Mako's IronBlogger is a great idea. I often find myself postponing blog posts for a very long time, simply out of laziness. IronBlogger provides a nice community incentive to counter (my) laziness and blogging more often.

As a related challenge, we have to face the fact that different subsets of our communities use different media to stay informed: mailing lists, blog (aggregators), social media, IRC, etc. Disparities in how they stay informed are a pity and can be countered using multiple medias at a time. Although I haven't blogged very often as of lately, I managed to keep the Debian (Developer) community informed of what happens in "DPL land" on a monthly basis, by the means of bits from the DPL mails sent to d-d-a. While the target of bits mails perfectly fits d-d-a, there is no reason to exclude a broader public from them. After all, who knows, maybe we'll find the next DPL victimW candidate among Planet readers!

Bonus point: blogging this also helped me realize that my mails are not as markdown-clean as I thought they were.

I still have no IronBlogger squad, though. (And sharing beers with folks in the Boston area is not terribly handy for me…). Anyone interested in setting up a BloggeurDeFer in the Paris area? (SCNR)

Dear Project Members,
another month has passed, it's time to bother you again about what has happened in DPL land in November (this time, with even less delay than the last one, ah!).

Call for Help: press/publicity team

I'd like to highlight the call for help by the press / publicity teams. They are "hiring" and have sent out a call for new members a couple of weeks ago. The work they do is amazing and is very important for Debian, as important as maintaining packages or fixing RC bugs during a freeze. It is only by letting the world know what Debian is and what we do, that we can keep the Project thriving. And letting the world know is exactly what the publicity and press teams do. If you're into writing, blogging, or simply have a crush for social media, please read the call and "apply"!


November has apparently been the "let's interview the DPL" month. I've spent quite some time giving interviews to interested journalists about various topics. For both my embarrassment and transparency on what I've said on behalf of Debian, here are the relevant links:


  • the Video Team sprint approved in October has happened at beginning of November; report is still pending but the organizers are on it

  • Christian Perrier reported about his trip to India mini-DebConf, even that he attended on behalf of the Project. I find amazing both the outcome of the event and Christian's report, a very good example of how to inform the Project when acting on behalf of it

  • the hardware replacement for {ftp,lists}.d.o I've mentioned last month has been ordered, has arrived, and DSA have already put their hands on it for the setup. Many thanks to DSA and in particular to Martin Zobel-Helas for the logistics

  • as an administratrivia, I've asked SPI to setup for Debian a "gift" credit card, i.e. a credit card with a limited, refillable budget. It is needed for using (with a safeguard) credits offered to the Project by public cloud providers (e.g. AWS' donation), as well as to use various kinds of services that we need from time to time

Legal advice (work in progress)

  • I've sought and got from a former SPI lawyer a first legal advice on the relationships among trademark law and the procedures of a Free Software distro like Debian when distributing software subject to trademarks. I'm still waiting to seek a second advice from the current SPI lawyers (whom I've been keeping busy with other stuff). In the meantime I've pending a summary of what I've got thus far in the trademark-vs-DFSG thread. Stay tuned there!

  • I've been working with SPI lawyers on a proposal of software patent policy that I think we should advertise to make explicit the position of the Debian Project on software patents. I see it as a continuation/completion of the FAQ we have already published on the subject. I'll let you know as soon as we reach a stable draft, that should be pretty soon.

Relationships with others

  • I've been approached by members of the board of the OpenSource Initiative (OSI), about the soon to be open OSI affiliation program. They'd like to know if Debian is interested in being affiliated to OSI. I think we should and I'll eventually start a discussion on this topic. In the meantime, I welcome feedback from anyone who is interested in the topic.

  • Thanks to the interest of Andrew Pollock, LaMont Jones, Florian Weimer and the Security Team, we are discussing with ISC to have Debian --- as a project, rather than as individuals who just happen to maintain ISC software in Debian --- become member of all forums relevant for software we distribute (BIND, NTP, DHCP). They are doing all the coordination work, but I've anticipated I'll be happy to pledge for Debian membership.

  • I've taken the first step to reach out to companies that have a strategic interest in Debian. According to discussion I've had with representative of such companies, they often face similar challenges in offering Debian support and in contributing back to Debian. I think we should offer a forum for them to discuss and find synergies, as well as explain our needs to them. An official mailing list might be such a place.

    Once we have a suitable forum ready, I'll propose to the press team to send out a corresponding call for companies. In the meantime, if you happen to know, or even work for, companies that might be interested, please ask them to get in touch with me.


  • I've had a chance to discuss with the editors of the SPDX specification about its relationship with DEP-5. Thanks to the help of Dominique Dumont work is already in progress to have a mutual converter among the two formats. Also, although with some bumps, work on finalizing DEP-5 has finally restarted.

  • an interesting thread of a while ago is in need of some work to produce a useful outcome, i.e. a set of security guidelines for DDs. If you're willing to help, have a look at the thread

  • some more mediation-fu has been going on during November; have a look at my daily logs below if you care about the details

Thanks for reading thus far,
and happy hacking.

PS as usual, the boring day-to-day activity log is available at master:/srv/leader/news/bits-from-the-DPL.*