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First draft (was Re: we need a release announcement -- soon [source material])



Feel free to comment/revise.  (The "18 months" is a guesstimate based
on the slink freeze date; I'm probably off.)

                              Debian 2.2 Released
                                       
   The Debian Project is pleased to announce the latest release of the
   Debian GNU/Linux Operating System, version 2.2. This release has been
   in production for approximately 18 months, and has been extensively
   continuously tested by several thousand developers and end-users;
   accordingly, we believe Debian 2.2 is the best-tested Linux
   distribution ever.
   
   As in previous releases, Debian 2.2 uses our proven dpkg package
   manager to provide the most thorough dependency protection available
   in Linux distributions. We continue to provide the alien package for
   installation of packages in other formats, but you'll rarely need it;
   we have installers available for many third-party packages that we
   don't distribute.
   
   Perhaps the most significant change in Debian 2.2 is our transition to
   version 2.1.2 of the GNU C Library (also known as libc 6.1). Debian
   2.2 also includes the latest stable Linux kernel (2.2.16), updated
   with Alan Cox's patches expected to go into 2.2.17. The 2.2 kernel
   series includes significant improvements in usability and stability;
   it also includes more hardware support, for both older and newer
   products; laptop users will particularly notice improvements in the
   PCMCIA subsystem.
   
   Debian 2.2 includes over 1200 new packages of software; in addition,
   nearly 800 existing packages have been updated since Debian 2.1. Some
   of the most significant changes are:
     * New packages:
          + postfix - A new secure mail transport agent developed at IBM.
          + openssh - A free implementation of the secure shell, enhanced
            by the OpenBSD project.
          + openldap - LDAP client and server packages, including
            bindings to C, Perl, and Python.
          + debbugs, jitterbug - Problem report tracking systems.
          + reportbug - A tool to report problems in the first place.
          + w3m - New text-mode browser, with support for tables. (An
            SSL-enabled version is also available.)
          + ruby - An interpreted, object-oriented scripting language;
            syntactically similar to Perl.
          + lm-sensors - Kernel modules for monitoring hardware sensors,
            like the temperature sensors included in modern PCs.
          + gdm - The GNOME display manager.
          + cvsup - An efficient mirroring system designed to work well
            with the Concurrent Versioning System (CVS)
          + everybuddy - An all-in-one messaging client, compatible with
            AOL's Instant Messanger, ICQ, and Yahoo! Chat.
          + tidy - An HTML sanitizer, developed by the World Wide Web
            Consortium.
          + xplanet - Displays images of the Earth (or other planets) on
            your desktop.
          + zope - A web application platform suited to developing
            dynamic web sites, such as portals and weblogs.
          + xmms - The X Multimedia System; an audio player, similar to
            the popular WinAmp program available for another platform.
          + logrotate - A log rotation tool, developed by Red Hat
            Software.
          + kaffe - A free, JIT-capable, virtual machine for Java
            bytecode.
          + gnome-napster, gnapster, gnap - Three Napster implementations
            for all your RIAA-defying needs.
          + Last, but not least: 56 new games!
     * Major updated packages:
          + XFree86 3.3.6 - The X Window System, X11R6.3
          + GCC 2.95.2 (formerly EGCS) - The GNU C/C++ compiler
          + Perl 5.005.03 - The ubiquitous scripting language
          + Python 1.5.2 - Another popular scripting language
          + PAM 0.72 - Pluggable Authentication Modules
          + GTK+/GLib 1.2.7 - The free widget set
          + GNOME 1.0.56 (You can get GNOME 1.2 packages for 2.2 from
            [1]Helix Code) - A free desktop environment
          + ncurses 5, S-Lang 1.3.9 - Terminal drawing libraries
          + teTeX 1.0.6 - Complete TeX/LaTeX implementation.
          + Emacs 20.7, XEmacs 21.1.8 - The world's largest text editor.
          + GGI 1.99.2 - The Generalized Graphics Interface
          + GnuPG 1.0.1 - The GNU Privacy Guard, a free public key
            encryption system that is compatible with the OpenPGP
            standard.
       
   Debian 2.2 also includes support for two new architectures, PowerPC
   and ARM; with this addition, Debian now runs on six architectures,
   more than any other Linux distribution. Of course, Debian continues to
   support the Alpha, Intel 80x86, Motorola 680x0, and SPARC platforms.
   
   Our installation system has been improved since Debian 2.1: we now
   have better network installation capabilities (including BOOTP/DHCP
   configuration), a simplified configurator for the X Window System, an
   improved "task" selector, and serial console support on more
   architectures. Our "first reboot" configuration is now handled by a
   new package, called base-config, and has a more appealing interface
   based around our debconf system.
   
   Upgraders from Debian 2.1 and earlier releases will find our upgrade
   process fairly painless; as with Debian 2.1, the best upgrade method
   is to use the "apt-get" tool. As with previous releases, we expect
   upgrades from any Debian release to work without problems.
   
   Administrators will appreciate the widespread of the Pluggable
   Authentication Modules (PAM) system in Debian; with PAM, Debian
   systems can be configured with standard Unix crypt(3) passwords, or
   more secure options such as shadow and MD5 passwords, "smart cards",
   and one-time-password implementations. They will also appreciate our
   new networking configuration system, configured through the
   /etc/network directory, which improves support for multihomed hosts.
   We have also moved closer to compliance with the Linux Filesystem
   Hierarchy Standard (FHS), including a better separation between
   system-specific, architecture-specific, and architecture-independent
   data for use in heterogeneous environments.
   
   International users are also better served by Debian 2.2. Japanese
   support has been integrated into the core Debian archive, and other
   non-Latin character encodings are also better supported through wider
   internationalization (I18N) support. European languages are also
   better supported, with more and better translations to more languages.
   
   Perhaps the most interesting social change since Debian 2.1 has been
   the adoption of the Debian system as a basis for commercial Linux
   distributions. Corel, Stormix Technologies, and VA Linux Systems are
   among the companies that currently distribute distributions based on
   Debian; others are on the horizon. What remains the same, however, is
   the project's volunteer base, its dedication to the [2]Debian Social
   Contract, and its commitment to provide the best operating system
   possible. We think Debian 2.2 is an important step in that direction.

References

   1. http://www.helixcode.com/
   2. http://www.debian.org/social_contract


Chris
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|        Chris Lawrence        |     Get rid of Roger Wicker this year!     |
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|     Open Directory Editor    |   Visit the Lurker's Guide to Babylon 5:   |
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