Debian Contributions: Debian Developer Survey Results, DebConf updates, and more!

Contributing to Debian is part of Freexian’s mission. This article covers the latest achievements of Freexian and their collaborators. All of this is made possible by organizations subscribing to our Long Term Support contracts and consulting services.

Results of the Debian Developer Survey, by Roberto C. Sánchez

In 2022, Freexian polled Debian Developers about the usage of money in Debian. More than 200 Debian Developers graciously participated, providing useful and constructive answers. Roberto and Utkarsh have worked on reviewing this feedback and summarizing it in a report recently published and announced to the project.

DebConf 23 Website, by Stefano Rivera

In preparation for DebConf 23, Stefano did some work on the DebConf website’s registration system. To support an expected large number of local registration requests, and a limited venue size, Stefano added a review system for registration requests.

There was also some infrastructure work for the website framework. We use the same framework for miniconfs and DebConf, but without the full registration system. Since last DebConf, we have migrated from a pure-JS toolchain for the static assets, to django-compressor, to be friendlier to contributors and have a simpler dependency setup. This required some updates in the full-DebConf registration system that hadn’t been noticed yet in miniDebConfs. Finally, with Utkarsh, we started to wind up the DebConf 22 travel bursary reimbursement process.

Debian Reimbursements Web App Progress, by Stefano Rivera

In a project funded by Freexian’s Project Funding initiative, Stefano made some more progress on the Debian Reimbursements Web App. The first rough implementation core request lifecycle is almost complete. Receipts can be collected and itemized, and the request can be submitted for a reimbursement request.

Debian Printing, by Thorsten Alteholz

Due to the upcoming release, only bug fixing uploads are allowed in this part of the release cycle and Thorsten did uploads of three Debian Printing packages.

The upload of hplip was rather straightforward and five bugs could be closed.

cups-filters suddenly started to FTBFS and thus got an RC bug. It failed due to a compile error in a header file of some dependency. Luckily the maintainer of that dependency knew that his package now needed c++17, so the fix was to just remove an old compile flag that forced the compiler to use c++0x. This flag was once progressive but nowadays it is more of a hindrance than a help.

The third package upload was for cups, which got some translation updates. Unfortunately this was the most tricky one as some translations did not appear in the binary packages. After debugging for some time, it turned out that the handling of links did not work properly. Now the version in Bookworm will be the cups version with the most translated man pages ever.

Miscellaneous contributions

  • Stefano Rivera updated a few Python modules in the Debian Python Team, to the latest upstream versions.
  • Stefano Rivera reviewed the current patch series applied to Python 3.12, as an Arch package maintainer had noticed that we dropped a patch by mistake, and reinstated it.
  • Anton Gladky prepared an upload of newer version (9.2.6) of vtk library and uploaded it into the experimental due to a freeze. VTK is the visualization kit - a library used mostly for scientific and engineering applications to visualize complex objects. Transition of dependent packages is planned on “after-release” phase.
  • Helmut Grohne, in the continual effort to improve Debian’s cross-build support, provided 22 cross-build patches to packages in the archive.

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