After a relatively long period of flux, I've managed to settle into a routine where I've got all the time I can dedicate to open source stuff bunched together: every Tuesday night. I've started calling it "Debian Day", although Debian won't get all that time exclusively.
One evening a week doesn't sound like much, but that's unfortunately a realistic amount given my other commitments. Still, having a firm idea of how much resource I have makes planning what I can and can't do much easier. It also means I need to be quite selective about what I spend my time on.
This also impacts the type of interactions I can use. I can respond to email, bugs, etc., but I cannot effectively interact with folks on IRC, for example: the period between windows is too large for it to work effectively. Therefore, I can't work reliably with any team or area of Debian that relies on IRC to get things done.
Tonight, then. I have recently been ripping some CDs, a task for which I use grip, despite it long since having been dropped by Debian. It still works very well, whereas Sound Juicer, which still pops up whenever I insert an audio CD, does not.
I've been interested in helping out with Debian GNOME packaging for a while,
and it seems the issue has been fixed upstream, but after asking around in
#debian-gnome, the root cause is that the newer musicbrainz API packages have
not been uploaded to Debian. (the existing package uses the old
Two separate people appear to have been working on a new Music Brainz package, but neither filed an ITP bug. I've spent the largest chunk of my Debian time just trying to figure out what has been going on, sadly, but at least there's the likelyhood this will be fixed for wheezy.
There's also the tail end of a musicbrainz-2.1 transition finishing up.
Another thing I considered this evening was the future of debgtd in Debian stable. On reflection, and after sitting on the fence for several months, I've decided I don't have the time to fix it up enough to have it ready for wheezy, so with regret I've filed a removal bug. With any luck, at some point in the wheezy cycle I'll manage to put more time towards this, because I think it addresses a genuine need and could be useful to people.
Finally, whenever I sit down and look at Debian stuff to finish up, I have a strong temptation to fix some issues belonging to the games team. In particular, Gustavo Panizzo has put a lot of work into vavoom packages, but sadly his requests for sponsorship are falling on deaf ears. There's also Johey Shmit's work on packaging zdoom which needs some attention to finish removing some embedded libraries. I have to keep reminding myself I left the team for a reason, to focus on something else, and finding that something else should be the priority.
So all in all not the most uplifting evening: I'm starting to think I simply couldn't work effectively with the Debian GNOME team without being able to dedicate more time to use IRC effectively; I spent more time that could be necessary figuring out a bunch of other folks have potentially wasted each other's time by working on packages and not filing ITPs; and I've removed one of my own packages from the distribution altogether.
It's not all doom and gloom, though: last week I packaged Simon Howard's lhasa, a library and tool for decompressing LHA files, as used by various old DOS games. (See? I just can't escape that stuff…) I also managed to 'resolve' two bup bugs, one RC. I also finished transitioning from my old PGP key to my new one.