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bits from the DPL: the start of the term

Hi everybody, sorry for the delay [1], it’s about time that I thank you all and recall some practical information about how to use DPL “services”.

First of all: THANKS! I’m flattered by the support and trust in me you
have shown. It’s a honor to be confirmed as Debian Project Leader, as
well as it’s a honor to represent Debian before the Debian community and
the world out there. I’ll try very hard not to disappoint any of you.

What the DPL does and can do for you
————————————

With a bit more knowledge than last year [2], I can now comment about
what the DPL—or at least myself—can and cannot do for you. There is
quite a bit of day to day activity which goes on in the background
(media queries, representing Debian at events, “political” relationships
with other Free Software actors, etc). All that might be relatively
uninteresting to you, but it does happen and strive to keep the DPL pipe
full already.

I’ll do my best to document these activities, as I’ve done last year,
both for transparency and for the curious DD. You can always find a
DD-accessible log of DPL activities at
(and it’s
monthly rotated friends). Logs are updated on a weekly basis, more or
less.

On a monthly basis, I’ll summarize DPL activities since the last update
in a “bits …” mail to d-d-a. As mailing list post are good for
announcements, but not as good for long term retrieval, I’ll keep an
index of those mails at , together
with other pointers to other DPL-related resources.

In addition to the above boring stuff, the DPL is around to “solve
problems” that arises in the project and seem hard to solve by other
means. If you stumble upon a conflict, a blocker you find unjust, or any
other major trouble you’re are at loss with, by all means contact
me. I’ve no magic wand and I cannot promise solutions, but I promise
I’ll look into it and get back to you.

On the topic of how to contact me, please be kind. The recommended and
most reliable way to do so is mailing . Please do _not_
contact me at other personal addresses of mine for DPL-related stuff. By
default I won’t disclose any personal matter [3], but given that
mail is archived, if you want additional guarantees of
confidentiality the recommended way is to still mail and
GPG-encrypt your mail. You can also contact me on IRC (“zack” on
irc.debian.org), but please leave your query instead of contentless
pings [4] if I’m not around. Finally, you can also contact me on
identi.ca [5], where I’m generally happy to discuss DPL-related topics.

Additionally, as DPL, I’ll also push for specific project-wide goals or
sub-projects (that you might have read in my platform [6]) or express my
support (or opposition) to similar goals advanced by others. I even
encourage you to seek my public opinion on specific initiatives, if you
see fit: do not expect me to know all what is going on in Debian and
feel free to ping me. So, I’m sorry, but it seems you’re doomed to hear
quite a bit from me in the 1 year ahead of us *g*.

What you can do for the DPL
—————————

Above all, give feedback. In my experience of last year it’s pretty
difficult to get a grasp of what DDs think of DPL activity. Please let
me know, you can always mail me your feedback about what I’m doing (or
not doing). Right now it’s a particular good moment to do that, as we’re
at the start of a new term with plenty of time to implement improvements
over the previous one.

Additionally, you can volunteer to help me out with specific DPL
tasks. While I believe there is value in having a single person behind
, many tasks can benefit from non-DPL volunteers that take
responsibility of following a specific task or topic. A lot of stuff is
secretarial and easy, but at the same time has the potential to have an
important impact on project activities. Also, volunteering for one such
task could be a nice chance to get to know what the DPL job is
like. That should be of particular interest to you, in case you’re
thinking about nominating yourself as DPL in future elections. If you
are interested in helping out, feel free to mail me. I’ll be happy to
discuss whether there is a specific task that can be delegated to you
(not necessarily in the constitutional sense of the word).

In the same vein, to give more accountability of the DPL agenda and be
more transparent, I’m considering to hold periodic IRC sessions where
people can inquire about the status quo of DPL-related activities. I’m
not yet sure I can guarantee to do that in the long run with a decent
periodicity, but if a number of DPL little helpers volunteer, that would
become *way* more likely (hint hint).

Now let’s all go back to the crowded -devel archives,
Happy hacking.

[1] I’ve gone through a couple of hectic weeks since the election
results: first with some long overdue vacation and then with some
quite important job interviews. During the past weeks I’ve hence
decided to just stay on top of day-to-day DPL business and
urgencies, and to reduce “extras”
[2] http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel-announce/2010/04/msg00011.html
[3] OTOH I will generally mention the activity, anonymized, in DPL
activity logs, unless you explicitly ask me not to. I consider doing
that a must for transparency towards the Project, given the DPL is
an elected role
[4] http://err.no/personal/blog/tech/2006-10-10-12-05_contentless_pings.html
[5] http://identi.ca/zack
[6] http://www.debian.org/vote/2011/platforms/zack


Stefano Zacchiroli -o- PhD in Computer Science \ PostDoc @ Univ. Paris 7
zack@{upsilon.cc,pps.jussieu.fr,debian.org} -<>- http://upsilon.cc/zack/
Quando anche i santi ti voltano le spalle, | . |. I’ve fans everywhere
ti resta John Fante — V. Capossela …….| ..: |………. — C. Adams

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