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Bits from the 2IC

Hey people, me again; time for another update...

The Google Summer of Code[0] is over, and final reports have been
submitted. Most of our students worked well right up to (and in some
cases beyond) the end of the summer, and hopefully we'll see some
useful results from their projects coming to light soon. Expect a more
detailed summary of what was achieved, coming soon to a d-d-a list
near you.

Sarge r3 and the third d-i beta have both been released, the latter
basically on schedule, the former slightly late and with a couple of
small known issues[1]. Those issues should hopefully be fixed in r4
after a short interval. Etch d-i development seems to have been very
successful to this point, adding major new features, yet more
translations and the usual set of bug fixes. Kudos to the team!

Meanwhile, Damog reported on his June trip to Cuba[2], and local
enthusiasts in Colombia held their first Mini-Debconf[3] last
month. We clearly have a growing community of Free Software
enthusiasts in Latin America. More events are planned - let's support
them as much as we can.

In the last couple of weeks, there has been a lot of discussion
focussed on issues pertaining to the forthcoming Etch release. The
release process itself is under scrutiny, and we've also seen some
spirited debate about how we should deal with the increasingly common
phenomenon of loadable binary firmware images for hardware
support[4]. They're probably going to run for a while yet. In the
meantime, Manoj has just announced the start of voting for a
constitutional GR which might change how our assets are
handled[5]. Please go and read the proposal and state your opinion.

Debconf 7 preparation is continuing on; the local team in the UK have
just had a big meeting this last weekend in Edinburgh[6] and made a
lot of progress on organising for next summer. We're expecting to be
catering for about 400 people in Scotland; the early plans are firming
up nicely and it looks set to be another successful Debian
conference. I hope to see you there!

On the conference front, I've been invited to attend a Free Software
conference at La Laguna University in Tenerife next week[7] to talk
about Debian. I should be covering a great deal of ground there in the
90 minutes allotted, from general aspects down to detailed technical
discussions. It should be good fun, and I hope to engage more interest
in what we're doing. There's even a suggestion of a BSP at the
conference if we can work out the details.

Continuing further on that theme, we're heading into the planned BSP
marathon[8] to help kill those RC bugs and make Etch releasable. To
try and help out, I'm going to be continuing on with a mini tour of
Europe after the conference, heading over to Utrecht on the 29th of
September and Zurich on the 6th of October. There are several parties
announced already, and more are being planned. Please, dive in and
let's work together to get Etch out on time this year!

[0] http://wiki.debian.org/SummerOfCode2006
[1] http://cdimage.debian.org/debian-cd/3.1_r3/HEADER.html
[2] http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel-announce/2006/08/msg00010.html
[3] http://lists.debian.org/debian-publicity/2006/09/msg00018.html
[4] http://lists.debian.org/debian-vote/2006/08/msg00032.html and
    subsequent threads
[5] http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel-announce/2006/09/msg00008.html
[6] http://wiki.debian.org/DebConf7Meetings/Minutes/2006-09-09
[7] https://encuentro.ssl.ull.es/
[8] http://wiki.debian.org/BSPMarathon

Steve McIntyre, Cambridge, UK.                                steve@einval.com
  Armed with "Valor": "Centurion" represents quality of Discipline,
  Honor, Integrity and Loyalty. Now you don't have to be a Caesar to
  concord the digital world while feeling safe and proud.

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