Minidebconf Mangalore day -0 part -2

This post would be a shortish one basically talking about Jonas’s talk on day 0. There is much to share about what is happening especially with Debian and the whole downstream and upstream distribution stuff.

First, let me apologize, I have been not feeling well and hence kept post-phoning putting up this post. Then to add to that, had discovered an RPG called ‘hale‘ so whatever free time I got apart from work and medicines or what I gave on that as writing a post one goes through a draft or two and spelling errors and what not,simply put its intense.

Anyways, back on topic, I had Jonas physically(in the real world) for the first time just the day before. I had chatted with him on IRC and seen his body of work on Debian QA where he maintains almost 266 packages in main. One looks at that and sees that he has worked on ruby and perl packages as well.

Note: might be busy now as the perl 5.14 transition is going on and it is quite a big transition,although a few of it has already been done but major bits and pieces still waiting.

Anyways,on with the talk he shared his passion for Debian Pure blends.As a user I have been using a mix of stuff but have looked at some of the various blends from time to time.While the talk/sharing was good I think perhaps he should have involved or used/shared more about Debian Edu , IMHO this is one of the more important blends but sadly its kinda lost steam. The challenges are great about designing interfaces and guessing most developers would not be well-versed with pedagogy, although pedagogy itself has quite a few schools of thought itself so can be confusing what and how to proceed, add to that having motivations when there is quite a bit of stuff to do.That would perhaps be more engaging for the audience.

Jonas presenting pure blends
Jonas presenting pure blends

What was interesting behind-the-scenes actions perhaps was that three people from C-DAC, 2 from Bangalore/Bengaluru and one from Chennai had come all the way to discuss and learn how to give back some of their contributions from ‘BOSS Linux‘ to Debian. While two of the people were newish and didn’t know much about Debian, a Ms. Prathibha of C-DAC was one of the more experienced developers who works on BOSS (either in distribution thing or the infrastructure for it) to attend the conference. I do remember some couple of years or little more than that how C-DAC had been blamed for not contributing to Debian upstream, lot of flaming in forums and mailing lists etc. Still it was nice to see both Jonas and the C-DAC guys talking and attempting to at least start something.

From just an observer point of view,Debian does have issues about getting contributions externally. This can be understood from the fact that the DPL – Debian Project Leader made a specific project called ‘Debian Derivatives‘ and the whole ‘Debian Derivatives Front Desk‘ project. There seems to be quite a bit of good news on that front at least from a recent DPL mail and especially this part .

Another interesting evolution on that front is that Ubuntu is going to
deprecate their (universe) package review platform (REVU) and converge
with us on mentors.d.n. That is a great step in encouraging all
derivatives, thanks to the example of Ubuntu, to have their packages and
changes in Debian _first_. To help them out some maintenance efforts are
needed on debexpo (the software powering mentors.d.n); if you’re
interested to help on that front please manifest yourself on the
-derivatives list.

Anyways, there were a few interesting tools that he did point in his post which I felt there should have been perhaps a workshop on, first was ‘live-build‘ and the second one is ‘boxer‘ which is currently in development I think.

Overall a good talk but perhaps not suited to the audience as many of the students were just starting to get exposed to Debian from the minidebconf as well but then there were few professionals also who had come for the minidebconf so kinda hard to say.

That’s all for now.


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