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base disks pre-release, and some good vibes

The FTP server is down at the moment. Hopefully it will be back up on
Friday morning, as I am ready to upload a base-disk pre-release, and I'd
like some experienced installers to install a new system.

This will be a 5-disk set, consisting of a boot disk, root disk, and
3 base disks. The root disk used is the same as in the last pre-release.
This is not the disk that we will be using when we make our release.
Ian Murdock will be uploading a disk with a nicer user-interface before

Please direct complaints about this disk set to Ian, he will take over
maintainance of the base system for the next week while I'm otherwise
occupied. At the end of that week, I'll master a Debian CD-ROM.

I feel good about Debian now. The reason is that there is no longer
very much "magic" that the average developer can't get at. There are
publicly-accessable scripts to create the installation base disks and
the boot disk. All of the packages, of course, are easy to build and
maintain. The installation root disk is still "magic", but easy
enough to hack, and we are working on making it as maintainable as the
rest of the system.

The reason this is good is that you no longer have to wait for some
wizard to get his part done to make a release. We should thus be able
to do releases _much_ more often.

I'd like to thank a few people - we'll have to construct the credits
for this system, so that we can thank everyone properly! Ian Murdock
had the idea, created the design, and stuck with it for as long as it
took. Our 30 package maintainers did most of the work - some of them a
tremendous lot of it. Ian Jackson put many man-months work into "dpkg"
and "dselect". The new "dselect" user-interface in version .75 is very
good, and should impress everyone who tries the system.

There's lots more work to do, but I think we've cleared a big hurdle.



P.S.: Look for the issue of "Fortune" with an article on Pixar - its
title is something like "Steve Jobs' Excellent Animation Adventure".
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