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(Final) Bits from (this) DPL

Hi folks,

It's been a very long time since I've written a summary of what I've
been up to, and I apologise for that. I've been plenty busy enough,
but rubbish at reporting back regularly. As it's coming up to the end
of my term and I'll be handing over to a new DPL very soon, I should
rectify that. Here's some more details, and some links to other stuff
that's been going on.

I've had the usual selection of chats with the press about topics
related to Debian. You'll have probably seen most of them already, but
here's some links in case:

 * Richard Hillesley at H Online asked me for my opinion about how
   Debian and Ubuntu get on. [1]

 * I spoke with Juan Marcelo Rodríguez Monti of Circo Linux in
   Argentina, but I couldn't find any sign of the results.

 * There were a few discussions with Sam Varghese at ITWire on various
   topics, e.g. [2,3,4]

 * Miscellaneous discussion with debianizzati.org [5]

 * Press reports about the new CD build server that Thomas Krenn
   sponsored for us [6,7]

Talks & Meetings
In December I was invited to give a talk to students and staff at
Aberystwyth University, where they have a new module entitled 'Open
Source Development Issues' [8]. I gave them an introduction to Debian
as a large FLOSS project, helping them to give an insight into how
things work and the motivations for Free Software development. [9] The
talk was well-received and I fielded a range of questions from
enthusiastic students.

In February, I took part in a meeting in London organised via the
FSFE, a UK Free Software Round Table. A number of well-known
developers and supporters were there, and we discussed strategies on
how to better promote Open Source and Free Software usage in the
UK. We seem to be quite a way behind other countries in the take-up of
FLOSS, so it would be great if this group can help fix that. There
should be more similar meetings in the future as we continue these

I have a number of core team updates to report from the last few
months. First of all, I renewed the delegation of the Project
Secretary post to Kurt Roeckx and Neil McGovern back in
January. Secondly, I officially added delegations for Alexander and
Meike Reichle-Schmehl onto the press team [10] in February. Thirdly,
Luca Falavigna has joined the ftp team as an assistant [11].  Finally,
Luk Claes has resigned as Release Manager [12]. I'd like to offer my
sincere thanks to him for all his efforts over the last few years, and
look forward to seeing him back at work after his vacation. In the
meantime, other members of the release team have taken up the job of
managing Squeeze work [13,14]. Good luck to them with that; let's all
try to work together and get Squeeze out soon and to our usual high

A number of teams are continuing to look for more support for a
variety of tasks. As examples, the debian admin team are looking for
more help to run a variety of services and the ftp team are still
looking for new blood. Sometimes working on core issues like these
might seem like a thankless task, but the workload gets much easier as
more people help out. If you can find the time, please watch for team
requests and join up to keep Debian infrastructure running smoothly!

Developer Certification
Something that I've done on request for a few people is provide
"official" certification to show that they are (or have been) Debian
developers. It seems that more and more companies are keen to hire
Debian folks, so it can be useful to have this kind of documentation
available. I've been glad to help out when people have asked - please
inquire if you'd like similar.

DebConf 10 is coming soon [15], and lots of us will be travelling to
New York for the usual mix of fun and hard work. We're still looking
for sponsors to help cover us for costs and equipment [16], and the
various teams are working hard on organising things for us. I look
forwards to seeing lots of you there! The official deadline for
applying for travel sponsorship is the 15th of April [17], so be quick
if you need assistance.

As an extra incentive to help bring people (back) into Debian, a
suggestion made after DebConf last year (thanks to Joey for this!) was
extra support for developers who have never been to a DebConf before,
or who have not made it for several years. If you would need this kind
of help, but have not applied for sponsorship because you don't want
to give a talk and are maybe not self-confident enough to think you
would merit travel funding on the strength of your reputation, please
get in touch! DebConf is an amazing experience, and an incredible way
to get more involved in Debian; don't miss this opportunity!

Debian Money
We've had a number of other suggestions made in the last few months
for ways to productively spend Debian money, and I've been following
through on a number of them.

An obvious choice is funding for hardware that's needed, and I've
approved lots of that. There's a mix of small consumables (like hard
disks), slightly larger amounts to help people working on various
Debian ports (e.g. mips, arm and avr32 boards) up to larger expenses
like support contracts and replacements for some of our larger core

We've put money into a large number of developer meetings recently,
ranging from team meetings (e.g. ftpmaster and NM team meet-ups in
Germany and the kernel team going to LPC in Portland) to more general
conferences (mini-confs in Taiwan, Panama, Argentina, Thailand, Spain
and Germany). These are helping a lot for collaboration inside and
outside of Debian, so these are clearly worth doing. I've made a
policy of asking meeting/conf organisers to write up what they're
doing as a condition for getting Debian money, so you should have seen
(or be seeing) lots of blogs and mails about these.

I also approved a lump of funding for the Debian Edu subproject, which
will help them to continue their developer meetings into the future.

Debian has been accepted again as a mentoring organisation for the
Google Summer of Code programme. [18] We're looking for mentors and
students with good project ideas Right Now(TM), so if you're
interested please get in touch. Obey Arthur Liu is continuing as lead
admin for us, with me and Michael Schultheiss helping out where we

As you'll have seen, it's that time of year again. Voting for the next
DPL will start very soon [19,20]. We have four candidates to choose
from this year, and there has been a huge amount of discussion and
campaigning on the debian-vote mailing list in the last couple of
weeks. Good luck to all of the candidates, and huge thanks to them all
for standing! The DPL job can look very daunting, so volunteering for
it is a great sign of commitment to the project.

That's all folks!
Well, not totally. :-) I've had a busy and very fulfilling time as DPL
for two years, and I hope I've done a good job. I'm not about to
vanish from the project, but I'm planning on spending a little less
time on project work in the next few months. A new job and a new
fiancee are working together to take a lot of my attention at the
moment, so I'll probably be quiet(er) for a while. I am, however,
looking forwards to having more time for some hacking!


[1]  http://www.h-online.com/open/Health-Check-Ubuntu-and-Debian-s-special-relationship--/features/113260
[2]  http://www.itwire.com/content/view/25683/1090/
[3]  http://www.itwire.com/content/view/26060/1090/
[4]  http://www.itwire.com/content/view/29541/1090/
[5]  http://e-zine.debianizzati.org/web-zine/numero_2/?page=0
[6]  http://www.linux-magazin.de/NEWS/Debian-dankt-Neuer-Server-rast
[7]  http://www.linux-magazine.com/Online/News/Debian-Project-Pleased-with-Ten-Times-Faster-Build-Server
[8]  http://www.aber.ac.uk/en/modules/deptcurrent/?m=CS38110
[9]  http://www.einval.com/~steve/talks/Aberystwyth-2009/
[10] http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel-announce/2010/02/msg00004.html
[11] http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel-announce/2010/03/msg00003.html
[12] http://lists.debian.org/debian-release/2010/03/msg00152.html
[13] http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel-announce/2010/03/msg00005.html
[14] http://lists.debian.org/debian-release/2010/03/msg00206.html
[15] http://debconf10.debconf.org/
[16] mailto:sponsors@debconf.org
[17] http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel-announce/2010/03/msg00009.html
[18] http://wiki.debian.org/SummerOfCode2010
[19] http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel-announce/2010/03/msg00000.html
[20] http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel-announce/2010/03/msg00006.html

Steve McIntyre, Debian Project Leader <leader@debian.org>

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