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(overlapping) bits from the DPL: April 2012

Dear project members,
  last bits of the past DPL term and first bits of the current term, all
in one. Here is a report of what has happened in DPL land last April.

Highlight: call for DPL helpers

Before the report, though, let me point out that your friendly
neighborhood DPL could use some help. As discussed during campaign,
there are some intrinsic transparency and scalability limits in the DPL
institution, when run by a single person. Before trying something new to
fix that, I'd like to give a last try to an old "tactic": calling for
help.  If you're considering running for DPL or if you're simply
interested in the job the DPL does and willing to help with that, please
let me know.  Ideally, if I find a group of people I'm happy to work
with, I'd like to set up periodic IRC meetings with all "DPL helpers" to
publicly discuss items in the DPL agenda and share the work-load.

Ongoing discussions

A big topic of last month has been the proposal [1] by Francesca Ciceri
to publish a diversity statement for the Debian Project. After a lively
discussion on -project, we reached consensus on a text [2], and I've
been happy to help with that. To finalize statement publication we now
need to vote on it with a GR [3]. I've helped drafting a corresponding
GR proposal that has already been posted to -vote by Francesca. A final
one, looking for seconds, will be posted there soon.

[1]: https://lists.debian.org/debian-project/2012/03/msg00048.html
[2]: https://lists.debian.org/debian-project/2012/04/msg00053.html
[3]: https://lists.debian.org/debian-project/2012/04/msg00088.html

Wrapping up March discussions on a revenue sharing agreement with
DuckDuckGo, I've announced my intention [6] to finalize the agreement
and have done so shortly thereafter. The Iceweasel maintainer has
deployed the corresponding search engine query string and other web
browser maintainers could do the same, if they want to.

[6]: https://lists.debian.org/debian-project/2012/04/msg00101.html

In April I've also spent some time to move forward the long running
conflict on Python maintenance [4], reported to the tech-ctte more than
2 years ago. With the help of people on the -python mailing list, I've
now submitted to the tech-ctte an up to date list of potential
maintenance teams. I hope the tech-ctte now have all the information
needed to come to a decision.  Speaking of which, I'm also discussing
with tech-ctte members [15] the possibility of having periodic ctte
meetings; the idea is to ensure that outstanding issues are periodically
reassessed, improving the reliability of tech-ctte decision times.

[4]: http://bugs.debian.org/cgi-bin/bugreport.cgi?bug=573745
[15]: https://lists.debian.org/debian-ctte/2012/04/msg00029.html

I've also discussed [5] at length with members of the
pkg-multimedia-maintainers team the relationships with the unofficial
debian-multimedia.org (d-m.o) repository, that have been a cause of
tension for Debian multimedia users and maintainers for quite some time.
On behalf of the team and of the Project I've now reached out to the
d-m.o maintainer, hoping to come to some sort of amicable agreement on
which packages belong where.

[5]: http://lists.alioth.debian.org/pipermail/pkg-multimedia-maintainers/2012-April/026063.html

Hardware replacement

As anticipated in last report, I've started approving hardware purchases
to implement the yearly hardware replacement plan prepared by DSA.
During April I've approved requests to buy servers to replace the
machines running the bugs-master, bugs-mirror, and UDD services. The
total expected expenditure is about 15'000 USD.


I've delivered my classic Debian "18^W 19 years" talk at UNIVPM [16], a
polytechnic university in center Italy; slides are available [10].

[16]: http://www.univpm.it/
[10]: http://upsilon.cc/~zack/talks/2012/20120416-univpm.pdf

I've then been contacted by people from the European Synchrotoron [17]
in Grenoble who, beside having recently migrated their infrastructure to
Debian [18], are looking into organizing a workshop on Debian usage for
large science facilities [9]. I've been happy to help out providing a
list of potential topics and speakers for the event.

[17]: http://www.esrf.eu/
[18]: http://www.debian.org/News/weekly/2012/09/
[9]: https://lists.debian.org/debian-science/2012/04/msg00044.html

Also as anticipated last month, the Debian Project has been present at
the OpenStack summit. Loic Dachary has represented Debian at the event
and provided a nice report [11] about his experience there.  Speaking of
which, I've also coordinated a news release [7] about the availability
of cloud technologies in Wheezy, taking the chance to point out the
relationships between what Debian stands for and the ability to deploy
your own private cloud.

[11]: https://lists.debian.org/debian-project/2012/04/msg00096.html
[7]: http://www.debian.org/News/2012/20120425


April has been a rather calm month on the sprint front, with the notable
exception of the I18n team who is organizing a sprint for June in Paris

[13]: https://lists.debian.org/debian-i18n/2012/04/msg00101.html
[14]: http://wiki.debian.org/I18n/Sprint2012


- Google Summer of Code (GSoC) has now started and for Debian is already
  quite a success. Wrt last year we doubled the number of student
  applications and we jumped from 9 to 15 approved projects. More
  details about Debian in GSoC have been posted by Ana [8]. I encourage
  all of you to take the chance of GSoC to bond with students and show
  them how nice is the Debian community to work with: that's the prime
  trait we need to exhibit to make sure we'll always have enough
  volunteers to run the Debian Project.

  [8]: http://ekaia.org/blog/2012/04/27/debian-in-the-google-summer-of-code-2012/

- The one month notice before opening up LDAP dnsZoneEntry [12] has
  expired and the field has now been opened by DSA. Practically, this
  means that the full listing of *.debian.net entries can now be queried
  publicly via LDAP. If anyone would be so kind to provide a script that
  does so and produce a nice looking HTML index, we can now publish it
  somewhere and replace the perennially out of date page

  [12]: https://lists.debian.org/debian-devel-announce/2012/03/msg00008.html

Thanks for reading thus far,
HDH! (Happy Debian Hacking)

PS the boring day-to-day activity log for April is available at
Stefano Zacchiroli     zack@{upsilon.cc,pps.jussieu.fr,debian.org} . o .
Maître de conférences   ......   http://upsilon.cc/zack   ......   . . o
Debian Project Leader    .......   @zack on identi.ca   .......    o o o
« the first rule of tautology club is the first rule of tautology club »

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