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Bits from the 2IC

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[3]. Then one week later on to Zurich with Martin and
friends[4], and again a week later Andreas and Martin organised our
party in Munich[5], along with the (very cool!) guys working on the
LiMux project[6]. The tour came to my place in Cambridge[7], then
finished in November in Helsinki at Droidy's place.[8] 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[9] 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[10]. 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[11]. This triggered a huge amount of debate, both for and
against. And, amongst the debate, an attempt at humour in the form of

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[13]. 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[14] 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

Most immediately, we have a major get-together planned for FOSDEM[15]
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!

[1]  http://blog.einval.com/2006/09/19#tenerife
[2]  http://blog.einval.com/2006/09/23#tenerife2
[3]  http://blog.einval.com/2006/10/03#2006_Utrecht
[4]  http://blog.einval.com/2006/10/11#2006_Zurich
[5]  http://blog.einval.com/2006/10/17#2006_Munich
[6]  http://blog.einval.com/2006/10/18#LiMux
[7]  http://blog.einval.com/2006/11/22#2006_Cambridge
[8]  http://blog.einval.com/2006/11/22#2006_Helsinki
[9]  https://debconf7.debconf.org/wiki/Main_Page
[10] https://debconf7.debconf.org/wiki/Registration
[11] http://www.dunc-tank.org/
[12] http://dunc-bank.zoy.org/
[13] http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel-announce/2007/02/msg00002.html
[14] http://code.google.com/soc/
[15] http://www.fosdem.org/

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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