Hey dudes and dudettes! First of all, apologies for the delay since last time I posted one of these missives. It's not due to lack of work, I promise! :-) So, what's been happening and what's going on? First of all, we're still working towards an Etch release. It's a shame that it'll be later than many of us hoped, but again the new release is shaping up to be our best ever. It's not my place to second-guess the release team, but I'm hoping for a release soon. We're primarily waiting on the kernel to stabilise for release and a final debian-installer release candidate. We've got a few more RC bugs to polish off, then PARTY TIME!!! (Well, maybe some of us will have some more little spots of work to do in the last few days and hours... *grin*) On the more boring stable releases front, we've managed sarge r4 and (very recently) r5. The r5 CDs and DVDs are building at this very moment as I write this mail; look out for them on a cdimage server near you shortly. I've already blogged quite a bit about my travels around Europe at the tail end of last year, so I'll just give a quick summary. First of all, I had an excellent couple of days at La Laguna University in Tenerife in September[1,2], talking about Debian to a keen group of local Free Software hackers and enthusiasts then giving a quick Debian packaging workshop. Then, Uncle Steve's BSP tour 2006 kicked off. At the end of September, I headed to Utrecht to meet up with a group headed by Thijs and Jeroen. Then one week later on to Zurich with Martin and friends, and again a week later Andreas and Martin organised our party in Munich, along with the (very cool!) guys working on the LiMux project. The tour came to my place in Cambridge, then finished in November in Helsinki at Droidy's place. It was hard work, but also an excellent chance to meet up with people new and old who all wanted to help working on Debian. The feel of each gathering was different. Some were full of DDs, working and joking alongside each other, while others were mainly made up of Debian users wanting to learn how to help on their favourite distribution. Meanwhile, preparations for Debconf 7 in Edinburgh have been continuing apace. I've been heavily involved in both the general team work and more specifically the sponsorship team. Deadlines have passed for submitting papers and applying for sponsorship for food/travel/accommodation, but there is still plenty of time to sign up. The dates are Sunday 17 to Saturday 23 June 2007, preceded as usual by Debcamp and Debian Day. We're expecting a large turnout and lots of good partying^Wwork from all present. Also in the last few months we've had yet more controversial discussions around the project. I'm not going to go into the gory details about them, but I should at least acknowledge them. AJ suggested trying to accelerate the release process by paying for some co-ordinated release effort, an idea that evolved into the Dunc Tank project. This triggered a huge amount of debate, both for and against. And, amongst the debate, an attempt at humour in the form of dunc-bank. Sven Luther and various other DDs continued arguing on and off the mailing lists, flaring up several times during the period. Things have since quietened down, and Sven is standing as a candidate in the forthcoming DPL election. Various issues have been raised about how some core teams are working and interacting with the rest of the project. Work is under way to improve things, so watch this space for updates. What else is coming soon? We're part-way into the DPL election process for 2007. I've just announced I'm standing again this year; there are quite a number of other candidates already and I suspect there may yet be a couple more. We've been notified that the Google Summer of Code is happening again in 2007, and we're now looking for mentors and admins to come up with more projects and work with students this year. I've volunteered as an admin already, and once the programme opens in March we'll get started. Most immediately, we have a major get-together planned for FOSDEM in Brussels this coming weekend. I'll be there, along with large numbers of DDs from all over Europe. If previous years are a guide, it should be excellent fun with lots of beer and good talks and beer and food and beer. Oh, and maybe some beer. :-) I'm looking forwards to meeting up with lots of you there!  http://blog.einval.com/2006/09/19#tenerife  http://blog.einval.com/2006/09/23#tenerife2  http://blog.einval.com/2006/10/03#2006_Utrecht  http://blog.einval.com/2006/10/11#2006_Zurich  http://blog.einval.com/2006/10/17#2006_Munich  http://blog.einval.com/2006/10/18#LiMux  http://blog.einval.com/2006/11/22#2006_Cambridge  http://blog.einval.com/2006/11/22#2006_Helsinki  https://debconf7.debconf.org/wiki/Main_Page  https://debconf7.debconf.org/wiki/Registration  http://www.dunc-tank.org/  http://dunc-bank.zoy.org/  http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel-announce/2007/02/msg00002.html  http://code.google.com/soc/  http://www.fosdem.org/ -- Steve McIntyre, Cambridge, UK. firstname.lastname@example.org 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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