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Re: Article (almost finished) introducing Debian 2.1 aka Slink

As someone else has already gone through and pointed out spelling
nits, I'll try to confine myself to things he missed.  In a few
spots it's apparent that a non-native speaker wrote this.

Javier Fdz-Sanguino Pen~a <jfs@ieeesb.etsit.upm.es> writes:

>   11..  IInnttrroodduuccttiioonn ttoo SSlliinnkk
>   Debian, the proyect whose beginning was sponsorized  by the GNU
>   Proyect <http://www.gnu.org> of 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 (read the proyect history
>   <http://www.debian.org/~elphick/manuals.html/project-
>   history/index.html> if you are interested).

It was just easier to rewrite this:

   Debian, a project whose beginning was sponsored by the GNU
   Project <http://www.gnu.org> of the Free Software Foundation
   <http://www.fsf.org> and which now is its own entity, is a
   distribution (which has already been introduced in [OpenResources]) that
   currently stands among the three most important GNU/Linux
   distributions (read the project history
   history/index.html> if you are interested).

Note that in this paragraph, "project" was consistently spelled
"proyect" - this misspelling is repeated at least twice more below;
you should probably just do a global search/replace.

>   Although the previous stable release of Debian saw the light in June
>   last year, the developers that maintain the distribution set

You probably mean "first saw light" not "saw the light".  "first saw
light" means "was first revealed to the world" (I think the idiom is a
reference to birth; it's short for "first saw the light of day").
"saw the light" means "realized that they had been wrong, and changed
their view to the correct one", often with religious overtones.  As it
stands now, you're saying that the previous stable release experienced
a religious conversion in June, which I find amusing, but it's
probably not what you want. :)

>   themselves as a goal the release of the next version of Debian by the
>   end of the year. However, this has not happened due to some problems

"has not happened" should be "did not happen" - the difference (which
I admit is rather subtle) is that "has not happened" carries the
slight sense of something which might still happen in the future,
whereas "did not happen" is merely a statement that something failed,
once and for all, to happen.  An example to show the difference:

We had hoped that project X would turn a profit; however, this has not 
We had hoped that project X would turn a profit in the last quarter;
however, this did not happen.

>   with bug fixes of packages that make up the distribution, the need to
>   change the installation to user more than one CD (since the
>   distribution does not longer fit in a single CD, more on this
>   ``later''), 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

"elect" should be "elected".  Also, I'm uncertain about the choice of
"voted" - "ratified" or "accepted" sounds better.

>   Leader <http://vote.debian.org>, that will continue forward after Ian

"that" should be "who"

>   Jackson (a person of great importance in the growth of Debian
>   GNU/Linux) leaves that position.
>   The _f_r_e_e_z_e stage the distribution goes thorugh, before releasing a new

I think Martin missed this typo - "thorugh" => "through"

>   stable version, has continued from November 11th 1998, up until
>   February 1999. In January 1999 there were still some problems with the
>   installation disks which were being worked upon, as well as some bugs

"upon" => "on".  Many native speakers might make this mistake too, in
an attempt to make their writing sound more erudite.

>   with some of the packages. A freeze period of two or three months is
>   common in Debian.
>   22..  TThhee ssiizzee ooff DDeebbiiaann
>   Debian is a _h_u_g_e proyect, few (amongst them the developing of the
>   Linux kernel) can say that they count with equal or more volunteer
>   developers (around 400), and, of course, the number of programs the
>   distribution offers is enourmous.

"count with equal or more" => "have as many or more".  Also,
"developing of the Linux kernel" should probably be "development of
the Linux kernel".

>   That is one of the fundamental advantages that Debian 2.1 will offer
>   with respect to its previous release, 2.0: more than 2200 precompiled
>   binary packages, and almost 1500 source packages.  Of course, the bugs
>   found in the packages that made part of the distribution have been
>   solved, also including changes in the upstreams sources of programs.

Um... Are you certain you want to say this about the bug this way?  It 
sounds as though you're claiming that all the bugs found in all the
packages have now been fixed.  Perhaps "Of course, there have been
many bugfixes, including..".  Also "upstreams" should be "upstream".

>   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 easier as possible to the Debian user.

"configuring" should be "configuration" (the grammatical explanation
is that it's in a parallel construction with "installation").  Also
"as easier as possible" should be "as easy as possible".

>   The programs that make up the Debian distribution are all _f_r_e_e in the
>   sense defined in Debian's Free Software Guidelines
>   <http://www.debian.org/social_contract.html#guidelines>.
>   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.

I would either put the "either ... himself" clause in parentheses or
  The work of a Debian maintainer is to make these packages and support
  them, fixing bugs that might be found either by notifying the upstream
  maintainer or by fixing them himself.

>   Thus slink includes a great number of programs in many areas: word
>   processing applications, graphic packages, system administration,
>   device handling, games...
>   Obiously, not all packages are of equal importance, nor they are used
>   by all users; there are some tools in Debian that will only be used by
>   a low number of users, but their availability is what matters. To
>   study the frequency of installation of Debian packages, a Debian

"installation" => "installation and use" (since the popularity contest 
measures use of a package as well).  Also, "Obiously" => "Obviously".

>   maintainer put together a popularity contest
>   <http://www.worldvisions.ca/~apenwarr/popcon/>, which users can
>   contribute to by installing a package that will send information on
>   their system installation forward to him.

"forward" should be deleted.

>   33..  AArrcchhiitteeccttuurreess ssuuppppoorrtteedd
>   Debian is not a distribution only oriented towards i386 PC's (Intel's
>   architecture), in _h_a_m_m the m68k (architecture of Ataris and Amigas)
>   saw  the light, and with _s_l_i_n_k the first version of the distribution
>   for the Sparc and Aplha architectures will be released. With them
>   Debian will fully support _f_o_u_r architectures.

Again about "saw the light".  Also, a typo on "Aplha"

>   There is also work in progress to the port to other architectures like
>   PowerPC, Sparc, UltraSparc and Netwinde, as well as to HURD, GNU's
>   kernel. More information on this effort can be read in the port pages
>   <http://www.debian.org/ports/> in the Debian's web server.
>   44..  TThhiinnggss ttoo ppooiinntt oouutt iinn DDeebbiiaann 22..11
>   Although there has not passed much time between Debian's latest
>   release, 2.0, and current 2.1 (barely seven months) there have been
>   important news in _s_l_i_n_k. And not only due to bug fixes or the new
>   packages added to the distribution.

"news" - do you mean "changes"?  In this context, saying "news"
implies that slink is some sort of magazine with much news in it.
(For example, you would say that there is important news in a
Changelog file, but important changes in a package).

>   44..11..  PPaacckkaaggee mmaannaaggeemmeenntt
>   Due to the fact that Debian 2.1 does not fit any longer in one CD, and
>   requies two (look at ``it's growth'') it has been necessary to modify

"requies" -> "requires".  "it's" should here be "its".  (native
speakers, myself included, are always getting that "its" vs. "it's"
thing wrong)

>   the package management system, adding a new methods to allow the user
"methods" => "method"

>   to change CDs through the installation process as required, this has

Split the sentence into two sentences after "required".  (I think that 
in general Spanish has a longer average sentence length than English)

>   been one of the most important problems that had to be fixed before
>   the distribution was released.
>   There is more information available
>   <http://www.chiark.greenend.org.uk/~stevem/DebianCD/> on the work made
"made" => "done"

>   by Steve McIntyre and other Debian developers to make this possible.
>   The new dpkg-multicd and dpkg-mountable methods are distributed within
>   the base disks of Debian installation (you can take a look at ``the
>   contents of the base system'' if you wish).
>   For the moment, _s_l_i_n_k provides the new apt-get program, that helps in
>   this tasks through the command line, and a new method for dselect.
"tasks" => "task"

>   Making use of its configuration (in /etc/apt/sources.list) the program
>   will retrieve packages (and packages lists) from different sources,
"packages lists" => "package lists"

>   allowing both the use of WWW servers through the HTTP protocol, FTP
>   servers o local hard drives . The sintax is the same as that defined
>   for URLs (Uniform Resource Locators) that is, the name of a server
>   preceed by http://, ftp:// depending on wether its a WWW server or a

If you're going to structure the paragraph this way, you need an or
between "http://"; and "ftp://";.  Also, "whether".

>   FTP server; or file: (in this case followed by a directory name) in
>   case of local hard disks. The dselect method of apt allows easy
>   configuration of this method through dselect's interface.
>   44..22..  WWiinnddooww mmaannaaggeerrss//ddeesskkttooppss
>   As window managers Debian 2.1 provides, amongs others, well-known
"amongs" => "among"

>   window managers like Afterstep, Window Maker, Enlightenment and GNOME
>   <http://www.gnome.org> with CORBA support, the last two are new in the
>   stable release of Debian.

Begin a new sentence after "support", or change the comma after
"support" to a semicolon.
>   44..33..  NNeeww aapppplliiccaattiioonnss
>   Debian 2.1 includes a big number of new graphic applications based
"big" => "large".  (I'm not sure why, but any native speaker would
tell you that this makes it better)

>   around the gtk library (the library used by GIMP), some are merely
>   front ends to common programs, but will be surely useful. Other

Again, start a new sentence after the "GIMP)", or change the comma to
a semicolon.

>   applications that can be pointed out in Debian 2.1 is the Mozilla
>   <http://www.mozilla.org> browser, the navigator component of Netscape
>   Communicator, that can be know part of Debian now that Netscape
"know" should be "now"

>   Corporation allows the free distribution of its source code; also the
>   free ofimatic suite Siag can be installed and used, which includes a
>   word processor, a spreadsheet and other ofimatic applications.

I would change "now that Netscape Corporation allows the free
distribution of its source code" to "now that Netscape Corporation has 
made it free software"  (with a link to the DFSG).  There's a lot more 
to something being free software than free distribution of the
original source.  (For example, PGP's authors allow free distribution
of PGP's sourcecode, and yet...)

>   Debian 2.1 also adds some new packages that facilitate the
>   installation of the Netscape Communicator suite (which includes
>   navigator, news reader, email interface and html editor), these
>   packages, however, are in the non-free section.
>   44..44..  TThhee CC aanndd CC++++ ccoommppiilleerrss
>   Developers that use both GNU's C compiler gcc, and C++ compiler, egcs,
>   might have had problems with conflicts in files placement between
>   them. For example, with RedHat 5.1 it is not possible to properly
>   compile if both are installed, making it necessary to unistall one or
>   another as needed and then install it once again.
>   Debian 2.1, however, does not give any problems if both are installed,
>   as conflicts between them have been resolved, and both can be used
>   together. However, it is necessary to use g++ to compile C++ code,
>   instead of gcc because the first one uses the egcs (egcc) machine and
>   the last one no longer knows how to treat C++ code.

You might want to mention that for compatibility with legacy C++ code
that cannot be compiled with the egcs compiler (usually a result of
code that used old g++-specific extensions), Debian also provides the
old g++ compiler in the package "g++272".  (Yes, I had to install that 
the other day to compile some code from a few years back).

>   44..55..  TThhee XX rreeoorrggaanniizzaattiioonn
>   There has been a lot of work made in reorganizing the packages that
>   make up the X interface, it began in version Previously
                           ^--change it a semicolon.

>   xbase was a package containing many other things, from programs to
>   data and documentation. Now this is no longer the case since many new
>   packages have been made and its contents has been redistributed
"has been" => "have been"

>   amongst others. The new packages created are: rstart, rstartd, twm,
>   xbase-clients, xdm, xfree86-common, xfs, xmh, xproxy, xserver-common,
>   xsm, and xterm.
>   This is not the only package reorganization that has been made,
>   although it is by far the biggest, to read more about it look at the
>   ``release notes for Debian 2.1'' which are included in all official
Is this sentence unfinished?

>   55..  WWhhaatt iiss nnoott iinncclluuddeedd iinn DDeebbiiaann 22..11
>   Some things can be pointed out for _n_o_t being 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
Also, you probably don't want "assure" at all, but want "ensure".

>   interoperate correctly, makes it impossible for the stable release to
>   include all the lastest programs in the GNU/Linux world.
>   In any way, even though Debian 2.1 does not make use of the kernel 2.2
>   for instalation and system bootup, this kernel is provided in source
>   code so interest users can compile and install it.

You mean "In any case", not "In any way".  ("In any way" is not an
English idiom.  "any way" is, but it means something a slight bit
different from "In any case", which is what you want).  Also,
"interest" should be "interested".

>   Robert Woodcock maintains a list of all that does not work with the
>   new kernel <http://www.debian.org/~rcw/2.2/>, it is not official
Either start a new sentence here or change to a semicolon.

>   information, but it might be useful to those interested in using it in
>   Debian 2.1.
>   55..22..  KKDDEE
>   Debian does not include KDE <http://www.kde.org> either will since
Delete this word.

>   during the development of Debian 2.1 it had not yet resolved the
>   problems encountered with the QT library's license, used by this
>   window manager.
I wouldn't call KDE a window manager but rather a "desktop environment".

>   The future package selection interface will be similar to gnome-apt,
>   an interface written by Havoc Penningtom using the libraries used by
>   Gnome. More information on gnome-apt can be read here
>   <http://www.debian.org/~hp/gnome-apt.html>, to obtain it visit the the
>   gnome-apt server <http://www.debian.org/~mblevin/gnome-apt/>, it
>   requieres the latest apt version in order to work, which can also be

>   retrieved there. It is a program under development, although it is of
>   interest in order to see the line of work that is carried on by some
>   Debian developers.
>   77..  IInnssttaallllaattiioonn
>   This article will not go into details of how to install Debian, if the
Start a new sentence or use a semicolon here ---------------------^

>   reader is interested he can find in OpenResources
>   <http://www.openreources.com/> an article on how to install Debian.
>   However, it can be pointed out that Debian 2.1 installation has
>   improved from the previous release by improving the profiles selection
>   system, which were new in _h_a_m_m, and that try to help a new user so
delete "and"

I didn't have any problems with the rest, though the whole (after
making these changes) should probably be gone over again by a native
English speaker with a few hours to spare and the right personality
traits for nitpicking.

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