Debian Opens "Front Desk" for Derivatives
Many Linux projects use Debian Linux as their code base for developing their distributions. Perhaps as many as 120 distributions are based on Debian and some include SimplyMepis, sidux, KNOPPIX, Elive, and Parsix. Perhaps the most widely known and used is Ubuntu. Ubuntu receives negative comments because many feel its developers don't contribute back upstream.
One of the reasons derivative projects don't give back is how difficult and time consuming the process can be. Many just don't know what to do. So Debian has created a contact point to facilitate the practice.
The Front Desk will be manned by volunteers to act as mentors and advisors for derivative developers asking how to contribute work back to Debian. Developers can find out who to contact for any given package or what is the exact procedure for giving back.
A wiki page has been set up and a mailing list has been activated to make contact easier. Debian is currently looking for Debian volunteers to monitor the mailing list and answer inquiries. Derivative developers can get more information at wiki.debian.org/DerivativesFrontDesk, subscribe to the mailing list at debian-derivatives AT lists.debian.org, or browse the archives at lists.debian.org/debian-derivatives.
Contributing upstream helps all distributions grow in stability and features and Debian hopes their new Front Desk will do just that.
Susan Linton is a Linux writer and the owner of tuxmachines.org.