Since I first used Ubuntu, in December 2005, a lot of things has changed. Ubuntu has improved tremendously and improved more than I could imagine when I booted from the Breezy Badger separate Live CD, to see what this Ubuntu looked like. In the five years I’ve been a member of the Ubuntu community, a lot of things have changed. Although many people have come and gone, the size of the community is increasing every day, and the structure has changed over time, the spirit is still the same. It is a welcoming place full of nice people who are enthusiast about making something great.
The year 2010 has been a tumultuous one for me. On 2 February I finally became an Ubuntu Member, in May and October I attended the two UDSes, and in July I helped the organisation of GUADEC 2010 in The Hague. In October I also became the LoCo Contact of Ubuntu Nederland.
The year 2010 was also the year that my final year at secondary school started. An important transition in anyone’s life. It is very important for me to score high on my exams, but apart from the need for more focus on school I’m also changing as a person.
When I joined the Ubuntu community I was in my first year of secondary school. As someone diagnosed with a mild version of Asperger’s syndrome and ADD in an unfamiliar environment, I didn’t make a lot of contact on school right away. In a new social environment it takes a while before I learn what to do. The Ubuntu community was an open, welcoming place where I could find company and kind people to talk to, without the fuss that accompanies real-life conversations.
During the years I contributed to Ubuntu I learned a lot and met many kind people. It has been a wonderful experience to have the privilege to work together with such great persons. However, the last five years have been my puberty years, so it would be strange if those would have left me unchanged. As my social skills improved and my school life started to become busier and busier, I felt less and less need to be present in the Ubuntu community.
My lack of time and the decreasing need for community aggravate an increasing lack of motivation. Often I sit behind the computer, feeling bad about myself because I feel I ought to be contributing to Ubuntu, while I’m not. This makes me associate feelings of guilt and dissatisfaction with Ubuntu. I do not want to associate negative feelings with Ubuntu.
I do not want to waste energy and time that I need so much for my final exams. I do not want to turn my great memories of Ubuntu into something bad. I do not want to disappoint people who expect me to do things. Therefore, I have decided to retire from the Ubuntu community and stop before things go wrong. I feel a kind of melancholic sadness while writing this, but, to be honest, also some kind of relief.
I will stop all my work for Ubuntu in the international community. I will not quit as Ubuntu Nederland LoCo Contact. My work for that community will continue as usual for now.
Jorge, the Unity Places API still looks awesome to me, and probably will be playing with it when it becomes public. Now I’ll feel free to do just what I want, so I may be playing a bit more with code. Writing a Unity Place would be a fun exercise.
To all those countless people who I met in the Ubuntu community, I want to say: thank you for being there. Ubuntu was fun because of you. Thank you so much. There are many people who helped me out, but I want to especially thank – in alphabetic order – Carlos de Avillez, Jorge Castro, Jan Claeys, Laura Czajkowski and Dr Vish for their patience with me and for their indestructible enthusiasm, which has been my source of motivation during those years.
I am sorry if I disappoint you by leaving. I do not think that this leave will be forever, maybe I will see you again later, when I come back.