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Re: [RFR] Release Announce draft at wiki

On Wednesday 13 February 2008, Otavio Salvador wrote:
> Please take a look at current Release Announce[1] draft. It has some
> XXX strings that need to be fixed and also general improvement.

I've finally taken a look at the "draft", but IMO it's *far* from ready.

The main problems with the current draft are:
- it's way too long
- it seems to have been compiled with no clear idea of who the target
  audience is

Did you actually look at earlier release announcements?
If you do, you will see that they generally consist of three sections:
1) Improvements in this release of the installer
2) No longer supported as of this release
3) Known issues in this release

The current draft somewhat mixes the first two and completely misses the 

The target audience for the announcement are _users_, not D-I developers. 
This means that any internal/technical changes should just not be included. 
People that customize D-I can be expected to check the changelogs for 
individual components.
It also means that those changes that impact users the most should be listed 
first and should be explained in most detail. Anything else should just be 

Please read a few of the old release announcements to get a better feeling 
of what is important and what the level of detail should be.

Below is a copy of the current wiki page. I have added comments starting 
with 'FJP:'.

Preseeding and extensibility

FJP: A general comment that there have been various changes that impact 
preseeding should definitely be added, but otherwise users should just read 
the installation guide.

* Menu-Item numbers were multiplied by 100 leaving room for custom
  installation components by CDD. The custom components can now be lugged
  between any step of the Debian installation process. 

FJP: technical, not interesting

* Allow multiple ways of installing the base system since udebs depending
  on 'base-installer' now depends on the 'installed-base' virtual package
  allowing other package to take care of installing the base system.
  live-installer already takes advantage of this. 
* Allow multiple ways for keyboard configuration since the 'keyboard-setup'
  virtual package has been introduced. 

FJP: internal/technical, not interesting

* Add an option to skip installation of lilo using lilo-installer/skip=true
  so users can skip to nobootloader using preseeding. 

FJP: should be documented in the installation guide, not here

* Strip 'deb ' from the start of apt-setup/local*/repository, just in case
  somebody copies and pastes from an existing sources.list; see also
* Plugins are now easier to extend cdebconf with new questions types. (XXX:
  link to the relevant email) 
* Manual mirror selection can now be preseeded by setting "mirror/country"
  to "manual". 
* Preseeding of language selection has been improved. 
* Support for /usr/lib/pre-pkgsel.d hooks has been added. They are called at
  the beginning of pkgsel. The installation of popcon is now done using this
* base-installer now provides the framework for installing base, including a
  shell library in /usr/lib/base-installer/library.sh. 

FJP: all internal/technical or just too detailed

* Restructure kernel selection to allow for preseeding. Preseeding "none" to
  skip installing a kernel is supported. 
* A new package, kickseed, allow to preseed Debian installation using Red
  Hat "kickstart" configuration files. (XXX: link to relevant documentation) 

FJP: these could be worth mentioning separately

* Add support to control which default groups the initial user will be
  added. Preseed it at passwd/user-default-groups. 

FJP: too detailed

* /etc/dhclient.conf on the target system is now longer rewritten by the

FJP: technical, not interesting

Mirrors and additional packages on physical media
* Add support for volatile.debian.org when adding additional APT sources. 

FJP: This is a very important change. Should mention that it is added by 
default when 'stable' is installed. It should also be mentioned that it is 
now possible to not add security/volatile mirrors in expert mode or at 
medium priority

* For CD installs, ask more selectively whether to use a mirror or not. The
  question is still mostly asked as even on DVDs some packages belonging to
  tasks may be missing on the first image. 
  * businesscard: mirror will always be used 
  * netinst: default to true, ask only in expert mode 
  * full CD: default to true, ask during standard installs 
  * DVD: default to false, ask at during standard installs
  An explanation is displayed that is tailored to the type of CD image. 

FJP: This is just an implementation detail, not interesting

* If the network has been not configured earlier (by user selection or lack
  of network card), the configuration of mirrors is now skipped entirely. 

FJP: This is just an implementation detail, not very interesting

* Support for loading additional CD/DVD from a set has been added back (this
  feature was missing in Etch). As language related packages do not all fit
  on the first CD, this greatly improve the situation for non-english
  speakers doing installations without Internet connectivity. 

FJP: This is a major change.

The following language was added (to the graphical installer only):  
Debian Installer translations are complete for 41 languages and over 90% for 
18 more languages. 

Support for "Serial ATA RAID"
XXX: add excerpt and link to the relevant documentation and email 

FJP: This should be listed under changes in partitioning with a link to the 
wiki; it should also mention that it is experimental and mention "dmraid" 
as that is the term most people actually know

If you're migrating from Microsoft Windows, it is now possible to start the 
installer directly, without ressorting to BIOS boot. Simply insert your 
Debian Installer media (CD-ROM/DVD-ROM or USB Stick) and an autorun program 
(setup.exe) will be started, which will offer you a step-by-step setup 
process to start the Debian Installer. 

FJP: Worth mentioning, but a short sentence should be enough.

Memory usage improvements
* A lot of memory leaks were fixed in cdebconf, resulting in a much lower
  memory footprint. 
* debconf template translations for unselected are now dropped. This also
  saves megabytes of memory. (XXX: link to relevant email) 

FJP: Mostly technical, not that interesting; it can in theory impact users, 
but in practice it's just not important

* Only load components for LVM and crypto support when there is sufficient
  free memory. For crypto this only loads base support components;
  additional crypto components will only be loaded on demand. Support for
  guided (encrypted) LVM partitioning is only loaded if partman-auto was
  already loaded (which it may not be for lowmem installs). 

FJP: This is probably worth mentioning with other partitioning changes; 
short sentence should be enough

Optional support for GRUB 2
GRUB 2, the next generation of GRUB, is supported by the installer. When you 
select expert mode, you'll be given the option to install it instead of 
GRUB Legacy. Additionally, it will be automatically selected in some 
specific setups (e.g. GPT partition label). 

FJP: This is not really new as it was already supported in some Etch D-I 

Support for Etch installations
The installer now supports installing Etch, through the etch-support 
This will allow installations of the "Etch+1/2" release supporting more 
hardware through an updated kernel version. (XXX: link to relevant email) 

FJP: Not sure if this really needs to be mentioned; it will of course be 
documented with the etch+1/2 release, but it's not really a special feature 
of beta1

Misc improvements
* The installer has been updated to use Linux 2.6.22. 

FJP: Previous announcements started with this...

* Clock synchronization through NTP 

FJP: This is a _very_ important change that should be explained better.

* Detection of other operation systems 
  * Dell Utility partition is now added to the boot menu. 
  * Skip partitions that have the "whole_disk" sysfs attribute set. The
    kernel set the attribute for partitions like SUN Whole Disk. In
    situations where the OS is on the first partition, it would be detected
    twice in the first and the whole disk partition. 
  * Recognize Frugalware XXX: link 
  * Recognize Solaris 
  * Ignore more partitions from detected GRUB installation in order to
    prevent exponential growth of entries in case of repeated test installs
    on multiple partitions. 
  * Support usage of ntfs-3g (XXX: link) when detecting filesystems on NTFS

FJP: The newly supported OSes should be mentioned, the rest is technical and 
not interesting

* Rescue mode now supports LUKS encrypted partition. 

FJP: certainly worth mentioning

* Add support for virtualized console via onboard service processor

FJP: powerpc specific, should be listed as such

* Multiple ISOs for different architectures can now be put on hd-media. ISOs
  for irrelevant architectures will be skipped.

FJP: internal/technical, not interesting
* Country selection improvements: 
  * Serbia and Montenegro are now listed as two distinct countries. 
  * A new region, Atlantic Ocean, was added and relevant countries moved to
* acpi-support-base is now installed as acpid dropped support for power
  button shutdowns. 

FJP: details, very much not interesting

* mkvmlinuz is now run on Pegasos as the bootloader. 

FJP: Does not seem very interesting, but I don't really know

* laptop-detect is installed just on suitable architectures (for now they're
  i386, amd64 and powerpc). 

FJP: details, not interesting

* Mount vfat filesystems with the utf8 mount option if the locale
  contains ".UTF-8", which is the default since Etch. 

FJP: details, not interesting

* Support for the "relatime" mount option has been added. 
  (XXX: http://lkml.org/lkml/2006/8/25/380) 

FJP: but is broken and should thus be listed as an issue, not an improvement

* Move the "Done" option in the partition menu down to the bottom for
  consistency with the main partman menu. 
* Handling of previous LVM data has been improved, reducing the risk of
  failures during automatic partitioning. 

FJP: mostly internal/technical, not interesting

* Changes to partman: 
  * Major function library reorganization: 
    * function libraries are now in /lib/partman/lib 
    * most of definitions.sh has been moved to base.sh 
    * lvm-base.sh contains basic LVM operations 
    * lvm-remove.sh contains LVM removal operations 
    * auto-lvm_tools.sh has been renamed to auto-lvm.sh 
    * crypto_tools.sh has been renamed to crypto-base.sh 
    * disk-label.sh contains label related operations 
    * commit.sh contains changes confirmation prompt and activation 
  * auto.d has been renamed to display.d. 
  * If a display.d script has exited with an error code >= 100, all other
    scripts are skipped. 
  * Add support for /lib/partman/check.d scripts, intended to contain sanity
    checks run before changes are committed. (These checks were formerly
    typically in /lib/partman/finish.d.) 

FJP: all internal/technical, not interesting

* devfs style paths have been removed and udev is now used on all
* Missing copyrights and licensing added. 
* Other code cleanups: 
  * remove support for 2.4 series kernels 
  * remove support for discover 
  * remove support for old versions of hotplug/udev 
  * remove compatibility support for old versions of initramfs-tools 
  * remove support for initrd-tools 
* The GTK+ frontend for cdebconf has been rewritten to be easier to
  understand and extend. It also now supports to be built outside the d-i
  environment, using standard X11 GTK+ libraries instead of the DirectFB

FJP: all internal/technical, not interesting

* Remove the r3k-kn02 and r4k-kn04 images since DECstation machines are no
  longer supported. 
* RiscPC are no longer supported. 
* Add support for the Orion (ARM) platform. 
* Remove support for sparc32. 

FJP: should be listed, some in the "no longer supported" category

* dhcp3 is the current default DHCP client for the installer. 

FJP: Not intersting as the user only really cares about what version is 
installed in the target system and that already was dhcp3 for Etch

* Support for various new platforms has been added to archdetect:
  m68k/aranym, mips{,el}/{4,5}kc-malta, QNAP TS-109/TS-209, powerpc/cell,
  powerpc/ps3, i386/mac, amd64/mac. 

FJP: _only_ platforms that are actually supported should be listed; most of 
these are not yet

* debootstrap is now maintained by the d-i team. 

FJP: very not interesting

Misc bug fixed
* After scanning CDs, scan for things that look like USB floppies to
  list-devices, since these can sometimes really be USB CD drives. (Which is
  probably a udev or kernel bug). 
* eject is now installed for all machines with a CD drive, even those
  installed through the network. 

FJP: internal/technical, not interesting

* Serial console support has been improved when configuring GRUB and LILO. 
* Support HP SmartArray controllers (cciss / ida) when using LILO. 
  lilo-installer is now compatible with the link_in_boot option of the
  kernel packages. 
* GRUB password are now written in encrypted form in its configuration file. 

FJP: minor, but probably worth mentioning

* Disable netinst CD image in sources.list in target before reboot if other
  sources are present.

FJP: should be listed with other CD/DVD related changes

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