Last saturday around 2100 (UTC-0400) some people started joining the #debian-ve IRC channel at OFTC, in order to participate on the very first Venezuelan Bugsquashing Party. We had a lot of people interested not only in squashing but also developing for Debian and other topics. Some DD’s were around, specially Aníbal Monsalve Salazar (anibal) who has been very helpful on testing and uploading packages.
Both me and José Luis Rivas (ghostbar) made a couple of NMU’s (in his case, xfe and divine; in mine, sdr and orca), fixing six RC bugs. José Luis is like 17 or 18 years old and has proven to be a very energetic Debian collaborator. Other maintainers from Debian Venezuela (actually, we’re eleven persons as of last week) were around but couldn’t make a NMU at the time of the event. Others weren’t even present.
It was a very small BSP indeed, but we leaed lots of things and hopefully our work will help improving the quality in Debian a little bit. It also settles our desires as a group to improve our knowledge and work together to improve the Project without disrupting the overall ecosystem. By the way, the Venezuelan Debconf is definitely going to happen between October 17th. and 21st. Hopefully we’ll have Benjamin Mako Hill, Enrico Zini, Alvaro Lopez Ortega (OMG! Cherokee!) and Randal Schwartz sharing a nice time with people from all parts of Venezuela and the rest of South America. Some local Debian maintainers will set up some nice workshops and demonstrations, ranging from Xen and LTSP in Debian to QA and the local GNU/Linux distribution projects. This local Debconf is part of a larger event, the World Forum on Free Knowledge, which some people at Debian Venezuela help to make.
Retuing to the BSP topic, I was looking out at a couple of bugs out there, but I lack the hardware and the experience to handle them. One of this is #333915 and other orca bugs, and other one is #385078 regarding a Debconf script in xserver-xorg. The moing before the BTS I was testing the MBONE tools with a friend of mine, and we were quite unhappy by the fact that sdr was almost unusable (passing the mouse cursor over some buttons resulted in annoying notices). So, if you use sdr, please test the last NMU I sent, which fixes two bugs. Just for reference, the webpage where I keep my Debian-related work is here.
The case where I leaed most was #386938, regarding xserver’s FTBFS in s390. Events like BSP are a great way to motivate people to participate in the Project: while trying to lea anything about this bug I ended reading documentation from IBM, asking advice from someone with an S/390, sending a couple of emails to firstname.lastname@example.org, browsing at a DD patch in upstream, looking at buildd logs, searching the Web for opcodes lists… usually trying to explain how all this pieces join in a sane way (most times; well, some times, well, seldomly) is quite difficult for someone who tries to promote Debian, but technical events like the BSP provide a really accurate way to see how things work in and around Debian.