|I’m sure you’re right about Bdale, but I want to point out that LOTS of Debian developers donate GOBS of time and energy to Debian without being paid, and in many cases without getting any recognition. The Debian project, and free software in general, is an amazing demonstration of the human capacity to Do Stuff.
I’ve downloaded package source, made mods and built my own packages. I know what’s involved. I know how huge so many packages are (XFree, Gimp, Emacs, Vim, Bind/Sendmail, gcc, libc, dpkg, apt, …), and I’m amazed at how much work Debian and upstream developers put in without any expectation for compensation.
Sometimes they even have to deal with the vitriol of ungrateful users who want it faster, prettier, more perfect, or just different. And heaven forbid if one of those developers should speak out against a fiesty user! Then a flame war may burst out either in private, on Debian Planet, or the mailing lists.
These people are my heros. I will almost certainly be volunteering to become a Debian Package Maintainer this year, and I will be proud to contribute to such a noble cause and stand among such creative and tolerand men and women. I hope some of their traits rub off on me when I rub elbows with them.
Thank you, Free Software Developers!