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[Debian Installer] General release plan for RC1

=== D-I STRING FREEZE: Thu 12 Okt, 00:00 UTC - Sun 22 Okt, 00:00 UTC ===

Hi folks,

This mail really should have gone out at least two and probably three 
weeks earlier. Blame goes to the discussions on d-{private,vote,wherever} 
which resulted in a serious drop in my motivation in recent weeks and in 
me dragging my heels on preparing the release.
My apologies for letting you all down.

The most important work planned for RC1 has been done and the installer in 
general works well, although some finishing touches and testing are still 
planned in the run up to Release Candidate 1 of the installer.

I don't have a hard planned release date yet, but it will probably be 
first week of November. Detailed planning and updates will be sent to 
d-boot and d-release lists.
General status and preparations for Etch RC1 can be found on [1].

As it looks now RC1 will be released with kernel 2.6.17, unless 2.6.18 is 
ready to migrate to testing in time for us to make the switch before the 
release. If not, we plan to switch to 2.6.18 ASAP after RC1 and release 
RC2 ASAP after 2.6.18 does migrate to testing.

How can you help?
If you have some time, please help us by testing the installer. We need 
testing especially for the non-mainstream architectures and new features 
recently introduced in the installer (e.g. encrypted partitioning).

Especially welcome is also specific testing by e.g. maintainers of 
packages/functionality used in the installer: RAID/LVM support, PCMCIA, 
filesystems (JFS, XFS, ...), bootloaders, etc.
Please check if the bits *you* care about are supported well!

Watch out for calls for testing on d-d-a!

The graphical installer now, for the first time, uses udebs built from 
official GTK library packages (2.8.x), which means we will be able to 
drop the various unofficial packages we have been using up to Beta 3. 
Thanks to Dave Beckett, Loïc Minier and Josselin Mouette for helping us 
get this far!

The GNOME maintainers have decided to stay with 2.14 and GTK 2.8.x for 
Etch. This means that g-i will also stay with the current 2.8.x libs, so 
until the release we need to focus on that and leave work on 2.10.x for 
There is one RC issue that will need to be resolved before RC1: #390683.

As announced at the top of this mail there will be a string freeze from 
Okt 12 to 22, which means there will be no changes in English strings for 
level1, unless it is absolutely unavoidable.
Please try to update your translations (for level 1) in that period 
(preferably to 100%). There will be a full upload of all installer 
components with updated translations immediately after the freeze and 
these will be included in the release.

There have been a few important changes in strings this weekend and there 
may be a few more in the next few days.

Please also reserve time for testing the installer in you translation 
after the release. The RC2 release is very likely the last chance to fix 
any issues!

After discussion with Christian Perrier (the god of Debian/D-I i18n), we 
have, with regret, decided to drop support in the installer for a few 
translations that are very incomplete and have seen no activity from 
translators for a very long time. The affected languages are: Belarusian 
and Xhosa, and probably also Tamil and Georgian.
Besides the incompleteness of the translations, an important factor in 
this decision is that the installer requires a huge amount of memory 
currently and a large percentage of that goes to translations. Disabling 
some languages gives us some needed breathing space.

A few other languages are still in danger of being dropped before Etch. 
Christian and I will keep you updated on d-i18n.

On the positive side: we've gained support for Marathi.


The installation guide will need at least some important updates and 
hopefully there will be a little time and energy left over for some 
restructuring, though probably nothing really major.


[1] http://wiki.debian.org/DebianInstaller/EtchRC1Prep

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