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bits from the DPL: July 2012

Tip to feel good about the release #476: *before* reading this, grab and fix one of the [RC bugs affecting Wheezy][1]. Done? Now you’re ready for a slightly less exciting report of DPL activities.

[1]: http://udd.debian.org/bugs.cgi

Highlights
==========

- I’ve [wrapped up][2] a couple of years of discussions with FSF
representatives, proposing a joint working group on FSF’ assessment of
Debian Free-ness. Some [news coverage][3] ensued. The discussion list
that has been set up welcomes participants and, in particular, could
use some more DDs, fond of Debian principles but also interested in
external review of our free/non-free separation.

[2]: https://lists.debian.org/debian-project/2012/07/msg00016.html
[3]: https://lwn.net/Articles/506250/

- [DebConf12][4] has happened!, and many of us attended it. Due to
family reasons I’ve been able to attend only DebCamp and DebConf
day-0, just in time to deliver the traditional
["bits from the DPL" speech][5]. Among other topics, in the speech
I’ve discussed governance scaling issues in our governance, and in
particular about the role of the DPL — issue which I’m partly trying
to address with the “DPL helpers” initiatives. Slides and videos of
the talk [are available][5].

As many others DebConf people, I took part in Nicaraguan TV shows
about DebConf, showing a good deal of interest by the local media in
our presence. I don’t have links to the recordings yet, but I suspect
DebConf orga people will provide them as soon as they’re available.

[4]: http://debconf12.debconf.org/
[5]: http://penta.debconf.org/dc12_schedule/events/881.en.html

- Many others DebConf12 events are relevant for future Project
directions. I went through many of the [events][6] I’ve missed thanks
to the work of the video team and of the [gobby][7] note takers. I
recommend doing the same. Some events are particularly relevant to
recent project-wide discussions, such as [EFI][8], [hijacking][9], and
the [release process][10] … and I’m sure you’ll find more :-) If
you’re a DebConf12 speaker and produced slides, please upload them to
penta, so that they could be used as future reference.

[6]: http://penta.debconf.org/dc12_schedule/events.en.html
[7]: http://gobby.debian.org
[8]: http://penta.debconf.org/dc12_schedule/events/925.en.html
[9]: http://penta.debconf.org/dc12_schedule/events/926.en.html
[10]: http://penta.debconf.org/dc12_schedule/events/857.en.html

Assets
======

- On the hardware front, we bought another server according to DSA’s
“5-year plan”. It will be used as a ganeti node at the man-da hosting
location. We bought it thanks to [donated][11] money, for a total of
~6’600 EUR.

[11]: http://www.debian.org/donations.html

- (After ~8 months of pestering,) we got from SPI a data dump of Debian
financial transactions there. Thanks for this result goes to the SPI
Board and in particular to Robert Brockway and Joerg Jaspert. This was
the last blocker to produce detailed financial reports for the past
couple of years of Debian activities. Unfortunately, *it still is a
blocker*: Debian auditors found out that the data dump is not
complete. SPI will send us remaining data soon™, but I don’t have an
ETA, unfortunately.

- An [ftpmasters sprint][12] is being organized and I’ve been happy to
approve its budget. Help is still needed on the -sprints list to keep
up with the organization part of sprints, including activities like
*documenting sprints* to show donors what we do with their help.

[12]: https://lists.debian.org/debian-sprints/2012/07/msg00001.html

Logo & trademark
—————-

- to stop the absurdity of not using the official logo (“with Debian”)
as part of our official theme, I advanced a bit on the topic of
relicensing the logo under a DFSG-free license. I sought a second
legal advice to SFLC (as requested by the SPI board). They confirm we
can safely do the relicensing (without undermining our rights on
contained marks) under a license like dual LGPLv3+ / CC-BY-SA,
provided that a suitable trademark policy is in place …

- … which is why I’ve posted to -project a [trademark policy draft][13],
based on legal advice from SFLC. I’ve gather useful feedback already,
but more is welcome. Note that, as [Russ very eloquently put it][14],
we do not particularly enjoy thinking about which *restrictions* we
put on the usage of our marks. But given we do have (and use) those
marks, we should better empower the legal owners (SPI in this case) to
properly defend them. Our specification for the policy to SFLC has
been “as free as possible”, and that is what we’re trying to achieve.

Note that the actual logo relicensing should be done by SPI, via their
board, upon request of mine (as Debian Project liaison). We won’t make
it for the next SPI board meeting, as it is on 4 days away. But we can
aim for the subsequent meeting, on September 13th. If all goes well (big
“if”), we will enjoy a DFSG-free logo after that date.

[13]: https://lists.debian.org/debian-project/2012/07/msg00047.html
[14]: https://lists.debian.org/debian-project/2012/08/msg00008.html

Internal organization
=====================

Recent flurry of re-organization in the tech-ctte — which I somewhat
triggered pushing for periodic meetings — seems to be proceeding
well. I’m very happy about it, as we all need to trust that tech-ctte
decisions will be not only sound, but also prompt. If you’re interested
into this topic, some recent evidence of the ongoing reorganization and
its result can be found in their [DebConf12 BoF][15], [minutes][16] of
the last meeting, a set of [forthcoming GRs][17], and the recent great
decision of posting decisions results to d-d-a (as it happened for
[node/nodejs][18]). Kudos to tech-ctte members for the recent activism!

[15]: http://penta.debconf.org/dc12_schedule/events/850.en.html
[16]: https://lists.debian.org/debian-ctte/2012/07/msg00360.html
[17]: https://lists.debian.org/debian-ctte/2012/07/msg00351.html
[18]: https://lists.debian.org/debian-devel-announce/2012/07/msg00002.htm

I haven’t worked on it myself directly, but I highlight Enrico’s work on
server side [archival of NM conversations][20]. It has the potential of
enabling automatic detection of stuck NM processes. I’m a bit rusty as
AM now, but I think missing that ability is one of the main remaining
causes of frustration when joining Debian. So, if you are an AM, please
opt-in and use this feature with your appicants. If you are not an AM…
why not? :-)

[20]: https://lists.debian.org/debian-newmaint/2012/07/msg00031.html

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

Some misc legal stuff:

- I got the legal advice we asked about the possibility of turning
mentors.debian.net into an official service. The worry there was about
the potential copyright infringements by mentees. In the end, we don’t
need to worry about that, provided we’ve clear contact points (and
“reasonable” timing…) for removing infringing material once it’s been
reported, *and* that we declare our public policy about that. I’ve a
draft policy document to start with. I’ll soon contact mentors.d.n to
adapt it where needed and have it vetted by SPI before going live.

- I’ve worked with GNOME maintainers (thanks in particular to Jordi
Mallach) to rework the mixed Debian/GNOME logo on their alioth project
page, to stay on the safe side and avoid any ambiguity wrt GNOME
trademark policy.

… and some misc “political” stuff:

- we’ve been happy to accept an invitation to attend the GNOME Advisory
Board meeting at GUADEC: Jord (thanks, again!) kindly accepted to
represent Debian there. An [early report][19] has been posted on his
blog, a more detailed one is forthcoming to -project.

[19]: http://oskuro.net/blog/freesoftware/guadec-2012-07-29-16-31

- OSI has discussed with their affiliates the possibility of signing the
[Declaration of Internet Freedom][20]. On behalf of Debian, I’ve
vouched for it. By the way, I’m serving pro tempore as Debian liaison
at OSI, but if there are people interested in doing that, I’ll be
happy to consider handing over the responsibility to other (it’s a
quite lightweight one, at present).

[20]: http://www.internetdeclaration.org/freedom

Happy RC bug squashing,
Cheers.

PS the boring day-to-day activity log for July 2012 is available at


Stefano Zacchiroli . . . . . . . zack@upsilon.cc . . . . o . . . o . o
Maître de conférences . . . . . http://upsilon.cc/zack . . . o . . . o o
Debian Project Leader . . . . . . @zack on identi.ca . . o o o . . . o .
« the first rule of tautology club is the first rule of tautology club »

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