I feel I must finally post something, since the 2nd half of the "Spirit..." essay is turning into the second 9/10ths and I've been very, very occupied with other problems, mostly work, but also trying to mediate between Debian and Creative Commons (I'm a fan of both) over the fate of the CCPLv3 (the CC-By and CC-By-SA licenses -- in this article whenever I'm not specific, I am referring to these two licenses, and none of the other modules such as NC and ND, which are obviously "non-free").
This article will show what changes (related to the debian kernel images) can Debian Sarge users expect to see when Etch will reach stable. Users of Debian testing/sid are already familiar with these changes as they are live in Etch for a while.
So what changes will you see in the next Debian stable release? There are many changes, and this article will show the ones related to the Debian kernel packages that are available in the stable release. The examples shown bellow are taken from i386/amd64 systems as they are the most common ones (though most of the changes will apply on all available architectures).
Two hot issues are making the rounds. First, Debian and Firefox are having a spat, and the end result may be that Debian will distribute Firefox under a different name. Second, the war betwen Linus Torvalds and other Kernel developers and the Free Software Foundation over GPLv3 is continuing, with Torvalds saying he's fed up with the FSF. Here is my take on both, and related issues.
A group of leading developers calling themselves Dunc-Tank is preparing to pay selected Debian developers to complete specific projects. But although Dunc-Tank's first goal is the practical one of ensuring that the next version of Debian is ready for its scheduled release, its announcement has also publicized a previously private debate about what happens when free software developers suddenly receive pay for what they are already doing for personal reasons.
"After almost two years of development and quality assurance, we finally did freeze version 1.0 of our custom debian-based distribution yesterday. The system will be internally deployed to the various departments via FAI and GOSa, hopefully everything will work as expected and it’ll be a walk through the park for all sysadmins involved. The distribution is completely oss-based (debian sarge) and consists of core components like kde 3.5, OpenOffice.org 2, kernel 2.6.17."
David Nusinov pondered about setting up a distribution steering committee. Ingo Jürgensmann considered this a good idea in general. David added that the bottom-up structure instead of top-down is a defining feature of Debian. Raphaël Hertzog suggested to replace the project leader with a steering board.
A group of senior developers from the Debian GNU/Linux project have decided to raise funds to pay volunteers who work on the project in order that releases can be made more frequently.
The initiative, which is being promoted by the Debian project leader Anthony Towns, is called Dunc, "an acronym for 'Development Under Numismatic Control' - which could equally be called 'coin-operated coding'."
A real brilliant feature of Debian is the alternatives system. Couple of days ago i was playing with java. and I wanted both the Sun java and the Kaffe version installed on my system. The problem here is, how to easily tell wich java compiler to use, the sun version or kaffe? I’m a big fan of the ruby language and i regularly switch between version of the ruby interpeter for testing. You could achieve this in a couple of ways, change the shebang to point to the correct version of the interpeter or don’t use the shebang but instead call the correct interpeter before executing each script or maybe you change the PATH and have the preferred interpeter somewhere in the beginning of your PATH. I don’t really like any of these solutions for various reasons, there is a solution and you might have guessed it “the alternatives system”.