John Goerzen


I will bring to the board:

  • Expertise -- derived from experiences with Debian and other volunteer organizations, as well as in-depth knowledge of the task and purpose of SPI;
  • Dedication -- I believe that being a member of the SPI board is not an honor or responsibility to be taken lightly, and as such, I will treat it with the importance it deserves. I will make every effort to attend every meeting and vote, and if I get hit by a bus or stricken by some other disaster that leaves me unable to participate, I will ensure that the board does not get stuck in a bad situation because of me.
  • Time -- I have enough of it to spend not just for the regular meetings, but also in preparation for them (reading background on pending issues, etc.)
  • Integrity and Diplomacy -- I will not shrink from advocating what is right just because it is difficult or controversial; but by the same token, I will not act to inflame debate or "burn bridges" with others.

Background and experience

I bring with me a great deal of experience in various areas, which I believe will be useful should the membership of SPI select me for a seat on the board.

I am a current SPI contributing member and I have been a developer with Debian, an SPI project, since 1996. During that time, I have worked with many different things -- maintaining some dozens of packages, working on the Alpha port, etc. I have also written numerous GPL'd software. My most recent project is OfflineIMAP, a bidirectional mail synchronization tool.

I was the founder and first president of the Air Capital Linux Users Group of Wichita, Kansas. Since 1998, that group has been dedicated to advancing the cause of Free Software in a local area. As president of that group, I gained experience running a volunteer-based organization that I believe will serve me well with SPI.

I have been involved with several books as well. My most recent book, the Linux Programming Bible, spans nearly 1000 pages and was published by IDG in 2000. I also co-authored several other books, including Debian Unleashed, and Debian GNU/Linux: Guide to Installation and Usage. More recently, I served as technical editor for the upcoming second edition of O'Reilly's Understanding the Linux Kernel.


There are not many polarizing issues pending before the board at this time, so I will attempt to lay out a "platform" here, in brief.

If elected to the Board, I will stand for:

  • Continuing the trend of increased accountability of the SPI board, officers, and committees to its membership and member projects.
  • Developing ways to increase interest and involvement in SPI among people qualified to be contributing members -- a good place to start may be Debian.
  • Developing procedures to ensure that SPI does not get mired in future quorum problems, while simultaneously maintaining accountability and reasonable "checks and balances."
  • Increasing regular communication with member projects to get them more actively involved with SPI. Several of our member projects have probably not communicated with SPI in months, or even years. (If they have, it's not been visible)
  • Bottom line -- doing all we can to best support Free Software.