It's this time of the year again: The one where I look back at my involvement in the project and decide that I've been a member long enough, so I should probably get out. For Debian, there are two ways to do it: Either become MIA or become DPL. As I have too many real life connections to other DDs, I guess I can't really do the MIA thing, so I should probably get elected as DPL. Whenever I consider this way out, I think about all the issues that make me unhappy about Debian. This time, I've written them down. So, here's a list of things I would like to see and would work on if I had the power to do so:
Enforce addition of new architectures to the main archive. This includes kfreebsd-* and hurd-* - after all, we claim to be the universal OS. I've sometimes heard that our ftp mirrors wouldn't be able to handle the increased archive size - I don't believe that. We had the mirror split to work around this, not everyone is forced to mirror all architectures anymore. If actual Debian hardware should be a problem, we should use the money we collect to get the hardware we need.
Make backports.org official, just like volatile. This doesn't mean kicking out the current team and give the responsibility for bpo to the dysfunctional ftp-team, but simply move the service as it is into Debian. A start for that would be to add backports.debian.org as CNAME for backports.org and then add fitting hints to our release notes.
Resurrect the practice of porting machines. In ancient times, Debian had all kinds of machines available to all developers so that they could log in and debug architecture-specific porting problems. Nowadays, Debian collects hardware, Debian's hardware collects dust and Debian's BTS collects porting bugs. At the moment, most of these machines are not available to the developer body and access is granted to only a handful of persons besides DSA.
Fix the constitution, so that the ftp-team, the account managers, the buildd admins, the system administrators and all other teams that currently don't see themselves as delegates of the DPL can in some way be changed when they are not doing their job. There is currently a GR for that in preparation, see the excellent proposal from Josip Rodin for more information. When that is done, we can turn to actually fixing those teams, starting by giving full permissions to active people that currently have only restricted access (ie Joerg Jaspert should be able to modify the LDAP holding Debian's account data and should also get to act as full ftp-master, not only -assistant). There are also quite a few people experienced with the tasks of the other teams, so we should add some of these people soonish.
[Not really depending on DPL super cow powers:] Work on half-releases, like etch + 1/2. Besides adding a newer kernel for hardware support and updating the installer, we could think about adding backports packages to update desktop stuff. Many people seem to be interested in that.
Besides those things that I really miss in Debian, there are also a few things I would simply like to see done in the near future:
Add more buildd admins.
Resolve our conflicts with the FSF, get them to accept that we don't like the GFDL and then go on with lobbying for free software.
Improve our appearance on conferences by creating common Debian material. This means creating "official" ISO images for DVDs from time to time (just like they are done by people for a specific conference from time to time), creating official information material that can be translated by the l10n teams, discuss guidelines for the people behind the booth (like "Please don't wear a shirt which allows visitors to see what you've eaten in the last week") and give advice for presentations.
Clean up the DD list, so that we stop telling people that there are ~1000 DDs if only ~600 actually work on Debian. Yes, work on that is already on the way.
Create a place (a ML, wiki page, pseudo package) where Debian people can simply drop interesting ideas. Often, busy developers have great ideas for new projects, but lack the time to actually implement them. Usually, the inside knowledge is only needed to conceive the idea, not to implement it, so we should have a place where people with free time at their hands can find great ideas. It shouldn't be needed to actually describe every detail of your idea, it should be more like "Wouldn't it be cool to collect all left socks and then get to world domination by tying them together?". This could also be the basis for a bounty system (and of course for the GSoC people)
dpkg development - symbol-based shlibs look almost ready, but what happened to Wig&Pen alias dpkg-source v2?
At some point, we should discuss our vision of Debian. I guess we won't find a common one, but it would be interesting to see where people want to see Debian in 5 (or 10) years. Should we "just" be a supermarket so that CDDs and forks can be based on us? Should we work on reintegrating all those efforts into Debian proper? Is that even possible?
We should create a team (or, preferably, a DPL delegate) whose sole task is to communicate with the rest of the Debian ecosystem, so that common problems can be noticed, discussed and solved. I have to admit that I have lost track and couldn't say how many distributions are using Debian as their basis nowadays, but there seem to be quite a lot. I wish for a place where I can find such information (or at least a person who I can ask about it).
So, what do you think? Are all of those ideas crap or should we perhaps try to implement them? Have I missed something important?