While I could not attend Debconf 14 in person,
reviewing the video
has enabled me to learn new and interesting things about what’s going on.
Here’re a few highlights.
- A glimpse into a systemd
by Josh Triplett: enumerates a few features that should/could be used in a
Debian context to improve integration with systemd. Sadly the video has a
few corruption issues, so I hope that the video team (I reported the issue)
can issue an improved version.
- Quit logging or data
by Daniel Gillmor: Food for thought. Daniel’s entry point is that to
protect “our users” privacy, default configurations should strive to
minimize logging. As one egregious example, apache keeps a full access (IP,
URL, username, referer) log for 52 weeks. In the following discussion, many
interesting points were touched. From the need to have full logs available
for debugging and forensic, over the possibilities to redact logs after “a
while” to the necessity that logs mustn’t be kept on permanent storage if
one wants to be safe from subpoenas.
- Reproducible Builds for Debian a year
by Jérémy Bobbio: With a few tricks, a large number of packages can be made
to produce bit-for-bit identical outputs when building from source. This
opens up a wide variety of benefits from trivial performance improvements
by reusing non-modified bits to the very serious security properties of
being able to independently verify the build, like the Tor Browser project
- Weapons of the
by Biella Coleman: a very interesting view into Anonymous workings,
evolition and psyche.
- debci and the Debian Continuous Integration
by Antonio Terceiro: debci runs tests against installed binaries if and
when they or any of their dependencies change. Integrating this properly
into a maintainer’s workflow should reduce FTBFS counts and provide a way
to run autopkgtests regularily.
- dgit: treat the archive as a git
by Ian Jackson: A two-way gateway between the Debian archive and git.
clone fetches the source and all available git history from the archive
dgit push uploads a compiled package to incoming. Very neat and
useful. I’m looking forward to the time when this is usable for non-DDs.
Also Ian still needs to solve a bunch of integration issues to catch up in
patch management functionality with other workflows, especially around
- debdry: Debian Dont Repeat
by Enrico Zini: A new approach to reduce packaging overhead. I like it!
- Q&A with Linus
A very interesting session. Obviously Linux feels at home and often talks
about “us” programmers. His views about the lack of binary compatibility
guarantees of distros and the problems this generates for application
developers sound very sensible. His exaple of subsurface is a mixed bag
though as its current version is already packaged in Debian. Looking at the
debci talk, and other activities DDs do, I still think that distros can
bring value to the table, and - indeed - have to bring to stay relevant.
Ever since unit tests and friends have entered the stage, I’m chased by the
feeling that distros should be much more involved in upstream development.
Why can’t I have an automatically up-to-date SCM snapshot of all
development versions in experimental (or a new suite)?