Freshly baked, bits from the DPL for October 2012.

Dear Project Members,
another month, another periodic report of DPL-ish activities, this time for October 2012.


Debian on public clouds

I've spent quite some time to improve Debian presence on the so called "public clouds". Following up to an inquiry of a fellow developer, I've reached out to Microsoft to investigate the possibility of having Debian as an option on Windows Azure. Around the same time, I've been approached by Amazon to have Debian as an option on the AWS marketplace. In both cases, we will need to overcome challenges of various kinds, at the technical (e.g. image preparation), bureaucratic (e.g. terms of the agreements we'll need to accept to be present), and political (e.g. chain of trust, platform freedom) levels.

Up to now, discussions have been going on mostly in private, simply because they started as 1-to-1 inquiries and continued from there, but there is no good reason they should remain so. Hence, thanks to the listmasters and in particular Alexander Wirt, we have setup the new debian-cloud mailing list. If you are interested in these topics please join the list.

For both Azure and AWS there is good progress on the technical part already; summaries will soon be posted on the list so that we are all on the same page. Similarly, I'll post there status reports about the bureaucratic requirements. And of course there is no reason to focus on specific clouds, if you'd like to support others and are willing to put some work to that end, please join the list and let us know.

DPL helpers meeting

I've already bothered you—at least in my last platform and DebConf13 talk—with observations about how non-scalable the DPL job is. After having collected applications of DPL helpers for a while, I've finally sat down and tried to put those applications into good use. The idea is simple: to the extend of possible, we should shift from a one-man-band job to a more "board-like" job, with people sharing an agenda, a list of outstanding tasks, and public communication. We have started slowly, setting up the #debian-dpl IRC channel and running periodic bi-weekly meetings there. You can find the meeting minutes and full logs at the usual place.

We are still ramping up, so we don't have yet "fancy" stuff like a mailing list or an issue tracker entry, but they're in the working. Some of the outcome are starting to show, too (e.g. as part of recent discussions on 3rd party orphaning, or on our inbound trademark policy, or even in the forthcoming DMCA policy to make mentors.d.n an official project service).

It's an experiment and a big challenge. I'm, for one thing, not yet convinced there are enough people interested in sharing the load of DPL duties (that look boring, for many tech geeks) in the long run. But I'm also convinced that the sustainability of the Debian organization model depends on this, so it's worth trying. If you're interested in the challenge and willing to volunteer some of your time, please join us on #debian-dpl . I'll take care of keeping the project informed of further evolution, in particular about the communication channels we will pick for day to day activities and accountability.

Events / public communication

I've spent most of my remaining Debian time in October attending events on behalf of the Project, in particular:

  • I've attended and delivered a Debian speech at ACM Reflections Projections conference in Urbana-Champaign, USA. Slides and even a video of my talk there are available.

  • I've attended and delivered a Debian speech at the yearly LinuxDay event in Turin, Italy. Slides of my talk are available

  • I've then attended the by-yearly Ubuntu Developer Summit (UDS) in Copenhagen, representing Debian there. I've met a bunch of people there, generally vouching for more (and more (and more…)) collaborating at the Debian-Ubuntu border. I've also attended the traditional Debian-Ubuntu "health check" session, presenting there the topics I've collected on the -derivatives list. A report of the session is pending, but I should have successfully talked Stefano Rivera into posting it to -derivatives soon g.

On the topic of public communication, I've also coordinated with the press team an answer to a press inquiry about Secure Boot (which has become part of this article), and happily vouched for the Ubuntu charity marathon, adding some Debian challenges to it.


As largely overdue matters, I've finalized the delegations mentioned last month, namely: FTP masters, New Members Front Desk, and Policy editors.

Assets and legal stuff

  • on the logo relicensing, one pending matter from last month was the non-free-ness of the so called "official" logo. Discussion continued, but we had no consensus in ditching it completely. Rather, I've proposed to bless as "official" Debian logo the free one, and rename the other for what it is, a "restricted" Debian logo. The change was consensual and has been implemented

  • our account creation request to has been approved, meaning that we can now more easily buy hardware in North America, reducing a bit the bureaucratic burden associated to individual purchases. Thanks to DSA, and Luca Filipozzi in particular, for his help with this matter

  • there are a couple of legal matters on which there have been progress, but still inconclusive. Just to mention that they haven't been forgotten, they are the DMCA policy for mentors.d.o and the appropriate presentation for a forthcoming libdvdcss installer package in the archive


  • sadly, we have found no volunteer admin for the Google Code-In initiative, so we won't participate this year

  • the end of 2012 is approaching, sprint-wise, we have had roughly the same number of sprints than the previous year (8 vs 9). Please start planning your sprints for 2013, so that we can minimize travel costs and bring more people at the event!

Now let's all go back to RC Bug squashing to make Wheezy a reality. SPAM-my link of the month is and its various "views" at the bottom of the page.


PS the day-to-day activity log for October 2012 is available at the usual place master:/srv/leader/news/bits-from-the-DPL.txt.201210