Second draft (was Re: we need a release announcement -- soon [source material])
Here's a second draft. Thanks to everyone who posted suggestions here
and in private mail: Joey Hess, Santiago Vila, Anne Bezemer, Randolph
Chung, and Tomasz Wegrzanowski. Of course, I'm still open to
revisions; I just wanted to make sure people critique the latest draft.
Debian 2.2 Released
The Debian Project is pleased to announce the latest release of the
Debian GNU/Linux Operating System, version 2.2 (codename "potato").
This release has been in development for approximately 18 months, and
has been extensively continuously tested by several thousand
developers and end-users; accordingly, we believe Debian 2.2 is an
extremely well-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 are
distributed by others.
Perhaps the most significant change in Debian 2.2 is our transition to
version 2.1.3 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
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.
+ 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
+ xplanet - Displays images of the Earth (or other planets) on
+ debbugs, jitterbug - Problem report tracking systems.
+ reportbug - A tool to report problems in Debian.
+ zope - A web application server 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
+ kaffe - A free, JIT-capable, virtual machine for Java
+ gnome-napster, gnapster, gnap - Three interfaces to the
popular MP3 sharing service.
+ 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 - An object-oriented, interpeted language known
for its relatively clean syntax.
+ 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 Debian 2.2
from 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
Debian 2.2 also includes support for two new architectures, PowerPC
and ARM; with this addition, Debian has now released a distribution on
six architectures, more than any other Linux distribution. Of course,
Debian continues to support the Alpha, Intel 80x86, Motorola 680x0,
and SPARC platforms. We expect even more architectures to be released
with "woody," our current development tree.
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
using our debconf configuration 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 Corporation, Libra Computer Systems, and Stormix
Technologies 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 Debian Social Contract, and its commitment to provide the best
operating system possible. We think Debian 2.2 is another important
step in that direction.