History Repeats Itself

By | November 2, 2009

Several years ago, I was honoured by an invite from Judd Vinet, Arch Linux Founder, to join the Arch Linux development team as Documentor. I did the job for a while, helped start and fill our first wiki, got bored, and resigned. I continued in the Arch Community doing notable activities like forum administration and moderation, and wiki maintenance.

Then, Aaron Griffin, current Arch Linux Overlord, posted a need for an Arch Developer to handle the Django projects for internal development and the Arch Linux website. I’m a Django coder, so I volunteered for the job. I cleaned up the code, ported us to Djngo 1.0 (and later, 1.1), implemented a few features, maintained some mirrors, got bored, and resigned.

Yes, this weekend, I resigned my position as Arch Linux developer, joining an elite group of ex-developers for the second time.

I do a lot of Django development by day, and found that I am less and less inclined to do more of it for Arch Linux in my free time. So I’m not going to do it anymore. I’m not dropping involvement in Arch, as I’m still maintaining and improving the product lines of Arch Linux Schwag. I’m also hoping to promote Arch Bounty and see it take off. Finally, I’m working with ralvez to organize an ArchCon this summer (more on this soon).

So I’m not cutting back my involvement at all, just switching to things that are currently interesting to me. I’m well-known for insisting that being an Arch Linux developer and being an Arch Linux community member are one and the same thing. The development team focuses on core Arch Linux issues and technical issues, stuff I was once interested in, but not currently. The community is left to deal with meta-projects, and I’ve got lots of those on the go right now.

So I hope I’m setting an example by stepping down: Being an Arch Linux developer doesn’t make you important, it isn’t an elite position. What makes you important is contributing to Arch Linux in any way. You are an elite member of a very powerful team if you’ve ever filed a bug report, answered a forum question, created a wrapper script, hosted your own repo, or edited the wiki.

Because of this, I’m not sad to leave the Arch Development Core. I’ve quit before, and I suspect I’ll be joining some of my best friends and most respected software developers when a core project takes my fancy once again. In the meantime, I’m a powerful community member and contributor, just like you.

3 thoughts on “History Repeats Itself

  1. pyther

    Now how am I going to get inside information?!?!

    Though you got to do what your interested in. Thanks for the many improvements that you have made, but I must ask who will take over your position. Surely there aren’t any Djngo devs that are as brilliant as you!

  2. dtw

    I couldn’t agree more with Dusty.

    “Being an Arch Linux developer doesn’t make you important, it isn’t an elite position. What makes you important is contributing to Arch Linux in any way.”

    In possibly one of the most bizarre coincidences of my life I became a Developer pretty much the day I stopped doing anything useful for or with Linux.

    I was very exicted about being nominated to be a developer and was awaiting the outcome of the decision with baited breath. Instead the first big news of the day was that my Grandmother had died suddenly. That just put debating and tinkering with an operating system in a whole new light and, as much as I tried, I never recovered my motivation.

    Being a developer means nothing. I contributed a huge amount to Arch before I became a developer (whether those contributions were good or not is a matter of opinion) and contributed precisely jack once I became a developer.

    Now I have been offered a new job and it has GIS component, so I want to check out the open source offerings again. This morning I booted into Arch and fsck told me the disks had not been checked for 260 days. I’ve got some updating to do but with a reason to actually use Linux again, I hope I might actually start to contribute again.

    And where better to start, after a 3 year break, than right at the very beginning?


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