Bdale Garbee Platform

Who I Am

My name is Bdale Garbee, and I ask you to re-elect me to the board of directors of Software in the Public Interest for another term.

My first personal contribution to what we now call Free Software was in about 1979. I joined the Debian project in late 1994, and have contributed in many ways over the years: maintaining packages, architecting and implementing some of the early debian.org infrastructure, instigating or aiding ports of Debian to 5 processor architectures, serving as Debian Project Leader, to my current role as chairman of the Debian Technical Committee.

I have observed SPI nearly since its founding, became an official advisor to the board on behalf of Debian during my term as DPL, and have remained active as an advisor to or member of the SPI board ever since. I was elected by the board to serve as SPI President a year ago, and if re-elected to the board this year, I have expressed my willingness to continue serving as President for another year if the board so chooses.

I think of myself as both a technologist and a community builder. I take some pleasure in the fact that others have told me that the many public presentations I've made about Debian, the community development process, and various technical aspects of software development over the years have helped influenced them to contribute in their own diverse ways.

I serve as Secretary of the Consumer Electronics Linux Forum (CELF) board of directors, am a non-voting observer of the board of directors of the Open Source Initiative (OSI), and provide advice to and have an extensive network of contacts in various other open source communities.

I am employed as Chief Technologist of HP's Open Source & Linux business.

Thoughts on the Past Year

During the past year, SPI has made significant progress towards resolving long-standing procedural problems that were impeding our ability to meet the basic service expectations of our associated projects. Our treasurer and assistants have made significant progress towards bringing our financial records up to standards and into a maintainable state, and caught up on our government paperwork filing. We no longer have routine difficulty in making board meeting quorum, we have better documentation and practices for handling resolutions of the board, and we're nearly caught up on publication of past meeting minutes.

A measure of our success is that we were able to accept several significant new associated projects in the past year.

These accomplishments are of course not my own, but I hope and believe that my focus on the fundamentals and effort to maintain a productive environment for action by everyone involved in SPI as a board member and as President helped these things happen.

What Comes Next

The board needs to remain focused on our ability to deliver basic services to our associated projects. Financial transaction processing and other basic processes aren't glamorous, but if we can't get them right, there's little point in trying to do anything else. And there remain issues with our bylaws that I think deserve to be addressed.

One of the reasons I agreed to serve as SPI President last year is that I sensed in the new board a real willingness and desire to fix some of the problems the organization was experiencing. I'm very encouraged by the progress we've made in the last year, and I would like to have the opportunity to continue working on your behalf as we continue to improve SPI's processes and consider expanding the list of SPI activities and associated projects.

Thank you for your time, your attention, and your vote!