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Bits from the RM

Hello world,

Well, I don't know about anyone else, but I can think of something else
that happened between the May and September issues of "Bits from the
DPL" ;)

I can also think of a bunch of other things that need mentioning, in the
"where do we go from here" sense. My previous post, hidden away on the
-project list, discussed the answer to that from the very limited point
of view of getting releases out more efficiently, but that's fairly
unimportant compared to making sure what we release absolutely rocks.

So, here's a very rough rundown of what some of the reasons sarge is going
to blow you away [0]:

	* Updated apps, like xfree86 4.2, KDE 3, Gnome 2, Perl 5.8,
	  gcc 3.2, dpkg 1.10, apache 2

	* Openoffice.org!
	* SELinux support?

	* A better installer -- more easily updatable (thanks to
	  debian-installer), more easily automatable (thanks to debconf),

	* Regular CD releases of testing, as well as stable

	* aptitude available at install time, which should allow us to
	  improve our handling of "Tasks" significantly, and should let
	  us move beyond organsing our packages amongst a couple of dozen

	* More secure updates, thanks to Release.gpg sigs and debsigs
	  (presuming someone works on the userside experience, anyway)

	* lintian.debian.org back up and running, which should let us do
	  much better QA

	* Debian GNU/Hurd ?
	* Debian *BSD ?
	* Debian GNU/Linux for s390x, x86-64, sh, ...?

	* Internationalised dist-upgrades -- ie, i18n-ized apt, and Packages

	* Incremental (and thus about two orders of magnitude more
	  efficient) apt-get updates for testing and unstable, a la
	  http://people.debian.org/~bjb/apt-pupdate* -- needs support in
	  apt and apt-ftparchive, though

	* Better integration of crypto into the OS

	* Better buildability -- having Build-Depends everywhere, having
	  things like pbuilder double check stuff is still buildable,
	  having testing enforce consistency of Build-Depends as well as
	  regular Depends

There's a bunch of more "minor" things, too, but for a distro that prides
itself as much on getting the minor things right as the rest of it, maybe
they're worth a mention too:

	* No more /usr/doc!

	* invoke-rc.d, and thus better support of people who want to do
	  something other than just use the default runlevels

Hrm, is that all? Well, to pad it out, there's also been discussions about:

	* Splitting "cgi-lib" out of "cgi-bin" so we can give admins greater
	  control over what scripts they have installed and make available

	* Coping with dynamically modified and program-controled
	  configuration files in a more admin friendly way, see [1]

	* Letting cdebconf work as a drop-in replacement for debconf;
	  getting dpkg to better support debconf



(Certain statements contained in this email, including statements
regarding events and packaging trends that may affect our future
operating systems, market position and package flows, may constitute
forward-looking statements within the meaning of the federal securities
laws. These statements are based on our assumptions and estimates
and are subject to risks and uncertainties. You can identify these
forward-looking statements by the use of words like "strategy," "expects,"
"plans," "believes," "will," "estimates," "intends," "projects," "goals,"
"targets" and other words of similar meaning, for example "You will meet
a beautiful stranger, with whom you will make many policy conformant
packages". All such statements have been vetted by the Psychic Hotline,
and are thus guaranteed to eventuate.)

[0] Sorry, best military related pun I could come up with on short notice.

[1] http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel/2002/debian-devel-200206/msg01686.html

Anthony Towns <aj@humbug.org.au> <http://azure.humbug.org.au/~aj/>
I don't speak for anyone save myself. GPG signed mail preferred.

 ``If you don't do it now, you'll be one year older when you do.''

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