Nicholas D Steeves

Account namesten
OpenPGP fingerprint E2A6 261E 3900 AED7 CDC6 6708 5A88 3047 5F7D 1061 0 Endorsements
Status Debian Developer, uploading since 2021-01-13

Short Biography

I started with GNU/Linux at a young age, and it was my mother who led me to it. One day she read about this new operating system in an article from a magazine somewhere, and she thought that it would interest me, so brought a copy of the magazine home. She was right, and ten minutes later I was convinced "this is amazing!" I must also thank my father for having been able to own a computer. Later, when I was without one during my first 1.5 years of university, it became clear how difficult it is to get anything done when one is at the mercy of library/lab system availability when there are never enough seats, no matter the hour.

My professional experience was with RedHat and SUSE systems; however, I maintained packages in CRUX Linux for a couple of years. This was because at that time Debian packaging was much harder to learn than it is now. In 2011 Debian became the only OS I use personally, and I began contributing in 2015.

But more generally, why Debian?

Because old-stable2stable upgrades are reliable, and because the standards for what ends up in a stable release are exemplary--including post-release updates. Combine this with the availability of a massive library of (carefully packaged) software, and a community who is responsive to bug reports, and the question becomes: Why aren't you using Debian?

A little bit about myself: I live in Montréal, Québec (Canada), where I spend a lot of my free time studying, practising, and making music. I delight in successfully reverse engineering entire meals, and I maintain several literary pursuits (in English and in French). I miss university campus life, where casual conversations are filled with the heaviest of topics. This was something that I was surprised to find at DC17--like campus life, people were discussing these sorts of topics moments after meeting! To all those people, thank you, this experience brought me joy.

Within Debian, I am part of the Emacsen Team, the Multimedia Team, the Debian Installer Team, and the DPMT and PAPT. There is a story for each of them, along with many goals, but here is the most biographically important one: The impetus for my initial contributions was to work towards bringing Debian's Btrfs integration up to somewhere near the sophistication of OpenSUSE's, and since then I've established how much work this will be, where it needs to happen, plus a couple of options for how to solve various problems. In particular I'm excited about the prospect of being able to upgrade sid2sid, discover something is amiss, and then reboot (or pivot) into a pre-upgrade snapshot. My hope is that an "undo" function for upgrades will make it more attractive to use sid on a production system before the freeze, because debugging the issue can be deferred to a time when one has the time to debug.

Please contact me if you're interested in co-founding a team to work towards this effort.

Personal history

New-style processes
Started Last Target Applicant UID Status AM
2020-05-01 2021-01-13 DD, upl. Nicholas D Steeves sten Closed onovy
2016-12-01 2016-12-21 DM Nicholas D Steeves sten Closed
Old-style processes
Applicant From To Applying for Progress AM Advocate(s)