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bits from the DPL: squeeze aftermath

Another month, another load of DPL bits! In case you haven’t noticed,
the big news since the last bits is that, not only we have a new stable
release in Debian history (the 11th), but also that development for
Wheezy is open, meaning you can now break your pet packages :-) (not). If you haven’t yet discussed with other fellow developers your amazing plans for Wheezy, I suggest you stop reading this mail, go start a *huge* thread on your favorite Debian development mailing list to discuss those plans, and get back once you’re satisfied with the result. These are exciting days for unstable: the sooner we start implementing Wheezy plans, the better!

Relationships with the FSF
————————–

Dating back to last August, during DebConf10, I’ve started discussing
with John Sullivan, in his capacities of FSF representative, the state
of the relationships between Debian and the Free Software Foundation. An
important step forward in those discussions happened shortly after the
Squeeze release. The FSF has acknowledged the free-ness of the (Linux)
Kernel distributed with Squeeze [5]. I’ve commented FSF’ press release
at [6], which also discusses some background and Debian’s interest in
ongoing dialog, as I see them.

Communication
————-

Following the release, I’ve been interviewed by various media about
Squeeze. Here are some pointers to my answers:

– audio interview with the hosts of the Linux Outlaws podcast [1]
– audio interview with the host of This Week In Debian podcast [2]
(which, shameless plug, is always looking for Debian-related topics to
discuss with volunteer speakers, see [3])
– interview with Linux Magazine (Italian version, hence in Italian):
forthcoming on March 15th, although embargoed until April 15th
– interview with Computer World Italia (in Italian) [4]

I’ve also delivered several talks about Debian in the past month:

– talk “who the bloody hell cares about Debian?” (reprisal of LCA talk),
at FOSDEM (slides at [7], video at [8])
– talk “Debian: 17 years of Free Software, do-ocracy, and democracy” in
Evry (France) at the joint business/engineering-university “Télécom &
Management SudParis” (where I’ve found an enthusiastic public of
students and professors, all excited about Debian!); slides are at
[9], video (in French) at [10]
– I’ve participated in a panel discussion about cross-distro
collaboration at FOSDEM, together with the Fedora Project Leader and
the OpenSUSE Community Manager; while no further concrete plans have
been proposed, it has been useful to strengthen ties and realize that
the interest in cross-distro collaboration is growing, not only in
Debian(-derivatives)-land

During the past month, various FOSS-media have participated to an
interesting debate about the relevance of Debian. The debate is
intimately related (and partly sprinkled by) to some of the arguments
about Debian I’ve been raising in recent talks. In case you’re
interested, a good start is [11].

Formalities
———–

– Together with the (former) secretary, Kurt Roeckx, we have
re-appointed the (former) secretary as (current) secretary for another
term [12]. As some people wondered about that, the position of
secretary’s *assistant* held by Neil McGovern is still current, it
hasn’t been mentioned in the announcement only because it’s an
informal position, with no constitutional requirements about its
periodic renewal. Many thanks goes to both Kurt and Neil for their
precious work.

– Debian is participating again in the Google Summer of Code Program
this year. Following up to some aftermath of last year handling of our
participation, this year we have a larger team of (co-)admins and we
started a bit ahead of time. I’ve delegated [13] as admins Ana
Guerrero, Obey Arthur Liu, and Sylvestre Ledru; thanks to all of them
for volunteering. If you want to submit a GSoC proposal, you really
have to hurry up! (check [14] for info).

Debian vs DebConf
—————–

Discussions on bringing DebConf organization more closer to the Debian
Project, which date back to DebConf10, have been steadily progressing
during the last month. There are now plans to merge accounts where they
were still separate. That would ease reviewing the balance of Debian
assets as a whole, including DebConf. I’ve also submitted for comments a
draft delegation for the “DebConf chairs”, who will act as a liaison
between DebConf and the Debian Project. A separate announcement about
that will be sent in a few days. As usual, you can follow all such
discussions on the debconf-team mailing list.

Sprints
——-

During the past month the Embedded and ARM sprint [15] has been held
(see the report [16]). I’ve also pre-approved the forthcoming ftp-master
[17] and Alioth sprints (I’ve no further details about the latter yet,
but I’m confident you’ll hear back from the organizers soon). Remember:
you can haz your zprint too, just follow the guidelines [18,19].

Miscellanea
———–

– the debian.gr domain is finally under the control of SPI (thanks to
Joerg Jaspert, Faidon Liambotis, and Konstantinos Margaritis for their
help)

Happy hacking,
Cheers.

[1] http://linuxoutlaws.com/podcast/191
[2] http://frostbitemedia.libsyn.com/this-week-in-debian-episode-19
[3] http://wiki.debian.org/ThisWeekInDebian
[4] http://www.cwi.it/knowledge-center/2011/02/14/open-source-parla-il-leader-di-debian/
[5] http://www.fsf.org/news/debian-squeeze-makes-key-progress-toward-being-a-fully-free-distribution
[6] http://upsilon.cc/~zack/blog/posts/2011/02/squeeze_debian_and_the_FSF/
[7] http://git.upsilon.cc/cgi-bin/gitweb.cgi?p=talks/20110206-fosdem.git;a=blob_plain;f=fosdem-debian.pdf;hb=pdf
[8] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L5WvY1CiRfU&p=AC607424229CFC1A
[9] http://git.upsilon.cc/cgi-bin/gitweb.cgi?p=talks/20110224-evry.git;a=tree;h=refs/heads/pdf;hb=pdf
[10] http://vimeo.com/olberger/debian-17-ans-de-logiciel-libre-do-ocracy-et-democratie
[11] http://www.networkworld.com/community/why-debian-matters-more-than-ever
[12] http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel-announce/2011/02/msg00007.html
[13] http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel-announce/2011/02/msg00001.html
[14] http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel-announce/2011/03/msg00001.html
[15] http://wiki.debian.org/Sprints/2011/EmdebianSprint
[16] http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel-announce/2011/03/msg00000.html
[17] http://wiki.debian.org/Sprints/2011/FtpMasterSprint
[18] http://wiki.debian.org/Sprints/
[19] http://wiki.debian.org/Sprints/HowTo

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