Candidacy (Martin Baulig)
- From: Martin Baulig <martin home-of-linux org>
- To: foundation-announce gnome org
- Cc: foundation-list gnome org
- Subject: Candidacy (Martin Baulig)
- Date: 12 Oct 2000 21:10:17 +0200
Well, I'm really not a person who can write a good summary about
himself and tell others why they should elect me, but for those
of you who don't know me yet, let's give it a try ....
* I joined the GNOME project in early 1998 where I developed
LibGTop, the portable system access library, and rewrote GTop to
use LibGTop. So I'm almost a GNOME since the early beginning
and I've already done a lot of different tasks in the project.
* Around the time of the 1.0 release, I helped making the release
tarballs and to write the announcement and I realized how much
fun it can be to work with other people in such a good team as
the GNOME team is and to work on such a cool think like GNOME.
* Later on, Will LaShell and me wrote several different prototype
versions of a new GNOME website - none of them was ever finished
nor even released to the public, but during this time I learned
that in a project like GNOME there are also non-fun things which
need to be done and that someone needs to take the initiative and
start doing it.
* Around the end of 1999, I had a very hard term at the university
and I also needed to work to finance my studies; during this time
I was almost unable to do any GNOME hacking at all, and all I did
for GNOME was participing in endless IRC and email discussions and
* In the meantime, I did several admin tasks such as cvsmaster,
sysadmin and such and I also do some webmaster stuff when I find
the time for it.
This was the old Martin Baulig, that guy who spent endless nights on
IRC and that guy with more different operating systems on his machine
than other people have coffee cups on their desks ....
* While still being a student (mathematics and computer science), SuSE
hired me this spring to work on GNOME and from this time on, a lot
of things changed for me.
* Starting with the 2nd Braunschweiger LinuxDays, I started to go to
conferences, run GNOME booths there and give GNOME talks - and so I
organized us a very nice GNOME booth at LinuxTag where we were able
to demonstrate GNOME to a lot of people who never used it before ...
* Also, things like CORBA and Bonobo have always fascinated me and so
I learned a lot about Bonobo, did some talks about it, and finally
started hacking on it a few weeks ago.
But now, that Nautilus has almost finished compiling on my slow machine,
back to how I see the future of GNOME and how I see the foundation ....
* I see GNOME not only as a user interface, but also as a development
Historically, Free Software have been written by people who needed the
software, by people who wanted to have some new cool nice toy or by
people who just had fun with programming or playing around with the
This is what we're coming from and this is also our strength and our
future - Free Software gives people not only the freedom to use the
software, but also the freedom to develop whatever application they
To archive this goal, we need to have well-designed and well-documented
APIs, we need to provide libraries which are a benefit to use and not
a burden of yet another bloat.
For me, if someone needs to asks why he should use libgnome and not just
GTK+, this signifies that there must be something wrong with -lgnome which
we need to change.
Since the freeze to GNOME 1.0, there haven't been any improvements to the
main GNOME libraries, but only bug fixes while all other parts of GNOME
have developed over the time.
For GNOME 2.0, we have the big chance to provide a new and improved
gnome-libs, a gnome-libs which people want to use because they want the
technology and the features it provides and a gnome-libs which is modulized
and not one big large bloat.
* But we also need to learn from the past, especially we need to learn to make
releases when they're ready and not when some people for whatever reason want
them to happen.
GNOME 1.0 was released way before it was ready and a lot of people who tried
it out got the wrong impression that GNOME is unstable alpha level software
which crashes all over the time.
If I become elected to the board, I will try my best to avoid this in future,
to make sure we do not release things before they are ready, to make sure we
test things before we release and to make sure we document things before we
* While I was traveling to shows here in Germany, a lot of people said that they
find it important for GNU/Linux and for GNOME/KDE to quickly become an alternative
for Microsoft Windows and they compare what the GNOME/KDE desktops have and what
Microsoft Windows has.
In my opinion, they miss one important thing: the biggest difference between
GNU/Linux and Windows and what will make us always superior to it is the fact that
GNU/Linux and GNOME is Free Software.
I understand that there are a lot of companies which are now supporting GNOME and
which want to make GNOME the default desktop for the GNU/Linux system to make it
compete with Windows.
But I don't think that KDE is our enemy; in fact, I think that the competition
between the two desktop environments is good and will push both of them forward.
For me, the most important thing we need to do for GNOME to become a success is
to make it right and to keep in mind that GNOME has always been 100% Free Software
and that GNOME will always remain 100% Free Software.
Of cause, it is not wrong to get support from more and more companies and to get
more and more companies hiring developers to work on GNOME - in contrary, this is
the biggest chance we ever had - with the support of all these companies, we have
a large amount of resources, especially man-power, which we need to make use of.
I learned this in my own life - as SuSE hired me, I was able to work for GNOME all
of my spare time, I don't need to worry how to finance my studies anymore, and I
can write better software then I was able before.
But this is also a big and very responsible task for the GNOME Foundation - we need
to make sure, that we are the ones who decide the direction in which GNOME goes, and
not the companies, and that we also always keep in mind where we came from,
especially that we're part of the Free Software community.
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