Hello Debian world, It has been quite some time since our last bits mail, so we thought it is about time to run another one past you. And the same happens to be true of the last week-long team meeting, so two bits in one mail.
Short summary for the impatient: We have a live codebase and team, both
of which change. And we will meet from 14th til 21st September, expect
archive outages in that time.
Let us start with a short introduction of the current team, as we
recently switched our internal setup a little.
Our active team consists of the FTPMasters,
and the FTP Assistants,
In addition to the above named we also have a group of FTPWizard, which
consists of former team members, who are currently too busy to be
actively involved in the above groups. But they carry valuable
experience and can support us with their knowledge on IRC and mail and
occasionally by direct actions on the machines, so we recognize them
here. Note that this “position” is independent of former
Currently there is a single FTPWizard, Torsten Werner.
And last, but not least, we also have a role called FTPTrainee. This
role, as the name says, is used to train new team members in the daily
work we have to do – and to allow them to see if this is really work
they want to continue doing. We currently have three members in this
position, but we would like to have more, read on.
Call for volunteers
As usual when posting longish mails to d-d-a about our nice and beloved
FTP Team, a call for volunteers is on order. And here it is! Ever felt
compelled to do the hard groundwork? Ever wanted to help at a nicely
central place inside Debian? Or just want to write some Python code and
still look for a good place to stick it in?
Here we are. Come join the Nav^Wteam. Just sign over there to the right,
or even easier, mail us. We won’t bite you, thats for sure. At least not
The criteria are the same as always: You need to be a DD (except for
coding only, though it helps to know the usual flow of a package) and
you need to be able to deal with the existing team members.
An occasional flame should also not disturb you, if you are working in
the NEW queue you will stand between the people uploading and the
packages entering the archive, rejecting something is not always liked
much. (But you often get positive replies and thanks, to keep your
spirits up ).
And – if you get headaches when reading legal texts – we all do. But it
is needed and things like NEW are mainly about that, the ftpteam is
*the* one place to decide if something is ok for Debian to distribute or
not, and you will have to take this decision. (Yes, there is more, but
this is the main point you are going to check).
Obviously the other points we made in earlier mails, like , still
Another good way helping the ftpteam is – by not joining us! Yvan eht
Nioj! (Or for people not watching Simpsons: Join the Navy!)
Err, no, of course not, but: Join the QA team!
There is a lot of work commonly associated to the QA group but not many
people doing it. You could help out there, which in turn will help us
FTP Team Sprint
As already mentioned in the beginning, we will have a meeting this
month. It will run from Friday 14th to Friday 21st September. We will
meet in the Office Space sponsored by the Office Factory, in Fulda,
Germany. If you are interested to join and think it would help the
meeting, feel free to contact us. We do have space for 2 people left.
During this time archive outages should be expected, as we plan to work
on new and shiny stuff, including but not limited to:
* Getting rid of the DMUA flag, replacing it with something much more
flexible, and convenient (see here for a rough draft)
* Merging of backports.d.o into the main archive host. Much of the code
is there, but there are still various little bits and pieces to be
* Make use of our dak-unpriv user
* Improve our ftpmaster playmachine, an external host we use to test
dak, but which needs a redesign of its setup
* Finalize our proposal for Debians PPAs based on the new multi-archive
abilities, then get it out for discussion with the other people who
will be involved.
* Lots of smaller code changes everywhere in our codebase
* Continue the dists/ reworking
* Lots more.
This year we participated in GSOC again, implementing true multi-archive
capability in dak. This was a pre-requisite for merging our “outer”
archives, like security and backports, into the main archive, thus
greatly reducing the maintenance overhead. As written above, this is
going to happen for backports soon. The security archive has a few more
requirements making it not yet feasible to merge.
Most of the code has been merged, with some follow-ups, bugfixes, and
improvements on the sprint agenda. It is currently in use internally in
the archive – the NEW queue, the various policy queues (think
proposed-updates), and the buildd directories are handled as their own
You tried your best and failed miserably. The lesson is: never try.