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How to help out (Was: [Ann] Sponsored root server for Debian Med)

On Mon, 2 Feb 2009, VidAyer wrote:

I was told IRC is the place to ask questions and interact but
apparently different projects within Debian function differently.


So Debian-med usually interacts via m.lists only?

In practice this is the way we did all the time.  There is no
reason to change this habit if more people will join IRC.  But
I think the people who currently drive the project have a similar
habit like me.

or is there an irc channel one can ask packaging questions too?

There is only #debian-med and no other channel related to the
Debian Med project.  If you have general questions about packaging
there are other channels (I do not know the names for the obvious
reason of my IRC ignorance).

well, #debian-women does not allow bots or public logging of chat
sessions but I noticed #debian-mentors has a bot (Mentor-Seekers) to
announce sponsor requests. I am rather new too.

Ahh, if there is a #debian-mentors channel asking packaging questions
seems perfectly valid there.

Ah, I was looking at the wrong pages ... that clarifies, thanks.

Well, we obviosely missed our task to guide newcomers to the right
pages.  Any suggestion what might be not so missleading is very

Yes, it was confusing. I shall use debian-med.alioth.debian.org
henceforth but I am curious about the links leading to external
websites which  didnt have much information on the interaction with
Debian. For example : Some projects host their code and are listed in
SF, but how does debian obtain software from say, drugref.org or other
companies listed on the debian page?

A Debian maintainer fetches the source of a project (we call it "upstream").
This is the same for all upstream software whereever it might be located.
There is also Debian native software which was specifically written for
Debian - one example is the debian-med package which creates the Debian Med
metapackages.  After fetching the upstream source the maintainer writes
the files which are needed to build a Debian package (in the Debian Med
team we keep these files in the Debian Med SVN repository - and only these
files as it is explained in our group policy) and uploads the Debian
package to the Debian mirror (including the source package).  Normally the
packaging stuff contains pointer to the upstream source (Homepage field
in the control file, copyright file, watch file).

The text above is valid for *existing* Debian packages and hopefully
clarifies the connection to SF.  The connection to drugref.org is ...
hmmm, weak in other words very weak.  Seems this project does not exist
any more. :-(  I think I have to fix the link of our static page.
But in general: We tried to link to projects which might be useful
to build a system which is useful for all task in medical care. Having
a drug reference sounded reasonable and so we linked to it to inspire
a potential Debian maintainer to pick up the source and build a
Debian package.  Obviosely nobody really did.  The reality shows that
our team is not able to care for all existing software and as we see
in the drugref.org example some upstream projects have problems to
continue their work.  Our goal is to pick the successful projects and
provide support inside Debian to strengthen these projects.

Sure, I can help but I dont have access to make changes here :

This is described here.  Well, just another page to read.  I hope you
will not become bored by this.  Perhaps Tobias (in CC) has some useful
hints because he for some time cared for our static web pages.  Regarding
mentioning the interesting projects you was refering to I'm working
for a more dynamic solution with the tasks pages[1] - but I did not solved
the remaining problem yet and I was lacking time to move things like
practice management which could be done in principle now.  This would
reduce the confusion about old links to not existing projects etc.

I have a wiki account and can help (will do it slowly so that I dont
make too many changes which may upset others).

I have seen your edit and I like that.  Chances to make somebody
upset are low if you try to work on things like this.  If something
turns out as "not intended this way" we will sort this out patiently.

Kind regards and thanks for your interest


[1] http://debian-med.alioth.debian.org/tasks/


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