You are here: / home / 2008 / 08 / 10

Sun, 10 Aug 2008

Bits from the DPN editors

It's more or less four months since I proposed to resurrect our newsletter. We already released eight issues of the Debian Project News and work for the ninth issue has already started. So I guess it's time for a small "state of the DPN" speech, but since I'm not attending DebConf, you will have to read this mail instead ;)

After having a rough start (and in fact missing some self-set deadlines and completely underestimating how much work is involved in such a kind of newsletter) we finally developed a - more or less - working flow of work (Which is by the way documented here).

Speaking of the current state sadly means to confess, that our hopes to draw a lot of help from the community by using a system for drafting the news with a low entry barrier were not fulfilled. We actually had a good start, with good participation, but due to (I assume) the aforementioned initial difficulties participation in the creation of the DPN dropped considerably. Currently the workload of creating our bi-weekly newsletter is shared by only two people (that being Meike Reichle and myself), which is barely enough :(

While we at least get a hint from time to time, what we should mention in the next issue, it rarely happens, that someone contributes by drafting a text -- which is the real work. (At this point a BIG "Thank You" to those who did! (See list bellow.) It's much appreciated!)

We suffer especially, since although we are a two people team, we have in fact no redundancy, since real live issues affecting one of us will most likely affect the other one, too.

Therefore we mostly concentrated our work on creating the next issues and getting them out in time, and didn't have time to answer all mails considering suggestions for changes and improvements (yet?). We are sorry, but at least we tried to read them briefly and keep them in mind when drafting the next issue. As a result of this we re-added the list of DSAs, WNPP and new and noteworthy packages due to popular demand.

There are still a lot of unanswered mails not dealing with content, but with workflow issues / proposals (including changing from to a special ikiwiki instance). We are sorry, that we couldn't yet act on them and take appropriate measures, but be assured, they are not forgotten.

Other issues the DPN currently have are "unwritten guidelines" regarding editorial choices of DSAs to be published and which packages to list in the "new and noteworthy package" section. Both is more or less done by our gut feeling.

Speaking of problems the DPN are facing, we also need to mention translations of the DPN. The current workflow makes it difficult for translators of the DPN, since we often fail to get the final draft of the DPN ready in time to give translators a "head start" so the translated DPNs can be released together with (or at least with a as small as possible delay to) the English DPN.

So here is a big call for help! We really need your help writing the DPN. (Monitoring lists and newstickers we don't monitor ourselves would be nice, too, but only add more work to us if you only give us pointers.)

We will both be very busy with our real live the upcoming month, and are not sure how much time we can dedicate to the DPN. So please help us! The current draft for the next issue of the DPN is always available here . There should already be a todo list with pointers to interesting topics, which need to be written out. Some guidelines about style and content are available here.

Last but not least, we would like to thank the following people who have contributed to the DPN so far:

  • Adrian von Bidder
  • Ana Guerrero
  • Andre Felipe Machado
  • Bjoern Boschman
  • Graham Cobb
  • Jeff Richards
  • Jörg Jaspert
  • Jon Evans
  • Julian Andres Klode
  • Justin Rye
  • Luca Bruno
  • Martin F. Krafft
  • Paul van der Vlis
  • Paul Wise
  • Raphael Hertzog
  • Russell Coker
  • Sebastian
  • Stefano Zacchiroli
  • Thomas Lange
  • Wouter Verhelst

(Unfortunately we can't list those people, who contributed by translating the DPN, nor do we have a complete list of the native English speakers, who helped by proofreading. But we thank them nonetheless!)

postet at 22:30 into [Debian] permanent link


Alexander Tolimar Reichle-Schmehl lives in Tuttlingen / Germany. He works as IT manager (specialized on Unix and SAN/Storage) for an international automotive supplier.