DPL Activity logs for April/May 2020

On Wed 03 June 2020 with tags dpl
Written by Jonathan Carter

First month as DPL

I survived my first month as DPL! I agree with previous DPLs who have described it as starting a whole new job. Fortunately it wasn't very stressful, but it certainly was very time consuming. On the very first day my inbox exploded with requests. I dealt with this by deferring anything that wasn't important right away and just started working through it. Fortunately the initial swell subsided as the month progressed. The bulk of my remaining e-mail backlog are a few media outlets who wants to do interviews. I'll catch up with those during this month.

Towards the end of the month, most of my focus was on helping to prepare for an online MiniDebConf that we hosted over the last weekend in May. We had lots of fun and we had some great speakers sharing their knowledge and expertise during the weekend.

Activity log

As I do on my own blog for free software activities, I'll attempt to keep a log of DPL activities on this blog. Here's the log for the period 2020-04-21 to 2020-05-21:

2020-04-19: Handover session with Sam, our outgoing DPL. We covered a lot of questions I had and main areas that the DPL works in. Thanks to Sam for having taken the time to do this.

2020-04-21: First day of term! Thank you to everybody who showed support and have offered to help!

2020-04-21: Request feedback from the trademark team on an ongoing trademark dispute.

2020-04-21: Join the GNOME Advisory Board as a representative from Debian.

2020-04-21: Reply on an ongoing community conflict issue.

2020-04-21: Update Debian project summary for SPI annual report.

2020-04-21: Received a great e-mail introduction from Debian France and followed up on that.

2020-04-21: Posted "Bits from the new DPL" to debian-devel-announce.

2020-04-22: Became Debian's OSI Affilliate representative.

2020-04-22: Reply to a bunch of media inquiries for interviews, will do them later when initial priorities are on track.

2020-04-23: Resign as Debian FTP team trainee and mailing list moderator. In both these areas there are enough people taking care of it and I intend to maximise available time for DPL and technical areas in the project.

2020-04-25: Review outgoing mail for trademark team.

2020-04-25: Answer some questions in preparation for DAM/Front Desk delegation updates.

2020-04-26: Initiated wiki documentation for delegation updates process.

2020-04-27: Update delegation for the Debian Front Desk team.

2020-04-29: Schedule video call with Debian treasurer team.

2020-04-29: OSI affiliate call. Learned about some Open Source projects including OpenDev, OpenSourceMatters, FOSS Responders and Democracy Labs.

2020-05-04: Delivered my first talk session as DPL titled "Mixed Bag of Debian" at "Fique Em Casa Use Debian" (Stay at home and use Debian!), organised by Debian Brazil, where they had a different talk every evening during the month of May. Great initiative I hope other local groups consider copying their ideas!

2020-05-05: Had a 2 hour long call with the treasurer team. Feeling optimistic for the future of Debian's financing although it will take some time and a lot of work to get where we want to be.

2020-05-17: Respond to cloud delegation update.

Bits from the new DPL

On Tue 21 April 2020 with tags dpl election Sruthi Chandran Brian Gupta COVID-19
Written by Jonathan Carter

My fellow Debianites,

It's been one month, one week and one day since I decided to run for this DPL term. The Debian community has been through a variety of interesting times during the last decade, and instead of focusing on grand, sweeping changes for Debian, core to my DPL campaign was to establish a sense of normality and stability so that we can work on community building, continue to focus on technical excellence and serve our users the best we can.

Thing don't always work out as we plan, and for many of us, Debian recently had to take a back seat to personal priorities. Back when I posted my intention to run, there were 125 260 confirmed cases of COVID-19 globally. Today, that number is 20 times higher, with the actual infected number likely to be significantly higher. A large number of us are under lock-down, where we not only fear the disease and its effect on local hospitals and how it will affect our loved ones, but also our very livelihoods and the future of our local businesses and industry.

I don't mean to be gloomy with the statement above, I am after all, an optimist - but unfortunately it does get even worse. Governments and corporations around the world have started to take advantage of COVID-19 in negative ways and are making large sweeping changes that undermine the privacy and rights of individuals everywhere.

For many reasons, including those above, I believe that the Debian project is more important and relevant now than it's ever been before. The world needs a free, general purpose operating system, unburdened by the needs of profit, which puts the needs of its users first, providing a safe and secure platform for the computing needs of the masses.

While we can't control or fix all the problems in the world, we can control our response to it, and be part of the solutions that bring the change we want to see.

During my term as DPL, I will be available to help with problems in our community to the maximum extent that my time permits. If we help ourselves, we will be in a better position to help others. If you (or your team) get stuck and are in need of help, then please do not hessitate to e-mail me.

A few thank-yous

As incoming DPL, I'd like to thank Sam Hartman on behalf of the project for the work that he's done over the last year as DPL. It's a tremendous time commitment that requires constant attention to detail. On Sunday, Sam and I had a handover meeting where we discussed various DPL responsibilities including finances, delegations (including specifics of some delegations), legal matters, outreach and other questions I had. I'd also like to thank Sam for taking the time to do this.

Thank you to Sruthi Chadran and Brian Gupta who took the time to also run for DPL this year. Both candidates brought important issues to the forefront and I hope to work with both of them on those in the near future.

DPL Blog

Today, I've started a new blog for the Debian Project Leader to help facilitate more frequent communication, and to reach a wider audience via Planet Debian. This will contain supplemental information to what I send to the debian-devel-announce mailing list.

Want to help?

In my platform, I listed some key areas that I'd like to work on. My work won't be limited to those, but it should give you some idea of the type of DPL that I'll be. If you'd like to get involved, feel free to join the #debian-dpl channel on the oftc IRC network, and please introduce yourself along with any areas of interest that you'd like to contribute to.

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About Debian

Debian is a Linux distribution composed of free and open source software, developed by the community-supported Debian Project.

Read more about Debian on Wikipedia.

About the project leader

The current Debian project leader is Jonathan Carter.

The Debian Project Leader is responsible for delegating responsibility to teams, approving financial expenditures and making decisions for any area that is not delegated.

More about the DPL role on the Debian website and the Debian wiki.