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Bits from the DPL

Hey all!

Having received both my first criticism for not posting enough [0]
and my first bit of praise as someone competent to talk to in contrast
to the ftpmaster staff, I figure there's no point continuing to pinch
myself and that I'd better get on with this whole DPL business...

First thing is a hat tip to the other candidates; going through the
DPL election from the side of a candidate is surprisingly gruelling,
and they deserve kudos for having the courage to put their ideas up
for that level of public review and criticism. I know Andreas plans to
continue working on sponsorship issues and organising debconfs current
and future, and I believe both Bill and Jeroen have put themselves
forward for another gruelling process: that of helping out the release
team by becoming release assistants. I'd like to suggest that it might
be worth buying these people the occassional drink just to ensure they
never sober up enough to quite realise what they're in for...

Steve McIntyre obviously warrants a special mention, having come second by
the second smallest margin ever (6 votes, compared to Martin Michlmayr's
defeat of Bdale Garbee by 4 votes in 2003). And what better way to reward
a Debianite than by giving them a confusing new job? As such, I'm creating
a delegated role for Steve called "Debian 2IC", or "Second In Charge",
which shares some of the regular DPL's powers/responsibilities, namely
to lead discussion, support other developers' activities, and represent
the project in public.

Having talked to Steve about this, we're pretty optimistic that it should
work well, both in that we're fairly comfortable working with each other,
and that the ideas we outlined during the election seem to both be fairly
compatible with each other, and also not to overlap too much. Obviously
the 2IC is ultimately accountable to the DPL, but mostly I expect we'll
be focussing on different things, and that any disagreements we might
have will just get worked through or around, so that the question of
who's supposed to defer to whom won't come up.

I'm pleased to be able to report that Branden's term did in fact end
with a stable point release by our new Stable Release Managers, Andy
Barth and Martin Zobel-Helas, as well as the addition of AMD64 to our
forthcoming release, the inclusion of modular X in unstable, and also
some neat new support for experimental autobuilding. The best measure
for a DPL's success is whether they leave the project stronger than
they found it, and at least from where I sit, I think we've weathered
the problems of the past year well, and we've got every right to look
forward to a great big set of new ones. So I'd encourage everyone to
raise a glass in Branden's honour, that we might all have the courage
to speak our minds, the resilience to withstand adversity and strife,
and the patience and perseverance to see our ambitions become reality.

What else? Manoj has kindly agreed to continue as project secretary for
another year, and is eager to do some more work on the devotee scripts.
As hinted at above, the release team continue their work, and have
recently started the training process for a new group of assistants --
if you're interested in learning the ropes and maybe helping out a bit,
you can follow their progress on the debian-release list.

As has been mentioned on the -project and -private lists, Debian has
joined the Google Summer of Code programme, and project ideas are being
collected on the wiki [1]. Our participation is being administered
by Baruch Even, whom you should contact if the idea of spending some
of Google's money on improving Debian and giving a student some free
software experience sounds like a good idea to you.

I'm hoping that will be a good stepping stone towards the project I'm
aiming to work on next month, which is to work on improving the way
Debian interacts with "partner" orgainsations; but there's still a week
left in this month, and while we aren't due for another point release
yet nor do we have any new architectures immediately ready to add,
I'm sure we can come up with some other interesting things to do...

Personally, I'm looking forward to seeing what a "Bits from the 2IC"
will look like. ;)


[0] <mjg59> You've gone and become a silent DPL already
    <aj> i have!
    <aj> isn't it great?
    <thom> congratulations; that's the quickest yet

[1] http://wiki.debian.org/SummerOfCode2006

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