A few months ago DEX was introduced to work with the Debian Front Desk to aid Linux developers in contributing back upstream to Debian. The Front Desk provides resources such as documentation, contacts, and a discussion forum in this goal, but DEX goes a step further by organizing developers from Debian and Debian derivatives to monitor and merge changes into the Debian development tree. They hoped this would make the contributing back process easier for those derivatives to better the Debian codebase.
Today we got our first update on their progress. Matt Zimmerman, Ubuntu and Debian developer (among many other things), has blogged that their first goal has been reached.
Zimmerman reports that 275 old Ubuntu patches have been clear out of the way. Many of these were obsolete patches clogging the works. He says, "we couldn’t tell which ones had been merged into Debian, which were waiting in the BTS, and which had yet to be submitted to Debian. All of them were several years old." After clearing the majority rather easily (relatively speaking), there were a few whose status was a bit harder to determine. With dedication, Zimmerman and team have eliminated all but two, which are dependent upon the determination of individual upstream projects.
Zimmerman states that the project was a success because:
* We ensured that all of the patches received due consideration for inclusion in Debian
* We proved the concept of DEX, with developers from Debian and derivatives cooperating on a common goal and sharing tools
* Most importantly, we learned from the experience
Big merges are coming next. The primary goal is to begin syncing some of the packages with the most divergence between Ubuntu and Debian and get those merged into Debian. He also put out feelers for packages who might be interested in joining their efforts. See his post for contact info.
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