[nSLUG] Need expert advice how to approach Debian project

Oliver Doepner odoepner at gmail.com
Sat Feb 1 23:38:39 AST 2014


I have been an occasional participant in NSLUG meetings and mailing list
for several years, but only very recently have I found the time again to
follow more closely follow what is going on and also reactivated my mailing
list subscription.

The reason for this email is that I want to initiate and facilitate the
adoption of a certain set of patches and packages into the official Debian
distribution and I want to gauge the ability and interest of NSLUG members
to help me get this process going.

I know that Ben Armstrong is a Debian maintainer and has - among many other
things - done great work on the Debian support for eeePc devices. And maybe
other Debian users or even maintainers / activists are also on this list?

So to come to the point:

The software I am interested in is related to this device by manufacturer
Excito (Sweden): http://download.excito.net/web/BubbaTwoManual

It is a very nice and compact fanless home server that runs a slightly
modified Debian system on a powerpc (bubba2) or armel (bubba3) board. I own
a bubba2 and use it as print and file server for our family.

Now my problem is that Excito is not updating the software [*] anymore due
to change of business priorities. The latest available version is based on
Debian "squeeze" which is getting a bit old. I would like to be able to
simply run the latest Debian on the box, purely from Debian repositories.

The good thing is that Excito has published the source code for all their
modified / customized Debian packages here (thanks to GPL requirements, I
guess): https://github.com/Excito/

Now I am wondering how that source code can be fed back to the upstream
Debian maintainers in a way that meets Debian rules and standards and has a
chance to be accepted. I am also wondering how much of Excito's are
actually still necessary. This will require a very careful review process.

Some of the most active bubba community members (from the Excito forums)
are currently discussing the issue.

But I am not sure how to bring in the other side into the equation, i.e.
work with the respective Debian maintainers.

Please let me know if you have any relevant expertise and suggestions for
how to best approach this.


Oliver Doepner
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