Yes, there is something like an 'RFH', or 'Request For Help', in the WNPP in Debian, but I thought I'd go through this blog, first, since I believe many more people who will feel inclined to help here will read this blog.

I've been maintaining the beid packages in Debian since, eh, quite a while now; and while it's not always been the package that I have spent the most time on, it's not a package that I want to give up.

However, in recent times, I've had issues with the code. I've not really been able to get the 3.5.2 release to compile properly as a package, which means that for the moment, squeeze is still stuck with a 2.x release. This is a problem, since that old release isn't supported anymore upstream, and what's worse, it does not support newer-issued eID cards. So if your card is less than about two or three years old, you can't even use it anymore. For this reason, the beid packages really, really should be updated before squeeze releases.

I've been trying to spend some time doing so, but real life kept intervening. And I haven't even been able to start looking for the 3.5.3 code that I'd heard rumours would exist.

So, this is a request for help. If you want a more recent beid package to appear in Debian (and, by extension, Ubuntu) any time soon, and you can spare some extra time on maintaining a somewhat convoluted package, you'd be an ideal candidate for comaintainer of this package. You don't need to have any experience working on Debian, but you do need experience with build systems and Makefiles. If you don't have any experience in working on Debian, but would like to learn, this might be an interesting opportunity. If you do have experience working on Debian and are as interested as me in getting this to be up-to-date in the next Debian release, your help would be very much appreciated. Even if you only have time for a little while and would like me to take over once everything is going fine again, that's helpful.

At any rate, if you want to help, contact me at We'll work out the specifics then.

Thanks in advance,