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Bits from the DPL (a 6-month retrospective)

Last Thursday, I have been Debian Project Leader for 6 months.  I
wanted to use this opportunity to give a retrospective of what I have
done during the last six months.  While I tried to keep you up-to-date
with various postings, many things which are going on are not
important enough to justify a posting on their own.  So I hope this
summary will give you a better picture of what has happened.  At the
same time, I am not going into great detail, but will just briefly
sketch the areas I've been working on.  If you're interested in
hearing details about a specific topic, please don't hesitate to mail
me (or better, follow-up to -project or -devel depending on the

Debian internal management

  - I invited several d-i people to debcamp in Oslo and tried to make sure
    that they could attend.
  - I talked to the previous owner of the Embedded Debian domain and got
    it transfered to Debian/SPI.  This is because the project is now a
    Debian sub-project, headed by Wookey.
  - I talked to the Debian Account Manager about the NM situation and
    possible ways to solve the problem, and the situation has improved
    significantly since then.
  - I talked to the security team, which led to Matt Zimmerman being
    promoted to a full security team member.
  - I talked to Sun/Cobalt so we would get some little-endian MIPS machines
    which can be turned into developer-accessible machines.  They agreed
    to donate 2 Cobalt RaQs.  Unfortunately, they haven't been made
    available yet since there are problems with the kernel.
  - Together with others (Arnd Bergmann, MJ Ray), two Opteron machines were
    obtained.  One will be used for d-i porting and the other one will be
    made available for developer access.
  - I coordinated with Christian T. Steigies to see which m68k buildds need
    more hard driver space, and I authorized Christian to spend Debian
    money on this.

Debian finance & legal matters

  - I came up with the Debian Labs idea to give Debian affiliated
    organizations a way to express that they do Debian work.
  - I saw the need for a new Debian trademark policy and helped
    establishing the trademark committee.
  - I talked to various organizations and people who were using the Debian
    trademark or logo in a way not compatible with our policy.  This
    includes Adamantix (formerly known as Trusted Debian), shops selling
    mugs with the official logo, etc.
  - I started a discussion about LSB in order to find out what needs to
    be done from the legal side in order for Debian to be become LSB
    certified.  I also talked to Scott McNeil of the Free Standards
    Group who was very helpful.
  - I established the delegate position of an accountant to track Debian
    money in various countries.  Since this position was established, a
    partner in Italy started accepting Debian donations, Linux Australia
    has agreed to handle donations and assets in Australia, etc.
  - I have been working with various people who are applying for funding
    from governments for projects which are Debian related.  This includes
    a proposal in Australia organized by Peter Eckersley, an EC (European
    Commission) proposal involving mobile Linux and Debian and a proposal
    about Debian for e-government in the States.

Publicity & events

  - I worked with the debconf3 organizers and assisted them in their
    planning as well as I could.
  - I encouraged debconf4 in Brazil and have expressed my support to
    the organizers.
  - I volunteered to assist the planning of a mini-DebConf during the
    EGOVOS 4 conference in Washington.
  - I coordinated with various people to have Debian talks at various
    conferences, such as EGOVOS 2003, LinuXpo WEEKEND 2003 in
    Venezuela, etc.
  - I personally gave 8 talks about Debian at conferences in Europe and
    Australia, and attended a conference in the States.
  - I talked to many users after my talks to get a feel of what they
  - I gave interviews to the press.  I don't have an exact number, but
    I think about 4-5 interviews have been published.
  - I coordinated with the press to get articles about Debian published,
    e.g. one about the 10th birthday in the German computer magazine c't.
  - I participated in interviews carried out by varies researchers
    interested in understanding "Open Source".  This includes researchers
    from Harvard and Cambridge.
  - I worked on having better marketing material for Debian.  As one
    result of this, Ayo has done lovely Debian posters which can be found
    at http://73lab2.free.fr/debian_posters/

Partner relations

  - I talked to various Debian representatives, including those for OASIS,
    LPI and the Desktop Linux Consortium.  The OASIS representative has
    agreed to make an announcement describing what's going on.  I have
    had various discussions with LPI myself (which have been summarized
    on -d-d-a last week).
  - I talked to Lindows and Xandros to see how we can work together more
    closely.  Xandros has agreed to help us with LSB testing.
  - I'm also in contact with Progeny who have been doing great LSB related
    work recently.
  - I talked to Conectiva to see how their APT changes can be merged back
    into our APT.
  - I put folks of MIPS in contact with our glibc maintainers and stressed
    the importance of better toolchain support.
  - I talked to Bradley Kuhn to discuss the relationship of Debian and the
  - I talked to a company who is interested in offering Debian certified
    laptops.  This is going well and you can expect more information in
    an upcoming LWN.

Again, this is just to give an overview of what I have been up to - I
might have missed a few things.  Looking through my mail folders, I
see that I have sent over 700 messages as DPL in the last six months.
I hope this overview was useful and gives you more transparency what
your elected leader has been doing.  Note that this posting was not
made in an effort to "show off", but rather in order to be transparent
and accountable.

Since I have acted as DPL for six months, I would appreciate feedback
on how I have done so far.  Please let me know what I have been doing
well, and what you'd like to see more from me.  (I'd especially like
to hear from people who didn't vote for me, and people who voted for
me but who are disappointed; but of course anyone is welcome to mail
me, and you do not have to indicate whether you did vote for me or
not ;-).)

I hope I have lived up to your expectations so far and that I will
successfully serve you for another six months (or more ;).

Martin Michlmayr

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