Diederik de Haas

Account namediederik
OpenPGP fingerprint F5B1 43C1 62CC 869A 2E2E B32F D76E 5BCE 787E DB6E 0 Endorsements
Status Debian Contributor on nm.debian.org since 2021-09-09

Short Biography

My first encounter with Free Software was with id3lib. I was then a Windows user and had learned myself Visual Basic. I also had an extensive mp3 collection and used quite a bit of different programs as they all seemed lacking in one way or another (and/or had bugs). So I created my own music program (in VB) to contain all the functionality I wanted. I didn't know how to write the id3 tags into the files and was also afraid I'd destroy my mp3 files by doing it wrong. I then found id3lib which could do it for me. I found it amazing that 'someone' just gave the code away. The project (then?) also contained a COM wrapper library which I needed to use it from VB. I even fixed some issues with it, which was possible because I had the code :) (That was pretty much my only foray into C/C++) I wasn't aware back then of the custom to contribute back. Even though I made it do what I wanted, but I'm quite sure the quality was so hideous as to be instantly rejected ;-P Thinking back, I didn't violate the license, although it was unknowingly. Anyway, I was impressed that someone made id3lib available for anyone to use and it helped me achieve my goal.

Fast-forward a few years and I switched department within the company I worked then. And my new dept had a 'Linux guy'. I don't remember which distro he used, but I do recall how enthusiastic he was. I don't recall if it was a direct result of it, but at some point I did try out a Linux distro. That was probably PCLinuxOS and I was quite impressed by it. I also briefly tried out Ubuntu as that was 'advertised' as beginner friendly. I quickly learned that most of it actually came from Debian, so I switched quite soon thereafter. I'm not exactly sure with which release I started, but I do recall that I quite quickly switched to Testing as I found Stable boring ;-) I also wanted to learn all about my Debian system and changing to Testing was better suited for that (for me). I also noticed (already) back then that a lot of people easily gave up their 'principles' for a small/convenience gain and I wasn't happy about that. So when I learned about Iceweasel, I was delighted. In my perception (accurate or not), Debian (Developers) were willing to take on a(n imo) huge amount of work for the single reason that they otherwise weren't allowed to change a single picture/logo ! I knew then that Debian (community) were my kind of people and that I had made the right choice in selecting Debian as my OS.

With the recent re-launch of the Debian forums I found out that I had created an account there in 2007. Having learned some more, I began looking for ways to contribute (back) to Debian and I think that the first bug I filed was https://bugs.debian.org/510452 on 2009-01-02. Later that year I switch to using the email address I'm currently using (including for my GPG key). The first bug I filed with that email address was https://bugs.debian.org/547708 and according to it's metadata I was already running Sid as my daily driver back then. I realized that "I'm good with computers" and was pretty confident that when I got "to keep all pieces", I would be able to recover from that. So far, that turned out to be true. And that allowed me to encounter bugs and report them so that others wouldn't have to encounter them. According to https://contributors.debian.org/contributor/diederik@salsa/ I also started participating in Mailing Lists in 2009 and it's highly likely that I was then also (already) active on various IRC channels. I also had an account on alioth and was part of the "Owncloud for Debian" team (as junior developer iirc). That didn't turn out to be a success (in itself), but I did work together with 'hefee' who is now a DD.

Outside Debian, my most important contribution is with https://github.com/debian-pi/raspbian-ua-netinst/ where I submitted my first PR on 2014-04-01. Soon thereafter contributed some more at which the original creator and then maintainer asked me if I'd like to help maintain it and soon after that whether I wanted to take it over completely. Which I did and created the 'debian-pi' GH organization and moved things to that. I'm still the maintainer of that (and am working towards it installing pure Debian instead of raspbian(.org)). During that I learned quite a bit about RPi's and when I found out that there was already work being done inside Debian to run pure Debian on RPi's, I started contributing to that. I'm now one of the co-maintainers of https://salsa.debian.org/raspi-team/image-specs. Not too long ago on #debian-raspberrypi, 'kibi' suggested that I should become a DD too and 'gwolf' agreed with that. I've always wanted to become a DD 'one day' but in that exchange I learned you can also be a DD without package upload rights and thus having to do/have contributions wrt packaging, which is not what I'm currently aspiring to do. Until then, I always assumed you'd need to a have a 'fondness' for a particular package and adopt that, which I (currently) don't really have.

What I do like and want to do more besides filing bug reports, is actually fixing things. I already do that by submitting MR on salsa, but I'd be better and more able to do that as a DD. I'm also a fan of FreedomBox as it allows less technical people to take control of their own data and (helps to) escape the kludges of surveillance capitalism. I've already submitted some MRs to freedom-maker, but I hope to contribute more to that. The services provided by/via FreedomBox 'require' them to be on 24/7, so I think it's important that they're energy efficient. Not only because of climate change, but also to reduce energy costs. I think that SBCs reduce the barrier to entry by being (relatively) cheap which will hopefully also allow financially less rich people to use them. IIUC, Debian get offers for those boards in order to (help) bring support for them into Debian, but you need to be a DD in order to qualify for them. I'm currently keeping a close eye towards Pine64 developments as they seem rather FLOSS friendly and I'm also interested in RISC-V. Besides that, I hope to contribute (more) to various things in Debian in general and I expect that being a DD will help me with that.

Cheers, Diederik

Personal history

New-style processes
Started Last Target Applicant UID Status AM
2021-09-09 2021-09-10 DD, non-upl. Diederik de Haas diederik AM utkarsh
Old-style processes
Applicant From To Applying for Progress AM Advocate(s)