Debian Weekly News - 2004 Timeline
This special supplement to Debian Weekly News is a review of the most important happenings of 2004 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: More than 30 thousand package uploads have been done, more than 200 security advisories have been issued, about 50 thousand bug reports were filed this year, in total about 160 thousand messages were sent to the bug tracking system, 740 thousand messages were posted to the various Debian mailing lists, the English DWN source used about 610 kB and the Debian project attended more than 30 events.
Here are the most memorable events of 2004 in the Debian community:
- Richard Stallman wrote that he quit MIT 20 years ago to create a free operating system.
- Scott James Remnant announced Planet Debian.
- Joachim Breitner announced the official foundation of the Debian Perl Group.
- Tim Dijkstra explained how the Dutch and French translation teams coordinate translations through their mailing lists.
- Gürkan Sengün announced a public machine running Debian GNU/Hurd which he has made available.
- Bill Allombert announced popcon.debian.org that contains package usage statistics.
- Rene Mayrhofer announced a new version of mkinitrd-cd which supports booting from USB CD-ROM/DVD drives, USB sticks and USB harddisks.
- Debian has been the fastest growing GNU/Linux distribution.
- Joey Hess called for helping the development of the debian-installer.
- Lucas Nussbaum offered to help reorganise the Hurd end-user documentation.
- Branden Robinson concluded that the de facto impact of the change to the XFree86 Project, Inc.'s own license is to render the XFree86 source distribution GPL-incompatible in many aspects.
- Eric Dorland reported about trademark problems with including the official icon and name of Firefox.
- Manoj Srivastava called for votes on a General Resolution to decide on future handling of the non-free section.
- Andreas Barth was working on the LDAP gateway to the Debian bug tracking system and recreated it.
- Diego Biurrun posted an update on the work being done to resolve MPlayer's licensing difficulties.
- Adrian Bunk announced the availability of packages to run Linux kernel version 2.6 on Debian woody.
- The Debian project announced that Debian Security Advisories have been declared CVE-compatible.
- Martin Michlmayr was elected as new Debian Project Leader.
- Andrew Sweger was publishing daily descriptions to introduce people to cool packages in the Debian testing distribution.
- Manoj Srivastava announced that the general resolution covering editorial amendments to the social contract has passed.
- Nathanael Nerode was working hard on splitting binary firmware blobs out of the Linux kernel so they can compatible with the Linux license.
- Manoj Srivastava started a new discussion on a draft position statement on the GNU Free Documentation License.
- The EU Council of Ministers has planned to establish a reckless "patent everything" approach to software and business models.
- Andres Salomon suggested to form an Alioth kernel packaging project to facilitate kernel maintenance in Debian.
- Mattias Wadenstein announced that bittorrents of the current release are available.
- Luke Kenneth Casson Leighton announced new Debian kernel image packages for Linux 2.6.6 and SE Linux.
- Debian mourns the loss of two project members. Manuel Estrada Sainz (ranty) and Andrés García (ErConde) were killed in a tragic car accident while returning from the Free Software conference held in Valencia, Spain.
- Henning Makholm has been toying with the possibility of rewriting the Debian Free Software Guidelines (DFSG).
- Jörg Jaspert announced the sarge preview DVD Debian people are preparing for LinuxTag.
- Jérôme Marant is interested in managing his packages with GNU arch and how to maintain the package repository.
- Chris Cheney asserted that "the" AMD64 port of Debian is ready for inclusion in Debian unstable.
- After about three years of hard work, Skolelinux 1.0 is released to the public.
- Christian Perrier announced that, thanks to the hard work of Steve Langasek (and before him Shlomi Loubaton) support for bi-directional languages is now completely included in debian-installer.
- Robert Millan created a Debian GNU/kFreeBSD live CD.
- Pascal Hakim announced that the debian-women list has now been created.
- Martin F. Krafft noted that as APT 0.6 will check for package signatures.
- Marc Merlin of Google fame reported in an interview that Debian is the most comprehensive software library available for GNU/Linux.
- Netcraft is reporting that Debian shows market share gains among GNU/Linux distributions.
- Josselin Mouette proposed a general resolution to force the pure AMD64 port into the release of sarge and its immediate inclusion into the unstable distribution.
- Branden Robinson and Matthew Palmer developed the Dictator Test, which has the ability to determine if a license is not compliant with the DFSG.
- Igor Genibel announced an improved packages overview page.
- Erinn Clark reported that a bit of content is now on the Debian Women website.
- Joey Hess has summarised the events that have led to the current debian-installer.
- The Debian-Installer team announced the first release candidate of the Debian sarge installer.
- Software in the Public Interest, Inc. (SPI) has selected the officers during its annual meeting: President: John Goerzen, Vice President: Benjamin Mako Hill, Treasurer: Jimmy Kaplowitz, and Secretary: David Graham.
- A Debian translation party took place on September 11th, in a place close to Milan (Italy).
- The Debian project announced that it cannot implement or deploy Sender ID under the current license terms.
- In an interview (German only), Thomas Lange talked about the features of the newest release of the Fully Automatic Installation (FAI) for Debian.
- Benjamin Mako Hill announced the first beta release of Ubuntu Linux (codenamed "Warty Warthog").
- Rob Bradford announced that the release notes for sarge have finally been written.
- Robert Millan reported that GNOME basically works on kfreebsd-gnu.
- Christian Perrier reported the new debian-installer can be understood by two thirds of the world population since it is translated into 40 languages.
- Andreas Barth discussed the idea of maintaining an archive for volatile packages such as virus scanners and intrusion detection systems.
- Michael Banck observed that apparently Ubuntu managed to pull off with a tiny workforce what Debian was not able to do with a thousand volunteers and listed key development areas.
- Osamu Aoki reported about his successful effort to integrate multiple UTF-8 locales and input methods at the same time.
- Joey Schulze announced that the Debian project has finally updated its stable distribution.
- Steve McIntyre reported that he finally has a full set of woody (3.0) DVD jigdo files and wondered about the directory layout on the server.
- Bruce Perens has written an article on software patents in standards and explains how they hinder software development.
- Erinn Clark has invited interested people to participate in the first meeting of the Debian women sub-project.
- Joey Hess announced the second Debian-Installer release candidate which is also expected to be the final release of the installer for the upcoming Debian 3.1 (sarge).
- Greg Stark wondered if Debian Weekly News is available via RSS.
- Chris Halls announced very rough packages for OpenOffice.org 1.9.62 as a preview for the upcoming version 2.0.
- Don Marti wrote about fostering the conversations that make a group a team.
- After Thibaut Varène declared his intention to package hot babe, a discussion about which packages should be part of Debian started.
- Joe 'Zonker' Brockmeier wondered if it really matters whether or when Debian releases the sarge distribution as official release.
- Lex Hider started a discussion on alternatives to the current Debian release process.
- Bruce Perens explained that the GNU/Linux Core Consortium (LCC) is what he originally proposed to do as the LSB and would like to have Debian's involvement.
- Ladislav Bodnar reviewed the unofficial port of Debian to the AMD64 architecture.
- Osamu Aoki proposed to limit the number of mails per user per mailing-list in order to help reduce the noise in discussions.
- After Rob Bradford's call for translations, the release notes for sarge are available in 15 languages.
As Debian Weekly News enters its seventh 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.