Debian-news is about one simple thing - news about Debian GNU/Linux and the top free distributions based on Debian GNU/Linux.


bits from the DPL — December 2013

Hi, Here is my 9th monthly report, for December 2013, and the first half of
January 2014.

– Delegations
– Public discussions
  + Follow-ups to the release team delegation
  + Debian services and Debian infrastructure
  + Follow-up to the policy editors delegation
  + Evaluation criteria for Trusted Organizations
– Events team
– Copyright transfer for Debian contributors
– Assets
– DPL Helpers and DPL TO-DO list
– Day-to-day log
– Next DPL election


I updated a number of delegations:
 + Policy Editors (Charles Plessy is stepping down)
 + Debian Keyring Maintainers (officially adding Gunnar Wolf)
 + Debian Account Managers (adding Jonathan Wiltshire)
 + Press team (Francesca Ciceri is stepping down)
 + Debian System Administrators (adding Héctor Orón Martínez)

I also issued a delegation for the Release Team:

Let’s thank all those Developers for their past and ongoing contributions
to those key teams of Debian.

Public discussions

There are a few public discussions that I started, or participated in, that
I’d like to mention.

Follow-ups to the release team delegation

(Starting at
The discussion on the delegation was inconclusive on two points, which were
discussed a bit.
1) NMU guidelines (described in the developers-references) — are they
   recommended practices? strict rules? soft rules? how should they be
   defined? by whom?
2) release goals — which were discussed in a previous thread starting at

Debian services and Debian infrastructure

(Starting at
A discussion on the hosting of Debian services on Debian infrastructure. While 
everybody agrees that hosting important Debian-related services on Debian
infrastructure is the desirable outcome, it is not possible for DSA to
accomodate all services, especially those still in heavy development.
I’ve started looking for other hosting solutions that would ease the hosting
of new services being developed, and got great results, but cannot yet make
a public announcement.

Follow-up to the policy editors delegation

Some questions were raised about this delegation[1], and specifically 
about the content of its “Task description” (which was not modified in 
that specific update of the delegation).

As discussed in the official statement from the Debian Project
Secretary[2], the main problem was that the delegation should delegate
“ongoing responsibility or a specific decision”, but not prescribe
a particular process or method that the delegates should adhere to.

During the initial drafting of that delegation’s Task Description, the
DPL and the to-be-delegates used that opportunity to document the
process used by the Policy Editors. However, by specifying a process
(“collaborative process”, “count seconds and weight objections”, “Commit
changes to the version control system repository”), the resulting
delegation became too prescriptive, as “Delegates may make decisions as
they see fit, but should attempt to implement good technical decisions
and/or follow consensus opinion.” (Constitution 8.3)

I drafted an update of the delegation, which already received positive
feedback, but I’m still waiting for comments from a few people.


Evaluation criteria for Trusted Organizations

(Starting at
With auditors and DPL helpers, we worked on a list of evaluation
criterias for prospective Trusted Organizations[1]. Feedback on it is 


Events team

I discussed its status with the events team, which resulted in an update
of its members[1]. One outstanding TO-DO item for the team is to document
the status and current content of the Debian Events Box.

Copyright transfer for Debian contributors

(Yeah, I know this title looks scary, but …)
In the distant past, a Debian contributor expressed interest
in transferring copyright to a Free-Software-friendly organization.

Stefano Zacchiroli is interested in working on providing Debian 
contributors with a clean and simple option for copyright transfer
to a ‘trusted’ organization. However, he will only work on that
if there is some demand for such a scheme.  If you are yourself
interested in transferring copyright for some of your contributions,
please contact the both of us. (zack@, leader@)


Auditors team meetings

Two auditors meetings were cancelled due to lack of participants.


+ advance deposit for the DC14 venue: $12k
+ ruby sprint: max 3500 €
+ network cables: £12 + shipping
+ HP carepack for storage: $410
+ an old machine (estimated value of $99) was donated to Brainfood,
  who has been a strong supporter of Debian domain name transferred to Debian

The ‘’ domain name was transferred to Debian (to SPI, more 
exactly). Many thanks to Roberto Lumbreras for making this

DPL Helpers and DPL TO-DO list

The DPL helpers planned on 2013-12-16 was postponed due to lack of
participants, and has not been re-scheduled yet.

Here is the current state of the DPL TO-DO list.  As noted in the past,
obviously not all items have the same importance or urgency — some of
them are listed just because “it would be nice if this was done and there
was activity recently, so I’m keeping an eye on them”.  If you feel like
helping with one of the items listed below, please contact me for details
(or just proceed).  Thanks!
(“C:” means “current status:”, “N:” means “Next action:”)

*** meetings
– plan next DPL helpers meeting
– plan next auditors meeting

*** delegations and teams
– discuss the debconf chairs delegation with debconf team
– revisit thread on handling of release goals (C: thread at
– Debian infrastructure discussion (
– re-delegate policy to address concerns (C: draft under review)
– re-appoint Kurt as secretary (C: draft under review)

*** money / accounting / TOs / auditor / trademark
**** auditors
– set up royalty scheme about Debian book from Packt Publishing
– [lucas] Trusted Organizations criteria (C: N: integrate feedback from -project thread)
– [bgupta] work with SPI to enable donations via paypal
– [bgupta] rework donations web page. (N: HTML mockup; #681501)
– work with TOs to fix/improve reimbursement procedures (C:
– [auditor] formalize process for reimbursement RT tickets
– wrap-up status of debian-uk
– [auditor] terminate the visa card as it has not been useful and costs money
– [auditor] work with SPI to improve tracking of incomes and expenses
– [auditor] update delegation?
**** trademark
– [bgupta] define a policy for the handling of debian.* domain names
– [trademark] delegate?
– [trademark] send ‘bits’ email
**** legal
– ask SFLC what should be our policy about contributors from Iran

*** communication
– [lucas] blog talk + lightining talk from minidebconf paris
– [lucas] answer interview from C. von Eitzen
– [lucas] improve DPL talk: mention blends, translation

*** projects/ideas outside DPL scope to help move forward / make sure it happens:
**** new contributors related
– Debian Welcome team (C: + BOF during DebConf – . recent email: )
– “recruit” some example packages to point prospective contributors to. (N: send mail to -devel@, ping major teams)
– adjust documentation around ‘gift’ tag, or rename the tag. See
– debbugs submissions via http (C: N: follow-up on #590269)
– improve reportbug template (#719067)

**** other
– Free access to public Clouds for Debian development: contact a third Cloud
provider to ensure diversity and avoid vendor-lockin.
– Debian Code of Conduct (C: N: iterate with a new version?)
– binary-throw-away uploads — related to reproducible builds (C: N: dak work)
– Debian PPA (would make transitions much easier to manage) (C: implementation not started yet AFAIK N: dak work)

*** Blocked / To watch
– finish wrapping up events team discussion (N: list content of events box, update events@ alias)
– look at and decide whether we should join
– package for dvd playing library. was reviewed by ftpmasters (N: Dmitry Smirnov to include feedback and provide a description of the packaging that can be reviewed by SFLC)
– FSF recognition as a free distro (WIP:; blocker: fsf-provided list of issues)
– discuss new website and possible integration with the DM workflow (with the DM keyring team)
– debbugs (C: team with low manpower; call for help sent in dpl bits N: ?)
– [bgupta/SFLC] look at donations using cryptocurrencies
– [trademark/SFLC] logo registration as a trademark

*** Someday/maybe (reservoir of ideas)
work with FSF on Debian Free-ness assessment
source packages in debian: when did we cross the 20’000 mark?
[richih] add Debian logins to
[zack] organize a survey of DDs (N: draft questions)
improve “simple patch” process <>
continue to improve how-can-i-help (look at bugs)
continue to improve packaging-tutorial (look at bugs; finish integration of japanese translation)
finalize inbound trademark policy –
maintain authoritative list of DFSG-free licenses – RFH in
patch UDD to mention odbl –
debian user survey
debian local groups
summarize “salvaging packages” thread as a dev-ref patch

also see

Full/up-to-date list:

Day-to-day log

As usual, my day-to-day log of DPL activities is
available on master:/srv/leader/news/bits-from-the-DPL.txt.201312

Next DPL election

The next DPL election is coming up soon — the call for nominations is
likely to be sent by the Secretary in early March. At this point, I don’t
know yet if I will run for re-election or not. My main motivation for not
running again would clearly be the amount of work involved in the role.
The DPL helpers initiative has been helpful by enabling me to offload
some tasks, and provided an opportunity for regular status checks, but
the amount of remaining work is larger than what I would consider
enjoyable for an additional year.

In any case, if you read this far, maybe you should consider volunteering
for one of the tasks listed above? That would be a good way to check if
you should run for DPL yourself, and more importantly, to help Debian.

– Lucas

One Response to “bits from the DPL — December 2013” »

  1. Pingback by bits from the DPL — December 2013 | Debian InfoDebian Info - Just another James n site — January 26, 2014 @ 4:09 pm

    […] bits from the DPL — December 2013 […]

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Leave a comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Debian-News is not related to the Debian Project.
All logos and trademarks on this site are property of their respective owners.