Nicholas D Steeves

Account namesten
OpenPGP fingerprintE2A6 261E 3900 AED7 CDC6 6708 5A88 3047 5F7D 1061
Status Debian Maintainer since 2016-12-21

Short Biography

My primary interests are music, literature, and education; although, this wasn't always the case. I evaluate any tool according to the following criteria: 1. reliability, 2. longevity, 3. ease of maintenance and repair, 4. productivity with a tool vs time spent thinking about or working on it. 5. flexibility to adapt it to uses that were not considered when said tool was chosen. 6. Documentation and the availability of debugging facilities figure prominently into [3] and [4]. Because Debian excels in each of these categories, I believe it is one of the best tools available.

Like many, my start with Free Software was with Red Hat. I sought it out, because a popular operating system regularly wasted my time with a variety of networking, driver-related, and general reliability issues. My preference for Debian initially emerged for the following reasons: 1. The ease of configuration, and nice /etc/alternatives system. 2. Sensible minimal installations. 3. Dependable major version to major version upgrades. I also found it far more flexible and adaptable than Red Hat...and of course, the immense number of precompiled packages in the archive was very nice!

Of course I used other distributions at home and at work--including two years packaging and writing documentation for CRUX Linux--and quite some time with an allegedly more polished and problem-free one, but I finally returned to Debian for the Squeeze release. Years later, I'm confident enough in my commitment to Debian to be able commit to contributing.

In addition to what is listed at I maintain several backported packages. Here is what I have on github: As for what I would like to contribute to Debian: documentation, backports, bug triaging, better btrfs integration, and possibly help with DebConf 17 planning.

As for why I want to volunteer my time? Well, other communities are now said to have better documentation, more comprehensive and/or up-to-date backports, and better btrfs integration, so I'd like to do what little I can to change this.

In terms of big ideals...when considering a software project to contribute to, Debian should be near the top of the list, because it is upstream from so many projects. In particular, I hope that a couple of projects targeting a few highly affordable ARM SBCs will succeed in changing the world by facilitating a greater degree of computer literacy to a greater number of people than has ever been seen before.

Personal history

New-style processes
Started Last Target Applicant UID Status AM
2020-05-01 2020-06-10 DD, upl. Nicholas D Steeves sten AM 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)