Report from LSM/RMLL 2008 on communautary development track

There’s probably much more to say than I’ll remember, but here’s an attempt at reporting from the excellent edition of RMLL/LSM which was held in Mont-de-Marsan (France) early july.

I’ve been chairing one of the tracks, on Communautary development, where I’ve had the pleasure to chair and attend excellent presentations. The rest of the LSM/RMLL was very good too, but being stuck in a room, I couldn’t attend much of it 😉

To summ-up, there have been very interesting talks and discussions on the following subjects (links to descriptions of talks and their slides included) :

  • translations : Claude Paroz has presented the classical process of translation in libre software (gettext, etc.) and organized a practical workshop to help get contributors started. But just before his talk, Marc Laporte (aka the man paying free beers at night) presented a system which was implemented in a wiki to handle multilingual content, which seems very smart, in helping synchronize multilingual content in wikis (where individual translations may change in a non-coordinated way). I think that both talks were very complementary : great to have had both speakers there… and by the way, they proved the international nature of the RMLL (Switzerland and Quebec/Canada) 😉
  • forges : another topic was the forges, or the development environments in (potentially) large projects, with the presentation of the forges genealogy and the GForge project made by Roland Mas. It was interesting to get feedback from the audiance where people reported from their switch to GForge AS, for instance. Also a presentation by Quang-Vu Dang about the use of semantic web standards to monitor activity in forges. We also discussed the semantic web standards and interoperability after other presentations about bug-tracking or packages (more bellow). Lucas Nussbaum also presented the infrastructure of the Debian project which loosely integrates different tools which are used to monitor the activity and do the QA work in the project. Lucas’ presentation was too short unfortunately, for such a complex project in-depth review (and trolls popped-up also ;).
  • packaging : Lucas also presented interesting starting elements for attracting volunteers contributions to Debian, by describing the packaging of applications in Debian (and Ubuntu, sort of ;-). Complementary were the presentations by Vincent Untz and Bruno Cornec, resp. on the OpenSUSE build service, and Project Builder, which both more or less manage the generation of packages for various distributions. Their philosophical approch seem different, which lead to interesting discussions : is upstream supposed to get interested in specifics of package contruction in various distributions, or should it be handled independently ? Great debate. There were also intersting talks about convergence in package description formats, which would need more detailed discussions (I welcome any links).
  • Release process : we had three talks which addressed this topic : first the excellent (and crowded, although very early in the morning : 9:00 😉 ) presentation by Thomas Petazzoni on the Linux project process. Next Lucas’ presentations on Debian (comparing release strategies between Debian and Ubuntu, for instance). And finally Vincent Untz’s other presentation on the 6 month paced release process in Gnome. Very complementary and interesting talks, IMHO.
  • Bug tracking : Of course this was the topic addressed by Emmanuel Seyman in his very interesting talk about Bugzilla. But we also discussed the subject of bug trackers in Lucas’ presentation, for instance (with the Debian BTS), or when we discussed the problem of synchronisation of the bugs lists between upstream and distributions (which will be one of the topics of our forecoming HELIOS project : more blogging ahead). Definitely something where the contacts were very valuable amond people attending and presenting.
  • Other topics : well, that wasn’t all with this track at LSM/RMLL, but I wasn’t as much interested in these others I guess. You’ll find more details on the conference’s site.

I hope the content was enjoyable to the audiance too (although I disturbed the presentations with my silly jokes or my facist approach to schedules ;).

See you in next edition.