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status of Progeny projects

Hi all,

(Please forward to other lists as appropriate.)

We at Progeny haven't been terribly good of late at keeping the
community in the loop on the status of our many Debian-related
projects (PGI and Discover in particular, which have gotten the
most community interest). This message aims to correct
the situation; please contact me with any comments or questions.

First or all, we are in the process of moving all of our projects from a
Progeny-internal CVS repository to a community-accessible Subversion
repository; the migration should be complete within the next couple of
weeks. This move will make it easier for the community to participate
directly in our projects, even when a particular project isn't
currently on the high priority list for us. These projects
include: discover and discover-data, the configlets and accompanying
modules (etherconf, aptconf, localeconf, timezoneconf,
etc.) and our package signing work (apt-checksigs and debsigs-verify).

Second, we have been working on several new projects over the last
several months that may be of interest to the Debian community.

We have ported Red Hat's Anaconda installer to Debian; essentially,
we replaced calls to RPM with calls to APT, and replaced
Red Hat-specific configuration hooks with calls into the configlets and
debconf. We have also written a tool called PickAx that
facilitates the creation of Anaconda-based Debian installation CD sets.

We are also working with various parties to add/merge RPM support
into the mainline APT, to allow Debian- and RPM-based
distributions to be managed using a single APT codebase, and
possibly even to allow Debian and RPM packages to coexist side by
side. This work also aims to merge our various APT extensions
(e.g., support for authenticated APT repos) into the mainline APT.

It is our hope that a distribution-independent Anaconda and
a distribution-independent APT (plus, eventually, a distribution-
independent configuration framework) will, along with a
stronger LSB, help unify further the various Linux distributions.

As a result of our Anaconda work, we have ceased work on four
projects: PGI, autoinstall, gnome-tasksel, and python-parted.
Anaconda+PickAx provides essentially the same functionality as
PGI, and the functionality of autoinstall, gnome-tasksel, and
python-parted are now provided directly by Anaconda. If anyone
in the Debian community is interested in taking on any of these
projects, please drop me a note. I know that one group is actively
moving to adopt PGI, and has already created an Alioth project.

Anyway, I hope this clarifies our current direction wrt to our
Debian-related projects as well as provides a "new beginning" for
Progeny's relationship with the Debian community. More details
will be forthcoming in the next few weeks. Please feel free to
contact me if there is anything more we can do.


Ian Murdock
317-578-8882 (office)

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