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"Debexpo" and how you can help

Hey all!

In the next month, we're all going to get Debexpo running as an alternative to mentors.debian.net. I'm going to revive this project, and I need some help. (I'm cross-posting; I've set the Reply-To header so that replies go the debexpo devel list.)

We're going to get it on the web, in one way or another, by November 5.

If you want to help, I'd love that. The point of this email is to help interested parties find each other. If you have nothing constructive to say, I'd appreciate if you reply privately to me rather than to a public list.

debexpo is a free software web app that's designed to be used for doing package review and helping sponsors identify packages they'd be interested in uploading. There are things we can do to make the Debian mentorship website more productive, and people have ideas and want to implement them. A week ago, I thought, "I'll just patch the mentors.debian.net code to implement my ideas." Then I ran away once I saw the code.

So we really have to replace mentors.debian.net with something fresh that people will want to patch -- let's make it debexpo!

What's next for debexpo?

We should start running a debexpo instance for mentors and mentees, so they have a better web service to use. But Christoph and I are dragging our feet because we don't know what serious bugs there are. I actually think it's mostly ready, but "sadly" I "have to" go to a wedding this weekend so I can't look into it immediately.

So the next task is figuring out what functionality works, and deciding what bugs are show-stoppers.

You can do that if you set up a local instance! And you don't need to know how to code any Python.

"We" this, "we" that...

The next time I'm going to be able to take a look at debexpo is next week. So right now, I'm just going to send an email to a few lists. (-:

The team is small but growing: eight people have committed to the git repository in the project's life, and three people are excited and hanging out in #debexpo on freenode.

You can be part of the debexpo effort. If you're just the kind of person who likes downloading and playing with software, come on by!

Your mission

If you want to help us move debexpo forward, here's what you need to do:

* Download debexpo
* Set it up, and run its test suite

* Join the mailing list
* Join #debexpo on irc.freenode.net
* Read the source, and marvel at its cool plugin architecture

* Decide if it's good enough to deploy, and if not, tell us why on the list

* Optional: Ask Christoph for a Trac account

Again, none of this requires Python skills. If you have Python skills, and want to use them, you can find some tasks on the bug tracker. See "Things you should know", later in this email.

Getting the latest version

This part's easy:

  $ git clone git://gitorious.org/debexpo/asheesh.git debexpo

This clones my Debexpo repository into a directory called debexpo. (My repository has some extra changes to README that you might like.)

Set it up and run its test suite

Once you've done a clone, you'll get a README file. Everything you need to know is in there. It explains how to create a "virtualenv" so you can set it up without touching your system Python packages.

By the end of reading the documentation (see also docs/installing.rst) you'll have your very own Debexpo website.

Things you should know

* The project website is at http://debexpo.workaround.org/trac/

* Bugs are tracked in Trac, at http://debexpo.workaround.org/trac/

* The IRC channel is #debexpo on *Freenode*

* Thanks to the work of Jan Dittberner and Jonny Lamb, debexpo has a substantial test suite.

* It's written in Python and Pylons.

* You can log into Trac using the username/password pair "guest"/"guest"

* I think we can get this code in decent shape, ready for use by debian-mentors, by November 5.

Get going!

If you like Debian but don't particularly like packaging, you can contribute by helping us here.

If (like me) you really like downloading and installing software, what are you waiting for? (-:

-- Asheesh.

Ships are safe in harbor, but they were never meant to stay there.

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