I got involved with Debian development in, I think, 1998. In early 1999, I was accepted as a Debian developer. The next two or three years were a formative experience for me. I learned both software engineering and massively international collaboration; I also made two major contributions to Debian that are still around (of this, I am very proud). In consequence, being a Debian developer became a part of my identity. Even after my activity lessened more than a decade ago, after I no longer was a carefree student, it was very hard for me to let go. So I’ve hung on.
Until now. I created my 4096-bit GPG key (B00B474C) in 2010, but never got around to collecting signatures to it. I’ve seen other people send me their key transition statements, but I have not signed any keys based on them. It just troubles me to endorse a better secured key based on the fact that I once verified a less secure key and I have a key signature chain to it. For this reason, I have not made any transition statements of my own. I’ve been meaning to set up key signing meetings with Debian people in Finland. I never got around to that, either.
That, my friends, was my wakeup call. If I can’t be bothered to do that, what business do I have clinging on to my Debian identity? My conclusion is that there is none.
Therefore, I will be retiring from Debian. This is not a formal notice; I will be doing the formal stuff (including disposing of my packages) separately in the appropriate forums in the near future.
I agree with the sentiment that Joey Hess wrote elsewhere: “It’s become abundantly clear that this is no longer the project I originally joined”. Unlike Joey, I think that is a good thing. Debian has grown, a lot. It’s not perfect, but like my elementary-school teacher once said: “A thing that is perfect was not made by people.” Just remember to continue growing and getting better.
And keep making the Universal Operating System.
Thank you, all.