Last modified by Administrator on 2015.03.18 at 08:55:04 PDT

Hi, I'm Stefano Zacchiroli, but feel free to call me Zack.
I'm running for election for an affiliate member seat in OSI board of directors this spring.

About me

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I'm 35, Italian from Bologna, living in Paris, France, since 2008. I've been using Free and Open Source Software (FOSS, even though I generally go for the term "Free Software") since 1997 and actively participating in a number of Free Software projects since shortly after that. I'm most known for my contributions to Debian, where I've been an official project member since 2001, maintained numerous popular packages, been a member of the QA team, served as Debian Project Leader (DPL) for 3 terms in a row over the 2010-2013 period.

Among other things, as DPL I've worked quite a bit on Debian's "foreign policy", on topics like growing an ecosystem of Debian derivatives, getting Debian closer to the FSF, and having Debian join OSI as an affiliate project. Working in close collaboration with SFLC, I've also contributed to address a number of legal and policy issues, at the sometime uneasy intersection between Free Software and the legal system.

I've participated actively in country-level Free Software policy making in Europe, helping a few large French public utilities with their Free Software strategies, and more recently the Italian government in defining their software acquisition guidelines, which now has Free Software as the default choice for public administrations.

In "real" life I'm a computer science researcher and teacher (Maître de Conférences) at Université Paris Diderot and a fellow at IRILL, a research center with Free Software as its mission. I love biking (both with and without a motor- prefix), prog rock, running, and playing backgammon.

Why I'm running

In my view of the Free Software ecosystem, FSF, OSI, and Debian are the 3 organizations that act as gatekeepers of the core values of our movement. To be sure, they have different roles and agendas, with overlaps, but they are also largely complementary. With its recent profound reorganization, OSI has become the first one of them where independent projects, and not only individual members, can become affiliates and join efforts in promoting Free Software world-wide with effective political actions. Not only that: affiliate projects can also have a say in OSI direction, as part of an open and transparent governance structure that in my experience is fundamental to be respected by other Free Software stakeholders. These two aspects—political action and open governance—were fundamental in my decisions to propose Debian as one of the first OSI affiliate projects.

For open governance to be real, though, affiliates must step up and participate. My main motivation for running for an affiliate seat is to put my actions where my mouth is, and step up to help the OSI board keep up with its activities.

Now onto more specific lines of action I'd love to be involved with. The Open Source Definition (OSD) is starting to show its age and has diverged from the Debian Free Software Guidelines for no particularly good reason. I see value, for both OSI and Debian, in harmonizing them back again. Due to my role in both organizations, I think I can help.

I'd love to see OSI work more and more in close cooperation with the FSF against major threats to Free Software, as it has happened in the past in actions against software patents. I believe my good relationships with both organizations can help there too.

If you agree I could help OSI and its board fulfilling their missions, I welcome your support in the forthcoming election.

Thank you for reading thus far, I'm available for any further question both here and via email.

Created by Stefano Zacchiroli on 2014.03.22 at 03:13:21 PDT

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