I'm extremely uneasy. Not because of some release team announcement that if one would have tried to think along after the interview with Mark Shuttleworth got around was already clear back then. It was talking about that the Debian release will propalby get adjusted to match Ubuntu's LTS releases. It isn't a big secret that the next Ubuntu LTS release will be 10.04. And counting backward from that the freeze in december is just the obvious consequence.
What I actually am uneasy about is Agnieszka's Redesign talk. Just to make things clear I want to congratulate her on what she produced. It definitely looks nice and the reactions during the talk were quite clear on that.
But, there are several issues surrounding this that makes me actually thinking about resigning from the webteam as a whole and reduce my precious time that I invest into Debian. The reason might not be as obvious, but it contains some interesting corner data:
Agnieszka did thank Sledge for his good help. So at least part of the DPL team was aware of it. Some weeks ago Luk, the other part of the DPL team, contacted me and said that he is acting with his DPL team hat on and that there were mails coming in to them about how to create some progress for the website. I told Luk that I am already working on getting Kalle's proposal integrated. It was cool to him and he thanked me and wished me well with the progress, but neither he nor Sledge did tell me anything about Agnieszka's work.
Agnieszka also did thank stockholm about his help. stockholm is part of the "marketing" team (yeah, there was one appointed two years ago; didn't you notice all their great work by now??). Anyway, eventually stockholm have heard about me efforts and did stumble by in #debian-www on IRC. He asked about the new design and who's working on it, I showed him what was there at that time already and all he said was "Cool". Again no mentioning of Agnieszka's work neither.
Like I wrote yesterday almost all of the mockups sent in contained only of images (if there even were multiple) which are hard to really decide upon—especially when they are as tiny and not clearly visible like in this presentation. Questions that were raised in the direction of wether this would actually work out were muted with the magic CSS waving; unfortunately CSS can't do magic. And with the images it's hard to decide wether it actually would work for accessibility reasons and the other things I already mentioned yesterday.
We try very carefully to not have duplication of work in the area of packaging through the terms of ITPs. Great! We try to avoid some few hours invested in an area where we have very well over thousands of contributors. But it seems to be proper to just through away days, weeks, months of invested time, effort and energy in an area that we seriously lack contributors.
Way to go, Debian. Seriously disappointed, seriously annoyed, seriously demotivated.
Not sure if you do follow the debian-www mailinglist, but from time to time there are people mailing about that they would like to give our website a new face. Most of the time people just do some mockup in some painting tool without realizing that there is a lot more behind it, with respect to translation and sublayers and accessibility requirements. After mentioning these kind of things, most people go away.
Then there was Kalle Söderman. He took a deeper look behind it, started working for himself in 2007, did notice that there is not only www.d.o but also packages.d.o (or rather wesnoth as example), wiki.d.o, planet.d.o, bugs.d.o and others too. So he started to think about something that might work cross-service, and actually did work with the code and not a painting tool. And even though he didn't hear much from people when he presented it first he kept thinking about it.
This did manage to catch my interest and I started to think about how to move forward from here. I started to contact him and started to mail back and forth about his proposal, started to set up some small testing sites (again: testing sites. They aren't meant to be finished, likewise the proposal from Kalle isn't finished yet), and this is where we are currently: On packages.deb.at/wesnoth you can see a clone of our pkg.d.o that uses his template, feel free to exchange wesnoth with your favourite package—even though be notified that it doesn't get its data regularly updated, I don't want people to use it instead of the main site and that it somehow currently doesn't show packages from the main archive but only the external sources that are used. It's just there to get you the idea.
And we also have a working testing theme for the wiki which works directly in there (thanks to Paul Wise for installing the part that needs to sit on the server side): Follow the instructions on Kalle's page about the wiki if you like to have it enabled.
I am currently trying to get something for testing set up for bugs.d.o and www.d.o; for the later I have to send kudos to Martin Zobel-Helas for giving me a prod and a system to do it on (even though he didn't originally knew that I would want to abuse it for the theme testing ;)). For the time being you can find some more of Kalle's thoughts on his Site about his proposals together with some few pages as examples, but I will keep you lot updated about major progress on this in here.
The work that I invest here is mostly about finding out how much work it actually would be to get things changed, and also because I like what Kalle did. He invested a lot of time and I guess the outcome deserves to have some further exposure. Unlike than in other areas things aren't carved in stone yet, which even Kalle is full aware of, but things have to get started somewhere. Enjoy, send (constructive) feedback (like The distinction on the new pkg.d.o proposal between Exact hits and Other hits isn't clear enough!) and acknowledge that others are doing stuff that many people in the last years did chicken out from.
On monday there were extremely heavy rainfall. This made it even more surprising that I was able to see the moon so clear and beautiful while driving home by night. It did motivate me to write the following Haikus which I want to share with you:
full moon shining down
it is calming and peaceful
even when cloudy
in all its silence
not much that matters and counts
giving you comfort
just watch its bright light
it does not care for others
think about yourself