The widely used Debian GNU/Linux distribution has a new project leader, after an election process spanning several weeks.
Australian Anthony Towns won the poll from a field of several candidates after 421 votes--representing 43 percent of the eligible community of Debian developers--were cast. Towns, who is also the secretary of industry body Linux Australia, will take up the post for one year from April 17, taking over from incumbent Branden Robinson.
His appointment was announced on a posting to a Debian list on Saturday evening by the project's secretary, Manoj Srivastava.
In his platform for election, Towns said the most important issue for Debian was "increasing its tempo."
"We've been slow in a lot of things, from releasing, to getting updates in, to processing applications from prospective developers, to fixing bugs, to making decisons on policy questions, and all sorts of other things," he said.
According to the Debian Web site, Towns's tasks as project leader include giving talks and presentations about the distribution to external events such as trade shows, and forging good relationships with other organizations and companies.
Towns must also manage the project and define its vision while supporting the work of developers.
Based in Brisbane, Towns has served as manager for the last two Debian releases. He told ZDNet Australia in an e-mail interview that his greatest challenge in the job would be coordinating Debian's ongoing development.
"I don't think it's a question of where we want to go, so much as whether we're getting there as quickly as we ought to be. So primarily, I'm going to be focussing on helping the project get from 'Hey, wouldn't it be nice if...' to 'Sure, you can do that just by downloading the current Debian' as efficiently as possible," he wrote.
"Some of that will mean making sure we take advantage of the work that other groups, like Ubuntu, or Red Hat have already done," he added. "Other times it will mean making sure we don't get confused in how we're talking to each other and create unnecessary delays that way. Other times it will mean coming up with inventive new techniques to avoid problems that either haven't come up before, or simply haven't been solved before."
"It's a big goal, so my main priority at the moment is to break out some reasonably achievable tasks, and develop some plans to get them happening," he wrote.
Towns' second priority was to ensure those who had expressed interest in contributing more to Debian were given that opportunity, "starting with the other (project leader) candidates", he said.
Steven Deare reports for ZDNet Australia in Sydney.