My FLOSS activities in April 2015

April 2015 has been my first month on the Debian LTS team (as a paid contractor working underneath the Freexian [1] umbrella). Working in the team of paid Debian LTS developers requires to write a monthly summary about sponsored work on Debian LTS. Thanks to Raphael Hertzog for having me on his company's team and providing the framework for providing paid work on Debian LTS.

I will use this requirement for a monthly report as a starting point for documenting my FLOSS activities on a monthly basis via my blog (not only for Debian LTS, but also for other projects).

Work on Debian LTS

For the Debian LTS team I have been doing 8h of contracted work in April 2015 (and at the beginning of May 2015). The work focused on:

  • understanding / questioning details on the Debian LTS workflow
  • fixing several issues in xdg-utils for Debian squeeze-lts [2]
  • fixing two CVE issues in the xorg-server package (in two consecutive uploads) [3,4]
  • working on regression documentation

Several more hours have been spent by myself (and also Raphael) for getting me started in the team. Thanks for your patience.

Work on Debian jessie

The Debian MATE Packaging team was able to provide several fixes last-minute before the Debian jessie release (mate-control-center[5], caja-extensions[6], mate-desktop [7]). Thanks to the release team for processing the last-minute unblock requests so smoothly.

A great portion of the Debian MATE packaging effort I could / can actually do while at work. Thanks to my employer (Computer Science Institute at Kiel University, Germany) for allowing me to work on Debian.

Another last minute upload (and unblock) was granted for fusiondirectory, also thanks for this to the Debian release team. Work on FusionDirectory is also sponsored by my employer.

Work on Ubuntu MATE

I also assisted Martin Wimpress in getting various MATE packages for Glib >= 2.43 into Ubuntu 15.04 via Debian experimental. The Debian MATE Packaging Team and the Ubuntu MATE team are working hand-in-hand on providing a traditional desktop experience with latest technology under the bonnet to Debian and Ubuntu users alike.

It was a blessing that the dates of the Debian jessie and the Ubuntu 15.04 release were so close together, this allowed highly focused fine-tuning work on both ends.

The Debian MATE Packaging arranged for picking up the package bamf [8] and I myself (with the team's hat on) have started sponsoring plank [9].

Working in that team context (let me not forget to mention Vlad Orlon here, our ambitious bug hunter during the hottest pre-release phase, and also Vangelis Mouthsis) is a great pleasure.

Work on upstream projects

On April 24th I announced the birth of the upcoming Arctica Project [10].

As those of you interested in remote desktop computing might have noticed, I am continuously moving away from X2Go and setting up a new project that allows re-writing and re-designing remote desktop computing between Linux hosts under a new project name / namespace.

One technology we will continue using in the Arctica Project will be NXv3. I have been maintaining a redistribution branch of NXv3 (aka nx-libs) for years in X2Go's project context. NXv3 is an efficient way for bringing traditional Linux desktops or individual applications from a Linux server to a client (Linux, Windows, Mac OS X, etc.). The final goal for NXv3 is: getting rid of all bundled libraries, use libX11 and other X11 extension libraries from the X.Org project for the NX agent (Xnest-like Xserver).

In the context of the Arctica Project we are pushing the NXv3 developed towards version 3.6 (NXv3 has been at version 3.5 for ages now). We are also thinking about a name change so that we don't get confused with NoMachine's current NXv4.

In April 2015 we (Mihai Moldovan, Mike DePaulo and myself) have been working hard on removing several lines of (unused) code from nx-libs. But the house number of removed lines that we are talking about here, I will provide via its own blog post.

Mike Gabriel (aka sunweaver)