Un sommaire de cet article est également traduit vers le français, merci!

Last friday, a group of Debian users, developers and enthusiasts met at Koumbit.org offices for a bug squashing party. We were about a dozen people of various levels: developers, hackers and users.

I gave a quick overview of Debian packaging using my quick development guide, which proved to be pretty useful. I made a deb.li link (https://deb.li/quickdev) for people to be able to easily find the guide on their computers.

Then I started going through a list of different programs used to do Debian packaging, to try and see the level of the people attending:

So mostly skilled Debian users (they know apt-get source) but not used to packaging (they don't know about dpkg-buildpackage). So I went through the list again and explained how they all fit together and could be used to work on Debian packages in the context of a Debian release bug squashing party. This was the fastest crash course in Debian packaging I have ever given (and probably the first too) - going through those tools in about 30 minutes. I was happy to have the guide that people could refer to later in the back.

The first question after the presentation was "how do we find bugs"? which led me to add links to the UDD bugs page and release-critical bugs page. I also explained the key links on top of the UDD page to find specific sets of bugs, and explained the useful "patch" filter that allows to select bugs with our without patch.

I guess that maybe half of the people were able to learn new, or improve their skills to make significant contributions or test actual patches. Other learned how to hunt and triage bugs in the BTS.

Update: sorry for the wording: all contributions were really useful, thanks and apologies to bug hunters!!

I myself learned how to use sbuild thanks to the excellent sbuild wiki page which I improved upon. A friend was able to pick up sbuild very quickly and use it to build a package for stretch, which I find encouraging: my first experience with pbuilder was definitely not as good. I have therefore starting the process of switching my build chroots to sbuild, which didn't go so well on Jessie because I use a backported kernel, and had to use the backported sbuild as well. That required a lot of poking around, so I ended up just using pbuilder for now, but I will definitely switch on my home machine, and I updated the sbuild wiki page to give out more explanations on how to setup pbuilder.

We worked on a bunch of bugs, and learned how to tag them as part of the BSP, which was documented in the BSP wiki page. It seems we have worked on about 11 different bugs which is a better average than the last BSP that I organized, so I'm pretty happy with that.

More importantly, we got Debian people together to meet and talk, over delicious pizza, thanks to a sponsorship granted by the DPL. Some people got involved in the next DebConf which is also great.

On top of fixing bugs and getting people involved in Debian, my third goal was to have fun, and fun we certainly had. I didn't work on as many bugs as I expected myself, achieving only one upload in the end, but since I was answering so many questions left and right, I felt useful and that is certainly gratifying. Organization was simple enough: just get a place, send invites and get food, and the rest is just sharing knowledge and answering questions.

Thanks everyone for coming, and let's do this again soon!

apt

And did you know that the shorter "apt" can be used as a nice replacement for most apt-* command ? apt install / apt source / apt build-dep for instance can easily replace the 3 example commands you mention in this post. You even get install progress in the terminal for free with apt install !

Cheers !

Comment by Coucouf
cleaning result dir
What would be your advice to clean result directory from older versions of a currently built package? I also need to preserve older versions of few packages I build, so I hope there is a way to add an exception for them.
Comment by Krzysztof Sobiecki
Style

I think you should rephrase the sentence "I guess that maybe half of the people were able to learn new, or improve their skills to make significant contributions. Other learned how to hunt and triage bugs in the BTS."

As is, it means that people either made significant contributions, or triaged bugs. It's not very flattering for bug triagers.

Comment by Solveig
apologies and response

@Solveig

I think you should rephrase the sentence "I guess that maybe half of the people were able to learn new, or improve their skills to make significant contributions. Other learned how to hunt and triage bugs in the BTS."

As is, it means that people either made significant contributions, or triaged bugs. It's not very flattering for bug triagers.

You are absolutely right. I have changed the wording to be more respectful...

It's a sad reality that we are not considering "non-code" contributions as "lesser" contributions, way too often. It's unfair and inproductive, and I apologize to the participants of the BSP that gave their time to make Debian better!

@Coucouf

And did you know that the shorter "apt" can be used as a nice replacement for most apt-* command ? [...]

Yes! That's a great innovation that appeared in Debian Jessie for which I am very grateful... Because I wanted to test people's knowledge of Debian, I did not introduce that additional complexity - introducing rmadison was tricky enough... :)

Also, I have found that apt doesn't work as well for auto-completion and a bunch of commands (e.g. apt-cache policy) are still missing so I am often reverting back to the old apt-* toolset.

What would be your advice to clean result directory from older versions of a currently built package? I also need to preserve older versions of few packages I build, so I hope there is a way to add an exception for them.

Hmm... I am not sure what you are refering to... If you are talking about the pbuilder output directory (/var/cache/pbuilder/unstable-amd64/result, for example), I usually just remove everything in there once in a while. What I want to keep elsewhere, I upload it, either to people.debian.org or the main archive. For non-members, I would recommend mentors.debian.net.

For the record, here's my .dput.cf:

[DEFAULT]
run_lintian = 0
scp_compress = 1

[mentors]
fqdn = mentors.debian.net
method = ftp
login = anonymous
incoming = .
allow_unsigned_uploads = 0
run_dinstall = 0
progress_indicator = 2
passive_ftp = 1

[people]
fqdn = people.debian.org
method = scp
incoming = /home/anarcat/public_html/debian/wheezy-lts/
run_dinstall = 0
progress_indicator = 2
allowed_distributions = UNRELEASED

[bpo]
fqdn = backports-master.debian.org
incoming = /pub/UploadQueue/
method = ftp
login = anonymous
allow_dcut = 1

[debomatic-amd64]
fqdn           = debomatic-amd64.debian.net
incoming       = /srv/debomatic-amd64
login          = debomatic
method         = scp
allow_unsigned_uploads  = 0
allow_dcut     = 1
scp_compress   = 1

The ftp-master is, of course, builtin and the default. :)

A.

Comment by anarcat
Created . Edited .