I have to agree with Joey, I have the feeling that we’re not doing many “transversal” improvements and that we’re busy enough simply trying to keep up with new upstream version of software. That’s not completely true but I also wouldn’t want Debian to evolve in that direction.
I think that less people are interested in doing large scale changes because the coordination with 1000 maintainers and 10000 packages is simply too complicated and taking too much time. Luckily we had significant improvements recently that should ease that coordination work. I’m thinking mainly of the usertags that allow us to use the BTS as big TODO list. But usertags are obscure to many people and not well documented yet.
So there’s room for improvements: that’s why I proposed a project for Google’s Summer of code called “Distribution-wide tracker tools” (see list of accepted projects here). Check the project proposal of Arnaud Fontaine to have a more precise idea of what it could give.
I want this infrastructure because I think it may help Utnubu to effectively coordinate the integration of Ubuntu improvements and because it may help Debian be more on the leading edge (instead of trying to catchup with derivatives). And last but not least, I believe many more people (with different level of skills) will be able to effectively work on some projects once the work to do has been clearly identified and registered in such a system.
The project is about to start, so all ideas/comments are welcome of course!