Search Results: "Stefano Zacchiroli"

31 August 2014

Stefano Zacchiroli: debsources hacking

Debsources now has a HACKING file Here at DebConf14 I have given a few talks. The second one has been a technical talk about recent and future developments on Debsources. Both the talk slides and video are available. After the talk, various DebConf participants have approached me and started hacking on Debsources, which is awesome! As a result of their work, new shiny features will probably be announced shortly. Stay tuned. When discussing with new contributors (hi Luciano, Raphael!), though, it quickly became clear that getting started with Debsources hacking wasn't particularly easy. In particular, doing a local deployment for testing purposes might be intimidating, due to the need of having a (partial) source mirror and whatnot. To fix that, I have now written a HACKING file for Debsources, which you can find at top-level in the Git repo. Happy Debsources hacking!

24 August 2014

Lucas Nussbaum: on the Dark Ages of Free Software: a Free Service Definition ?

Stefano Zacchiroli opened DebConf 14 with an insightful talk titled Debian in the Dark Ages of Free Software (slides available, video available soon). He makes the point (quoting slide 16) that the Free Software community is winning a war that is becoming increasingly pointless: yes, users have 100% Free Software thin client at their fingertips [or are really a few steps from there]. But all their relevant computations happen elsewhere, on remote systems they do not control, in the Cloud. That give-up on control of computing is a huge and important problem, and probably the largest challenge for everybody caring about freedom, free speech, or privacy today. Stefano rightfully points out that we must do something about it. The big question is: how can we, as a community, address it? Towards a Free Service Definition? I believe that we all feel a bit lost with this issue because we are trying to attack it with our current tools & weapons. However, they are largely irrelevant here: the Free Software Definition is about software, and software is even to be understood strictly in it, as software programs. Applying it to services, or to computing in general, doesn t lead anywhere. In order to increase the general awareness about this issue, we should define more precisely what levels of control can be provided, to understand what services are not providing to users, and to make an informed decision about waiving a particular level of control when choosing to use a particular service. Benjamin Mako Hill pointed out yesterday during the post-talk chat that services are not black or white: there aren t impure and pure services. Instead, there s a graduation of possible levels of control for the computing we do. The Free Software Definition lists four freedoms how many freedoms, or types of control, should there be in a Free Service Definition, or a Controlled-Computing Definition? Again, this is not only about software: the platform on which a particular piece of software is executed has a huge impact on the available level of control: running your own instance of WordPress, or using an instance on wordpress.com, provides very different control (even if as Asheesh Laroia pointed out yesterday, WordPress does a pretty good job at providing export and import features to limit data lock-in). The creation of such a definition is an iterative process. I actually just realized today that (according to Wikipedia) the very first occurrence of an attempt at a Free Software Definition was published in 1986 (GNU s bulletin Vol 1 No.1, page 8) I thought it happened a couple of years earlier. Are there existing attempts at defining such freedoms or levels of controls, and at benchmarking such criteria against existing services? Such criteria would not only include control over software modifications and (re)distribution, but also likely include mentions of interoperability and open standards, both to enable the user to move to a compatible service, and to avoid forcing the user to use a particular implementation of a service. A better understanding of network effects is also needed: how much and what type of service lock-in is acceptable on social networks in exchange of functionality? I think that we should inspire from what was achieved during the last 30 years on Free Software. The tools that were produced are probably irrelevant to address this issue, but there s a lot to learn from the way they were designed. I really look forward to the day when we will have: Exciting times!

3 August 2014

Bits from Debian: DebConf14 - schedule available

Debconf14 will be held in three weeks in Portland, OR, USA and we're happy to announce that the schedule is already available. Of course, it is still possible for some minor changes to happen! DebConf will open on Saturday, August 23 with the Welcome talk followed by two highlighted talks: There will also be also a plethora of social events, such as our traditional cheese and wine party, our group photo and our day trip. The complete schedule can be found at: https://summit.debconf.org/debconf14/ DebConf talks will be broadcast live on the Internet when possible, and videos of the talks will be published on the web along with the presentation slides.

6 June 2014

Stefano Zacchiroli: debsources paper at ESEM2014

Debsources: Live and Historical Views on Macro-Level Software Evolution The paper entitled Debsources: Live and Historical Views on Macro-Level Software Evolution, which I've co-authored with Matthieu Caneill, has been accepted at ESEM 2014: the 8th international symposium on Emprical Software Engineering and Measurement. In the paper we have described Debsources as a software platform for monitoring the evolution of Free Software through the lenses of Debian, and used the main Debsources instance (http://sources.debian.net) to replicate and extend a former study on macro-level software evolution. Now we "just" have to integrate all the nice charts and data we have extracted for the paper into Debsources' stats page... /o\

6 April 2014

Stefano Zacchiroli: historical overview of debian source code

moar, and moar, and moar debsources stats A while ago I've announced the availability of several stats about Debian source code on http://sources.debian.net. Since then the statistical basis of those stats has increased a lot, and now includes all Debian historical releases, from hamm (July 1998) onward. This allows to appreciate macro-level evolution trends in Free Software, over a period of more than 15 years, through the eyes of a distro that sits at the nice intersection of the eldest, largest, and most reputed distros. To get there I've added support for sticky suites to the plumbing layer of debsources, and then injected historical releases from http://archive.debian.org. The injection process took about a week (without any sort of parallelism, pretty slow disks, and computing sha256 checksums, ctags, and sloccount on all source files) and has been an "interesting" experience. When you go back decades in technology time, bit rot is just around the corner, and I've found my share while injecting archive.d.o into sources.d.n. In both cases the respective maintainers (Guillem and Ganneff, kudos) have been positive about and helpful in improving the situation, despite the low impact of the bugs I've found on the average user. That's quite important for the long-term preservation of digital information in general, and for the perennity of access to Free Software in the specific case of Debian. While we are it, I'm now maintaining a list of bugs affecting sources.d.n but belonging to other packages, in case you fancy helping out but are not a Python hacker. Interestingly enough, quite a bit of those bugs are related to the fact that tools debsources uses (e.g. ctags, sloccount) are also starting to show their age. You might wander why buzz, rex, and bo are still missing from sources.d.n. That's in fact for similar reasons. Before hamm Debian didn't have complete archive coverage in terms of Sources indexes and .dsc files. Given that debsources rely on both to extract source packages, it first needs to grow an additional abstraction layer that can cope with their absence. It's SMOP, and planned. And now let's have fun with ctags bombs. Yours truly,
Stefano Indiana Zacchiroli
(credits: KiBi, #debian-ftp)

27 February 2014

Stefano Zacchiroli: moar stats for sources.debian.net

Debian: watch your stats! Over the past few weeks, myself and Matthieu Caneill have worked quite a bit on Debsources. As we have now deployed most of the new features on http://sources.debian.net, it's time for another "What's new with Debsources?" blog post. Here is what's new: Want more? Sure, we'll be happy to! But it'll happen faster if you help. Speaking of which: we've got Debsources into the new contributors game (see announcement) and we're looking forward to mentor new contributors.

10 February 2014

Bits from Debian: skyrocketing how-can-i-help popcon count

This is a repost from Stefano Zacchiroli's post how-can-i-help by Lucas Nussbaum is one of the best things that happened in the area of attracting contributions to Debian in quite a while. It can be used both as a standalone tool to list opportunities for contributing to Debian which are related to your installed packages, and as an APT hook (which is also the default configuration) that at each upgrade will inform you of new contribution opportunities. how-can-i-help is great for newbies who are looking for ways to give back to Debian which are a good match for their skills: among other things, how-can-i-help shows bugs tagged "gift" related to packages you use. how-can-i-help is also great for experienced developers, as it allows them to find out, in a timely manner, that packages they use are in dire need of help: RC bugs, pending removals, adoptions needed, requests for sponsor, etc. (As highly unscientific evidence: I've noticed a rather quick turnover of RFA/O/ITA bugs on packages installed on my machine. I suspect how-can-i-help is somehow responsible for that, due to the fact that it increases awareness of ongoing package issues directly with the people using them.) So, if you haven't yet, please apt-get install how-can-i-help RIGHT NOW. I daresay that we should aim at installing how-can-i-help by default on all Debian machines, but that might be an ambitious initial goal. In the meantime I'll settle for making how-can-i-help's popcon count skyrocket. As of today, it looks like this: Alt how-can-i-help popularity contest graph 10/02/2014 which is definitely too low for my taste. Please spread the word about how-can-i-help. And let's see what we can collectively do to that graph. how-can-i-help is just a tiny teeny helper, but I'm convinced it can do wonders in liberating dormant contributions to the Debian Project.

Stefano Zacchiroli: apt-get install how-can-i-help

skyrocketing how-can-i-help popcon count how-can-i-help by Lucas Nussbaum is one of the best things that happened in the area of attracting contributions to Debian in quite a while. It can be used both as a standalone tool to list opportunities for contributing to Debian which are related to your installed packages, and as an APT hook (which is also the default configuration) that at each upgrade will inform you of new contribution opportunities. how-can-i-help is great for newbies who are looking for ways to give back to Debian which are a good match for their skills: among other things, how-can-i-help shows bugs tagged "gift" related to packages you use. how-can-i-help is also great for experienced developers, as it allows them to find out, in a timely manner, that packages they use are in dire need of help: RC bugs, pending removals, adoptions needed, requests for sponsor, etc. (As highly unscientific evidence: I've noticed a rather quick turnover of RFA/O/ITA bugs on packages installed on my machine. I suspect how-can-i-help is somehow responsible for that, due to the fact that it increases awareness of ongoing package issues directly with the people using them.) So, if you haven't yet, please apt-get install how-can-i-help RIGHT NOW. I daresay that we should aim at installing how-can-i-help by default on all Debian machines, but that might be an ambitious initial goal. In the meantime I'll settle for making how-can-i-help's popcon count skyrocket. As of today, it looks like this:
how-can-i-help popularity contest graph, 10/02/2014
which is definitely too low for my taste. Please spread the word about how-can-i-help. And let's see what we can collectively do to that graph. how-can-i-help is just a tiny teeny helper, but I'm convinced it can do wonders in liberating dormant contributions to the Debian Project.

14 January 2014

Stefano Zacchiroli: forthcoming talks

Over the next few weeks I'll be on the road, attending a few Free Software events and giving talks. In particular: See you "there"?

17 October 2013

Stefano Zacchiroli: org-mutt ported to org-capture

org-mutt with org-mode >= 8 Thanks to Don I just remembered that I haven't yet announced org-mutt support for org-mode >= 8. Let's catch up! Since a few weeks I've been aware of the fact that my mutt/org-mode glue, AKA org-mutt, was no longer working with org-mode >= 8, due to the ditching of org-remember in favor of org-capture. Allegedly, org-capture should have been backward compatible, but it clearly is not. Before I had time to fix it myself, Mako came to my rescue and submitted a patch (now accepted) that does the needed porting. Free Software is truly amazing, isn't it? I've just updated the canonical org-mutt blog post, so that the documentation in there is up to date again. If you're using org-mutt, I suggest to refer to the Git repository as the canonical location for future updates, if any. Thanks Don, thanks Mako!

7 October 2013

Stefano Zacchiroli: so long F2C423BC

and thanks for all the sigs Bandwagoning just a bit, and only a few days past the 3-year anniversary of my 4096R GPG key, I've finally got my acts together and revoked my old 1024D GPG key. If you haven't yet switched to a GPG key stronger than 1024D, you definitely should.
Think of the kittens.

17 September 2013

Stefano Zacchiroli: sources.debian.net - advanced search and other news

all your ctag (and checksum) are belong to us A few months after the initial announcement, here are some news about the sources.d.n service. I've been late in blogging this, but most of it has been implemented by myself and Matthieu Caneill during DebConf13, which has been a great DebConf, totally exceeding my expectations (and they were already fairly high!). First, you might have noticed some user-visible changes: On the other hand, under the hood: As you usual, your bug reports (and patches!) are more than welcome, just check BUGS before reporting to avoid duplicates.
That's all!

3 September 2013

Raphaël Hertzog: Finding a new name for the Package Tracking System

The Google Summer of Code rewriting the Package Tracking System is approaching its end and I m starting to think about deploying it on debian.org. Its scope has expanded over the years and the rewritten PTS will continue this trend by bringing some new features for teams (like the possibility to subscribe to all packages of a team). I believe that its current hostname (and name) doesn t reflect properly the role of the PTS. Add to this the fact that there s still some work left to be done to reach feature-parity with the current PTS, I m considering deploying it in parallel to the current PTS under a new name. Package Tracking System is also a bit too long for a name, and sounds more like a description than a name But if I get rid of packages.qa.debian.org and Package Tracking System , how should we call the new PTS? :-) The PTS is a sort of central place that brings together information from many parts of Debian. It s currently mainly a consumer/dispatcher of information but I expect to integrate some of the external services that are useful for all Debian derivatives, and it will thus become more and more a producer of first-hand information as well. To replace packages.qa.debian.org, Stefano Zacchiroli suggested me hub.debian.org and I must say I like it, it s short and relatively close to what the PTS actually is (and reminds me of DEP-2 the new PTS will be an asset to make it a reality). My other ideas were devel.debian.org, inside.debian.org, watch.debian.org, track.debian.org, do you have better suggestions? what s your preference? Finding a better name is harder, but there s room to build on the hub concept and similar images. I would like a full name that s not too long and an associated abbreviation/short name for the top-level Python package (currently we use pts for that Python package). Can you come up with something original and satisfactory? My latest thoughts end up with DistroHub as full name and dhub as Python package name. Still boring So, dear lazy web, I heard that we re good at bikeshedding in Debian, so can you come up with something better? Share your suggestions in the comments!

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2 July 2013

Bits from Debian: all Debian source are belong to us

This is a verbatim repost from Stefano Zacchiroli's post TL;DR: go to http://sources.debian.net and enjoy.
Debsources is a new toy I've been working on at IRILL together with Matthieu Caneill. In essence, debsources is a simple web application that allows to publish an unpacked Debian source mirror on the Web. You can deploy Debsources where you please, but there is a main instance at http://sources.debian.net (sources.d.n for short) that you will probably find interesting. sources.d.n follows closely the Debian archive in two ways:
  1. it is updated 4 times a day to reflect the content of the Debian archive
  2. it contains sources coming from official Debian suites: the usual ones (from oldstable to experimental), *-updates (ex volatile), *-proposed-updates, and *-backports (from Wheezy on)
Via sources.d.n you can therefore browse the content of Debian source packages with usual code viewing features like syntax highlighting. More interestingly, you can search through the source code (of unstable only, though) via integration with http://codesearch.debian.net. You can also use sources.d.n programmatically to query available versions or link to specific lines, with the possibility of adding contextual pop-up messages (example). In fact, you might have stumbled upon sources.d.n already in the past few days, via other popular Debian services where it has already been integrated. In particular: codesearch.d.n now defaults to show results via sources.d.n, and the PTS has grown new "browse source code" hyperlinks that point to it. If you've ideas of other Debian services where sources.d.n should be integrated, please let me know. I find Debsources and sources.d.n already quite useful but, as it often happens, there is still a lot TODO. Obviously, it is all Free Software (released under GNU AGPLv3). Do not hesitate to report new bugs and, better, to submit patches for the outstanding ones. Acknowledgements PS in case you were wondering: at present sources.d.n requires ~381 GB of disk space to hold all uncompressed source packages, plus ~83 GB for the local (compressed) source mirror

Stefano Zacchiroli: introducing sources.debian.net

all Debian source are belong to us TL;DR: go to http://sources.debian.net and enjoy.
Debsources is a new toy I've been working on at IRILL together with Matthieu Caneill. In essence, debsources is a simple web application that allows to publish an unpacked Debian source mirror on the Web. You can deploy Debsources where you please, but there is a main instance at http://sources.debian.net (sources.d.n for short) that you will probably find interesting. sources.d.n follows closely the Debian archive in two ways:
  1. it is updated 4 times a day to reflect the content of the Debian archive
  2. it contains sources coming from official Debian suites: the usual ones (from oldstable to experimental), *-updates (ex volatile), *-proposed-updates, and *-backports (from Wheezy on)
Via sources.d.n you can therefore browse the content of Debian source packages with usual code viewing features like syntax highlighting. More interestingly, you can search through the source code (of unstable only, though) via integration with http://codesearch.debian.net. You can also use sources.d.n programmatically to query available versions or link to specific lines, with the possibility of adding contextual pop-up messages (example). In fact, you might have stumbled upon sources.d.n already in the past few days, via other popular Debian services where it has already been integrated. In particular: codesearch.d.n now defaults to show results via sources.d.n, and the PTS has grown new "browse source code" hyperlinks that point to it. If you've ideas of other Debian services where sources.d.n should be integrated, please let me know. I find Debsources and sources.d.n already quite useful but, as it often happens, there is still a lot TODO. Obviously, it is all Free Software (released under GNU AGPLv3). Do not hesitate to report new bugs and, better, to submit patches for the outstanding ones. Acknowledgements PS in case you were wondering: at present sources.d.n requires ~381 GB of disk space to hold all uncompressed source packages, plus ~83 GB for the local (compressed) source mirror

23 June 2013

Marko Lalic: Google Summer of Code - Debian Package Tracking System

Introduction
Every May for the last three or four years, I contemplated applying for the Google Summer of Code program. I was never quite sure I would be up for the challenge, though, but this year I finally took the plunge.

Since Python is my favorite language, I was looking to take up a project which could use it. When I saw that one of the possible projects which the Debian Project was offering was a rewrite of the Package Tracking System using Django, my choice became pretty clear. Not only would I use my favorite programming language, I could get a chance to interact with one of the largest and best established open source communities in the world. Moreover, the Package Tracking System is one of the most important parts of Debian's infrastructure and working on making it even better seemed like a perfect way to get into the open source world. The fact that I also had prior experience using Django on a Web project was an additional factor which pushed me to go for it.

Two programming tasks, meant to evaluate the students' knowledge and also give them a chance to get acquainted with the current implementation of the PTS, were given to prospective applicants by the Debian Google Summer of Code team. Neither was particularly challenging in and of itself, but since I had to attend the annual Congress of the Electrical Engineering Students' European Association in Munich during the week the applications were open, I was quite pressed for time. In the end, I managed to complete the application in a timely fashion and I submitted it being pleased that I at least made an attempt to get in the Summer of Code program.

Truthfully, when I got an email from Google on a Monday night congratulating me on being selected for the project, I could not believe my eyes. I needed to take about an hour to read the email again and make sure there wasn't some sort of mistake, but, as it turns out, there really was not. This is when excitement kicked in and I started to draft an email to my mentor for the project, Rapha l Hertzog, to start on the official planning for the summer.

PTS Rewrite in Django
The Package Tracking System is currently made up from a variety of different scripts, ranging from Bash, through Perl, to Python, which are used to pull all information about packages and generate a static HTML page for each of them. This process is repeated as a cron-job a few times each day meaning that the information presented on the pages could easily be outdated. So, a requirement for the new system is that the pages need to be as dynamic as possible.

Consolidating the code into a well thought out Django project hopes to make it easier for other developers to contribute to the project.

Finally, decoupling the application itself from Debian-specific resources, along with making it easy to customize or extend any logic, aims to allow derivatives to deploy their own Package Tracking System by simply making a few modifications to the configuration.

This is quite an ambitious set of goals, but I believe it should be attainable.

Community Bonding Period and the First Week
As I was already quite familiar with the existing codebase and PTS documentation by completing the tasks for the application, I did not need to use the community bonding period to get to know the project itself, but I did use the first few days to read up about using agile methods (particularly Scrum) and Test-Driven Development, since this was what my mentor, Rapha l Hertzog, and co-mentor, Stefano Zacchiroli, saw us using. Naturally, these were not new terms for me, but never having applied either an agile or a test-driven approach on a large scale project, I wanted to be as prepared as I could for the coming weeks.

I was quite eager to start working, though, and as it turns out, so were my mentors. When Rapha l made the suggestion to begin even before the official first week, I accepted and from there, my first "real" work on the project came: trying to define as many of the core stories to describe the system. This was followed by writing exhaustive acceptance tests and giving a rough time estimate on the stories relating to the email interface of the PTS. We are using a Trello board to document and track all this.

As we were planning on applying a Scrum-inspired agile approach, this meant having fixed-duration sprints/iterations which produce a working part of the system. Using a week long iteration seemed like a perfect fit for the situation. The other part, a working deployment, was handled by me setting up an Amazon Web Services EC2 instance where the application is deployed upon completing the week's work.

After all this, I started the coding work, trying to follow a Test-Driven Development approach. Properly applying it is sometimes a challenge, never having used it before, but its usefulness is definitely obvious. Being able to rely on this harness makes refactoring work painless and stress-free. Rapha l's constant feedback on this part is really helping me get into the flow of things and I hope that I will be quite proficient in it in a few weeks' time.

In summation, at the end of the first official week, on Friday, June 21 (during the third week since I started), a large chunk of the PTS's existing email functionality has been reimplemented and deployed. Some kinks and wrinkles are left to iron out, as well as add some long desired improvements to it, but, all in all, I would say that the two iterations produced a nice and usable result.

Anyone interested can already test this out... The email address control@pts.debian.net is used to access the control bot and the different commands. You can send it an email message containing the help command (the word help on a single line) to see the list of the currently implemented commands, along with their description. Currently, though, only a few packages are available to be subscribed to, imaginatively named "dummy-package", "second-package", "third-package" (quotes for clarity). The address for the package-specific messages to be forwarded to subscribers is <package-name>@pts.debian.net.

Conclusion
As the summer and my GSoC work is settling into a stable weekly-iteration rhythm, I have decided to set this blog up where I plan on writing a weekly update about the work being done for the PTS to complement my weekly status reports sent to the Debian GSoC coordination mailing list.

Again, I invite anyone who is interested in contributing to the future of the PTS in some way to test out the weekly deployments, contact me with any questions, feedback or advice, or simply follow the status updates on the blog, the Trello board or the project's Git repository.

Finally, I would like to give a great thank you to the Debian Project community, with the aforementioned mentors, Rapha l Hertzog and Stefano Zacchiroli, at the top, for giving me the vote of confidence to work on this project. The experience and knowledge I will get from it is immeasurable. Special thanks to Rapha l for putting a lot of effort and time into his feedback and advice; it really means a lot to me and I hope I use it in a way which will bring this project to a successful ending.

16 April 2013

Stefano Zacchiroli: bits from the DPL for March-April 2013

Dear Project Members,
   "Now that I have your attention, I would like to make the following
delegations:"

... nah, scrap that. In my last day in office I first of all owe you a report of DPL activities for the last reporting period of this term, i.e. March 8th until today. Here it is! Highlights Talks Over the past month or so I've attended and spoken on behalf of Debian in the following occasions: Assets I've approved the budget for the following forthcoming sprints: Also, we've bought a 3-year warranty pack for the disk array that powers ftp-master.d.o (~900 USD). On the income side, Brian Gupta has started an interesting matching fund experiment, in order to raise funds for the forthcoming DebConf13. The matching fund will be open until April 30th, so your help in spreading news would be welcome. Many thanks to Brian for the idea and to his company, Brandorr Group, for funding it. DPL helpers Three more DPL helpers IRC meetings have been held; minutes are available at the usual place. Legal Spring Cleaning I've finally cleaned up the pile of pending legal matters (but I'm sure new ones will show up for the delight of the next DPL :-P) Once again, I'd like to thank SFLC for the pro bono and very high quality legal advice they keep on offering to Debian. Miscellaneous
Now, before I get sentimental, let me thank Gergely, Lucas, and Moray for running in the recently concluded DPL election. Only thinking of running and then go through a campaign denote a very high commitment to the Project; we should all be thankful to them. Then I'd like to congratulate Lucas for his election. I've known him for a long time, and I can testify about his clear vision of the role Debian has to play in Free Software and on what Debian needs to improve to do so. Best wishes for the term ahead, Lucas! Finally, I'd like to thank you all for the support you've shown me over the past 3 years. Serving as DPL is a great honor, but also a very demanding job. Thank to you all, and to how cool Debian is, it has been for me an incredibly rewarding experience. I had no idea what I were doing when I embarked on this adventure, but in hindsight I don't regret any of it. See you around, as I don't plan to be anywhere far away from Debian anytime soon. Cheers.
PS the day-to-day activity logs for March and April 2013 are available at the usual place master:/srv/leader/news/bits-from-the-DPL.txt.20130 3,4

16 March 2013

Stefano Zacchiroli: bits from the DPL for February 2013 and a half

Dear project members, here's another report of DPL activities, this time for a period longer than usual (February + 1st week of March), so that the next one will be at the very end of the current DPL term. Highlights Appointments DPL helpers Two more DPL helpers IRC meetings have happened, minutes and logs of both are available. Assets Events Past At the beginning of February, I've attended FOSDEM 2013, together with many other Debian people. I didn't have any specific talk this year, but it's been a chance to talk F2F about several ongoing issues (see logs), and help mediating in some conflicts. I've also accepted the invitation to participate in the GNOME Advisory Board meeting, together with Laurent Bigonville of our GNOME team. No report of that has been prepared as of yet (sorry about that), but we have both reported "live" to the rest of the team on IRC. Future Miscellaneous A couple of months ago I've mentioned that I had filed an application, as Debian representative, to participate in a working table to define software procurement rules for the Italian public administration. Good news: my application has been accepted, together with those of other well-known FOSS communities and organizations (e.g. KDE, FSFE). I'll keep you posted of how it goes. Let's go back to elect a new DPL and release Wheezy now,
Cheers.
PS the day-to-day activity logs for February and March 2013 are available at the usual place master:/srv/leader/news/bits-from-the-DPL.txt.20130 2,3

19 February 2013

Roland Mas: A challenge for whoever feels they have too much free time

Open question to enthusiasts, theoretical computing scientists and mathematicians of all sorts: is it possible to construct a valid QR-code that leads to interesting results when used as an initial configuration for the Game of Life? The rules: For Science! Update: The answer seems to be yes. Jurij Smakov assembled a QR-code generator and a Life engine and plugged them together for easy experimenting. And Stefano Zacchiroli noticed that using "free software" (no quotes) as the input leads to a couple of gliders endlessly traveling a field with a few still lifes. This is way beyond awesome.

10 February 2013

Stefano Zacchiroli: bits from the DPL for January 2013

(insert here: I've been to FOSDEM, I got a nasty flu, and other $lame_excuses for the delay in sending out this report) Dear Project Members, here's the monthly DPL activity report, this time for January 2013. About the next DPL This is the last DPL report before the start of the election process for the next term: around early March, about 20 days from now, the Secretary will send out the call for nominations. I'd like to respond (also) here to inquiries I'm receiving these days: I will not run again as DPL. So you have about 20 days to mob^Wconvince other DDs to run, or decide to run yourself. Do not to wait for the vary last minute, as that makes for lousy campaigns. I'm available to give feedback about my DPL experience to prospective candidates, ... and also to join mobbing^Wconvincing actions toward potential candidates. Just contact me. Call for helps Assets Cloud Images Work has gone on also on the front of supporting Debian installation in public "clouds". Thanks to Arnaud Patard, Jose Miguel Parrella Romero, Pierre Couzy, and Gianugo Rabellino, we now have Debian testing images for Microsoft Azure. Together with Amazon EC2, this is the second large provider supporting Debian via images maintained by Debian Developers. More providers are welcome, exactly as more hardware/CD vendors shipping Debian are always welcome. If you want to contribute support for other providers just show up on the -cloud mailing list and say so. Some documentation effort in view of Wheezy are in need of help too, in order to let our users know about "cloud" options, see #695681. DPL helpers The DPL helpers experiment goes on. We have had 2 more IRC meetings in January (see the minutes). Documentation of the "team" communication channels (mailing list, IRC, Git, etc.) is now available from the DPL wiki page. Talks I've given an invited Debian talk at Polytech'Grenoble, as part of a free software event organized for students of local universities. Slides of the talk are available. I'd like to thank Vincent Danjean for the event organization. Let's release Wheezy now!
Cheers.
PS the day-to-day activity log for January 2013 is available at the usual place master:/srv/leader/news/bits-from-the-DPL.txt.201301

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