Debian Weekly News - 2003 Timeline
This special supplement to Debian Weekly News is a review of the most important happenings of 2003 in the Debian community. This is certainly not a comprehensive list. The focus is on unusual and notable events, not the continual background development activity and discussions.
To give some idea of the sheer volume of what has gone on behind the scenes this year, a few numbers: Nearly 200 security advisories have been issued, about 50 thousand bug reports were filed this year, in total about 180 thousand messages were sent to the bug tracking system, 422 thousand messages were posted to the various Debian mailing lists, the English DWN source used about 750 kB and the Debian project attended about 40 events.
Here are the most memorable events of 2003 in the Debian community:
- Peter Karlsson implemented ICS files (Internet Calendar entries) for all future events.
- Andrew Cosgriff created an RSS feed of new Debian packages.
- Nils Lohner resigned as president of Software in the Public Interest (SPI) and Ean Schuessler was appointed as new vice president.
- The x86-64 Port of Debian was started.
- The Dreamix project brought Debian GNU/Linux to the X-box.
- Santiago García Mantinan announced weekly created network-installation CD images for sarge.
- Debian GNU/Linux received the award "best budget choice" of the Swedish computer magazine Mikrodatorn.
- Debian was represented at the World Social Forum in Brazil by Debian-RS, a local Debian users group.
- The Debian project announced that it is a founding member of the new Desktop Linux Consortium.
- Debian GNU/Linux powers the PRISMIQ MediaPlayer, a networked entertainment gateway.
- The Debian Multimedia sub-project was started after DeMuDi has reached release 0.9 in order to combine the efforts of A GNU/Linux Audio Distribution and Debian.
- Lars Wirzenius discovered that 769 keys of Debian developers are strongly connected.
- The results from the security survey last year were published.
- Software in the Public Interest, Inc. announced Bruce Perens, John Goerzen, and Benj. Mako Hill as new Board members after an election.
- Matthias Klose called for testing of the upcoming GNU Compiler Collection (GCC) 3.3 with real-world applications.
- Mario Lang started the debian-accessibility effort.
- Finally, all components of KDE 3.1.1 have been accepted into the unstable (sid) archive.
- Martin Michlmayr won the project leader election.
- Raphaël Hertzog, Wichert Akkerman, and Roland Mas announced Alioth, the Debian installation of GForge.
- Mario Lang managed to do a complete installation with the brltty enabled debian-installer disk.
- Enrico Zini announced the birth of the Debian Usability Research effort focused on identifying and addressing Debian-specific usability issues.
- The port of Debian to the AMD64 architecture was started.
- Anthony Towns proposed a statement on the GNU Free Documentation License.
- Support for the old 80386 on which Linux was started, is ceased, due to GCC 3.2 and the new libstdc++5 library requiring an 80486 processor or higher.
- The DDTP team and the Debian-BR project announced the first public release of APT with support for translated package descriptions.
- Enrico Zini announced Debian package tags (also known as keywords or categories) which are thought as the evolution of the package sections historically used in Debian systems.
- Robert Millan announced that his GNU/FreeBSD chroot jail is finally self-hosting and that he was able to build working packages of glibc 2.3, GCC 3.2.3 and binutils inside the jail.
- Daniel K. Gebhart announced the Debian Mentors Project which implements a package repository for not yet accepted developers.
- Dirk Eddelbüttel announced Quantian, a re-mastered version of Knoppix to support applied or theoretical workers in quantitative or data-driven fields.
- Slashdot reported about an effort by Wim Vandersmissen who created ClusterKnoppix which features the openMosix terminal server, openMosix autodiscovery, and cluster management tools such as openMosix userland.
- Colin Watson announced two new tags for the Bug Tracking System.
- Branden Robinson announced that Debian's XFree86 packages are becoming team-maintained.
- Robert Millan announced that he has managed to get GNU/FreeBSD installed self-hosting.
- Andrew Greenberg and Brian O'Neel from the Portland State Aerospace Society built a 12 pound suborbital rocket which uses Free Software, such as Debian.
- Mako Hill announced the Debian non-profit sub-project.
- The Debian project maintained a one day conference dedicated to Debian people at this years' LinuxTag in Karlsruhe, targeting advanced users and developers.
- Michel Grentzinger opened Bug #200000.
- Unexpectedly many Debian developers and users participated in this years' Debian conference and the first debcamp at the University of Oslo.
- Barak Pearlmutter composed a draft Debian Free Software Guidelines (DFSG) FAQ.
- James Patten and Ben Recht developed a composition and performance instrument based on Knoppix.
- Support for the PowerPC architecture was added to Knoppix during LinuxTag.
- The Debian project celebrated its 10th birthday at several locations worldwide.
- The Linux Professional Institute introduced new exams which allow candidates to be tested on RPM or Debian package management.
- Mepis Linux is a LiveCD derived from the Debian GNU/Linux code base.
- The Debian project has received full access to a Dual Opteron machine for porting efforts.
- Carlos Laviola announced that the Debian Conference #4 will be held in Porto Alegre, Brazil.
- Mattias Wadenstein announced the new cdimage.debian.org with iso images and an authoritative directory structure.
- Martin Michlmayr reported that Skolelinux has gained some funding in Norway.
- Andreas Schuldei announced that the Skolelinux project and the Debian-Edu sub-project will merge.
- The first debian-installer work camp took place in Oldenburg, Germany.
- Bruce Perens organised people from the Free Software Foundation and Debian to discuss issues revolving around the GNU Free Documentation License.
- Debian has won the Linux Journal 2003 Readers' Choice Award in the category of "Favourite Distribution".
- Martin Michlmayr reported about the formation of a trademark committee.
- Debian has won the Linux Enterprise Reader's Choice Award 2003 in the category "Best Enterprise Distribution".
- Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, contains a long entry about the Debian project and its distribution.
- Debian has won the Linux New Media Award 2003 in the category "Best Distribution".
- Branden Robinson proposed to amend the social contract.
- Manoj Srivastava proposed writing a document that attempts to address some concerns that members of the Debian project have about the GNU Free Documentation License.
- Ben Armstrong announced that Debian Jr. joined the Open Source Education Foundation.
- The second update to Debian 3.0 (r2) was released.
- The Debian project had to report that four servers were compromised by an unknown attacker.
- Wichert Akkerman announced the three winners of the Board election: David Graham, Ian Jackson and Martin 'Joey' Schulze.
- Ian Murdock reported that unofficial sarge-based iso images using the Anaconda installer are offered by Progeny.
- Anders Salomon started the Debian Enterprise sub-project.
- Bruce Perens announced the first pass of a UserLinux white paper.
- Javier Fernández-Sanguino Peña reported that a legal Spanish Debian organisation has been founded during DebConf-ES by more than 20 people.
As Debian Weekly News enters its sixth year, we would like to thank everybody who contributed to DWN in the past. Special thanks also go to the hoard of translators who make DWN available in a dozen languages. And finally, thanks to everyone in the Debian community for providing such a plethora of interesting discussions, events, and hard work for us to report on.
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Debian Weekly News is edited by Martin 'Joey' Schulze.