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D-I RC2 kick-off (or: bits from the D-I team)



With the upload of the new kernel for Etch, we can now start seriously 
preparing the RC2 release of Debian Installer. As you all know, this is 
one of the main remaining things that needs to happen before Etch can be 
released.

Debian installer is switching to use the new kernel today.
The kernel team will probably do one more kernel upload. For various 
reasons it is essential that D-I RC2 uses the same kernel as Etch 
initially ships with, so we will wait for that.

The time since the release of D-I RC1 has mostly been used to fix known 
issues and issues that were reported for RC1. There has been no real new 
development.
We are particularly happy that we managed to fix some important issues in 
the graphical frontend, which is now a lot more stable than it was for 
RC1. Credits for that go to our lead G-I developer, Attilio Fiandroti.


D-I RC2 release overview
========================
There are still a few issues (see [1] for details), but they do not 
strongly affect the rough schedule below.

- Last upload of D-I components, mainly to get latest translation updates.
- Porters may want to make some last-minute changes for their
  architectures.

Both these items should happen this week.

- Testing D-I with new kernel and latest components; a separate "call for
  testing" will be sent to d-d-a for this, probably early next week.
- Wait until kernel and related packages have migrated to testing.
- Migrate D-I components to testing; the start of this will also be
  announced separately as it will break some RC1 images.

Note that after this point there will be very little chance that updates 
of packages that provide udebs will be allowed into Etch, especially if 
udebs are used in D-I initrds.

- Build and upload debian-installer.
- Test full CD builds.
- Migrate debian-installer RC2 to testing.
- Possibly a last build and upload of the installation guide.

As you can see, there are still quite a few things to be done, and 
although we don't anticipate major problems, they do take time. A 
detailed schedule and updates will be posted to d-boot and d-release.


D-I at DebConf7
===============
Of course we will be talking about and working on D-I during Debconf7.

This will include [2] an open discussion (BoF session) about supporting 
non-free drivers/firmware during installations. I plan to prepare a 
position statement to be used as a basis for this discussion; this paper 
will be announced here before the start of DebConf.


Get involved in D-I
===================
Although development is currently mostly frozen, we already have quite a 
ToDo list for Lenny [3]. The installer is one of the areas in Debian 
where "real" development takes place. It is a challenging environment to 
work in, mainly because it interacts with a lot of other areas in Debian 
and partly because of the restrictions that have to be observed.

Work is needed on several components, some of which offer considerable 
coding challenges. We can also always use help with documentation, 
translations and for example processing installation reports.
If you'd like to get involved, feel free to contact us [4].

Cheers,
FJP

[1] http://lists.debian.org/debian-boot/2007/01/msg01285.html
    http://wiki.debian.org/DebianInstaller/EtchRC2Prep
[2] http://lists.debian.org/debian-boot/2007/01/msg00977.html
[3] http://wiki.debian.org/DebianInstaller/LennyGoals
[4] http://www.debian.org/devel/debian-installer/

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