Joseph Carter's Leadership Platform

I keep thinking I should apply the obligatory background information here,
so I will do that and get it out of the way.  Uninterested parties are
invited to skip the following portion of this thing.  Much of this
background is found in Lalo's interview anyway, but there's new info for
people who want to know me better.

My full name is Thomas Joseph Carter but I don't look like a "Thomas" and my
father was also a Thomas so you can see why I don't use the name.  I am 20
years old and currently live in Modesto, California.  I moved three times in
1998 ending up here in October, but don't plan to move again for some time
unless of course a job gives me good enough reason to move.  Up until
this month I was unable to actually land a "real" job due to medical
insurance and have been stuck living off disability and odd consulting-type
jobs to make a little extra cash.

Yes, I said disability.  I am legally blind with vision that is 20/310 and
cannot be corrected above 20/200 by normal means.  I'm investigating
abnormal means, but no promises there.  I read my monitor from less than the
width of my keyboard away.  This is hard on my eyes and gives me awful
headaches, though I manage anyway.  To those out there who believe this
would cause me to be a less effective project leader, I challenge you to
elect me and find out for yourself how much it doesn't limit me.  Sure it
keeps me mostly in text mode because of the 14" monitor and it causes me to
need to take a break more often than I want to, and yes it means my means of
transportation around parts of town I can't walk to involves hopping on a
bus or getting a ride, but it has no effect on my ability otherwise.

I don't have many non-computer hobbies and am studying handy stuff that will
hopefully be useful to me when I attempt to get myself a Real Job, almost
certainly computer/internet related and likely working with Linux.  I'll
tollerwate stuff from the Evil Empire if I'm being well paid to do so, but
on my home machine I have only a little dos partition which I use for BIOS
flashing.  Dear me, my dos partition isn't y2k compliant!  (Did I mention I
have a sense of humor?)

While some might consider my experience of just over a year now with Linux
at all to be quite limited, I don't believe so.  I upgraded a bo system
to hamm by hand (the only way possible at the time) and learned how to
configure, patch, and compile devel kernels back in the 2.1.70's.  I've
learned simple and not so simple bash scripting, the basics of C, how to
configure firewalls and masquerading, various servers, and with the
exception of C that was all before March of last year.

I've been a long time contributor to debian-devel and was mistaken many
times for a developer before I became one.  I finally managed to get my
first package and a key signed shortly before the hamm release and have been
learning more since.  And I don't intend to stop learning, ever.  Hopefully
this means that any measure of my experience once written is already
obsolete.  I hope so anyway!

As others running this term have said, there are a number of things I will
try to do as DPL, but I intend to try to do them anyway whether I'm elected
or not.  I've worked with Anthony Towns before on the package pool archive
structure and have since the last time either of us bothered to write
anything concrete down come up with a number of thoughts which I plan to
hash out with him and hopefully we can offer another proposal to the group
which would be nicer for the ftp admins and the many mirrors than our last
proposal.  My primary goal with that project is to help us be able to
release on a more timely schedule without sacrificing stability and quality
as some distributions have done.

Leader or not I plan to continue to try and make the world more aware of
Debian.  Red Hat here, Red Hat there.  Red Hat is NOT synonymous with Linux,
but often times by reading places like Slashdot and Freshmeat, you get that
impression.  I have yet to see a mainstream article about Debian.  It is my
belief that the Project Leader's job is partly to make Debian visible to the
public eye.  I'm not sure some of my running mates agree with me on this
issue, but I consider it important.  Debian is number two only because more
people haven't heard about us.  We know we're running the best distribution
there is don't we?

I think perhaps the most important thing I can offer Debian as Project
Leader is my ears.  Oh sure I have a big mouth---that's easy and hardly a
rare quality.  Still, the largest complaint I have heard in recent months is
that Debian seems to always be creating new procedures and policies to make
sure all developers' voices are heard and matter.  I don't intend to undo
any of the procedures already established and I voted for the Debian
Constitution because it was right to do so.

I believe the best way to avoid new procedures that only complicate matters
for us is to listen to what the majority of developers are saying, not just
to a few vocal ones---or not so few vocal ones as in debates such as those
we've had over KDE among other things.  This means not taking two weeks to
reply to messages in a thread or sometimes even the inbox and keeping track
of where the project is going.