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Misc Developer News (#32)

The news are collected on http://wiki.debian.org/DeveloperNews
Please contribute short news about your work/plans/subproject.

In this issue:
 + Misc news on the QA infrastructure
 + Shrinking the archive with dedup.debian.net
 + DEP 12 started
 + Turtle RDF meta-data for the PTS
 + An easier way to find work-needing packages of interest

Misc news on the QA infrastructure

 The PTS gained package descriptions and other changes to help increase
 its usefulness for more folks. The watch file upload web interface
 (called rolex and written by Vasudev Kamath) was deployed to help make it
 easier to help fixing watch files[1]. The PTS gained links to archives of
 the mailing lists used by Debian teams for commonly used list servers and
 to the dedup (see below), clang and screenshots services. More work on
 the semantic aspects of the PTS was done, a new wnpp site was setup and
 DEP-12 about upstream metadata was setup. These items are discussed in
 more detail below.

 The Debian QA infrastructure always needs more folks working on it, so if
 you have some spare time, please check out the code and come join us on
 the debian-qa mailing list and IRC channel.

 [1] http://wiki.debian.org/qa.debian.org/HowToHelpWithFixingWatchFiles

Shrinking the archive with dedup.debian.net

 A manual or binary placed twice in a package can needlessly grow a
 package without anyone noticing. Many such cases are easy opportunities
 to shrink binary packages by replacing one copy with a link to the other.
 dedup.debian.net[2] lists files shared between packages and summarizes
 the potential gain. Being a diagnostics tool it also lists e.g.
 duplication of copyright files, so unless the gain is significant looking
 into details is likely not worth the effort.

 It can also be used to discover embedded copies. It therefore also looks
 at gzip decompressed contents and decompressed PNG image data where
 applicable. That way it can find compressed GPL copies for example. This
 tool is very much work in progress, so ideas for improvement and other
 kind of feedback are very much welcome.

 The service is linked from the PTS for packages with large amounts of
 duplicate files and there are tips for reducing duplication[3] available.

  -- Helmut Grohne <helmut@subdivi.de>

 [2] http://dedup.debian.net
 [3] http://wiki.debian.org/dedup.debian.net

DEP 12 started

 The Debian Enhancement Proposal[4] number 12 (DEP 12[5]), for per-package
 machine-readable metadata about Upstream, was started. It will specify
 the syntax of the debian/upstream file in source packages. Discussion
 takes place on the debian-qa mailing list.

  -- Charles Plessy <plessy@debian.org>

 [4] http://dep.debian.net
 [5] http://dep.debian.net/deps/dep12

Turtle RDF meta-data for the PTS

 The PTS[6] now produces RDF meta-data[7] in the Turtle format[8], which
 is both machine-readable and human-readable (at least much more than the
 RDF/XML format previously used). These meta-data could provide
 authoritative reference Semantic Web resources for all Debian source
 packages, to build Linked Data applications, for instance in relation to
 upstream projects or other distros publishing their own RDF meta-data
 (using DOAP or ADMS.SW). The full RDF dump currently contains more than
 2.1 million triples. More details in obergix's blog post[9].

  -- Olivier Berger <obergix@debian.org>

 [6] http://packages.qa.debian.org/
 [7] http://packages.qa.debian.org/common/RDF.html
 [8] http://www.w3.org/TR/turtle/
 [9] http://www-public.telecom-sudparis.eu/~berger_o/weblog/2013/02/01/the-debian-package-tracking-system-now-publishes-turtle-rdf-meta-data/

An easier way to find work-needing packages of interest

 wnpp-by-tags.debian.net[10] makes it easier to find packages to adopt, by
 organising O/BA/RFA/RFH bug reports based on debtags. You can, for
 instance, find work-needing packages based on the language they're
 implemented in[11], the UI toolkit[12] they use, or the field of
 study[13] they belong to.

 The service has been revamped with the Debian stylesheet and got per-tag
 RSS feeds.

  -- Serafeim Zanikolas <sez@debian.org>

 [10] http://wnpp-by-tags.debian.net/
 [11] http://wnpp-by-tags.debian.net/tags/implemented-in/index.html
 [12] http://wnpp-by-tags.debian.net/tags/uitoolkit/index.html
 [13] http://wnpp-by-tags.debian.net/tags/field/index.html



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