Debian, despite being the mother of top Linux-based distros has suffered quite a lot due to this diversion. We often ask, how much is Debian getting back from its derivatives? What are its derivatives doing to contribute back to Debian? Ubuntu, one of the GNU/Linux giants, has decided to bridge the gap between the mother and the son.
Matt Zimmerman, the CTO of Ubuntu, recently disclosed that he is working with the Debian teams to bridge this gap. In his own words, "Since I resumed active status in Debian, I’ve been thinking about how to bridge the gap between Debian and its derivatives."
When asked about the initiative, Stefano Zacchiroli (Zack), the Debian Project Leader, told Muktware editor Swapnil Bhartiya, "If you read the blog post by Matt Zimmerman and the website, you can realize that: (1) I've been involved into it with Matt since the very beginning, and (2) it's not about Ubuntu only, but general to all derivatives, even though ATM Ubuntu is the best example we have. You can also peruse the -derivatives archive for the (future) involvement of other derivatives in the initiative."
They have created a project called DEX which is more about action than words and discussions. One of the main objectives behind DEX is to fill the gaps which are growing wider. DEX is all about "merging patches, fixing bugs, crunching data, whatever is necessary to get changes from derivatives into Debian proper," wrote Matt.
He states, "DEX doesn’t try to change the way any existing project works, but adds a 'fast path' for getting code from one place to another."
An Ubuntu DEX Team has been created as a pilot project. The team will focus on merging code from Ubuntu into Debian. This is a good initiative as it will help Debian leverage the work done by other derivatives.
DEX will also bring and end to occasional accusations that Ubuntu doesn't contribute back to Debian. Matt is quite optimistic about the initiative, "If we get good results with Ubuntu, we hope that other derivatives will follow."