It's been a while; here's some news, some plans and a plea for help. Work towards etch ================= We released etch d-i beta 3 a couple of weeks back. So far, things seem to be going generally OK in testing. Daily builds of business card and netinst images and weekly builds of full CD and DVD sets have since restarted, and we plan to continue with those. Sarge r3 ======== There were some delays and problems in releasing the third point-release of sarge on CD and DVD, including the now-traditional spectres of hardware failure and repetitive debian-cd runs to optimise the layouts for the CDs and DVDs. In the end, the final images were released yesterday with one (minor) known issue. Sarge r4 should be coming Real Soon Now and should be fixed in that respect. Planned changes to the build system =================================== For historical reasons, the current build system is split into two parts, in different countries. Jigdo files are built on the first system, then transferred over and converted into ISO images on the distribution system. This works OK, but is a much slower process than we'd like. Plans are in motion to fix this performance issue by hosting a new build system physically adjacent to the distribution system; this should give a major reduction in the time we currently need to do a full CD/DVD run. It will also make it feasible for us to do some regular builds of CDs for some of the CDDs; Debian-Edu have already asked about this. Debian-CD development ===================== Despite my grand ideas for debian-cd development proposed back at DC5 in Helsinki, things have gone much more slowly than I hoped. debian-cd has been keeping up with the updates needed to do etch builds, but unfortunately many of the large structural changes I hoped for have not happened yet. The only big change I *still* hope to be possible for an etch release this year will be creation of multi-arch CDs and DVDs; my aim is to make an official 3-arch netinst CD (i386/amd64/ppc) that should boot and install from the network on all 3, and a single DVD image for those same 3 arches that should contain the equivalent of the first 3 or 4 CDs, along with the sources to match. This latter should be an ideal disc to give away at expos and conferences, similar to the aim of the LinuxTag discs that have been produced over the last few years. I've started work on this already, and *hope* to be able to finish it soon. debian-images-generator ======================= During this summer, I've also been mentoring a student in the Google Summer of Code. Carlos Parra Camargo has been working on debian-images-generator, a re-implementation of debian-cd written in python. His work is looking very promising so far, and once we have released etch I'm hoping to gradually shift over to using this new code. Help! ===== We're looking for help on several fronts: 1. debian-cd has lots of small bugs that often don't get fixed because they're not a high priority. 2. TESTING! The daily and weekly builds already get some testing via the d-i team, but more is always welcome. Another place where more testing will help is in the stable point releases; it's very difficult to know with any certainty that a new build looks sane without access to lots of machines, spanning multiple architectures. 3. Lastly, another project I've been hoping to get going for a while is CD-lintian, an automated test tool to help ensure that generated images meet minimum quality standards. We already have lintian and linda available to help Debian maintainers check their packages for many of the possible common bugs; it'd be nice to have something similar at the CD level. On all of these points, volunteers are always welcome. Please sign up to the debian-cd mailing list or find us on #debian-cd on irc.debian.org.  http://www.debian.org/devel/debian-installer/  http://cdimage.debian.org/debian-cd/3.1_r3/HEADER.html  http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel-announce/2005/07/msg00005.html  svn://svn.debian.org/svn/deb-imgs-gen/trunk -- Steve McIntyre, Cambridge, UK. firstname.lastname@example.org Is there anybody out there?
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