Debian Derivatives Exchange project launched

March 18th, 2011

The Debian Project has taken another important step towards better collaboration with its more than 300 derivative distributions by launching the Debian dErivatives eXchange project (DEX). The core idea behind DEX is to reduce the technical differences (informally called delta) between Debian and its derivatives. This is mainly accomplished by easing the integration of patches from derivatives. Making available the patches from all derivatives results not only in a better system for all involved parties, but also eases the workload of the derivatives by reducing the differences derivatives have to maintain themselves.

The DEX project complements the already existing Debian derivatives front desk by organizing cross-distribution working groups and projects to monitor and merge changes from derivatives into Debian proper. In DEX, developers from both Debian and derivatives work side-by-side to merge changes into Debian. A first working group is the DEX Ubuntu Team, targeting to integrate packages and changes available in Ubuntu back into Debian, continuing the work of the already existing Utnubu Team on a more general level. A gNewSense DEX Team is also expected in the near future. If you can't measure it, it doesn't exist, especially when you measure numbers of defects you want to fix. Arguably, most of the deltas between Debian and its derivatives need to be fixed, by merging them back into Debian. DEX has the potential to host a number of cross-distro initiatives that will measure and ultimately reduce existing deltas among Debian and its derivatives. Stefano Zacchiroli (Debian Project Leader and co-founder of DEX) explains about this project.

The Debian Project invites all Debian based distributions and other projects to join the DEX project and work together on a common base. As Matt Zimmerman (Chair of the Ubuntu Technical Board and co-founder of DEX) says: If you want to see Debian benefit from technical work done in derivatives, DEX is a chance for you to act together to make it happen. If you work on a derivative and want to carry a smaller delta, come and join us. I'm sure we'll learn a lot from this experience.

About Debian

The Debian Project was founded in 1993 by Ian Murdock to be a truly free community project. Since then the project has grown to be one of the largest and most influential open source projects. Thousands of volunteers from all over the world work together to create and maintain Debian software. Available in 70 languages, and supporting a huge range of computer types, Debian calls itself the universal operating system.

Contact Information

For further information, please visit the Debian web pages at http://www.debian.org/ or send mail to <press@debian.org>.