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bits from the DPL: collab., comm., debconf, … & Squeeze party!

Dear Developers,
  let's see if I can intrude in the Squeeze release countdown (to expire
during the upcoming week-end [1]!) with some DPL bits.

  [1] http://news.debian.net/2011/01/22/join-us-in-the-countdown-to-squeeze/

Collaboration with others

Since the last report of mine, quite some collaboration activities with
other distributions, Debian-derivatives or not, have been going on.
Thanks to the derivatives front desk, and in particular to the work of
Paul Wise and Yaroslav Halchenko, we have announced the derivatives
census [2,3] as well as some draft guidelines on how to base the work of
other distros on Debain [4]. You can help by getting in the census
active Debian-derivatives which are not there yet, and by contributing
to the derivatives guidelines.

  [2] http://www.debian.org/News/2011/20110124
  [3] http://wiki.debian.org/Derivatives/Census
  [4] http://wiki.debian.org/Derivatives/Guidelines

The cross-distribution meeting on application installers I've mentioned
in my previous report has been held and two Debian people---Enrico Zini
and David Kalnischkies---have attended it on behalf of the project.
According to both organizers and participants the meeting has been
successful and very productive. Reports, videos, as well as press
coverage about the meeting and Debian participation into it are
available [5,6,7,8,9].

  [5] http://www.enricozini.org/2011/debian/appinstaller2011/
  [6] http://meetings-archive.debian.net/pub/debian-meetings/2011/appinstaller-meeting 
  [7] http://www.vuntz.net/journal/post/2011/01/25/Results-of-the-App-Installer-meeting,-and-some-thoughts-on-cross-distro-collaboration
  [8] http://www.muktware.com/a/1/4/26/2011/709
  [9] http://www.itwire.com/opinion-and-analysis/open-sauce/44800-linux-distros-in-bid-for-common-app-installer

I share the feeling that this kind of cross-distribution activities
should become more and more common in the future. I encourage all of you
to think about and advance proposals of similar activities. As a side
effect of this meeting, we are now more in touch than in the past with
people from other distros interested in collaboration and we should put
into use those contacts.

I've also been contacted by representatives of the GNOME Foundation to
get feedback on upstream-distro relationships with them, as seen from
Debian. Joss and Pochu have kindly agreed to act as contact points and
discussions have started.


I've been "SPAM-ing the world" about Debian. I've attended LCA 2011
[10], mainly to deliver the talk "Who the bloody hell cares about
Debian?" [11]. A brief report (including pointers to slides and video)
is available [12], as well as some press coverage about it [13,14]. The
conference gave me a chance to meet not only several Debian-ers there
but also people interested in Debian from other projects and companies
(Fedora/RedHat, Ubuntu, Google, ...).

  [10] http://lca2011.linux.org.au/
  [11] http://lca2011.linux.org.au/programme/schedule/view_talk/153
  [12] http://upsilon.cc/~zack/blog/posts/2011/01/who_the_bloody_hell_cares_about_Debian/
  [13] http://www.itwire.com/opinion-and-analysis/open-sauce/44622-lca-2011-travelling-far-and-wide-to-spread-the-debian-gospel
  [14] http://www.itwire.com/opinion-and-analysis/open-sauce/44703-lca-2011-why-people-should-care-about-debian

I've been interviewed about the cross-distro meeting [15] and I've been
happy to share my enthusiasm about the potential of similar initiatives.

  [15] http://www.muktware.com/n/01/2011/730


The Google Summer of Code program is around the corner for 2011 and,
thanks to the heads up of various people such as Ana and Sune, I've
tried to get things moving a bit ahead of time with respect to past
years. A delegation to a team of admins for the duration of the program
has now been made [16]. You'll soon hear back from them.

  [16] http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel-announce/2011/02/msg00001.html

I've agreed with the current Debian Project Secretary, Kurt Roeckx, to
re-appoint himself as Secretary for another year, as soon as the current
Secretary term will be over. Expect a separate message about that before
the end of February.

DebConf "vs" Debian

Discussions started at DebConf10 about the relationship between Debian
and DebConf have been going on, thanks to the coordination work by Moray
Allan and Richard Darst, among others. As new results on that front:
shared goals of the conference have been published [18] and we agreed
that a small core team of DebConf coordinators/chairs should be DPL
delegates. They will be responsible before the Debian project for the
conference organization. This formal step should leave unaffected the
usual way of working of the DebConf team, but hopefully will clarify the
relationships between DebConf and Debian. Check the archives of the
debconf-team mailing list for more information.

I'm currently looking for volunteers as DebConf chairs and/or for
suggestions about them.

  [18] http://www.debconf.org/goals.shtml


- Following up some discussions on trolling on Debian mailing lists, the
  current mailing list code of conduct has been amended to unwelcome
  "Non-constructive or off-topic messages, along with other abuses". See
  #610262 for more information. Thanks to Shachar Shemesh, David Prevot,
  and the listmasters.

- I've been in touch with representatives of the Open Invention Network,
  about the possibility of joining the network. Taking into account past
  discussions on the subject (thanks to Steve McIntyre for pointing me
  to them), I've gently declined the offer to join on the basis that
  their public stance [17] on software patents is a tad too tolerant.

  [17] http://www.openinventionnetwork.com/patents.php

- To ensure we can retain potential contributors into Debian, we should
  improve our documentation on how people could help Debian. I've sent
  out a brief call for help about that [18]. If you feel like working a
  bit on making easier to help Debian, you might also want to have a
  look at #608400.

  [18] http://upsilon.cc/~zack/blog/posts/2010/12/how_to_contribute_to_Debian/


A proper finance report by the auditors being pending, here are some
highlights on some expenses that I've approved or that I'm going to
approve shortly:

- -www sprint reimbursement (report at [19])
- security sprint reimbursement (report at [20])
- LCA 2011 reimbursement for myself (report at [12])
- cross-distro app-installer meeting participation (report at [5])

  [19] http://lists.debian.org/debian-project/2011/02/msg00009.html
  [20] http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel-announce/2011/01/msg00006.html

Looking forward to Wheezy

I encourage you all to start consolidating your plans for Wheezy and
bringing them up for discussions wherever you see fit.  A distribution
never sleeps and shortly after the Squeeze release parties [21] it will
be time to implement your Wheezy plans!

  [21] http://wiki.debian.org/ReleasePartySqueeze

Happy Squeeze,

PS the usual boring day-to-day activity log is available at

Stefano Zacchiroli -o- PhD in Computer Science \ PostDoc @ Univ. Paris 7
zack@{upsilon.cc,pps.jussieu.fr,debian.org} -<>- http://upsilon.cc/zack/
Quando anche i santi ti voltano le spalle, |  .  |. I've fans everywhere
ti resta John Fante -- V. Capossela .......| ..: |.......... -- C. Adams

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