch and soon, Lenny.
  • The stats
    • There are 24,000 binary packages in Lenny (about 10k source packages)
    • 1000+ registered Debian developers
    • Millions of users (?)
  • The Good
    • Huge dedicated developer community
    • Huge number of packages
    • Widest architecture support of any distro
  • The Bad
    • History of struggling to release
    • Flamewars
    • People often not willing to work together
    • PR & artwork
  • Why does Debian Matter
    • Often described as the most important distro
    • Massive number of users
    • Free and Open
  • The Challenges going forward: Need to be able to scale
Stay tuned for more updates!


The Mar del Plata coatsline from the air. 


The Mar del Plata International Airport (I wonder if I could have flow here directly from Austin?)


The fishing club as the sun starts to go down.


I spent some time poking around the downtown area after I got in.

Pau for now...

About

I look after Sun's relationships with the various GNU/Linux communities as well as our relationship with the FSF. Last year, my family and I emigrated from Silicon Valley to Austin, TX.

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