Lost in a maze, looking for cheese


As a twisted turn of fate, I need to start my platform with an apology. Last year, I withdrew my nomination, because my life turned upside down, and the effects of that are still felt today, and will continue to have a considerable footprint for the rest of my life. But this is not what I want to apologise for! I want to apologise because my nomination, my platform, and my plans are rather uncommon - or so I believe. Unlike past Project Leaders, if elected, I will not have as much time to travel, as some of them. Nor will I have the resources to do all the things one may expect from a Project Leader. But - as you'll read later - I consider this both the biggest weakness and the greatest strength of my platform.

Furthermore, I will not be available from the second half of the voting period until after the new Project Leader's term starts: I'll be getting married, and will enjoy a nice honeymoon, and as such, my email will remain unread from the 9th of April until we're back on the 21st of April.

On the mouse behind the keyboard

My name is Gergely Nagy, or algernon, for those of you who may know me by my online presence. I used to be a lot of things: a flaming youth, an application manager, package maintainer, upstream, ftp-assistant, a student, a mentor, a hacker. In the end, however, I am but a simple, albeit sometimes crazy person. I imagine, a lot of people reading this will not know me, and that is actually not only fine, but in my case, desirable.

The Role of the Project Leader

The role of the Project Leader, what people perceive about the role, and what is actually done by one single person changed dramatically over time. In some ways for the better, some ways for the worse. It should be sufficiently clear by now that if we combine all the things past Project Leaders have done, and what people expect the Project Leader to do, then not even all the time in the world would be enough to accomplish everything. On the other hand, we should not cut the responsibilities back to constitution-granted ones only.

There has been some discussion about this very topic on debian-project@, back in February, with excellent observations by both past Project Leaders and the current one. I encourage my dear readers to stop reading this platform now, and read at least Lucas's mail. I'll be right here when you get back.

Back? Good.

You may notice that unlike in previous years, I do not have a Grand Vision, not in the same sense at least. No matter what I envision, however noble that vision may be, it is not the Project Leader's job to save the world, so to say. While I still believe that we have serious problems with motivation, inspiration and innovation within the project, the Project Leader is the wrong person to try and solve these issues with.

Apart from the constitutionally required responsibilities, the primary purpose of the Project Leader in my opinion, is to be an enabler: the Project Leader is not a front runner to lead the herd to victory, but a gentle shepherd to make them happy.


There are many ways to make people happy. One such way is to enable them to pursue their passion - and not just enable them, but encourage and fuel that passion, too! -, to remove barriers, to empower them, or in a lot of cases, to include them in the first place. My vision is a project that is greater than just an amazing distribution. More than a role model for technical excellence. I want to do away with territorial pissings (with which I don't mean to imply that this would be the general atmosphere within the project - far from it!), and would rather see a warm, welcoming culture within the project - the kind of "I'm home!" feeling I had at the DebConfs I had the privilege to attend -, on public and private media alike.

That is the vision I have, but I can't do it. At best, I can hope to enable people much better at the these things to do what needs to be done. I wish to take the burden of administration, bureaucracy off their shoulders, so they can focus on what they do best. I feel that this is the most important part of being a Project Leader: to enable the project to grow. And this is why I feel that most of you not knowing my name is an advantage here: When you look at a beautiful flower, you admire the flower itself, rarely the gardener.

In the end

I wish to be the Project Leader no one remembers. I'd rather see people remember all the great things the Project - as a whole - accomplished, for there are many. My purpose is to let You pursue your passion, which in turn enables even more people to pursue their happiness, and allows the greater Free Software community to bask in the warm glow of accomplished dreams.