I swear, I find out about some new event Ubuntu does every day. How is it that I've been around Ubuntu for as long as I have and I've only now heard about this?
Well, in any case, today is Ubuntu Community Appreciation Day, where we give thanks to the humans (remember, ubuntu means humanity!) that have so graciously donated their time to make Ubuntu a reality.
I have a lot of people to thank in the community. We have some really exceptional people about. I really feel like I could make the world's longest blog post just trying to list them all. Several folks already have!
Instead, I'll point out a major player in the community who is pretty unseen these days.
Phill Westside was a major contributor to Lubuntu. He was there when I first came to #lubuntu so many moons ago. His friendly, inviting demeanour was one of the things that kept me sticking around after my support request was met. Phill took it upon himself to encourage me just as he had with others and slowly I came to contribute more and more.
Sadly, some people in high rankings in the community failed to see Phill's value for whatever reason. I'm not sure I totally understand but I think the barrage of opinions that came from Jono Bacon's call for reform in Ubuntu governance may offer some hint. Phill's no longer an Ubuntu member and is rarely seen in the typical places in the community.
Yet he still helps out on #lubuntu, still helps with Lubuntu ISO testing, still reposts Lubuntu news on Facebook, still contributes to the Lubuntu mailing lists, still tries to help herd the cats as it were, though he's handed off titles to others (that's how I'm the Release Manager and Head of QA!). tl;dr, Phill is still a major contributor to Ubuntu.
Did I mention he's a great guy to hang out with, too? I've never met him face to face, but I'm sure if I did, I'd give him one heck of a big ole hug.