Released a few hours ago, here is the monthly report of DPL activities for February 2012.

Howdy, dear Project Members,
here's another round of updates about what has happened in DPL land, this time during February 2012.


Quit a bit of highlights for this month:

  • The first item is not pleasant but important. Early February I've submitted to the attention of the Technical Committee the upload of multi-arch enabled dpkg to the archive. The Technical Committee quickly reached a decision. Shortly afterwards an upload to experimental has happened and discussions on -devel ensued. Please help out with testing.

  • Thanks to IBM and OSUOSL we have some new fairly capable (virtual) machines for powerpc* ports. See the announcement for more info. In particular, please note the call for powerpc64 porters. If you're interested in contributing to such a port, please get in touch with DSA.

  • Google Summer of Code project is up again. As usual, it is a good chance to get some work done and, more importantly, to let students who are passionate about Free Software discover Debian. I've delegated the task of GSoC admins --- thanks Ana, Gergely, and Sukhbir! A call for project proposals has already been sent out; there isn't much time left, so please hurry up and drop your ideas to the wiki page and contact the soc-coordination mailing list.

  • A couple of important discussions have been going on on -project. The first is the old "trademark vs DFSG" discussion. I've posted there results from legal advice that I've sought on the matter, based on your suggestions. Then, I've posted a proposal on how to deal with trademarks issues in the archive.

  • The second discussion is about Debian affiliation with OSI. We've been approached by OSI about that, as I've summarized on -project. Helped by the feedback received, I've decided to go ahead with affiliation and I'm now discussing with OSI representative the next steps.

  • The long running work on software patent issues in the archive has been concluded publishing a policy on the matter. We now have a contact point and legal advice with whom we can discuss specific issues if/when they arise; hopefully that would help us to discriminate actual issues in the archive (if any) from the vast amount of FUD in the area.

Talks, interviews, and the like

  • Following up Debian related talks at FOSDEM, I've been interviewed, together with Lars Wirzenius and Wookey, for The Register.

  • I've took part at a FOSDEM panel session on comparing the organization of local user groups, ambassadors, and the like. We've mostly to learn from others in this area, but I've took the change to summarize what we currently have in a slide deck.


Plenty of sprints related news!

  • DSA and the Groupware team will be holding sprints later on in March, while DAM / FrontDesk are having one right now co-located with the BSP in Moenchengladbach

  • the video team sent out a report for their sprint back in November

  • debbugs (AKA hackers are organizing a sprint to get people interested in contributing to the code base up to speed. If you're, drop a line in the thread

It would be amazing to have an average of one sprint per month for 2012, and we're on good track for it. If you want to help, organize one for your team as documented on the wiki.

Legal stuff

  • Thanks to SPI, we've established contacts with the owners of, domain we believe we legitimately own. As a first step they've set up HTTP redirection from to (instead of a computer hardware shop, as it was before) and we're now discussing actual transfer of domain ownership to a Debian Trusted Organization.

  • We've contacted the Japanese trademark office to transfer the "debian" trademark there to SPI. Thanks to the previous owners (all Debian developers or contributors) for agreeing to the move. Now "only" a nasty pile of paperwork remains to be done.


In addition to the GSoC admins delegation (see above), I've agreed with former secretary Kurt Roeckx to reappoint him as a secretary for another year. Many thanks, Kurt!


  • We have been invited to attend the OpenStack summit in April and have a presence there, free of charge. Loic Dachary, active member of the OpenStack packaging team in Debian, has agreed to go and represent Debian there. Thanks a lot to Stefano Maffulli for the invitation and to Loic for his availability!

  • We are in the process of joining—as a project, instead of relying on individual maintainers as in the past—the ISC forum to get access to embargoed vulnerability information for important pieces of software such as BIND and DHCP. They've kindly offered us membership free of charge. I've submitted a draft of the membership agreement to SPI and I'm waiting for their decision.

  • Steady progress on the front of periodic budget reports, thanks to the work of Martin Michlmayr. We've discussed at length during FOSDEM and agreed on procedures to query the state of Debian finances that work for both auditors and the DPL. Martin has also set up a shared ledger repository and already checked in into it a lot of money transactions for the past few years—not from all trusted organizations yet, though. Have faith, we'll get there :)

Happy Debian hacking.

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