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Re: to DPL candidates: How do you plan to represent Debian externally?


On 10/03/13 at 17:56 -0400, Paul Tagliamonte wrote:
> I'd ask the DPL candidates to speak a bit about how they intend to
> represent Debian externally -- both in terms out downstream outreach, as
> well as upstream (or even side-stream) relations.
> What sort of plans do you have to collaborate with other F/OSS
> communities? Other distros?
> Realtedly, what sort of messaging (on this topic) can we expect
> from the future DPL?

I have some information about that in my platform, so I'll just
copy/paste for context, and then provide more details. Feel free to ask
further questions.
   What should Debian be in 5 years?

   Debian should aim at reinforcing its position in the center of the
   Free Software ecosystem. It should be the main active intermediary
   between upstream projects and final users. Of course, providing a
   good basis for derivatives is important, because derivatives users
   are Debian users, even if some of them do not acknowledge that. But
   we should also aim at reinforcing the visibility and the impact of
   Debian itself, because the extremely important values we fight for as
   a project are often neglected by our derivatives.

   Yes, that means working on getting some of the cool stuff done by
   derivatives back in Debian, and creating more Debian products.[..]

   Improve communication with upstream projects.

   It is not unusual that maintainers have no contact at all with
   upstream developers. We should work on creating a working
   relationship with upstream projects, involving them in the package
   maintenance when they are willing to, and exporting information about
   bugs affecting Debian, or patches in the Debian package (improving

I think that it's very important that Debian is seen as a nice project
to talk to (by derivatives, upstreams, and also other projects). For
derivatives, we already have the -derivatives@ list, that works very

When I was actively working on Debian/Ubuntu relationships, I attended a
few Ubuntu Developer Summits. It was really great to explain Debian's
POV to this community. If I'm elected, I will consider helping
maintainers go to major events of their upstream communities (of course,
provided that the budget is reasonable, that there's a clear work plan
such as a talk on interactions with Debian or Debian issues with
upstream, etc.)

But then, as I wrote in my platform, I also think that we should
increase the level of innovation inside Debian. That could be achieved
by approaching derivatives about merging their work back into Debian so
that future improvements are done directly in Debian.
But sometimes, this will not work, which might put us in a difficult
situation with some of our derivatives if we offer similar things.


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