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bits from the DPL: May 2012

Dear project members, here’s the periodic report of what has happened in DPL land, this time during May 2012. It’s briefer than usual, as this year I’ve enjoyed the lovely French habit of frequent holidays during the month of May.

Highlight
=========

First highlight for this month is an invitation to us all. We’re now in
June and the Wheezy freeze is literally a few days away. The RC bugs
count is moving in the right direction, but it’s still stellar if we
want to ensure a short freeze. And a short freeze is of paramount
importance: it’ll reduce the time during which we can’t implement great
plans for the future, increase the “freshness” of software we’ll ship
with Wheezy, and reduce the inconveniences for those who run the testing
suite due to its nice “rolling” feature. So please set out some regular
time to do RC bug squashing, by providing patches and doing NMUs.
Releasing Wheezy is not something that could be outsourced to the
Release Team, it’s a collective responsibility that kicks in as soon as
our own packages are RC bug free (which they already are, right? :-))

The second highlight is more on the internal structure camp. As
mentioned last month, I’ve discussed with the tech-ctte insisting a bit
to set up periodic IRC meetings, to ensure outstanding issues get
periodically reviewed. At the end of May the first IRC meeting has
happened, and has been very productive. See the [minutes][1]. Another
one has been scheduled, trying to setup a monthly cadence, for the end
of June. Many thanks to all tech-ctte members who have took part in and
helped with the meeting organization.

[1]: https://lists.debian.org/debian-ctte/2012/05/msg00072.html

Communication
=============

I’ve given an [interview][2] to iTWire, answering a number of questions
about several past and future Debian challenges.

[2]: http://www.itwire.com/it-people-news/people/54879-how-debian-has-grown-stefano-zacchiroli-speaks-

Discussions
===========

The ongoing discussion to harmonize packaging of multimedia software
between the official Debian archive and the unofficial
debian-multimedia.org archive (dmo) has progressed. [I've tried][3] to
help the two groups reaching an agreement on which packages belong
where, so that both duplicate packaging efforts and user inconveniences
are minimized. That seems not to have worked and dmo maintainers have
simply announced that they will move away from the current domain name
to a new one that does not include “debian” in its name.

[3]: http://lists.alioth.debian.org/pipermail/pkg-multimedia-maintainers/2012-May/026678.html

Sprints
=======

There will be a [Debian Science sprint][4] in June, co-located with the
broader [Debian Science event][5] organized by European Synchrotron
Radiation Facility (ESRF) in Grenoble. I’ve confirmed my attendance for
the opening talk of the conference day. ESRF organizers have kindly
sponsored travel for all Debian attendees, many thanks to them!

[4]: http://wiki.debian.org/Sprints/2012/ScienceSprint
[5]: http://www.esrf.eu/events/conferences/debian-for-scientific-facilities-days-1/

[Another sprint][6] will happen next week-end in Paris, this time by the
i18n/l10n team. I’ve approved the corresponding tentative budget for
travel sponrship for ~2’000 EUR.

[6]: http://wiki.debian.org/I18n/Sprint2012

Other expenses
==============

Hardware replacement plans go on. We’ve ordered SSDs (for ~3’000 CAD)
for recently bought machines meant to replace bugs-mirror, bugs-master,
and udd. On the “small emergencies” front, we also had to replace
failing disks on wagner (1/2 of alioth), for as little as 100 GBP.

Miscellanea
===========

- I’ve helped a bit with the ratification of the Debian diversity
statement by seconding it and shortening the discussion period

- on the multimedia front, I’ve also sought legal advice for the
multimedia team, to better understand how to provide a decent
multimedia experience for Debian users while respecting the draconian
copyright system that exists almost world-wide. There seem to be some
solutions in sight for the few missing packages (which I’m still
discussing with the respective maintainers), but they’ll hardly be
ready for Wheezy

- three people replied to my call for help with DPL tasks (thanks!).
I’ll be shortly contact them to share the list of tasks that can be
outsourced to anyone willing to help; then I’ll try to setup a
calendar of periodic IRC public meetings. There’s still time to apply
if you are interested (hint hint!)

- on behalf of Debian, SPI has entered in the ISC Forum Membership
Agreement, giving access to the Debian security team to security
notices for softwares like BIND and DHCP. We previously had a similar
agreement for individual maintainers, but it’s good to move it at a
project level, in order to diminish bus factors

Happy Wheezy freeze,
and RC bugs squashing!

PS the boring day-to-day activity log for May is available at


Stefano Zacchiroli zack@{upsilon.cc,pps.jussieu.fr,debian.org} . o .
Maître de conférences …… http://upsilon.cc/zack …… . . o
Debian Project Leader ……. @zack on identi.ca ……. o o o
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