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Debian at the Google Code-in 2010-11

As you might know, Debian was one of the 20 organizations selected to participate in the first Google Code-in.

We got a moderate success since we started preparing the contest very late (I joined as mentor/admin the very first day of the contest!). Because of this, unlike other organizations, we did not manage to engage interested students from the very beginning of the Code-in. Since we did not have too many Debian tasks the first days, we did not attract many students, and thus did not have very many throughout the contest.

Given Debian tasks were mostly about improving and contributing to Debian, it was quite hard having tasks that did not require having a Debian installation and that made it difficult for many students to get involved. Also, until the last two weeks we did not have any translation task that could have attracted earlier students without too much confidence in their technical and English skills.

Nonetheless, Debian got 39 tasks done:

With about 30 students participating and at least one of the students has keep contributing to Debian after the contest!

The contest was sometimes stressful with several students wanting their tasks to be reviewed at the same time, and the date was problematic due to the winter (or summer!) holidays but still I am quite happy with the final result :D

Debian will be also participating again this year in the Google Summer of Code 2011. Join the soc-coordination mailing list and stay tunned if you want to participate as mentor or student.


KOffice 2.3.0 and future

It took a bit of time due to the holidays, but KOffice 2.3.0 is finally available from Debian experimental (give some hours to your mirror to sync!). If you are unstable user don't be afraid to fetch it from experimental, it is there only because the Squeeze freeze. Squeeze will ship with KOffice 2.2.1, while not all the applications are so polished as it would be desirable, it clearly offers huge improvements over old KOffice 1.6.3.

I do not know if there will be a KOffice 2.3.1 upload but I know for sure the future is with Calligra :)


KOffice 2.2.0 packages for Debian

As some of you might have seen, KOffice 2.2.0 was finally released today. Quoting the release announcement:

"There are still areas in the user interface that we want to work on before stating that KOffice is fit for the general public. We are, however, at a stage where we think that KOffice can be used for real work by some users."

I agree with this statement and it is still to be decided if KOffice 2.2.0 will make it into Squeeze. I am inclined to do so but I would love some well argumented feedback. Take into consideration some applications are more mature than others.

The packages will be uploaded to the official archive soon, but they still need some minor work and given they include new deb files (kformula shape and kexi), they need to go thru the NEW queue, it might take some time.

Meanwhile, you can find packages for amd64 & i386 from the semi-official repository at:http://qt-kde.debian.net/.
You also have available the localization packages (see the list here) and braindump, an interesting application based in KOffice libraries.

These packages are not in the Debian archive so please *don't* report bugs against them in the Debian Bug Tracking System. If you see any packaging problem, please report it in the debian-kde mailing list.
If you find a bug, miss a feature or have a wishlist, please file a report in the KDE bugzilla: https://bugs.kde.org/ Include all the information you can about your system (Debian experimental, KOffice 2.2.0) and all the details you are able to give. In the case of crashes, install the package koffice-dbg to get a backtrace. Read more at this techbase article.

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