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Debian Project News - April 21st, 2008

Debian Project News
Debian Project News - April 21st, 2008

Welcome to the first issue of the Debian Project News, the newsletter
for the Debian community! From now on we'll keep you informed about
recent events and interesting developments in and around the Debian
Community on a biweekly basis. But we could still use some help, so
feel free to take a look at our [1]wiki.

  1. http://wiki.debian.org/ProjectNews/

New Debian Project Leader elected
After 12 years of working on Debian as a developer [2]Steve McIntyre
was elected as the new Debian project leader. Within short hours of
taking the job Steve had his first [3]interview with iTWire where he
plans to focus his energy during his term. The interview highlights
Steve's hopes to improve communication between the core teams, get
Lenny out in the second half of 2008 and encourage greater
participation in the project.

When asked how Steve will know if he has done a good job this year he
replied, "I'll know I've done a good job if Debian is in a better
shape: More efficient, more people having fun, more people working on
the core tasks that are needed. I want to see Lenny released inside our
target window. Beyond that, I'll just have to trust to judgement - my
own and those of my peers. I know that's a little wishy-washy, but it's
not like I can point to objective numbers like sales figures here...

  2. http://times.debian.net/1232
  3. http://www.itwire.com/content/view/17716/1090/

Surveying the Debian community
In the spirit of the "bits from" mails send by various officers and
groups within Debian, Paul Wise prepares a [4]"bits from the users of
Debian" mail, in which he tries to summarize feedback he got and gets
from various users of the Debian operating system and send it to the
development community around Debian. Users are asked to send him via
email what they are using Debian for, what gripes they see and similar.

To get a full picture Paul is searching for volunteers who would like
to translate and forward his request to our non-english speaking
mailing lists and send answers translated back to him.

  4. http://lists.debian.org/debian-user/2008/03/msg02475.html

Release Update
Martin Zobel-Helas, member of the release team, send an [5]update
about the next Debian release. While there are still to many release
critical bugs open there has been great progress during the last bug
squashing parties (BSP). So the current BSP marathon will go on.

Martin also added some bits from different package teams and reports,
that GNOME 2.22 is on its way to the next stable release codenamed
"Lenny" while the KDE team stopped efforts on KDE 4.0x and is instead
focusing on KDE 4.1 to be part to be ready for Lenny.

  5. http://lists.debian.org/debian-user/2008/03/msg02475.html

Debian to participate again in Google's "Summer of Code"
Erich Schubert reports[6], that Debian will again participate in
Google's "Summer of Code" campaign allowing students to do paid work
for free software projects during the summer.

Debian got 13 slots granted, and he's sure that with the very good
applications Debian has received, Debian will be able to fill these
slots easily with very good applications working on a variety of

  6. http://blog.drinsama.de/erich/en/linux/debian/2008041901-debian-gsoc.html

Scientific study about Debian Project governance and social organization
How did a big non-commercial, non-paying community evolve into one that
produces some of the most respectable Operating Systems and
applications packages available?

Two academic management researchers, Siobhán O'Mahony and Fabrizio
Ferraro, performed [7]a detailed scientific study about Debian Project
governance and social organization from the management perspective.

  7. http://www.techforce.com.br/index.php/news/linux_blog/scientific_study_about_debian_governance_and_organization

Debian makes progress regarding reliability
According to a recently published [8]study by the Institute for
Advanced Professional Studies Yankee group Debian made great
improvements regarding reliability compared to the last study from
2006. The average downtime of a Debian server has fallen by 41% while
24% of the respondents reported to have at least one Debian server in
their network compared to 15% who had it installed in the 2006

  8. http://www.iaps.com/2008-server-reliability-survey.html

Call for contributions on Debian development infrastructure
For the upcoming Libre Software Meeting to be held in early July in
France Olivier Berger is [9]calling for contributions about Debian
development infrastructure for a session about session on "communautary

  9. http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel/2008/04/msg00586.html

Debian "feature requests" wanted
For the upcoming Hackcontest in Switzerland Martin Krafft is looking[10]
for more Debian related feature requests. During the contest it's the
task of random teams to implement these features. Of course they'll
need to be working with the projects to accomplish their task, and so
even if a team should not win, Debian would profit.

 10. http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel/2008/04/msg00585.html

Debian GNU/Linux FAQ to be improved with Lenny
Jost van Baal reported [11] about his ongoing efforts to improve the
official Debian GNU/Linux FAQ. Since the version shipped with "Sarge"
and even "Etch" weren't in a good shape (and partly outdated) he added
new services and tools and rewrote some parts of the FAQ. The updated
FAQ will feature several translations and will be shipped in a separate
debian-faq package instead of being part of the doc-debian package.

  11. http://lists.debian.org/debian-doc/2008/03/msg00065.html

Debian Lenny to be shipped with qmail and djbdns in main
In the past Debian users who favoured using the popular software from
Dan J. Bernstein (like qmail or djbdns) needed to use packages shipping
only the source and compile these programmes them self or use packages
provided by external services. This was due to a restrictive license
used by him to distribute his software. However, since Bernstein
decided to change the licence terms for his software, qmail and djbdns
may be distributed in Debian main and already efforts are going on to
provide packages with the next stable release.

Planet Debian as mailing list?
Joerg Jaspert[12] wondered, if Planet Debian[13], a service collecting
Weblogs of Debian Developers and contributors to one place, should be
available as a mailing list, too. Some people don't like the mixed
private and technical content available there, and having it as a
mailing list might be easier to sort interesting posts out.

Joey Schulze added[14], that he already provided an unarchived mailing
list collecting posts on Planet Debian.

  12. http://blog.ganneff.de/blog/2008/04/20/planet-as-mailinglist.html
  13. http://planet.debian.org/
  14. http://www.infodrom.org/~joey/log/?200804201121

Co-operative Breathes New Life into Old Machines with Debian
Bristol Wireless[15] is a co-operative set up to develop a
free-to-access broadband intranet using radio, with the emphasis on
supplying ICT (Information and Communication Technologies) that are
relevant, permanent and affordable to communities that find themselves
on the wrong side of the digital divide." The group is working together
with Voscur[16] and Byteback Computing[17] to provide access to
computers built on Debian[18] to the people of Bristol. "Byteback provide
the wiped machines to Bristol Wireless; we install Debian Linux on
them[19] and use the machines in our grant-funded projects in deprived
inner city areas."

  15. http://www.bristolwireless.net/
  16. http://voscur.org/giveonein
  17. http://www.byteback.org.uk/
  18. http://www.bristolwireless.net/wiki/index.php/ComputerRecycling
  19. http://www.bristolwireless.net/wiki/index.php/DebianLinux

Other News
Christian Perrier noticed[20]  that in the last batch of people becoming
official Debian Developers, 10% are female. He hopes that the
Debian Women Project[21], which tries to encourage women to become more
involved with Debian, will keep the pace.

  20. http://lists.debian.org/debian-women/2008/04/msg00007.html
  21. http://women.debian.org/

Russell Coker bloged[22] several[23] times[24] about the status of
Security Enhanced Linux (SE Linux) support in Debian[25]. He concludes
that it isn't in bad shape, but has still room for improvements.

  22. http://etbe.coker.com.au/2008/03/28/debian-se-linux-status/
  23. http://etbe.coker.com.au/2008/04/02/se-linux-play-machine-passwords/
  24. http://etbe.coker.com.au/2008/04/02/se-linux-etch-amd64/
  25. http://etbe.coker.com.au/2008/04/03/trust-and-play-machine/ 

After it has been often seemed, that the ftp master team as well as the
Debian Account Managers (DAM) seem to not be able to handle the
workload, Joerg Jaspert, who has already served as ftp assistant and
"secondary DAM" has been delegated[26] to a full ftp master and DAM by
the former Debian Project Leader Sam Hocevar.

  26. http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel-announce/2008/04/msg00007.html

Bjoern Boschman reports about a meeting [27] taking place in the
LinuxHotel in Essen / Germany focusing on the 25th to 27th of April
about Groupware solution in Debian / not yet in Debian.

  27. http://wiki.debian.org/GroupwareMeeting2008-04-25to27

Paul Wise, Jeff Richards, Andre Felipe Machado, Bjoern Boschman,
Russell Coker and Alexander Schmehl contributed to this issue of the
Debian Project News.

Want to continue reading DPN? Please help us create this newsletter. We
still need more volunteer writers who watch the Debian community and
report about what is going on. Please see our "HOWTO contribute"
page [28] to find out how to help. We're looking forward to receiving your
mail at debian-publicity@lists.debian.org [29].

  28. http://wiki.debian.org/ProjectNews/HowToContribute
  29. mailto:debian-publicity@lists.debian.org

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