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Re: A bit of history

On Tue, Jun 12, 2007 at 04:11:37PM +0100, MJ Ray wrote:
> But 2 Jan 1996 was a Tuesday and
> http://archive.debian.org/dists/Debian-1.3.1/main/source/net/modemu_0.0.1-1.dsc
> seems to be signed with 2048 bit RSA key E9B2C0BD, created: 1997-01-01.
> That would explain why modemu at sunsite (now ibiblio) says 13JAN96
> http://www.ibiblio.org/pub/Linux/apps/serialcomm/dialout/modemu-0.0.1.lsm
> Was that date fluffed?  Too much New Year Cheer?

Interesting question.  I did some grepping about and found this message
on December 31, 1996:


where I said I'd like to "turn into packages", and modemu is on the

Though, confusingly, there is a message from Jan 5, 1997, saying I had
sent a request to new-maintainer "some time back" and another ping
"about a week ago".  So I wonder if I created some packages in Dec 1996
before posting about them.


There is also this message to debian-changes:


I appear to have uploaded a number of packages to chiark on Jan 6, 1997,
because my account on master wasn't ready yet.

These were installed on Jan 13, 1997:


So, I suspsect that I crafted the modemu changelog manually and had either a
braino or a typo.  My first version of netmaze was dated Jan 2, 1997.  I
do sometimes get the previous year when writing dates in January.  The
other possibility is that I had made up the package a year before
uploading it, but that seems unlikely.

I may have had packages ready prior to actually being able to upload
them, and didn't update the changelog dates when I actually did upload

It seems likely, then, that I sent my NM request in late 1996, started
working on Debian packages in late 1996 or early 1997 (a margin of 2 or
3 days), had my first upload Jan 6 1997, and account created sometime
later in early 1997.

I guess what this means is that it's fuzzy.  I don't know what the
requirements on chiark were -- probably I had to be in the keyring but
didn't need an account on master.  I don't know who would have put me
into the keyring earlier than the account on master, but it could be
that someone other than Bruce maintained the keyring and saw the
new-maint mail.  So I guess the precise date at which I started to be
able to upload packages, via chiark, is unknown but was likely in Dec
1996 or Jan 1997.

This has been interesting.

-- John

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