At DebConf6 one talk session -- 45 minutes -- will be broken up into as many lightning talks of 5 minutes or less as we can fit into the session. Lightning talks have long been a staple of Perl conferences and offer a way to get an idea, technique, interesting piece of software, story, etc out to the audience without all the overhead of a regular talk.

Think of it as Planet Debian with real live hackergoshis. (Hmm, perhaps we'd better aim for expanding this to a 90 minute timeslot...)

This talk proposal has been accepted, will happen, and now we need to find enough talks to fill it. Please add your ideas for lightning talks you would like to give below and JoeyHess will contact you with the details if your talk is accepted.

Wanted: amusing noisemaker

JoeyHess is also looking for suggestions for an amusing, loud, and nicely Mexican noisemaker to use to force people to conclude their talks if they go over time. An interesting 1 minute warning sign/device would also be good. Suggestions?

List of talks


Just explaining what a lightning talk is and how things will work.

Basically, here is a fixed microphone into which you will start by giving your name and the talk title, here is a video hookup (if you feel like spending 5 minutes fiddling with it instead of talking), here is a noisemaker that I will sound after your 5 minutes are up at which point you are DONE and it's the next person's turn. Presenters line up!

DebConf debconf (cdebconf?)

A brief look at the overall use of debconf in Debian, some common mistakes and things the project as a whole needs to work on.

My Name Is Ian and I Say "Debian" Like This


Significant Choices

A rant on how some decisions are made in Debian in less than ideal ways and the surprising consequences.

(Notes to self: exim4. vim-tiny. gnome/kde/ion. 2.4 default kernel. initramfs)

Debian wish list

Some technical improvements I'd love to see in Debian, but will never do myself.

Debian in 4 MB or less

Explaining how the ADS root builder can create embedded systems based on Debian and how this can tie in with projects like Debonaras.

Rembering Emeritus Developers

Let's remember and appreciate for a few minutes all the DDs who we've met and worked with over the years and who are not anymore in the project. What can Debian do for them to show our appreciation? What can we do to learn from their experiences?

Possible visual aids: frequency(and inverted?)-scaled lists of names, pictures

WNPP: Automatizing the unautomatizable

Let's talk about what's been done on the WNPP field by all the people involved on it. What can be improved or what can be implemented to make things easier for WNPP maintainers.

Datamining on Debian packages metadata

There is a lot of data available about Debian packages. > 10G of bug data, packages files, upload logs, who sponsors who, and dozens of other sources. They are hard to present and correllate though: an identity isn't clearly defined (people can have multiple gpg keys, email addresses, names, and some of those can even clash). This is where carnivore comes in, a new QA tool to assist here. Also discussing other techniques and applications.

Actively discovering bugs/issues with packages

Aka, automatic checks on packages.

There are several tools to check a package automatically: lintian, piuparts, building with pbuilder. How to do execute those continuously, and especially, make the results (1) immediately available to all, and (2) have issues directly reported to the maintainers.

Working of the [[|PTS (package tracking system)]]

Design of PTS, and what you can do with it.

Doing efficient package searches [[|on packages.d.o]]

Beginning of this year, packages.d.o was disabled. With millions of pagerequests per (FIXME: need to check) day, it is very important that the package queries done are implemented efficiently, with as few I/O as possible (cache!), and at the same time, daily cronjobs don't take too long.

I'll hilight some of the most interesting choices made, and explain why using a DBMS isn't a solution.

Tracking MIA developers

A brief rundown of the infrastructure. but more importantly procedures and customs used to find and take action on people who are MIA, or more accurately put, people who are suspected of having themselves overcommitted to Debian work.

How to pronounce Jeroen van Wolffelaar, and other names

"Random-J", "Jeroen van Wifflepuck", all not correct... Short introduction to Dutch sounds not found in English or most other languages.

Walkthrough: Make your Country love Debian

Short tale about the Venezuelan experience in the Free Software Migration, and how each day it is turning strongly towards Debian GNU/Linux. Including Government migration towards Debian, people using Debian as free, democratic Internet access platform, and Debian community activities.

How far can we go with a collaborative maintenance infrastructure

Short presentation of CollaborativeMaintenance and possible implications that it can have on NM, QA, and our way to maintain the packages. Explain how that infrastructure fits with the PTS and everything else.

Debian in the greater Linux eco system

I would like to pass on what I hear from sponsors/supporters of debian when talking to them. This includes e.g. Debian's role in the LSB landscape, its perception by some service selling companies, and directions it could take when placing itself in the market in the future.

How to get debian-admin to help you

The way in which you craft a request to debian-admin has a great effect on how quickly they can help you. This talk will help you determine what things debian-admin will be able to help you with and what information to include in the request to order to get help quickly without the need for extra questions.

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Comments and ideas

Is five minutes a good minimum time? Also, any thoughts on what makes a successful lightning talk session (or talk) would be useful as I've only seen this done once or twice at a conference a long while ago. -- JoeyHess

If accepted I'd like to use 2 slides during my talk. How about the presenters get together ahead of time (like the day before) and generate a single slide deck that could be driven from a single laptop (maybe by the moderator)? Presenters that don't need slides could have a single slide in the deck that is just their topic and name. People should have no more than 4 slides (given the standard 1 slide per minute rule) and encouraged to use fewer (if at all). -- MattTaggart

Yes, that is fine and we could set that up during the rehersal we'll have before the talk. It does require that the people with slides line up to speak in the right order of course. And everything I've read suggests no more than 3 slides for a lightning talk. -- JoeyHess