Bits from Debian

Bits from Debian

Bits from the DPL

On Tue 02 July 2024 with tags dpl statement community tag2upload usrmerge teams help DebConf history
Written by Andreas Tille

Dear Debian community,

Statement on Daniel Pocock

The Debian project has successfully taken action to secure its trademarks and interests worldwide, as detailed in our press statement. I would like to personally thank everyone in the community who was involved in this process. I would have loved for you all to have spent your volunteer time on more fruitful things.

Debian Boot team might need help

I think I've identified the issue that finally motivated me to contact our teams: for a long time, I have had the impression that Debian is driven by several "one-person teams" (to varying extents of individual influence and susceptibility to burnout). As DPL, I see it as my task to find ways to address this issue and provide support.

I received private responses from Debian Boot team members, which motivated me to kindly invite volunteers to some prominent and highly visible fields of work that you might find personally challenging. I recommend subscribing to the Debian Boot mailing list to see where you might be able to provide assistance.

/usrmerge

Helmut Grohne confirmed that the last remaining packages shipping aliased files inside the package set relevant to debootstrap were uploaded. Thanks a lot for Helmut and all contributors that helped to implement DEP17.

Contacting more teams

I'd like to repeat that I've registered a BoF for DebConf24 in Busan with the following description:

This BoF is an attempt to gather as much as possible teams inside Debian to exchange experiences, discuss workflows inside teams, share their ways to attract newcomers etc.

Each participant team should prepare a short description of their work and what team roles (“openings”) they have for new contributors. Even for delegated teams (membership is less fluid), it would be good to present the team, explain what it takes to be a team member, and what steps people usually go to end up being invited to participate. Some other teams can easily absorb contributions from salsa MRs, and at some point people get commit access. Anyway, the point is that we work on the idea that the pathway to become a team member becomes more clear from an outsider point-of-view.

I'm lagging a bit behind my team contacting schedule and will not manage to contact every team before DebConf. As a (short) summary, I can draw some positive conclusions about my efforts to reach out to teams. I was able to identify some issues that were new to me and which I am now working on. Examples include limitations in Salsa and Salsa CI. I consider both essential parts of our infrastructure and will support both teams in enhancing their services.

Some teams confirmed that they are basically using some common infrastructure (Salsa team space, mailing lists, IRC channels) but that the individual members of the team work on their own problems without sharing any common work. I have also not read about convincing strategies to attract newcomers to the team, as we have established, for instance, in the Debian Med team.

DebConf attendance

The amount of money needed to fly people to South Korea was higher than usual, so the DebConf bursary team had to make some difficult decisions about who could be reimbursed for travel expenses. I extended the budget for diversity and newcomers, which enabled us to invite some additional contributors. We hope that those who were not able to come this year can make it next year to Brest or to MiniDebConf Cambridge or Toulouse

tag2upload

On June 12, Sean Whitton requested comments on the debian-vote list regarding a General Resolution (GR) about tag2upload. The discussion began with technical details but unfortunately, as often happens in long threads, it drifted into abrasive language, prompting the community team to address the behavior of an opponent of the GR supporters. After 560 emails covering technical details, including a detailed security review by Russ Allbery, Sean finally proposed the GR on June 27, 2024 (two weeks after requesting comments).

Firstly, I would like to thank the drivers of this GR and acknowledge the technical work behind it, including the security review. I am positively convinced that Debian can benefit from modernizing its infrastructure, particularly through stronger integration of Git into packaging workflows.

Sam Hartman provided some historical context [1], [2], [3], [4], noting that this discussion originally took place five years ago with no results from several similarly lengthy threads. My favorite summary of the entire thread was given by Gregor Herrmann, which reflects the same gut feeling I have and highlights a structural problem within Debian that hinders technical changes. Addressing this issue is definitely a matter for the Debian Project Leader, and I will try to address it during my term.

At the time of writing these bits, a proposal from ftpmaster, which is being continuously discussed, might lead to a solution. I was also asked to extend the GR discussion periods which I will do in separate mail.

Talk: Debian GNU/Linux for Scientific Research

I was invited to have a talk in the Systems-Facing Track of University of British Columbia (who is sponsoring rack space for several Debian servers). I admit it felt a bit strange to me after working more than 20 years for establishing Debian in scientific environments to be invited to such a talk "because I'm DPL". 😉

Kind regards Andreas.


Looking for the artwork for Trixie the next Debian release

On Fri 21 June 2024 with tags trixie artwork
Written by Jonathan Carter

Translations: ar fr pt-BR

Each release of Debian has a shiny new theme, which is visible on the boot screen, the login screen and, most prominently, on the desktop wallpaper. Debian plans to release Trixie, the next release, next year. As ever, we need your help in creating its theme! You have the opportunity to design a theme that will inspire thousands of people while working in their Debian systems.

For the most up to date details, please refer to the wiki.

We would also like to take this opportunity to thank Juliette Taka Belin for doing the Emerald theme for bookworm.

The deadlines for submissions is: 2024-09-19

The artwork is usually picked based on which themes look the most:

  • ''Debian'': admittedly not the most defined concept, since everyone has their own take on what Debian means to them.
  • ''plausible to integrate without patching core software'': as much as we love some of the insanely hot looking themes, some would require heavy GTK+ theming and patching GDM/GNOME.
  • ''clean / well designed'': without becoming something that gets annoying to look at a year down the road. Examples of good themes include Joy, Lines, Softwaves and futurePrototype.

If you'd like more information or details, please post to the Debian Desktop mailing list.


New Debian Developers and Maintainers (March and April 2024)

On Fri 31 May 2024 with tags project
Written by Jean-Pierre Giraud

Translations: ar ca es fr hi-IN pl pt sv vi zh-CN

The following contributors got their Debian Developer accounts in the last two months:

  • Patrick Winnertz (winnie)
  • Fabian Gruenbichler (fabiang)

The following contributors were added as Debian Maintainers in the last two months:

  • Juri Grabowski
  • Tobias Heider
  • Jean Charles Delépine
  • Guilherme Puida Moreira
  • Antoine Le Gonidec
  • Arthur Barbosa Diniz

Congratulations!


Bits from the DPL

On Thu 02 May 2024 with tags dpl bits from the dpl community debian
Written by Andreas Tille

Translations: ar

Hi,

Keeping my promise for monthly bits, here's a quick snapshot of my first ten days as DPL.

Special thanks to Jonathan for an insightful introduction that left less room for questions. His introduction covered my first tasks like expense approval and CTTE member appointments thoroughly. Although I made a visible oversight by forgetting to exclude Simon McVittie from the list, whose term has ended , I'm committed to learning from this mistake. In future I'll prioritize thorough proofreading to ensure accuracy.

Part of my "work" was learning what channels I need to subscribe and adjust my .procmailrc and .muttrc took some time.

Recently I had my first press interview. I had to answer a couple of prepared questions for Business IT News. It seems journalists are always on the lookout for unique angles. When asked if humility is a new trait for DPLs, my response would be a resounding "No." In my experience, humility is a common quality among DPLs I've encountered, including Jonathan.

One of my top priorities is reaching out to all our dedicated and appointed teams, including those managing critical infrastructure. I've begun with the CTTE, Salsa Admins and Debian Snapshot. Everything appears to be in order with the CTTE team. I'm waiting for response from Salsa and Snapshot, which is fine given the recent contact.

I was pointed out to the fact that lintian is in an unfortunate state as Axel Beckert confirmed on the lintian maintainers list. It turns out that bug #1069745 of magics-python should not have been undetected for a long time if lintian bug #677078 would have been fixed. It seems obvious to me that lintian needs more work to fulfill its role as reliably policy checker to ensure our high level of packaging quality.

In any case thanks a lot to Axel who is doing his best but it seems urgent to me to find some more person-power for this task. Any volunteer to lend some helping hand in the lintian maintainers team?

On 2024-04-30 I gave my first talk "Bits from greenhorn DPL" online at MiniDebConf Brasil in Belo Horizonte. The Q&A afterwards stired some flavours of the question: "What can Debian Brasil do better?" My answer was always in a way: Given your great activity in now organising the fifth MiniDebConf you are doing pretty well and I have no additional hints for the moment.

Kind regards Andreas.


Debian welcomes the 2024 GSOC contributors/students

On Wed 01 May 2024 with tags gsoc development diversity software
Written by Nilesh Patra

GSoC logo

We are very excited to announce that Debian has selected seven contributors to work under mentorship on a variety of projects with us during the Google Summer of Code.

Here are the list of the projects, students, and details of the tasks to be performed.


Project: Android SDK Tools in Debian

  • Student: anuragxone

Deliverables of the project: Make the entire Android toolchain, Android Target Platform Framework, and SDK tools available in the Debian archives.


Project: Benchmarking Parallel Performance of Numerical MPI Packages

  • Student: Nikolaos

Deliverables of the project: Deliver an automated method for Debian maintainers to test selected numerical Debian packages for their parallel performance in clusters, in particular to catch performance regressions from updates, and to verify expected performance gains, such as Amdahl’s and Gufstafson’s law, from increased cluster resources.


Project: Debian MobCom

  • Student: Nathan D

Deliverables of the project: Update the outdated mobile packages and recreate aged packages due to new dependencies. Bring in more mobile communication tools by adding about 5 new packages.


Project: Improve support of the Rust coreutils in Debian

  • Student: Sreehari Prasad TM

Deliverables of the project: Make uutils behave more like GNU’s coreutils by improving compatibility with GNU coreutils test suit.


Project: Improve support of the Rust findutils in Debian

  • Student: hanbings

Deliverables of the project: A safer and more performant implementation of the GNU suite's xargs, find, locate and updatedb tools in rust.


Project: Expanding ROCm support within Debian and derivatives

  • Student: xuantengh

Deliverables of the project: Building, packaging, and uploading missing ROCm software into Debian repositories, starting with simple tools and progressing to high-level applications like PyTorch, with the final deliverables comprising a series of ROCm packages meeting community quality assurance standards.


Project: procps: Development of System Monitoring, Statistics and Information Tools in Rust

  • Student: Krysztal Huang

Deliverables of the project: Improve the usability of the entire Rust-based implementation of the procps utility on Linux.


Congratulations and welcome to all the contributors!

The Google Summer of Code program is possible in Debian thanks to the efforts of Debian Developers and Debian Contributors that dedicate part of their free time to mentor contributors and outreach tasks.

Join us and help extend Debian! You can follow the contributors' weekly reports on the debian-outreach mailing-list, chat with us on our IRC channel or reach out to the individual projects' team mailing lists.


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