McIntyre vs. Zacchiroli in Debian Leadership Battle

Mar 10, 2009

Two developers have entered the race for the Debian Project Leadership. New candidate Stephano “Zack” Zacchiroli is challenging current leader Steve McIntyre, who is running for a second term in office.

An announcement by the newly selected secretary Kurt Roeckx early in March declared the election open. Both candidates have websites introducing themselves and explaining their individual ideas for Debian's future.

British Steve McIntyre joined Debian in 1996 and has lead the project since 2008. In his platform statement he tells of his reluctance to run for the post a second time, and how he was finally convinced to do so by his friends. If he does win, McIntyre says he will appoint Luk Claes as his assistant. McIntyre has been calling for more communication within the Debian Project since he was elected in 2008 and some of the goals he set himself he failed to realize because of the enormous complexity of the workload. Which is why he wants the support of Claes this time around, he says.

First-time candidate Stephano “Zack” Zacchiroli has been a Debian developer since 2001. “My Debian involvement has been through two distinct phases. In the first one I only cared about my packages, ignoring the community: no IRC, no -devel subscription, etc. Then, at LinuxTag 2004, I discovered Debian as a community and got fascinated by it, gradually increasing my involvement in the project” he says. Zacchiroli is a researcher at the Diderot University in Paris, which he describes as a contributors nest for the French Debian community. If elected, he wants to make Debian more accessible for contributions from outside the community and he too desires better communication at Debian and promises more personal meetings. Dealing with what he calls vocal minorities is also on his to-do list, and in a probable reference to the unrest that lead to the previous secretary stepping down prior to the Lenny release, Zacchiroli says, “Our mailing lists have substantially improved over the last 5 years. Every now and then though, they get polluted by (apparently) very vocal minorities capable of polarizing discussions, which is neither productive, nor fun.”

The election campaign will run until March 29, with ideas and suggestions from both candidates being discussed on the Internet. Voting under the relatively complicated Condorcet method will take place between March 29 and April 11. Voters will select candidates according to rank.

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