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Bits from the Extremadura QA meeting

15 developers gathered in Mérida (Spain) during the last week-end for a Quality Assurance meeting, part of the series of meetings sponsored by the Junta de Extremadura.
15 developers gathered in Mérida (Spain) during the last week-end for a
Quality Assurance meeting, part of the series of meetings sponsored by
the Junta de Extremadura[0]. We really want to thank the Junta de
Extremadura, and in particular César Gómez, for organizing this meeting.

At the same time and place, but in another dimension, a Debian VOIP
meeting took place. Sadly, we don't really know what happened there, but
one day the phone will ring, and we will know.

If you have questions or suggestions, feel free to ask on
debian-qa@lists.d.o or #debian-qa.

[0] http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel-announce/2007/07/msg00002.html

PTS improvements
================
Several improvements to the PTS have been worked on. Most of them add
the presentation of per-package information in the per-package HTML page
of the PTS; notably the following information are now shown and weren't
before:
- Homepage field in the “other links” section
- presence of a `DM-Upload-Allowed: yes` field in the “general
information” section
- presence of the package maintainer in the LowThresholdNmu wiki page on
wiki.debian.org, still in the “general information” section
- hyperlink pointing to the SvnBuildStat package database in the “other
links” section

On the look and feel side some information has been compacted in order
to try having more information fit into a single screen. Also a couple
of new alternative CSSs have been developed and one will be applied as
the new default soon.

Some functional improvements have been made as well: each package page
has now an RSS feed containing the same information of the “latest news”
section. Also, a draft implementation of a SOAP interface exporting the
per-package PTS information has been developed and will be
documented/announced separately soon.

BAd PAckages SEarch
===================
BAPASE combines several metrics into a flexible scoring system to help
identify packages that are not properly maintained, or became useless.
It then allows to track them through the process described in [1]. More
information on BAPASE will follow when it will be ready for widespread
use.

[1] http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel/2007/10/msg00406.html

Piuparts
========
No real results are ready to be published now, but we have made some
great plans and actually started implementing them. The current version
of piuparts will be further enhanced and a rewrite is planned. The
machine piuparts.cs.helsinki.fi has been turned into a XEN host using
LVM, so that in the near future developers can login there and run
piuparts in clean and fast XEN environments. That machine will also run
piuparts continously, and those results will be displayed in the PTS.
See http://wiki.debian.org/piuparts for details.

svnbuildstat
============
The goal is to provide a service for building packages and show
statistics about lintian/linda/piuparts checks, the source package is
automatically downloaded from VCS repositories or provided by the user
directly. The current tool is svn centric but the devel release already
support git and other as well. There are already around 1600 packages in
the system, there is also a link from PTS page to svnbuildstat. The idea
is to provide easy to use buildbots, based on pbuilder. We implemented a
patch (#453710) for pbuilder to terminate the build if the memory/disk
is running low. The service could be used not only in the spirit of the
Ubuntu's Personal Package Archives, but also to check all packages in
VCS repositories. See http://svnbuildstat.debian.net/ and
http://wiki.debian.org/svnbuildstat for details.

Ubuntu and Debian QA collaboration
==================================
Lars Wirzenius talked about what the Ubuntu QA does, and suggested ways
in which Ubuntu and and Debian can collaborate in QA. Primarily this
means, for now, development of tools for QA, and the currently most
important one is piuparts (see above).

BOFs
====
Several other topics were discussed during BOFs, including:
- Better handling of orphaned packages
- piuparts future developments
- MIA process improvements (more on that later on d-d-a)
- buildd log processing:
http://wiki.debian.org/AutomaticBuildLogProcessing
- svnbuildstat
- Ubuntu and Debian QA collaboration
- tools for large-scale QA tests and bug reporting
- Making Debian-QA sexier to attract new contributors

Various tasks
=============
- bug reporting, bug fixing
- MIA processing
- lintian hacking (lots of bugs closed and new tests added, we are now
further down the road in making linda completly useless/deprecated)
- dak patches. namely one that lets dak add correct headers to outgoing
mails so utf8 displays nicely and one that lets dak not break if you
have one gpg subkey expired but sign with another, not expired ones.
Both patches have been applied by the ftpmasters in the meantime, as
well as another one, which helps processing NEW.
- much improved script for http://ftp-master.debian.org/removals.html ,
dealing with the weird removal bug titles some people use
- Holger Levsen worked about half the time of his stay in Merida on the
r1 release of Debian Edu, which will be deployed in schools in
Extremadura beginning with the end of this year. See
http://wiki.debian.org/DebianEdu/PressReleases/PressRelease_DebianEdu-3.0r1_Terra
and http://wiki.debian.org/DebianEdu/LinEx2DebianEdu-Roadmap
- several loldebian posts
- “Learning Frenglish and Spanglish BOF” during dinnner

Fun & Pictures
==============
We had lots! See for example:
http://loldebian.wordpress.com/2007/11/29/i-has-no-runin-dpl/
http://loldebian.wordpress.com/2007/11/30/qa-i-haz/
http://loldebian.wordpress.com/2007/12/01/56/
http://ondrejcertik.blogspot.com/2007/11/debian-meeting-in-merida-spain.html
http://ondrejcertik.blogspot.com/2007/12/merida.html
http://ondrejcertik.blogspot.com/2007/12/mrida-remaining-photo.html
– Lucas, with the help of many other attendees

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