Debian-news is about one simple thing - news about Debian GNU/Linux and the top free distributions based on Debian GNU/Linux.


bits from the DPL for February 2012

Howdy, dear Project Members, here’s another round of updates about what has happened in DPL land, this time during February 2012.


Quit a bit of highlights for this month:

– The first item is not pleasant but important. Early February I’ve
submitted to the attention of the Technical Committee the upload of
multi-arch enabled dpkg to the archive [1]. The Technical Committee
quickly reached a decision. Shortly afterwards an upload to
experimental has happened and discussions on -devel ensued. Please
help out with testing, as suggested in [2].


– Thanks to IBM and OSUOSL we have some new fairly capable (virtual)
machines for powerpc* ports. See [3] for more info. In particular,
please note the call for powerpc64 porters. If you’re interested in
contributing to such a port, please get in touch with DSA.


– Google Summer of Code project is up again. As usual, it is a good
chance to get some work done and, more importantly, to let students
who are passionate about Free Software discover Debian. I’ve delegated
the task of GSoC admins [9] — thanks Ana, Gergely, and Sukhbir! A
call for project proposals has already been sent out [10]; there isn’t
much time left, so please hurry up and drop your ideas to the wiki
page [11] and contact the soc-coordination mailing list.


– A couple of important discussions have been going on on -project. The
first is the old “trademark vs DFSG” discussion. I’ve posted there
results from legal advice [4] that I’ve sought on the matter, based on
your suggestions. Then, I’ve posted a proposal on how to deal with
trademarks issues in the archive [5].


– The second discussion is about Debian affiliation with OSI. We’ve been
approached by OSI about that, as I’ve summarized in [6]. Helped by the
feedback received, I’ve decided [7] to go ahead with affiliation and
I’m now discussing with OSI representative the next steps.


– The long running work on software patent issues in the archive has
been concluded publishing a policy on the matter [8]. We now have a
contact point and legal advice with whom we can discuss specific
issues if/when they arise; hopefully that would help us to
discriminate actual issues in the archive (if any) from the vast
amount of FUD in the area.


Talks, interviews, and the like

– Following up Debian related talks at FOSDEM, I’ve been interviewed,
together with Lars Wirzenius and Wookey, for The Register [13].

– I’ve took part at a FOSDEM panel session on comparing the organization
of local user groups, ambassadors, and the like. We’ve mostly to learn
from others in this area, but I’ve took the change to summarize what
we currently have in a slide deck [12].



Plenty of sprints related news!

– DSA [14] and the Groupware [15] team will be holding sprints later on
in March, while DAM / FrontDesk [16] are having one right now
co-located with the BSP in Moenchengladbach

– the video team sent out a report for their sprint back in November

– debbugs (AKA hackers are organizing [18] a sprint to
get people interested in contributing to the code base up to speed. If
you’re, drop a line in the thread

It would be amazing to have an average of one sprint per month for 2012,
and we’re on good track for it. If you want to help, organize one for
your team as documented at


Legal stuff

– Thanks to SPI, we’ve established contacts with the owners of, domain we believe we legitimately own. As a first step
they’ve set up HTTP redirection from to (instead
of a computer hardware shop, as it was before) and we’re now
discussing actual transfer of domain ownership to a Debian Trusted

– We’ve contacted the Japanese trademark office to transfer the “debian”
trademark there to SPI. Thanks to the previous owners (all Debian
developers or contributors) for agreeing to the move. Now “only” a
nasty pile of paperwork remains to be done.


In addition to the GSoC admins delegation (see above), I’ve agreed with
former secretary Kurt Roeckx to reappoint him as a secretary for another
year [19]. Many thanks, Kurt!

[19] debian-devel-announce/2012/02/msg00009.html


– We have been invited to attend the OpenStack summit in April [20] and
have a presence there, free of charge. Loic Dachary, active member of
the OpenStack packaging team in Debian, has agreed to go and represent
Debian there. Thanks a lot to Stefano Maffulli for the invitation and
to Loic for his availability!


– We are in the process of joining — as a project, instead of relying
on individual maintainers as in the past — the ISC forum to get
access to embargoed vulnerability information for important pieces of
software such as BIND and DHCP. They’ve kindly offered us membership
free of charge. I’ve submitted a draft of the membership agreement to
SPI and I’m waiting for their decision.

– Steady progress on the front of periodic budget reports, thanks to the
work of Martin Michlmayr. We’ve discussed at length during FOSDEM and
agreed on procedures to query the state of Debian finances that work
for both auditors and the DPL. Martin has also set up a shared ledger
repository and already checked in into it a lot of money transactions
for the past few years — not from all trusted organizations yet,
though. Have faith, we’ll get there

Happy Debian hacking.

PS as usual, the boring day-to-day activity log is available at

No Response to “bits from the DPL for February 2012” »

No comments yet.

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Leave a comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Debian-News is not related to the Debian Project.
All logos and trademarks on this site are property of their respective owners.