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Wed, 04 Jan 2006


After bubulle asked and Gunar tried to explain (Anybody understood his explanation? Good, I thought I was the only one ;) he finally published it on the DebConf website... somehow I feel some kind of Déjà vu...

postet at 22:50 into [Debian/events/DebConf-6] permanent link

Back from holidays! Couldn't you just have mailed?

Well... a week ago I thought, that when I would be back, I would write an other personal blog entry. After I already told you, that I was quite nervy meeting her parents, I could tell you now, that everything went quite well, and that we had quite some fun.

But getting back, I was confronted with a not so nice thing, which tainted my mood a bit. So no details, just a complaint.

Well, but one step at a time. First a small explanation: I help a bit organizing the DebConf-6. I'm member of the "review committee" whose job was to discuss the proposals we got in answer to our Call for Papers. After that we accepted and rejected different proposals, and didn't get any feedback at all.

Well, we did that short before Christmas and then half of us went to holidays. I was one of them, and managed to check my emails from time to time, without receiving any comments about the decisions we made. Therefore I thought everything was quite well, until I retourned.

Then I got back, connected to my irc client (where I was logged in all the time, but was marked as away), and saw a small note in my awaylog, asking me for some rational about something mentioned a few lines earlier. I didn't know about what - I just log someone mentioning my name or some keywords (e.g. packages I maintain or am interested in). Sounded somehow important, so I asked back what the questions was.

Soon I got informed, that there were complains about a talk proposal we rejected. After a bit confusion (according to my memory and some note we indeed accepted the talk), we found out, that we did a small mistake in the database, so the submitter of that specific proposal got the wrong mail telling him the proposal was rejected. Not a big problem; we could still mark it as accepted and send them the information the other accepted proposal got. So at this point you might wonder, what the big fuss is all about.

Well, first of all: The complains about the rejected proposal reached us by luck. Luckily I was in the channel, where the rejection was discussed. Luckily I was connected at that time. Luckily my irssi didn't crashed. Luckily I checked my awaylog carefully. Luckily I was informed about the whole matter. Luckily we could solve the problem. After nearly two weeks I thought everything was fine (and therefore did nothing), it took just two or three hours to solve the problem (most of the time was spent to carefully formulate a difficult mail in a foreign language).

Not a big problem at all - although you might wonder why they raised their concerns in a complete other channel on an other network, instead of simply asking us. What I really dislike is the form they used to raise their complains.

When they complained they asked if the DebConf was bought by Sun or the committee on crack and similar things.

I'm sure they didn't really meant it that way, but after losing a couple of good friends to drugs telling me, I am on crack (or any other drug) is one of the biggest insults you can give me! Wondering if I (or a volunteer project I'm working for) got bribed by a company isn't much nicer.

So let me say this: Yes, we rejected proposals. Yes, we rejected even some proposals we found good in some way or an other. Neither have we been on crack nor have we been bribed! We rejected some proposals because they didn't fit to DebConf, were a rerun or had big overlaps with other proposals we accepted. We rejected some round tables, because the one proposing it didn't provided us with useful information: Whom to invite and what to ask. Sometimes we had mixed feelings about proposals; we usually then accepted them if we knew the one who made the proposal is a good speaker, we rejected some where we knew the proposal come from a bad / disorganized / boring speaker. We did that in a public discussion and answered questions by non committee members when they were raised. I really don't think we did anything wrong, beside the small mistake when we rejected a proposal which was accepted, and I think we got a nice mixture for the main track with some really good talks!

As said: Telling me I'm on crack is a big insult. Nevertheless I tried to stay calm, tried my best to solve that matter, and later wrote a mail, apologizing for the mistake. Part of that mail was that we didn't liked their way of raising their complains (showing that I knew what they said about us). I expected at least an answer, thanking us for solving the problem, perhaps even a small apology about the insults. But till now - two days later - I didn't received anything, not even a small "thanks" via irc :(

Now I just could forget the whole story. But then I saw it again: Someone wondering about the committees decision in the same channel, instead of just asking us!

Damn! If you want to know why we rejected your proposal, just ask! Stop griping in unrelated channels. That's just a wast of other peoples time, resulting in nothing but damage to to the DebConf.

Update: Small correction: We got some feedback. Liw raised some concerns. His mail was answered 8 minutes after we received it by a committee member. Since he didn't answered I guess he is satisfied by the answer or at least doesn't feel very strong about that point.

postet at 22:50 into [Debian/events/DebConf-6] permanent link

Fri, 23 Dec 2005

Season greetings!

Let's see... Presents... check! Selfmade cookies... check! Clothes for next week... check! Season greetings for fellow Debians... well, I think I can "check" that, too... Butterflies in my stomach... check!

In approximatly two hours I'll meet her and we'll travell to her family. I'll meet them for my first time. I can't remember when I was so nervy for the last time... actually I can't remember, if I've been ever that nervy...

I don't know how conectivity is down there (but any way it won't be very polite to get there and stay on the computer, wouldn't it?) So don't expect much of during the next week. Therefore:

Merry X-Mas, happy Hanukkah or nice holidays! Good luck and happy new year!

postet at 15:52 into [Debian] permanent link

Wed, 21 Dec 2005

The end of an era!

After it has been removed from sid earlier, it's now gone from etch, too. That's the end of an era:

From: Debian testing watch <>
Subject: tuxracer REMOVED from testing
Date: Tue, 20 Dec 2005 15:08:13 -0700

One of the nicest games to kill some time and more important: To test if you configured your X correctly including 3D acceleration is now gone from Debian.

Luckily there is ppracer as successor, but I think I'll miss tuxracer nevertheless ;)

postet at 16:36 into [Debian] permanent link

Wed, 30 Nov 2005

Do you really want to know how my day was?

Well, it would have been my last day at my old job. I'll start a new one tomorrow (it's kind of debian-related, so I might blog about that later). Still some loose ends, and that nasty feeling, that I let down my boss in some kind of way - if it wasn't for the money (he can't give me more, even if he wished to do so, it was a state paid job, no possibility to negotiate about salary) I wouldn't go away.

But I didn't go to work today...

I havn't seen at a doctor for the last five years, and even then it was just a checkup when leaving military service. I honestly can't remember, when was the last time that I was so ill, that I needed to see a doctor... today I not only visited two of them before midday (the first send me to a specialist, and luckily the specialist was just a few blocks away and had time for me), I got my first operation, too. Outch.

Do you really want to know, how my day was?

postet at 21:22 into [Debian] permanent link

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Alexander Tolimar Reichle-Schmehl lives in Tuttlingen / Germany. Hw works as IT manager (specialized on Unix and SAN/Storage) for an international automotive supplier.