Dear Project Members,

   "Now that I have your attention, I would like to make the following

... 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!


  • At LibrePlanet (see below) I've discussed at length with Karen Sandler as GNOME representative the possibility of Debian participation in the FOSS Outreach Program for Women. I've then proposed that we do participate and, as you might have read on d-d-a, we're now doing that. Many thanks to the volunteer co-organizers for Debian participation in the program: Mònica Ramírez Arceda, Ana Guerrero López, and Patty Langasek.

  • A couple of years of work with the auditors has come together. At you can now find Debian monetary transactions for the 2010-2013 period. Note that:

    1) They are not all of our transactions, most notably because we haven't yet managed to get access to all our bank transactions at SPI (while we do have access to other transactions there, e.g. donations). Given the relevance of the missing transactions for our budget, this is a blocker for producing meaningful public periodic reports of Debian finances. This is clearly annoying, but I'm confident that our feedback to SPI over the past years has helped them better understand our needs and improve. I hope this could be finally solved during the next DPL term. And,

    2) Donor names have been anonymized in the ledger files, in wait of a donation system that allow to express privacy preferences. Complete donation information is available in the companion ledger.git repository, which is accessible to auditors only.

    I'd like to thank the Debian auditors, and in particular Martin Michlmayr, for their amazing work on this over the past 3 years.

  • As you might have noticed, we now have an official Debian Project blog, finally entering the brave new Web 1.5 era :-) I've only helped "politically" here and there with this over the years, and I'm happy to see it live. Your thanks for this should go to the blog editors---Francesca Ciceri and Ana Guerrero Lopez---and to DSA for making it real. A proper delegation for the editors is pending and I'm confident the next DPL will pick it up.


Over the past month or so I've attended and spoken on behalf of Debian in the following occasions:

  • "Debian: 20 years and counting" talk at the New York Linux User Group; slides are available. Many thanks to Brian Gupta and Tom Limoncelli for inviting me.

  • "Debian and GNU" talk at LibrePlanet 2013; slides are available. Many thanks to John Sullivan and the Free Software Foundation for inviting me to talk at their main conference. My presence there has also been a chance to reassess the status of collaboration with FSF (see John's brief summary) and discuss further technical collaboration with the Trisquel maintainers.

  • "Legal issues from a radical community angle" keynote at the yearly workshop of FSFE's European Legal Network; slides are available. The talk has also been covered by a LWN feature article last week (the link should become unembargoed for non-LWN subscribers starting tomorrow).


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)

  • one is merely internal for trademark@d.o: our procedures for (n)acks on incoming requests has now been vetted by our legal advisors

  • the second one is relevant for our service: one of the blockers to officialize it as have historically been DMCA-related concerns. We now have a DMCA policy for (wannabe) mentors.d.o, which I've shared with the service maintainers and DSA. This specific part should no longer be a concern.

  • the last one concerns the possibilities of playing DVDs with Debian. We now have legal guidelines on how to include installer packages that allow to do so; that should allow us to have a decent solution for our users in the Jessie time frame.

Once again, I'd like to thank SFLC for the pro bono and very high quality legal advice they keep on offering to Debian.


  • I've mentioned last month that, as a Debian representative, I've joined a working group by the Italian public administration (PA) that should define procurement rules for software in the PA at large, together with representatives of other well-known FOSS initiatives (e.g. KDE, FSFE). The first meetings have now been held and I've participate in some, for the moment on my own budget. I'll check with the next DPL the feasibility of keep on doing so on in the future.

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.


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}