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Re: Second draft of Woody release notes

On Tue, Oct 30, 2001 at 07:15:46PM +0000, Rob Bradford wrote:
> A big thanks to everyone who replied to the last thread, hopefully i managed
> to integrate in your contributions. An especially big thanks to joeyh is
> in order!
> As before you can find this at:
> http://people.debian.org/~robster/i386.en.[sgml|html/]
IMO, the order of the Copyright notice and Contents sections should be reversed.

Also, it's ok if you add your name to the list of people holding the
copyright, but it does irk me a bit when I see only your name and it is
sitting a few lines below the abstract, most of which are my words. :)
Unless everything you write is your own, all past and current
contributors should be listed. If in your opinion this is a major
overhaul, and the bulk of the work is yours, it is appropriate to put
your name first.

The number of packages is too small:
bash$ grep ^Package: /var/lib/apt/lists/http.us.debian.org_debian_dists_unstable_main_binary-i386_Packages | wc
   7337   14674  149643
bash$ grep ^Package: /var/lib/apt/lists/http.us.debian.org_debian_dists_unstable_contrib_binary-i386_Packages | wc
    208     416    4141
bash$ grep ^Package: /var/lib/apt/lists/non-us.debian.org_debian-non-US_dists_unstable_non-US_main_binary-i386_Packages | wc
    370     740    8055
That is a total 7915. Given that not all the current packages will make
it into the new release, it is probably fair to say, 'over 7500
packages'.  That should be close enough, and if we remember, the number
can be updated again after the freeze.

10 architectures. Wow. That's impressive.

In the comments below, I have removed some material without comment.
The primary reason is the belief that information should be accurate,
but you don't always need to give all the bloody details. Also, I feel
a more professional approach is more appropriate. So, while I appreciate
inside jokes about apt having 'super cow powers', most people will think
we are a bunch of wackos.

We had a discussion of the use of 'Debian' a while ago, and pretty much
agreed (as much as there is ever consensus in Debian) to use Debian
GNU/Linux when being official, but to relax it to simply Debian
elsewhere. Using Debian GNU/Linux every time is just silly.

Note that these are only suggestions. Many on debian-www will attest to
my being opinionated about the use English, but will back down when
confronted by an angry mob. :)

Section 1.1: what is this saying?
  The new tool debootstrap downloads and install the base system from
  scratch, therefore most installations will not be required to use the
  base tarballs, or for the unlucky few, piles of disks.
If we are saying that debootstrap makes new installation easier, say so
and why. Which installs does this affect (new vs upgrade)? Most people
won't have a clue what we mean by base tarballs or why piles of disks
might be needed. Is this appropriate/correct/complete?
  A new tool, debootstrap, downloads and install the base system 
  greatly simplifying a network based installation. Only those without a
  CD-ROM (and CD install disk) or a network connection will need to use
  the base tarballs.

Run-on sentence:
  The task system has been revamped, tasks no longer consist of meta
  packages (ie packages whose sole task is to depend on other packages)
  which were introduced into the previous release of Debian GNU/Linux,
  special headers are now used. This allows greater selection of tasks and
  its is much easier to only install selected components of tasks, ie not
  the whole thing.
could be
  The task system has been revamped. Tasks no longer consist of a list of meta
  packages, ie packages whose sole task is to depend on other packages,
  but use special headers. This allows greater selection of tasks and
  makes it easier to only install subsets of tasks.

A prepositional phrase does not a sentence make:
  All configuration at install time and for later reconfiguration is done
  using Debconf, which comes in a variety of flavours. From a
  non-interactive method, to dialog to the new GNOME frontend. Debconf has
  also had its backend revamped and improved and it is now more flexible
  than ever. In short Debconf makes the world go around :)
could be
  All configuration of packages is done using Debconf. There is a choice
  of front-ends including: non-interactive, text based, and a new graphical
  interface using Gnome. The backend of Debconf has been improved,
  making it more flexible than ever.

Excess verbiage:
  Users who are installing Debian onto smaller systems and who only
  require the only a basic system will be pleasently suprised to find that
  the base system is now smaller than in the previous release of Debian
could be
  Users installing Debian on smaller systems or who only require a basic
  system will be happy to learn that the base system is actually smaller
  that the previous release of Debian GNU/Linux.

incomplete sentence:
  For full details of the Debian installation system users are advised to
  read the Debian installation guide. Included on the first CD or find it
  on the internet at http://www.debian.org/releases/3.0/i386/install
could be
  For full details of the Debian installation, system users are advised
  to read the Debian installation guide. It is included on the first CD
  of any Official Release of Debian and can be found on the internet at
  http://www.debian.org/releases/3.0/i386/install .

Section 1.2

I find the first paragraph awkward:
  At install time, on most platforms, the kernel used is 2.2.19, however a
  2.4 kernel, the latest stable branch is included for those who wish to
  benefit from it.
could be
  The default kernel during a new install, on most platforms, is 2.2.19.
  A 2.4 kernel, the most recent stable branch of kernel development,
  included for those who wish to benefit from it.

  The Debian package management tools apt (now with Super Cow Powers -
  HINT: Try apt-get moo) and dpkg have been improved considerably in this
  release. Now apt supports "pinning" in which the user can opt to
  download certain packages from different distributions, e.g. testing or
  unstable, whilst still tracking stable. Fortunately apt will
  automagically download and install apropriate dependencies if required
  from this distribution. An apt "pinning" howto is available here.
could be
  The Debian package management tools, apt and dpkg, have been improved
  considerably with this release. Apt, now supports "pinning", which
  allows users to download packages from different distributions. For
  example, tracking stable, with the exception of using the latest
  version of the windowing system. Further, it will automatically take
  care of satisfying all the dependencies of your request.

I didn't understand the point of this paragraph until the end.
  To aid in the compilation of source packages, often used by people
  wishing to track stable and use packages from other distributions (note
  "pinning" supercedes this use, source packages however still have many
  other uses), build dependencies have been added. Using the "build-dep"
  method of apt-get can be used to retrieve these dependencies before
  compilation is commenced.
could be
  While there a number of tools to help in building your own debian packages,
  satisfying build dependencies can be tricky. Apt-get includes a new
  method, called 'build-dep', which automatically installs any packages
  needed in order to build the requested package.

IMO, calling dselect popular is inaccurate.
  To replace the ageing, yet still popular dselect many apt frontends have
  been in development during the woody release cycle, many of these are
  reaching a usable stable state. Interested users should investigate
  deity and aptitude
could be
  While many users love the power of dselect, there has been strong
  demand for a more graphical oriented frontend to the package system.
  Since the release of Debian 2.2 two programs have undergone
  substantial improvement and are already quite usable. Interested users
  investigate deity and aptitude.

  This release of Debian contains the much improved XFree86 4
  release, this includes better support for a greater range of hardware,
  more autodetection support and also improved support for advanced
  technologies such as Xinerama and 3D acceleration.
Hard as it is to believe, my only suggested change is s/also //

  For the first time, Debian GNU/Linux includes several fully featured
  free graphical web browsers in the form of Mozilla, Galeon and
  Konqueror, this along with the inclusion of KDE 2.2 for the first time,
  along with GNOME 1.4 has increased Debian's desktop provision.
could be
  For the first time, Debian includes several full-featured
  free graphical web browsers: Mozilla, Galeon and Konqueror.
  Additionally, KDE (2.2) is now included in the distribution as well
  as the latest version of Gnome (1.4).
I'm not totally happy with my version either.

just some rewording:
  Debian GNU/Linux officially now ships on 6 binary CDs and a similar
  number of source CDs, a DVD version of the distribution is now also
could be
  The Official Release of Debian GNU/Linux ships on 6 binary CDs,
  plus a similar number of source CDs. A DVD version of the distribution
  is also available.

This is time consuming and I should be working. Hopefully, I'll be able
to look through other chapters later.

James (Jay) Treacy

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