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bits from the (still learning) DPL – April 2013

Hi! Given I’m determined to keep a monthly cadence of DPL “bits”, I thought it
would be a good idea to try to send them near the beginning of each month,
even if that meant sending first bits that only cover my first 13 days as
the Debian Project Leader.

First, I’d like to thank everybody who took part in the election: Gergely Nagy
and Moray Allan for running (I believe DPL elections are a great time to
discuss the project’s status and future, and I can assure you that it takes a
lot of energy to run), the secretary for organizing it, and of course the
Debian developers for triggering lots lof interesting discussions on -vote@,
and voting.

I would also like to thank Stefano Zacchiroli for his past three years as the
DPL. It was already clear that his visible work has been of very high quality.
But I also would like to stress that his behind-the-scene work as a DPL has been
of the same quality, and that he has been very helpful transferring everything
to me. I’ll make sure not to break too many things so that he can safely
return as DPL-for-life after his sabbatical ().

As you can imagine, most of my recent Debian time has been spent understanding
the job and dealing with the most urgent things.

Talk to me / Work with me
As you probably know, I can be reached at Do not hesitate
to Cc me, or to point me to mailing list threads I should be aware of. I try
to be reasonably aware of what’s going on in Debian mailing lists, but it’s
easy to miss things.
I’m also online on IRC (nickname: lucas). Feel free to contact me there,
though it’s generally better to contact me via email, as the leader@ alias is
archived (which proved very helpful when taking things over from Zack).

As already announced, I plan to continue the “DPL helpers” initiative (one of
my TODO items is to decide on a better name, that better matches how I’d like
this group to work: as an informal group of people helping the project to move
forward). A meeting took place on 2013-04-23. log:;a=tree;f=meetings/20130423;hb=HEAD

The next meeting will take place on 2013-05-07 17:00 (date -d @1367946000)
on #debian-dpl.

Feel free to idle on the #debian-dpl IRC channel if you are interested
in keeping an eye on things.

Things going on
(all the items below could probably use your help — join #debian-dpl if

Debian logo as a registered trademark
There’s a discussion on -project@[1] about registering the Debian logo(s) as
registered trademarks, following advice we received from our legal counsel
(SFLC). There are still some open questions that have already been forwarded
to SFLC, but unless they fundamentally change things, I am likely to move
forward with this. Please contribute to the thread if you feel strongly about


Team survey
I consider making sure that our main teams are in good health a key role of
the DPL. For that, it’s important to have some insight into those teams.
Moray Allan has agreed to lead a survey of our main teams. The exact process
will be discussed during the next DPL helpers meeting, with a focus on making
this useful and not too time-consuming (no obvious/routine questions asked).

Collecting ideas
As an attempt to create a reservoir of ideas and avoid discussing things over
and over, Brian Gupta agreed to gather ideas exchanged during the DPL
campaign, with the pointers to the relevant (sub-)threads, on a wiki page.
(status update to be expected during next DPL helpers meeting)

Improving and documenting paths into the project
Our ability and ways to attract new contributors has been the focus of many
discussions during the campaign. Moray Allan agreed to initiate work on
our paths into the project. Expected results include:
– documentation of the various ways to start contributing
– improving (fixing “bugs”) our processes
– experimenting new ways of getting people involved (e.g. “internships inside
That’s clearly an area where an unlimited amount of work can be done. Your
help would be helpful!

– Approved increase (+400 EUR) of DSA sprint budget to allow a DSA
trainee to attend.
– Approved travel reimbursement for Stefano Zacchiroli’s participation
to a commission on detailed procurement rules for software in the
Italian public administration. Other FOSS communities have also been
invited (inc. KDE, LibreOffice, FSFE).
There should be a total of 2-3 meetings, and a total cost of ~500 EUR.
Stefano will report on “lessons learned” for Debian.

Day-to-day log
Let’s not change good habits. My day-to-day log of DPL activities is
available on master:/srv/leader/news/bits-from-the-DPL.txt.201304

Now, let’s release wheezy and celebrate (and break unstable)!


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