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bits from the DPL for October 2011

Dear Developers or, better, Dear Project Members (see below),
I swear I won’t rejoice ever again of a calm month such as September!

October 2011 has indeed been a quite demanding month in DPL-land, both
in terms of the activities described in the report below and of more
ordinary day-to-day activities such as mediations and the like. See the
daily logs on for the gory
details.

Highlights
==========

New Member Process
——————

As you’ve probably read on d-d-a already [1], I’ve suggested to rename
the NM Process to “New Member” Process and the NM Front Desk has gladly
accepted (and implemented!, thanks a lot) the change. This is a
coherent step, among others announced by Enrico, with our former choice
of welcoming contributions of any kind as valid assets to become members
of our Project.

[1] http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel-announce/2011/10/msg00004.html

UDS

As anticipated in the last bits mail of mine, I’ve attended the Ubuntu
Developer Summit at the end of October / beginning of November. To that
end, I’ve sent out a call for feedback [2] on the evolution of the
relationships among Debian and Ubuntu since my first UDS participation
about 1.5 years ago. On the basis of the feedback I’ve got (mostly on
list + some extras in private mail) I’ve prepared my plenary talk
“Collaboration Between Debian and Ubuntu — Four Animals Later”; slides
are available at [3] and a video should be available as well (dunno
where though). I’ve summarized the content of my talk and of the
“[Relationship with] Debian health check” session in a “bits from UDS”
mail to the -derivatives list [4].

[2] http://lists.debian.org/debian-project/2011/10/msg00057.html
[3] http://upsilon.cc/~zack/talks/2011/20111031-uds.pdf
[4] http://lists.debian.org/debian-derivatives/2011/11/msg00005.html

Another interesting evolution on that front is that Ubuntu is going to
deprecate their (universe) package review platform (REVU) and converge
with us on mentors.d.n. That is a great step in encouraging all
derivatives, thanks to the example of Ubuntu, to have their packages and
changes in Debian _first_. To help them out some maintenance efforts are
needed on debexpo (the software powering mentors.d.n); if you’re
interested to help on that front please manifest yourself on the
-derivatives list.

“Easy Hacks” and Google Code-In
——————————-

As a project, We’ve applied to enter the Google Code-In initiative for
2011-2012 [5]. (I’d like to hereby thank Ana, for prodding me about the
need and urgency to do so, and all the volunteer who suggested tasks.)
Sadly, we have not been retained [6]. This is unfortunate, but somehow
expected, given that we have had hard time collecting a list of simple
“tasks” that students could work on to help Debian.

As I’ve mentioned in [5], several FOSS projects have shown that having a
list of such tasks, AKA “easy hacks” by other projects, is a very
effective way of attracting contributors. I think Debian would benefit a
lot of such a list. I encourage anyone interested in augmenting the
attractiveness of Debian to new contributors to think about how to
prepare and maintain such a list. It will be useful not only for future
Google Code-In applications, but to increase our volunteer basis in
general. Show up on the soc-coordination list on Alioth if you’ve
suggestions!

[5] http://lists.debian.org/debian-project/2011/10/msg00056.html
[6] http://lists.alioth.debian.org/pipermail/soc-coordination/2011-November/001137.html

Discussions
———–

I’ve started a long overdue discussion on the relationships among the
DFSG criteria and trademark restrictions [7]. This is a fairly important
discussion that I expect to become more and more relevant in the future,
as FOSS projects become more keen of defending their identities (like it
or not, that seems to be happening). Some useful pointers on the
historical spirit of DFGS has been posted in the thread, as well as
diverging opinions.

I took the action item of seeking legal advice on which trademark law
restrictions apply “by default” to our packaging activities. I’ll get
back to you on this point ASAP (we’re keeping the pipe of our friendly
neighborhood lawyers quite full, so I’m looking for alternative
venues). In the meantime, your opinion on this subject is highly welcome
in [7].

[7] http://lists.debian.org/debian-project/2011/10/msg00028.html

Representing Debian: talks & co
===============================

– I’ve attended the [GNU/]Linux Day (yearly country-wide event organized
by LUGs in Italy) event in Parma talking about Debian with my
“classic” talk “Debian: 18 years of Free Software, do-ocracy, and
democracy”. Slides are available at [8]

– We’ve been asked for the presence of a Debian representative at the
forthcoming Software Freedom Day Algeria, at the end of November. I
won’t be able to attend myself, but Fathi Boudra has kindly accepted
to be there and talk about Debian to foster the growth of a local
Debian community. Thanks a lot!

[8] http://upsilon.cc/~zack/talks/2011/20111021-linuxday.pdf

Expenses and other assets
=========================

Sprints
——-

I’ve been happy to authorize the use of Debian money to have a Debian
Video Team sprint [9]. At the time this report goes out, the sprint has
already happened and you will soon hear back from the organizers with a
report of their hacking week-end. I remind you all that yur can haz a
zprint az well!, just check the doc at [10].

[9] http://wiki.debconf.org/wiki/Videoteam/Sprint2011
[10] http://wiki.debian.org/Sprints

Hardware replacement
——————–

I’ve been happy also to authorize usage of Debian money (for ~10k€) for
two rather significant hardware replacements: those of lists.d.o (AKA
liszt) and ftp.d.o (AKA kassia). The material has already been shipped
to us and DSA is working on the setup. I’d like to thank DSA not only
for that, but also for the tireless work of collecting the needed quotes
and use at best the money we receive as generous donations.

Trademarks
———-

The new contact point for inquiries related to the Debian trademark,
“trademark@debian.org” is now up and running (I’ve already got some
inquiries there) and documented at .

Talk to you for the November report in a couple of weeks, in the
meantime: happy Debian hacking!

Cheers.

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

  1. Pingback by bits from the DPL for October 2011 | Debian-News.net – Your one … | Linux Blog — November 12, 2011 @ 9:10 pm

    […] ever again of a calm month such as September! October 2011 has. Go here to see the original: bits from the DPL for October 2011 | Debian-News.net – Your one … This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged calm-month, developers, project, […]

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