Name: Michael W. Olson

Email: <mwolson AT member DOT fsf DOT org>

Launchpad: https://launchpad.net/people/mwolson

Website: http://mwolson.org/

Projects: http://mwolson.org/projects/


Software maintained

I am the upstream maintainer of the following software.

Software contributions

In addition to the software I maintain, I also make contributions to various projects.

  • Planner (planner-el): former maintainer and continuing contributor

  • EMMS: wrote emms-player-mpd.el, which allows MusicPD to be a backend for EMMS

  • ErBot: fixed various bugs, added contrib/wtf.el, and implemented the Makefile-based build system

  • Remember (remember-el): set up mailing lists, Arch archive, and Makefile-based build system

  • DVC: fixed a couple of bugs, implemented bzr patch submission via email

Ubuntu packages maintained

I maintain the emacs22 package, along with ReinhardTartler.

For an explanation of why this package is different than Debian's packaging, see the /WhyDifferentEmacs page.

Debian packages maintained

I regularly coordinate updates with the sponsor of my Debian packages.

Wiki homepages


  • Building an Emacs (possibly MOTU-related, with a mailing list) community for Ubuntu: see /EmacsCommunity for details.

  • Preserving Texinfo documentation in GNU packages, to thwart Debian's removal of said documentation.
  • Ensuring that Ubuntu releases are high-quality by reporting important bugs.
  • Becoming a MOTU (perhaps).


This section explains why I switched from Debian to Ubuntu.

By January 2006, I had come to maintain the Debian packages erc, muse-el, emacs-wiki, and planner-el. I found an excellent sponsor who uploaded updates to the packages for me. I was going to try to become a Debian developer, but the following vote soured me on that.

The result of Debian's vote on the GFDL was unsatisfactory to me, and was my primary reason for switching to Ubuntu. I sent several emails to the debian-emacsen list to this effect. (I realize in retrospect that it would have been best not to have included the last paragraph to the first email message.)

The main consequence of this vote is that the emacs21 maintainer for Debian will be forced to put the Emacs manuals in a separate package and place said manuals in non-free. Without the manuals, the utility of Emacs for new users is greatly decreased. In addition, the maintainer will probably have to remove several key files from the etc/ subdirectory that explain Free Software and the GNU Project. As an associate member of the FSF and a maintainer of GNU software, this is completely unacceptable to me.

Because of this vote, Ubuntu is now the best choice for Emacs and Free Software aficionados who want an apt-based GNU/Linux distribution. Ubuntu's rapid release cycle and refreshing human-oriented philosophy are also important factors.


MichaelOlson (last edited 2008-08-06 17:00:53 by localhost)