Platform for Jonathan Walther


Many users have been leaving Debian, or choosing other distributions without even trying Debian first. With a steady, consistent release cycle like that of OpenBSD, we can surge in popularity far beyond what we already have. Momentum builds moment, and with carefully managed momentum building we can dazzle the world with a distribution that will be eagerly sought after by desktop users as well as server gurus.

I joined Debian in 1998 because it was the greatest GNU/Linux distribution on the planet. It still is. It just needs a bit of polish. Over the years I've seen our hard work pay off as others incorporate it in fantastic products like Knoppix, Fink, and Ubuntu. As DPL, my first focus will be on our release schedule. I have a proven history of releasing software on time, on schedule. Project Xouvert, a stripped down version of the X11 source code, was released two times, six months apart. We didn't achieve many of our more ambitious goals, but we got a working release out the door on time, both times.

With Debian's archive pool, we always have something to release. We will not need to compromise our high standards in any way. If new software isn't ready to go in the stable release, it just won't go in. With a regular release cycle, this isn't a worry; there is always the next release in six months. Ubuntu and Xouvert both borrowed the 6-month concept from OpenBSD. It is proven, it works, and it will turn Debian into a monster powerhouse of software goodness.


Lately more and more concern has been raised about the lopsided ratio of male to female developers in Debian. As soon as I am elected I will appoint the following stakeholders to examine our New Maintainer process in depth and produce a report on Debian's barriers to entry for women, and recommendations on fixing them.

They have three months to prepare their report, when it will be posted on the Debian website for use in future General Resolutions.

I will personally invite gender-bias experts Gloria Steinem and Germaine Greer to chair the committee and participate as much as they wish. Their findings and replies will be included on the Debian website.


I started programming on a Commodore64 in 1987, then graduated to Pascal, C, and C++ in high school. When the Internet arrived at my highschool in 1993, I stumbled on Linux and Free Software almost immediately, and knew they were the future. Programming jobs were scarce for junior Free Software programmers in the wastelands of northern Canada, so I hitchhiked around North America visiting other Debian developers, searching for work, and developing my coding skills using the Richard Stevens books. Finally I moved to the Big City in 1998 and participated in lots of interesting projects since.

I brew organic beer and enjoy having friends and fellow developers over to drink it. Beer isn't beer without spirited debates on a wide variety of topics. When they lived in my city, I hosted the ratpoison get-togethers. Ratpoison is a window manager so lean and uncluttered you think you are using the Linux console. Did I mention I hate bloat?


My Meyers-Brigg personality type is ENTJ, the natural born leader. Complementing this, I am a gifted public speaker, pleasant, polite, and a keen listener. These are all qualities that can make or break a DPL, and which impact the project directly. A sense of humor is also important, and I have one larger than an elephant. Not even an elephant gun can defeat it!

My public speaking experience includes presenting to the local Linux User Group, as well as work and church related public speaking before large audiences. As a Canadian, perhaps it is a natural talent, but I excel at fostering consensus, even in hostile environments.

I get results. The Ogg Tagging standard has been in widespread use the past few years, because it was needed and wanted by a community of users. If I hadn't stepped up to the plate, it wouldn't have happened. When OpenBSD said it wouldn't provide SMP support for the PowerPC platform because of lack of hardware, I started a massive pledge-drive. You can see the successful result here. I focus my efforts where they can do the most good. This year, they can do the most good as your DPL.

Compassion, tolerance, and humility are essential to making any project run smoothly. Should I lack any of these qualities, I'm sure it will be quickly pointed out. Whatever my other flaws, you can be guaranteed that I will always listen to what you have to say. As DPL I may have to make decisions you will disagree with, but your opinion will always be weighed.

What makes Debian great is that we are a team. We have many experienced members with decades of engineering experience, and a dedicated commitment to working together that has overcome barriers of language, culture, and politics. As DPL I am the ideal candidate to represent the diversity of vision and interests that make up our project.

See you at the polls!