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bits from the DPL: July 2012

Tip to feel good about the release #476: *before* reading this, grab and
fix one of the [RC bugs affecting Wheezy][1].  Done?  Now you're ready
for a slightly less exciting report of DPL activities.

[1]: http://udd.debian.org/bugs.cgi


- I've [wrapped up][2] a couple of years of discussions with FSF
  representatives, proposing a joint working group on FSF' assessment of
  Debian Free-ness. Some [news coverage][3] ensued. The discussion list
  that has been set up welcomes participants and, in particular, could
  use some more DDs, fond of Debian principles but also interested in
  external review of our free/non-free separation.

[2]: https://lists.debian.org/debian-project/2012/07/msg00016.html
[3]: https://lwn.net/Articles/506250/

- [DebConf12][4] has happened!, and many of us attended it. Due to
  family reasons I've been able to attend only DebCamp and DebConf
  day-0, just in time to deliver the traditional
  ["bits from the DPL" speech][5]. Among other topics, in the speech
  I've discussed governance scaling issues in our governance, and in
  particular about the role of the DPL --- issue which I'm partly trying
  to address with the "DPL helpers" initiatives.  Slides and videos of
  the talk [are available][5].
  As many others DebConf people, I took part in Nicaraguan TV shows
  about DebConf, showing a good deal of interest by the local media in
  our presence. I don't have links to the recordings yet, but I suspect
  DebConf orga people will provide them as soon as they're available.

[4]: http://debconf12.debconf.org/
[5]: http://penta.debconf.org/dc12_schedule/events/881.en.html

- Many others DebConf12 events are relevant for future Project
  directions. I went through many of the [events][6] I've missed thanks
  to the work of the video team and of the [gobby][7] note takers. I
  recommend doing the same. Some events are particularly relevant to
  recent project-wide discussions, such as [EFI][8], [hijacking][9], and
  the [release process][10] … and I'm sure you'll find more :-) If
  you're a DebConf12 speaker and produced slides, please upload them to
  penta, so that they could be used as future reference.

[6]: http://penta.debconf.org/dc12_schedule/events.en.html
[7]: http://gobby.debian.org
[8]: http://penta.debconf.org/dc12_schedule/events/925.en.html
[9]: http://penta.debconf.org/dc12_schedule/events/926.en.html
[10]: http://penta.debconf.org/dc12_schedule/events/857.en.html


- On the hardware front, we bought another server according to DSA's
  "5-year plan". It will be used as a ganeti node at the man-da hosting
  location. We bought it thanks to [donated][11] money, for a total of
  ~6'600 EUR.

[11]: http://www.debian.org/donations.html

- (After ~8 months of pestering,) we got from SPI a data dump of Debian
  financial transactions there. Thanks for this result goes to the SPI
  Board and in particular to Robert Brockway and Joerg Jaspert. This was
  the last blocker to produce detailed financial reports for the past
  couple of years of Debian activities.  Unfortunately, *it still is a
  blocker*: Debian auditors found out that the data dump is not
  complete. SPI will send us remaining data soon™, but I don't have an
  ETA, unfortunately.

- An [ftpmasters sprint][12] is being organized and I've been happy to
  approve its budget. Help is still needed on the -sprints list to keep
  up with the organization part of sprints, including activities like
  *documenting sprints* to show donors what we do with their help.

[12]: https://lists.debian.org/debian-sprints/2012/07/msg00001.html

Logo & trademark

- to stop the absurdity of not using the official logo ("with Debian")
  as part of our official theme, I advanced a bit on the topic of
  relicensing the logo under a DFSG-free license. I sought a second
  legal advice to SFLC (as requested by the SPI board). They confirm we
  can safely do the relicensing (without undermining our rights on
  contained marks) under a license like dual LGPLv3+ / CC-BY-SA,
  provided that a suitable trademark policy is in place …

- … which is why I've posted to -project a [trademark policy draft][13],
  based on legal advice from SFLC. I've gather useful feedback already,
  but more is welcome. Note that, as [Russ very eloquently put it][14],
  we do not particularly enjoy thinking about which *restrictions* we
  put on the usage of our marks. But given we do have (and use) those
  marks, we should better empower the legal owners (SPI in this case) to
  properly defend them. Our specification for the policy to SFLC has
  been "as free as possible", and that is what we're trying to achieve.

Note that the actual logo relicensing should be done by SPI, via their
board, upon request of mine (as Debian Project liaison). We won't make
it for the next SPI board meeting, as it is on 4 days away. But we can
aim for the subsequent meeting, on September 13th. If all goes well (big
"if"), we will enjoy a DFSG-free logo after that date.

[13]: https://lists.debian.org/debian-project/2012/07/msg00047.html
[14]: https://lists.debian.org/debian-project/2012/08/msg00008.html

Internal organization

Recent flurry of re-organization in the tech-ctte --- which I somewhat
triggered pushing for periodic meetings --- seems to be proceeding
well. I'm very happy about it, as we all need to trust that tech-ctte
decisions will be not only sound, but also prompt. If you're interested
into this topic, some recent evidence of the ongoing reorganization and
its result can be found in their [DebConf12 BoF][15], [minutes][16] of
the last meeting, a set of [forthcoming GRs][17], and the recent great
decision of posting decisions results to d-d-a (as it happened for
[node/nodejs][18]). Kudos to tech-ctte members for the recent activism!

[15]: http://penta.debconf.org/dc12_schedule/events/850.en.html
[16]: https://lists.debian.org/debian-ctte/2012/07/msg00360.html
[17]: https://lists.debian.org/debian-ctte/2012/07/msg00351.html
[18]: https://lists.debian.org/debian-devel-announce/2012/07/msg00002.htm

I haven't worked on it myself directly, but I highlight Enrico's work on
server side [archival of NM conversations][20]. It has the potential of
enabling automatic detection of stuck NM processes. I'm a bit rusty as
AM now, but I think missing that ability is one of the main remaining
causes of frustration when joining Debian.  So, if you are an AM, please
opt-in and use this feature with your appicants.  If you are not an AM…
why not? :-)

[20]: https://lists.debian.org/debian-newmaint/2012/07/msg00031.html


Some misc legal stuff:

- I got the legal advice we asked about the possibility of turning
  mentors.debian.net into an official service. The worry there was about
  the potential copyright infringements by mentees. In the end, we don't
  need to worry about that, provided we've clear contact points (and
  "reasonable" timing…) for removing infringing material once it's been
  reported, *and* that we declare our public policy about that.  I've a
  draft policy document to start with. I'll soon contact mentors.d.n to
  adapt it where needed and have it vetted by SPI before going live.

- I've worked with GNOME maintainers (thanks in particular to Jordi
  Mallach) to rework the mixed Debian/GNOME logo on their alioth project
  page, to stay on the safe side and avoid any ambiguity wrt GNOME
  trademark policy.

… and some misc "political" stuff:

- we've been happy to accept an invitation to attend the GNOME Advisory
  Board meeting at GUADEC: Jord (thanks, again!) kindly accepted to
  represent Debian there. An [early report][19] has been posted on his
  blog, a more detailed one is forthcoming to -project.
[19]: http://oskuro.net/blog/freesoftware/guadec-2012-07-29-16-31

- OSI has discussed with their affiliates the possibility of signing the
  [Declaration of Internet Freedom][20]. On behalf of Debian, I've
  vouched for it. By the way, I'm serving pro tempore as Debian liaison
  at OSI, but if there are people interested in doing that, I'll be
  happy to consider handing over the responsibility to other (it's a
  quite lightweight one, at present).

[20]: http://www.internetdeclaration.org/freedom

Happy RC bug squashing,

PS the boring day-to-day activity log for July 2012 is available at
Stefano Zacchiroli  . . . . . . .  zack@upsilon.cc . . . . o . . . o . o
Maître de conférences . . . . . http://upsilon.cc/zack . . . o . . . o o
Debian Project Leader . . . . . . @zack on identi.ca . . o o o . . . o .
« the first rule of tautology club is the first rule of tautology club »

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