Re: Third draft (was Re: we need a release announcement -- soon)
Jeremy C. Reed wrote:
> I believe press releases should be written for two reasons: 1) to sell the
> article idea to the editor; 2) can be used without change by under-staffed
Unfortunatly, the Debian press release serves a third purpose -- it's
a periodic way we talk to our users. These purposes are somewhat at odds.
Perhaps we need a press release for news services, and a separate
> My suggestions:
> Don't start with "pleased to announce" -- this is a press release cliche.
> Start with a sentence that attracts the editor (or the editors will think
> will attract their readers).
> Don't use "we believe", " ... our ...", "He will be missed", "We expect
> ..." etc. I believe it sounds like the news organization is saying these
> things. A news organization can not use this press release as is. To fix
> this, simply add attribution (for example: "The Debian developers expect
> ..." or "Debian has also moved closer ...").
I think I've addressed all of these pints except the "Pleased to
announce" in the version below. I hit a mental block on replacing that
part of it.
Announcing Debian GNU/Linux 2.2, the "Joel 'Espy' Klecker" release
August 15th, 2000
The Debian Project is pleased to announce the latest release of the
Debian GNU/Linux Operating System. This release has been in
development for approximately 18 months, and has been extensively
tested by several thousand developers and end-users.
Debian is a free Linux system. The developers are 500 unpaid
volunteers from all over the world who collaborate via the Internet.
Debian's dedication to free software, its non-profit nature, and its
open development model make it unique among Linux distributions.
With the addition of the PowerPC and ARM architectures, Debian now
supports a total of six architectures -- more than any other
distribution. Debian now runs on iMacs and Netwinders, and of course
Intel PC's, Sun SPARCs, Alphas, and older Macintosh and Amiga hardware
are still supported.
Debian 2.2 features a more streamlined and polished installation,
including automatic network setup via DHCP, a simplified software
selection process (just indicate the tasks your Debian system will
be used for), and a simplified configurator for the X Window System.
Debian can be installed via CD, or from the network and a few
CD Images: http://cdimage.debian.org/
Upgrades to Debian 2.2 from earlier releases are automatically
handled by the apt package management tool. As always, Debian
systems can be upgraded painlessly, in place, with no downtime.
For detailed documentation about installing and upgrading Debian,
please see <http://www.debian.org/releases/2.2/>.
Debian 2.2 is based on 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 PCMCIA subsystem. Some other highlights from the
nearly 800 updated packages include:
o C Library 2.1.3
o XFree86 3.3.6
o GCC 2.95.2
o GnuPG 1.0.1
o Perl 5.005.03
o Python 1.5.2
o PAM 0.72
o ncurses 5
o teTeX 1.0.6
o Emacs 20.7
o XEmacs 21.1.8
o GNOME 1.0.56 
1200 new software packages have been added to Debian 2.2. Some of the
newly available software includes:
o postfix A new secure mail transport agent
o openssh A free implementation of the secure shell
o openldap LDAP client and server packages
o w3m A new text-mode browser, with support for tables
o gdm The GNOME display manager
o cvsup An efficient mirroring system for CVS
o everybuddy An all-in-one messaging client
o reportbug A tool to report problems in Debian
o zope A web application server for dynamic web sites
o xmms The X Multimedia System; an audio player
o kaffe A free, JIT-capable, virtual machine for Java bytecode
o gnapster An interface to the popular MP3 sharing service
o And last, but not least, 56 new games.
Debian 2.2 incorporates not only a great deal of updated and new
software, but many enhancements, such as:
o Widespread use of the Pluggable Authentication Modules (PAM).
With PAM, Debian systems can be configured with standard Unix
passwords or more secure options such as shadow and MD5
passwords, "smart cards", and one-time-password
o A new network configuration system, configured through the
/etc/network directory, which improves support for multihomed
o Closer compliance to the Linux Filesystem Hierarchy Standard
(FHS), including a better separation between system-specific,
architecture-specific, and architecture-independent data for
use in heterogeneous environments.
o Better support for international users. Japanese support is
integrated into the core Debian archive, and other non-Latin
character encodings are also better supported through wider
internationalisation (I18N) support. European languages are
also better supported, with more and better translations to
The Debian project has always hoped to serve as a base for more
specialised distributions, and in the past year this goal has been
realized, with 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. In addition, Debian CDs have been bundled with several
Debian books. 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.
Debian 2.2 is another important step in that direction.
Debian 2.2 is dedicated to the memory of Joel "Espy" Klecker, a
Debian developer who unbeknownst to most of the Debian project,
was bedridden and fighting a disease known as Duchenne Muscular
Dystrophy during most of his involvement with Debian. Only now is
the Debian project realizing the extent of his dedication, and the
friendship he bestowed upon us. So as a show of appreciation, and in
memory of his inspirational life, this release of Debian is
dedicated to him.
1. GNOME 1.2 packages for Debian 2.2 are available from Helix Code
see shy jo