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bits from the DPL: March-April 2013

Dear Project Members,”Now that I have your attention, I would like to make the following

… nah, scrap that. In my last day in office I first of all owe you a
report of DPL activities for the last reporting period of this term,
i.e. March 8th until today. Here it is!


– At LibrePlanet (see below) I’ve discussed at length with Karen Sandler
as GNOME representative the possibility of Debian participation in the
FOSS Outreach Program for Women [14]. I’ve then proposed that we do
participate [15] and, as you might have read on d-d-a [16], we’re now
doing that. Many thanks to the volunteer co-organizers for Debian
participation in the program: Mònica Ramírez Arceda, Ana Guerrero
López, and Patty Langasek.

– A couple of years of work with the auditors has come together. At
`` you can now find
Debian monetary transactions for the 2010-2013 period. Note that:

1) They are not *all* of our transactions, most notably because we
haven’t yet managed to get access to all our bank transactions at
SPI (while we do have access to other transactions there,
e.g. donations). Given the relevance of the missing transactions
for our budget, this is a blocker for producing meaningful public
periodic reports of Debian finances. This is clearly annoying, but
I’m confident that our feedback to SPI over the past years has
helped them better understand our needs and improve. I hope this
could be finally solved during the next DPL term. And,

2) Donor names have been anonymized in the ledger files, in wait of a
donation system that allow to express privacy preferences. Complete
donation information is available in the companion ledger.git
repository, which is accessible to auditors only.

I’d like to thank the Debian auditors, and in particular Martin
Michlmayr, for their amazing work on this over the past 3 years.

– As you might have noticed, we now have an official Debian Project blog
[17], finally entering the brave new Web 1.5 era :-) I’ve only helped
“politically” here and there with this over the years, and I’m happy
to see it live. Your thanks for this should go to the blog
editors—Francesca Ciceri and Ana Guerrero Lopez—and to DSA for
making it real. A proper delegation for the editors is pending and I’m
confident the next DPL will pick it up.



Over the past month or so I’ve attended and spoken on behalf of Debian
in the following occasions:

– “Debian: 20 years and counting” talk at the New York Linux User Group
[6]; slides are available [7]. Many thanks to Brian Gupta and Tom
Limoncelli for inviting me.

– “Debian and GNU” talk at LibrePlanet 2013 [8]; slides are available
[9]. Many thanks to John Sullivan and the Free Software Foundation for
inviting me to talk at their main conference. My presence there has
also been a chance to reassess the status of collaboration with FSF
(see John’s brief summary [10]) and discuss further technical
collaboration with the Trisquel maintainers.

– “Legal issues from a radical community angle” keynote at the yearly
workshop of FSFE’s European Legal Network [10]; slides are available
[11]. The talk has also been covered by a LWN feature article last
week [12] (the link should become unembargoed for non-LWN subscribers
starting tomorrow).



I’ve approved the budget for the following forthcoming sprints [4]:

– 6th Debian Groupware Meeting [5] (~500 EUR)
– DSA sprint [13] (~3’000 EUR)

Also, we’ve bought a 3-year warranty pack for the disk array that powers
ftp-master.d.o (~900 USD).

On the income side, Brian Gupta has started an interesting matching fund
experiment [18], in order to raise funds for the forthcoming DebConf13.
The matching fund will be open until April 30th, so your help in
spreading news would be welcome. Many thanks to Brian for the idea and
to his company, Brandorr Group, for funding it.


DPL helpers

Three more DPL helpers IRC meetings have been held; minutes are
available at the usual place [1,2,3].


Legal Spring Cleaning

I’ve finally cleaned up the pile of pending legal matters (but I’m sure
new ones will show up for the delight of the next DPL :-P)

– one is merely internal for trademark@d.o: our procedures for (n)acks
on incoming requests has now been vetted by our legal advisors

– the second one is relevant for our service: one of
the blockers to officialize it as have historically
been DMCA-related concerns. We now have a DMCA policy for (wannabe)
mentors.d.o, which I’ve shared with the service maintainers and DSA.
This specific part should no longer be a concern.

– the last one concerns the possibilities of playing DVDs with Debian.
We now have legal guidelines on how to include *installer* packages
that allow to do so; that should allow us to have a decent solution
for our users in the Jessie time frame.

Once again, I’d like to thank SFLC for the pro bono and very high
quality legal advice they keep on offering to Debian.


– I’ve mentioned last month that, as a Debian representative, I’ve
joined a working group by the Italian public administration (PA) that
should define procurement rules for software in the PA at large,
together with representatives of other well-known FOSS initiatives
(e.g. KDE, FSFE). The first meetings have now been held and I’ve
participate in some, for the moment on my own budget. I’ll check with
the next DPL the feasibility of keep on doing so on in the future.


Now, before I get sentimental, let me thank Gergely, Lucas, and Moray
for running in the recently concluded DPL election. Only thinking of
running and then go through a campaign denote a very high commitment to
the Project; we should all be thankful to them.

Then I’d like to congratulate Lucas for his election. I’ve known him for
a long time, and I can testify about his clear vision of the role Debian
has to play in Free Software and on what Debian needs to improve to do
so. Best wishes for the term ahead, Lucas!

Finally, I’d like to thank you all for the support you’ve shown me over
the past 3 years. Serving as DPL is a great honor, but also a very
demanding job. Thank to you all, and to how cool Debian is, it has been
for me an incredibly rewarding experience. I had no idea what I were
doing when I embarked on this adventure, but in hindsight I don’t regret
any of it. See you around, as I don’t plan to be anywhere far away from
Debian anytime soon.


PS the day-to-day activity logs for March and April 2013 are available
at the usual place

Stefano Zacchiroli . . . . . . . . . . . o . . . o . o
Maître de conférences . . . . . . . . o . . . o o
Debian Project Leader . . . . . . @zack on . . o o o . . . o .
« the first rule of tautology club is the first rule of tautology club »

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