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Stefano Zacchiroli: overlapping bits from the DPL for April 2012

Posted: May 6, 2012 / in: Linux / No comments

posted to d-d-a
, here is the monthly report about my DPL

Dear project members,
last bits of the past DPL term and first bits of the current term,
all in one. Here is a report of what has happened in DPL land last

Highlight: call for DPL helpers

Before the report, though, let me point out that your friendly
neighborhood DPL could use some help. As discussed during campaign,
there are some intrinsic transparency and scalability limits in the
DPL institution, when run by a single person. Before trying
something new to fix that, I’d like to give a last try to an old
“tactic”: calling for help. If you’re considering running for DPL
or if you’re simply interested in the job the DPL does and willing
to help with that, please let me know. Ideally, if I find a group
of people I’m happy to work with, I’d like to set up periodic IRC
meetings with all “DPL helpers” to publicly discuss items in the
DPL agenda and share the work-load.

Ongoing discussions

A big topic of last month has been the proposal
by Francesca Ciceri to publish a diversity statement for the Debian
Project. After a lively discussion on -project, we reached consensus
on a text
, and I’ve been happy to help with that. To finalize
statement publication we now need
to vote on it with a GR
. I’ve helped drafting a corresponding
GR proposal that has already been posted to -vote by Francesca. A
final one, looking for seconds, will be posted there soon.

Wrapping up March discussions on a revenue sharing agreement
with DuckDuckGo, I’ve
announced my intention
to finalize the agreement and have done
so shortly thereafter. The Iceweasel maintainer has deployed the
corresponding search engine query string and other web browser
maintainers could do the same, if they want to.

In April I’ve also spent some time to move forward the long
running conflict on Python maintenance
, reported to the
tech-ctte more than 2 years ago. With the help of people on the
-python mailing list, I’ve now submitted to the tech-ctte an up to
date list of potential maintenance teams. I hope the tech-ctte now
have all the information needed to come to a decision. Speaking of
which, I’m also discussing
with tech-ctte members
the possibility of having periodic ctte
meetings; the idea is to ensure that outstanding issues are
periodically reassessed, improving the reliability of tech-ctte
decision times.

I’ve also
discussed at length with members of the pkg-multimedia-maintainers
the relationships with the unofficial
debian-multimedia.org (d-m.o) repository, that have been a cause of
tension for Debian multimedia users and maintainers for quite some
time. On behalf of the team and of the Project I’ve now reached out
to the d-m.o maintainer, hoping to come to some sort of amicable
agreement on which packages belong where.

Hardware replacement

As anticipated in last report, I’ve started approving hardware
purchases to implement the yearly hardware replacement plan
prepared by DSA. During April I’ve approved requests to buy servers
to replace the machines running the bugs-master, bugs-mirror, and
UDD services. The total expected expenditure is about 15’000


I’ve delivered my classic Debian “18


19 years”
talk at UNIVPM, a polytechnic
university in center Italy; slides are

I’ve then been contacted by people from the European Synchrotoron in Grenoble who,
beside having recently migrated their
infrastructure to Debian
, are looking into organizing a

workshop on Debian usage for large science facilities
. I’ve
been happy to help out providing a list of potential topics and
speakers for the event.

Also as anticipated last month, the Debian Project has been
present at the OpenStack summit. Loic Dachary has represented
Debian at the event and provided a nice
about his experience there. Speaking of which, I’ve also
coordinated a news release about
the availability of cloud technologies in Wheezy, taking the chance
to point out the relationships between what Debian stands for and
the ability to deploy your own private cloud.


April has been a rather calm month on the sprint front, with the
notable exception of the I18n team who is organizing
a sprint for
June in Paris.


  • Google Summer of Code (GSoC) has now started and for Debian is
    already quite a success. Wrt last year we doubled the number of
    student applications and we jumped from 9 to 15 approved projects.
    More details about Debian in GSoC have been
    posted by Ana
    . I encourage all of you to take the chance of
    GSoC to bond with students and show them how nice is the Debian
    community to work with: that’s the prime trait we need to exhibit
    to make sure we’ll always have enough volunteers to run the Debian

  • The one month notice before
    opening up LDAP dnsZoneEntry
    has expired and the field has now
    been opened by DSA. Practically, this means that the full listing
    of *.debian.net entries can now be queried publicly via LDAP. If
    anyone would be so kind to provide a script that does so and
    produce a nice looking HTML index, we can now publish it somewhere
    and replace the perennially out of date wiki index

Thanks for reading thus far,
HDH! (Happy Debian Hacking)

PS the boring day-to-day activity log for April is available at


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