My FLOSS activities in August/September 2015

Here comes my "monthly" FLOSS report for August and September 2015. As 50% of August 2015 had been dedicated to taking some time off (spending time in Sweden with the family), it happened that even more workload had to be processed in September 2015.

  • Completion of MATE 1.10 in Debian testing/unstable and Ubuntu 15.10
  • Contribution to Debian LTS, Debian packaging
  • Development of GOsa² Plugin SchoolManager
  • Automatic builds for Arctica Project
  • Forking Unity Greeter as Arctica Greeter (with focus on the remote logon part inside Unity Greeter)

Received Sponsorship

My monthly 8h portion of working for the Debian LTS project I had to dispatch from August into September. Thus, I received 16h of paid work for working on Debian LTS in September 2015. For details, see below. Thanks to Raphael Hertzog for having me on the team [1]. Thanks to all the people and companies sponsoring the Debian LTS Team's work.

The development of GOsa² Plugin SchoolManager (for details, see below) was done on contract for a school in Nothern Germany. The code will be released under the same license as the GOsa² software itself.

Completion of MATE 1.10 in Debian testing/unstable and Ubuntu 15.10

In the first half of September all MATE 1.10 packages finally landed in Debian testing (aka stretch). Martin Wimpress handled most of the packaging changes, whereas my main job was being reviewer and uploader of his efforts. Thanks to John Paul Adrian Glaubitz for jumping in as reviewer and uploader during my vacation time.

Contribution to Debian LTS, Debian packaging

At the end of September I uploaded several security fixes to Debian LTS (squeeze). The following packages have been uploaded by me in September 2015:

Work on Debian LTS

  • DLA-313-1 [2]: virtualbox-ose (3.2.28-dfsg-1+squeeze1, acting as reviewer and uploader, packaging work performed by Gianfranco Costamagna)
  • DLA-317-1 [3]: vorbis-tools (1.4.0-1+deb6u1)
  • DLA-288-2 [4]: openssh (1:5.5p1-6+squeeze7, regression update)
  • DLA 320-1 [5]: libemail-address-perl (1.889-2+deb6u2)
  • DLA 322-1 [6]: commons-httpclient (3.1-9+deb6u2)
  • DLA-323-1 [7]: fuseiso (20070708-2+deb6u1)


I am also happy to report that I received positive feedback for my RFH bug for freerdp (#799759 [8]). I received feedback from Bernhard Miklautz (member of the upstream developer team) and Sriram (no last name given, so far). We will coordinate further work via IRC on #freerdp channel on Freenode. \o/ .oO( HURRAY!!! )

Looooong backlog otherwise

Concerning packaging for Debian stable and testing/unstable, unfortunately I still do have a very looooong backlog that I hope to get reduced in Octobre 2015.

Development of GOsa² Plugin SchoolManager

For our local school project "IT-Zukunft Schule" and later-on for use in Debian Edu, a colleague of mine and I have started working on a new GOsa² plugin, named GOsa² Plugin SchoolManager [9]. The plugin already imported the complete user base (students, teachers, parents, class groups, course groups and references from students to parents) at a school in Northern Germany.

There is still a whole bunch of work to do (esp. around cleaning up old users, old groups, etc.), but so far we have been quite happy with what we achieved and are very positive about how the new plugin promises to ease our future user imports already.

While doing the conceptual work for GOsa² Plugin SchoolManager it became evident to bring forth another GOsa² plugin for handling mail addresses and aliases via GOsa² without controlling MTA and IMAP services as such via that plugin (as implemented in gosa-plugin-mail). Thus, I created the little GOsa² plugin gosa-plugin-mailaddress [10] which already has landed in Debian [11].

Also, while hacking on code for GOsa², I fixed various issues in Debian's version of GOsa². An upload of those changes/fixes is overdue and will come in Octobre 2015. I also discovered that members of the LiMuX project have two GOsa² 2.8.x version candidates online at Github [16,17]. Both repos seem to be highly project/customer driven and are at the moment not suitable for upload in Debian. (People may correct me if I am wrong).

Automatic builds for Arctica Project

Work on the Arctica Project has stalled a little over the summer, but we are positive that you will see some (working!) code before the end of the year.

As a start for providing test builds of our code, we now have automatic builds for Debian (jessie, stretch, sid) and Ubuntu (trusty). See [12] for further information.

Forking Unity Greeter as Arctica Greeter

As maybe not many people know, the Unity Greeter software (default login manager on Ubuntu systems) received a remote login manager part from Canonical for Ubuntu 14.04 (and some of the releases before). The goal probably was to provide a session broker web portal for configuring remote sessions (so-called UCCS service, see [13] for more info). As it seems from recent non-activity hints on the remote session code in Unity Greeter (and the UCCS site having been offline for a while now), Canonical probably plans to drop that feature (feedback if my observations are wrong is hightly welcome).

The Arctica Project will experimentally continue that work and check if building parts of the thin client infrastructure on top of those components makes sense (i.e. Unity Greeter forked as Arctica Greeter [14], Remote Login Service forked as Remote Logon Service [15] plus various components for remote session authentication and startup).

Mike Gabriel (aka sunweaver)