Jelmer Vernooij is a long-term Debian developer, who was previously worked on packaging for projects such as Samba, Heimdal and various Python libraries.
Today, Jelmer primarily works on infrastructure to automate changes to packages across the archive. His recent focus has been on the Debian Janitor bot that automatically commits fixes to packages maintained in Git repositories and creates pull requests.
A common complaint about distribution packages - especially those that do more than just wrap the upstream build system to create a more integrated system, like Debian - is that packaging is perpetually behind on upstream releases.
Over the last couple of years, the ubiquitous use of git by upstreams and various efforts in Debian (uscan, Vcs-Git, DEP-12‘s Repository field, autopkgtest, machine-readable copyright files) have made it easier to find the locations of upstream code and to automatically (but not just naively) import changes into packaging.
This makes it possible in many cases to automatically provide updated packages of packages in the Debian archive, incorporating new upstream releases as well as daily Git snapshots.
This talk will reveal how many packages can already be automatically rebuilt against fresh releases and snapshots from their upstream, and it will cover the challenges overcome and ahead to do this for more of the archive.