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bits from the DPL for August 2011

Dear Developers, August has been a rather short month in DPL land, given that I took two weeks off. Here is a report of DPL activities for the rest of the month.

Highlight: service maintenance

We’ve a lot of “services” in Debian, with a wide range of targets: users
(e.g. BTS, forums, screenshots, Q/A sites, etc), developers (e.g. PTS,
DEHS, DDPO, UDD, etc.), upstreams (e.g. patch-tracker), and many more.
The current state of service maintenance is rather disperse. While we
have DSA as a central team to maintain the infrastructure on which
Debian services run, the maintenance of services itself is scattered
among many people. That poses several problem, from duplication of work
and scattering of contact points, to the risk of services getting
unmaintained (or unmaintainable) without anybody noticing.

Starting from an idea by Enrico discussed at DebConf11, we are now
trying to streamline service maintenance, in an attempt to counter the
above problems. The first visible step has been announced by Enrico [1]
and is the creation of the debian-services-admin list [2].

If you’re maintaining some kind of service within Debian, I warmly
encourage you to join the list and followup to the introductory mail
there [3] and/or help up with the service census on the wiki [4]. Keep
in mind that many of those services are an important part of Debian
life, and that their maintenance status can make the difference among
having fun developing Debian and become frustrated because something you
need to do so is not working.

A mildly related discussion has happened on -devel [5]. The bottom line
is simple: if you’re maintaining a service which has some kind of web
interface, please ensure the page footer has links to the source and
relevant BTS page. It’s a small step but fundamental step to: 1) invite
contributions to our infrastructure (e.g. from people willing to help
Debian via sw development contributions); and 2) show that our
infrastructure is Free.


GNU Hackers Meeting

As previously announced, I’ve attended the GNU Hackers Meeting (GHM) [6]
and delivered an invited speech there. I’ve also took part in a
discussion session on the relationships among Debian and GNU, where I’ve
presented the results of my call for feedback [7] to the Debian
community on that specific topic.

I’ve just posted a report [8] about my GHM attendance to -project. You
can find there a summary of my talk, digested results of my call for
feedback, as well as notes from the discussion with GNU hackers. For the
impatient, slides of the talk are available at [9].


Other Public Relations

– I’ve been giving an interview for an article to appear on the “Linux
User & Developer” magazine about the history of Debian. Unfortunately
the magazine is paper only; I’ve asked, but not yet obtained, a PDF
version of the article to share with you (for transparency).

– I’ve accepted an invitation to next UDS (Ubuntu Developer Summit,
scheduled Oct 31-Nov 4), where I’d like to look back at what has
happened in the collaboration with derivatives in the past few years
(I’ll probably look for your input about this…, be prepared!).

Debian Trademark

With the help of SPI lawyers and of people who have worked in the past
within SPI on Debian trademark policy, I’ve started working on a draft
for a new trademark policy. The goals are roughly those put forward by
an old draft by Mako and Greg Pomerantz [10]. There is essentially no
readable draft yet, we’re at the stage where SPI lawyers are trying to
understand our needs, in order to “compile” them down to a legally valid
policy. My intention on this is to work with them in this phase and to
share an early draft on -project for comments, as soon as something more
than a bunch of vague ideas comes into existence.

During August, we’ve also received certification of registration from
the International Bureau of WIPO about our Madrid Protocol application,
that de facto extends the “DEBIAN” trademark to the Europe Union, China,
and Japan. I’ve updated our trademark page [11] to reflect this new
status (the old link on that page pointing to USPTO also reflects it

Debian trademark registration will expire, if not renewed, on
20/06/2021. I’ve verified with auditors that the infrastructure they are
setting up to keep track of Debian assets will be able to notify us
before that happens.



Colin Watson has been appointed [12] as member of the Technical
Committee. Good luck and many thanks to him for this new task!


Happy Debian hacking.

One Response to “bits from the DPL for August 2011” »

  1. Comment by WIll — September 7, 2011 @ 11:28 pm

    Maybe an update on the status of sun-java in Debian may interest your readers.
    – oracle changed license
    – probably no more sun-java in Debian?
    – how repository will be affect
    – current user that installed sun-java may be exposed if not aware that apt will not update the package anymore
    – new user who needs sun-java, how to proceed (do not point to oracle’s java site, the install is not practical for general users)
    – etc

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