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Re: Article introducing Slink

On Sat, 30 Jan 1999 00:23:14 +0100, Javier Fdz-Sanguino Pen~a <jfs@ieeesb.etsit.upm.es> said:
>         I'm currently writting an article for an online magazine
> based on free software proyects called OpenResources
> (www.openresources.com) who where interested in having a preview of
> what Slink will offer.  However, I'm at a loss to grasp all the
> differences between Hamm and Slink, and would not like to give false
> impressions or leave out information.

Have you seen the release notes?  I've included them below.

>         This is the reason for the crosspost to debian-press. As of
> currently Debian has not made any announcements of what Debian 2.1
> ('slink') will bring other than more software... ;) I'm aware that
> we had some project goals for slink (which are not publicly known),
> and maybe we should made a public statement of

We dropped project goals, but there are a number of new things for
this release.  Hasn't Bob Hillard made a statement of these?

>         1.- Why Debian slink is going to release later than expected

Huh? There was no release date set.  I don't know who's expectations
your talking about; certainly not Debian's.  We looking set to release
soon, less than 7 months after the last major release.  I think that's
a pretty good cycle.  An *informal* goal we set was two releases a
year, and we're looking to be pretty darn close to that.

> 2.- What Debian slink will bring (i.e. what proyect goals have been
> fulfilled)

We have 

> ______________________________________________________________________

>   Table of Contents:

>   1.  Introduction to Slink

>   2.  The size of Debian

>   3.  Goals of Debian 2.1

>   4.  Things to point out in Debian 2.1

>   5.  How to get Debian
> ______________________________________________________________________

>   1=081.=08.
> I=08In=08nt=08tr=08ro=08od=08du=08uc=08ct=08ti=08io=08on=08n =
> t=08to=08o S=08Sl=08li=08in=08nk=08k

>   Debian, the proyect founded by the Free Software Foundation
> <http://www.fsf.org>, and which currently has its own entity, is a
> distribution (which has already been introduced in OperResources)
> that currently stands amongst the three more important GNU/Linux
> distributions.

We were never founded by the FSF.  Please see the project history

>   Although the previous stable release of Debian saw the light in
> June last year, the developers that maintain the distribution set
> themselves as a goal the release of the next version of Debian by
> the end of the year. 

We've never set date lines for release, actually, at least not officially. 

> However, this has not happened due to some
> problems with bug fixes of packages that make up the distribution,
> and to the fact that, in the same months, Debian maintainers have
> voted their first Consitution
> <http://www.debian.org/devel/constitution>, and elect a new Project
> Leader <http://vote.debian.org>, that will continue forward after
> Ian Murdock leaves that position.

Ian Jackson.

I don't think these causes significantly delayed the distribution.

Since I deny there are 'delays' since we never set official release
dates, I can't really talk about what has delayed us.  However, I can
mention some issues which has delayed the freeze: problems with libc6
miscompilation by accident, which infected some other packages, the
need to get a multi-cd building and installation system, since the
Debian binary distribution doesn't fit on one CD anymore.
Additionally, we have tried to ensure that the upcoming release is
compatible with both the Linux 2.0 and the new 2.2 kernels (just
released last week).

Really, all in all it's been a smooth release.  Sure, I wish freeze
could be shorter; we all do.  I think the consensus amongst thinking
developers is that the true way to prepare more for the release
*prior* to freeze.  I'd like to see a release team which is working at
all times, not just after we freeze.

>   The _=08f_=08r_=08e_=08e_=08z_=08e stage the distribution suffers,
> before= releasing a new stable version, has continued up until
> February 1999. Currently (January 1999) some problems with the
> installation disks are being worked upon, as well as some bugs with
> some of the packages.

We froze around Nov 11th, IIRC.  Its quite common that we have a 2 to
3 month freeze period.

>   2=082.=08.  T=08Th=08he=08e s=08si=08iz=08ze=08e o=08of=08f
> D=08De=08eb= =08bi=08ia=08an=08n

>   Debian is a _=08h_=08u_=08g_=08e proyect, few (amongst them the
> developin= g of the Linux kernel) can say that they count with equal
> or more volunteer developers (over 400), and, of course, the number
> of programs the distribution offers is enourmous.

>   That is one of the fundamental advantages that Debian 2.1 will
> offer with respect to its previous release, 2.0, the number of
> supported packages has grown to over 1500.

I count around 2250 packages in main.

> Of course, the bugs found
> in the packages that made part of the distributin have been solved,
> also including changes in the upstreams sources of programs.

>   The priority of Debian is not, as it would seem, to make programs,
> but rather to offer programs available in the GNU/Linux world making
> their installation and configuring as easiest as possible to the
> Debian user.

I would express it as the goal being to show the world what true
operating system integration should look like.  Quoting from my
snippet from the Installation manual:
     We're delighted that you have decided to try Debian. We are sure that
     you will find that Debian is unique among operating system
     distributions. Debian brings together quality free software from
     around the world, integrating it into a coherent whole. The sum is
     truly more than the parts.

     The Debian GNU/Linux distribution is made up of a number of software
     _packages_. Each package consists of executables, scripts,
     documentation, and configuration information. Each package has a
     _maintainer_ that is responsible for that package. In this way, Debian
     grows _scalably_. Anyone who agrees to abide by the Debian Social
     Contract (http://www.debian.org/social_contract.html) may become a new
     maintainer. Any new maintainer can introduce new software into Debian
     -- provided it meets our criteria of being free, and the package
     follows our quality standards.

     The Debian Free Software Guidelines
     (http://www.debian.org/social_contract.html#guidelines) is a clear and
     concise statement of Debian's criteria for free software. It is a very
     influential movement in the Free Software Movement, and provided the
     basis of the Open Source Free Software Guidelines

     Only Debian has an extensive specification of our standards of
     quality, the Debian Policy (http://www.debian.org/doc/debian-policy/).
     This document defines the qualities and standards to which we hold
     Debian packages.

> The work of a Debian maintainer is to make these
> packages and support them, fixing bugs that might be found, either
> notifying the upstream maintainer or fixing them himself.  Thus
> slink includes a great number of programs in many areas: word
> processing applications, graphic packages, system administration,
> device handling, games...

>   Yoy can read Debian 2.1 goals in
> <http://www.infodrom.north.de/~joey/Linux/Debian/master/goals/2.1/>
> or
> <http://www.infodrom.north.de/~joey/Linux/Debian/master/pr/2.1/features.h=
tml> .

This is just one developers list of goals.  It has no official
sanction or status by the Debian project as a whole.

>   4=084.=08.  T=08Th=08hi=08in=08ng=08gs=08s t=08to=08o
> p=08po=08oi=08in=08= nt=08t o=08ou=08ut=08t i=08in=08n
> D=08De=08eb=08bi=08ia=08an=08n 2=082.=08.= 1=081

>   Some things can be pointed out to be or not in Debian 2.1. One has
> to take into account that the development of a distribution that
> includes so many programas, and the time taken to assuer that all
> programs interoperate correctly, makes it impossible for the stable
> release to include all the lastest programs in the GNU/Linux world.

I think you'd do much better for yourself and for the visibility of
the project by talking about actual accomplished goals for slink:

- Release for new architectures: sparc, alpha, which added with the
  architecture released in Hamm (x86, m68k) bring the total number of
  architectures supported to 4.

- modularized X11 package

- new acquisition and installation tool, apt, which greatly helps with
  ensuring that the users box is in a proper state at all time, and
  does full dependancy modeling and optimal package installation

- GNOME support and integration

- new modularized and fully installable netscape packages

- kernel 2.0.36 officially supports; kernel 2.2.x released as source
  for optional installation

- eg++ used for all C++ program compilation

- all the standard software updates, new pacakges, and bug fixes you've
  come to expect!

>   However, the work in a stable release does not stop the work in an
> unstable release based on the previous and where many new packages
> can be found. This unstable release can be used by all those that
> want to be using the latest versions of programs, the future Debian
> 2.2 is, currently, codenamed _=08p_=08o_=08t_=08a_=08t_=08o.

Now and forever it will be 'potato', that's not a temporary thing.

>   Debian 2.1 _=08d_=08o_=08e_=08s _=08n_=08o_=08t include Linux
> kernel 2.2.= This does not have to be understood as a negative side,
> since this kernel was released after the stable release was frozen,
> and modifying the kernel over which the distribution is based is
> risky business since it is not yet tested with all the applications
> that make up the distribution, and its hasty inclusion would bring
> new bugs.  However, since the release of this kernel some Debian
> developers have been working hard to try all possible
> incompatibilities and problems with other software, but the release
> of Debian 2.1 will probably not be hindered. Linux kernel 2.2 will,
> of course, be included in Debian 2.2

This is not true.  We don't ship with default with Linux 2.2. However,
we do ship the 2.2 source code; this is because it would delay release
by at least another month to certify 2.2 for all architectures and
packages.  Users may download the source package and install it
locally if they like; we have made every reasonable effort to ensure
that slink is Linux 2.2 compatable, but we simply have not officially
ratified that.

>   The package selection interface will be, for the moment, the same
> that in the previous release of Debian, but apt has been added, a
> program that handles dependencies resolution and package retrieval
> in an easy and fast way. Work is being done in a new user interface,
> both in text and graphic version, with apt, and will become, in the
> future, the substitute for dselect; it works now, but is not tested
> to assure it works 100%.

I don't think its really good to go on and on like this about things
*not* included.

Additionally, the points you make here are unclear.  Apt can be used
in conjunction with dselect; it also has a command line interface
which you can use standalone called 'apt-get'.

.....Adam Di Carlo....adam@onShore.com.....<URL:http://www.onShore.com/>

               Release_Notes for Debian Gnu/Linux v. 2.1

     If your system has not yet been upgraded to Debian 2.0 (hamm),
you should first read /upgrading_old_systems/README-upgrade on this

     Regardless of the method used for upgrading, it is recommended
that you check the status of all packages first.  This can be done by
dpkg -l|less or dpkg --get-selections> filename, or it can be done
in dselect.  It is desirable to remove any holds before upgrading.  If
any package that is essential for the upgrade is on hold, the upgrade
will fail.  Holds can be removed in dselect, or by editing the file
produced by dpkg --get-selections > filename to change "hold" to
"install".  Then, with root permissions, do: 
          dpkg --set-selections < filename.
     Any package installation operation, including the autoup script,
must be run with superuser privileges, so either login as root or use
su or sudo to gain these privileges.  

     It is strongly recommended that you use /usr/bin/script to record
a transcript of the upgrade session - in fact, it is a good idea to
use script to record any dselect session (and anything else you do
that it is desirable to record).  Then if any problems develop, you
can see what happened.  script will write this transcript to the file
Specified as an argument - `script -myfilename', or to the default
filename `typescript'.  

     There are two methods of upgrading to slink - using apt-get
directly, or using dselect.

                            Using apt-get

     If you have not already installed apt, do so by doing, as root:

dpkg -i <cd_mount_point>/debian/dists/slink/main/binary-i386/admin/apt*.deb

     It is recommended that you read the apt-get and the sources.list
man pages at this time.  Before beginning the upgrade you must set
up apt's configuration file, /etc/apt/sources.list.  Add as the first
line after the instructional comments:

             deb file:<cd_mount_point>/debian stable main

     If you do not yet have internet access (or do not want to
download any new security fixes) on the machine then comment out the
other two lines. Otherwise you may select a closer mirror.

     Then run: apt-get update
               apt-get -f dist-upgrade

     If new versions of packages currently installed are available,
apt-get upgrade retrieves and upgrades them; under no circumstances
are currently installed packages removed, or packages not already
installed retrieved and installed. New versions of currently installed
packages that cannot be upgraded without changing the install status
of another package will be left at their current version.  Therefore,
it may be necessary to use dpkg or dselect to remove and reinstall
some broken packages or dependencies.

     The -f (Fix) option causes apt to attempt to correct a system
with broken dependencies in place. APT does not allow broken package
dependencies to exist on a system. It is possible that a system's
dependency structure can be so corrupt as to require manual
intervention (which usually means using dselect or dpkg --remove to
eliminate some of the offending packages). 

     If apt reports some broken packages after these two commands, try
to repair the system (perhaps removing the broken packages or
installing missing dependencies).  If you can not repair the system to
apt's satisfaction, you must use the cd_autoup.sh method to upgrade.

                            Using dselect

     This section assumes that you have some knowledge of
dselect.  After all, you did install the system you are trying to
upgrade, didn't you?  There is a beginner's tutorial for dselect
in the directory debian/dists/stable/main/disks-i386/current/ in
case you need to refresh your memory.

     The first step in using dselect is to choose an [A]ccess method.      

     The apt access method for dselect is the fastest one presently
available.  It installs and configures the packages in the proper
sequence, so all dependencies are resolved when the packages are
unpacked, making a second pass unnecessary.  If any packages on your
system are so broken that 'apt-get upgrade' can not be used, the
apt access method will also fail.

     The "mounted" access method for dselect installs and configures
any "pre-Depends" first, which reduces the number of [I]nstall passes
necessary.  The "mountable" access method also attempts to install and
configure "pre-Depends" first, and is relatively fast.
   It is recommended that you first upgrade your existing
packages before adding any new ones.  Run the [A]ccess, [U]pdate,
[Select} modules of dselect initially.  As soon as you enter
[Select] you should press [ENT] immediately.  A conflict/depend
resolution screen will probably be presented.  After resolving
the conflicts (usually you can just press [ENT], run the
[I]nstall, and [C]onfigure to just upgrade all installed
packages.  After that you may use the [S]elect and [I]nstall
modules to install additional packages, if desired.

     When dpkg/dselect upgrades many packages, it is usually necessary
to repeat the install and configure steps several times before the
whole system is configured.  Depending on the access method chosen, it
may be desirable to repeat the [U]pdate step between install passes.
It may be helpful to exit dselect and restart it immediately before
the [U]pdate step.

                           General Cautions

     You should not run the upgrade from an X terminal or a remote X
server.  xdm and xfs are stopped on upgrade, so you would end up with
a half-upgraded machine when X suddenly shuts down.  If the machine is
configured to start X automatically on boot, it may be difficult to

     You should not do the upgrade over a remote telnet connection,
unless you install net/telnetd from slink first.  When the old netstd
package is removed. the telnet connection will be broken, and you
won't be able to reconnect until telnetd is installed.

                      The Great X Reorganization

The Great X Reorganization happened at version, which was a
Debian 2.1 ("slink") release.

xbase used to be a catch-all package, containing all kinds of miscellaneous
data, programs, and documentation.  That is no longer the case.  Its
contents have been redistributed among other packages, and in many cases,
completely new packages have been created.

New packages were created for a variety of reasons:
  1) In some cases, there were undeclared dependencies on other programs.
     For instance, the rstart and rstartd programs depend on rsh.
  2) There are several programs which are daemons and should be split out
     for easier management.  This includes xdm and xfs.  I believe the
     programs provided in xproxy (new package) would also work well this
     way, but they are not yet handled like other daemons in Debian.
  3) Some of the X clients provided in the former xbase package, like twm,
     xmh, and xterm, have very popular replacements, and may just be a
     waste of disk space for some people.  (It's worth keeping in mind that
     all of the X source code, even the libraries, was originally intended
     to be only a "sample implementation" of various standards.)
  4) It is desirable to have a common foundation for both systems designed
     to be X terminals (which run all their X clients from a remote
     machine) and for application servers which may not need to run X
     servers on their own display hardware.  That is the purpose of the new
     xfree86-common package.  It also simplifies the task of dealing with
     any large changes in the X directory namespace that may arise in the
     future (e.g., X11R7, or simply putting all of X in /usr).

The new packages in the Debian XFree86 distribution are rstart, rstartd, tw=
xbase-clients, xdm, xfree86-common, xfs, xmh, xproxy, xserver-common, xsm,
and xterm.  Some files from the old xbase package were also placed in
xlib6g (XKB and locale data) and xlib6g-dev (development tools).

xbase is now an effectively empty package that exists only to have the
package management system automatically "pull in" the new packages (and the
latest versions of the X libraries).  Once it has been upgraded, it may be
safely removed.

Furthermore, the X font and static library packages have been renamed.  The
following list summarizes these changes:

    xfntbase    ->    xfonts-base
    xfnt75      ->    xfonts-75dpi
    xfnt100     ->    xfonts-100dpi
    xfntscl     ->    xfonts-scalable
    xfntbig     ->    xfonts-cjk
    xfntcyr     ->    xfonts-cyrillic
    xfntpex     ->    xfonts-pex
    xslib       ->    xlib6-static
    xslibg      ->    xlib6g-static

I believe the new names are less cryptic.  Note, however, that the old
packages may not necessarily be automatically upgraded to the new versions.
This is because their names have changed, and as yet there is no easy way
to tell the packaging system that a package has changed its name.  However,
there are no serious consequences of leaving the old X fonts and static
libraries around.  The contents of these packages have not changed.  The X
font server, for instance, formerly in xbase but now in its own package,
works just as well with xfntbase as with xfonts-base.

Still, it is advisable to install the renamed versions of these packages as
soon as is convenient, in the event that their contents do change in the

                           Renamed Packages

     NOTE: There is some overlap between this section and "The Great X
Reorganisation" above.

     The following packages have been renamed as shown.  In most, if
not all, cases, Conflicts:, Depends:, and Provides: have been provided
so the new package will be installed automagically to replace the old one.
libc6-doc -> glibc-doc
xfntbase -> xfonts-base
xfnt75 -> xfonts-75dpi
xfnt100 -> xfonts-100dpi
xfntbig -> xfonts-cjk
xfntcyr -> xfonts-cyrllic
xfntpex -> xfonts-pex
xfntscl -> xfonts-scalable
xslib -> xlib6-static
xslibg -> xlib6g-static

                            Split Packages

     NOTE: There is some overlap between this section and "The Great X
Reorganisation" above.

     Between 2.0 (hamm) and 2.1 (slink) a number of packages have been
split into two or more packages.  The reason for these splits, in
general, is that the original package provided a diverse set of
functionalities, and that few, if any, users used all of these
components.  Some packages display a notice warning of the split during the
installation, some mention it in the package description, and some
ignore it.  

     At the time of writing, provisions are being studied to ensure
that the necessary packages are installed to prevent problems due to
these splits.  It is not known at this time if these measures will be
included in the CD.

     If you find that a familiar package is lacking some or all of its
functionality, check the list below to see if you need to install more
packages to restore the original functionality.

     Following is a list of packages that have been split (this list
may not be complete):

graphics/ivtools-bin_0.6.2-4.deb split into       2 packages:

mail/imap_4.2-1.deb split into       2 packages:

misc/plan_1.6.1-7.deb split into       2 packages:

net/netstd_3.07-2.deb split into      10 packages:

news/slrn_0.9.4.3-4.deb split into       2 packages:

text/a2ps_4.10.2-4.deb split into       2 packages:

utils/nosql_0.9-0.deb split into       2 packages:

web/apache_1.3.0-2.deb split into       2 packages:

web/php3_3.0-2.deb split into       2 packages:

x11/wmaker_0.14.1-7.deb split into       2 packages:

x11/xbase_3.3.2.2-4.deb split into      16 packages:

x11/xserver-vga16_3.3.2.2-4.deb split into       2 packages:

imap_4.4-4.deb deb split into       2 packages:

Bob Hilliard <hilliard@debian.org>
$Id: Release-Notes,v 0.5 1999/01/28 23:08:14 bob Exp bob $

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