Wednesday, 13 March 2019 09:43

No candidates three days before nominations for Debian leader end

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No candidates three days before nominations for Debian leader end Image by succo from Pixabay

The Debian GNU/Linux project may soon have to come up with a solution to the lack of any candidates for the post of project leader, with nobody having thrown their hat into the ring as yet after nominations opened on 3 March.

Nominations close on 16 March, after which there is the usual campaigning period and finally the vote itself which takes place between 7 and 20 April.

The incumbent leader, Chris Lamb, has held the post for two years.

Australian Daniel Pocock, who is not a developer but who wished to contest for the post, told iTWire that he had been blocked from doing so.

Pocock, who is from Melbourne but currently lives in Lausanne, said the Debian constitution did not require a candidate for the role of leader to be a developer.

He claimed mail to the mailing lists for Debian-Vote were being censored and while mails supporting his candidature had been blocked, others that were against him standing had been published.

"Everybody else sees me as a Debian Developer. When I go to conferences, people stop me in the corridor and ask 'are you Daniel Pocock from Debian?, he said. "Sometimes people even recognise me in the street.

"I've been doing things with Debian for over 20 years, so the people who are trying to suggest that their little tricks, trying to quietly delete me, make me less of a developer are only making themselves look foolish and spiteful."

On his website, he posted a screenshot of an email sent to him by Lamb which can be seen below.

lamb email

The lack of candidates could be tied to the fact that one developer has been demoted during the past year, for making statements that were deemed unsuitable.

Norbert Preining was sent a notice on 17 December by the account manager team, citing a number of emails that he had sent to various Debian mailing lists.

Debian developers are able to contribute their blog posts to a site called Debian Planet and the posts are aggregated on this site.

Preining made a post on his blog on 21 September about the controversy around Linux creator Linus Torvalds last year and his blog was delinked from the Planet site by Lamb.

iTWire contacted Lamb to ask for his take on the Preining issue, but he responded: "Debian's constitution implies that the leader has no direct control over membership status within the project — rather, this is delegated to the account manager team."

An email to the account manager team has gone unanswered.

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Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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