Linux in the news
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See also: last week's Distributions page.
Please note that security updates from the various distributions are covered in the security section.
News and Editorials
Debian Project Leader Elections. Most readers of this column will already be aware that the Debian Project elects a new leader each year. Also that Debian Project Leader (DPL) elections are currently underway. The DPL guides Debian policy and Debian development, over the course of his term. Last week we announced the candidates and a panel was selected for the upcoming debate between the candidates. The debate will be held on IRC and has been tentatively scheduled for March 23rd 04:00 UTC. There is a call for questions out now.
Each of the three candidates has written a platform statement which can be found here. We will also provide a summary of the platforms here. It is not too surprising that all three candidates address the release schedule and have some ideas about how to accomplish more frequent releases. They are also all staunch believers in free software and the principles behind the open source movement. But they are also individuals with their own ideas of what it means to the DPL. So, here are the candidates, listed in alphabetical order.
Bdale Garbee joined the Debian community in early 1995, and has been contributing to the project in a variety of ways ever since. In May of 2001 he accepted employment with Hewlett-Packard, as an Engineer/Scientist in the Linux Systems Operation (LSO). Debian is the development platform within the LSO for the kernel and related work required to enable Linux support on HP's hardware, so he spends part of his time working on Debian, particularly the IA-64 port. The job also includes:
* helping make sure HP participates as a good citizen in the Debian and larger Open Source communities
He also gets to travel to and speak at a variety of Linux conferences.
Bdale is a strong believer in Free Software and the Community Development Model, and maintains a vision of Debian as a universal operating system. A universal operating system that runs on many platforms and contains quality code that "just works", with a more predictable release schedule. As DPL he would also work to improve Debian infrastructure, security and Linux Standards Base compliance.
RaphaŽl Hertzog is a student at "INSA de Lyon" (in France) where he is part of the computer science department. He plans on receiving an engineering degree this summer, after which he'll be looking for a job related to free software. (Hopefully one that will leave time for Debian work). His first contact with Linux was with Debian 1.3, in 1997. Since then he tried a few other distributions before coming back to Debian. He has been a Debian developer since 1998. RaphaŽl is very interested in Debian Quality Assurance and is the instigator behind new maintainer sponsorship policy, Perl policy, and the package tracking system. He has a lengthy list of projects he would like to manage during the next year to improve Debian organization, and its internal and external communications.
Branden Robinson has been a Debian Developer since early 1998. He is, perhaps, best known as the maintainer of the XFree86 packages. He is also the Treasurer of Software in the Public Interest, Inc. (SPI), Debian's legal parent organization and manager of the Debian Project's assets. He is also employed as a free software developer. Branden has some very specific ideas about the role of the DPL, and what he would do if elected. These include listening to the ideas of others before making decisions, delegating responsibility where feasible, and consensus building among active Debian developers. Another goal is to better track the active developers, and weed out those who are no longer active. In order to have better Debian representation at events, he would delegate regional Event Coordinators. These people would be responsible for keeping track of trade shows, major Linux User Group events, etc., at which Debian should have a presence and to ensure that someone is available to provide that presence. As DPL he would recruit volunteers on behalf of SPI and attempt to grow the organization. He plans to revitalize the Technical Committee and improve the release cycle as well. Other goals include the initiation of a Debian Legal Team, revision of the Debian Machine Usage Policy, providing a greater "Debian Voice" in the greater political machine, and steering development away from non-free software.
Arch Linux. Arch Linux is an i686-optimized Linux distribution. It is lightweight and contains the latest stable versions of software. Packages are in .tar.gz format and are tracked by a package manager that is designed to allow easy package upgrades. Arch is designed to be streamlined while allowing for a customized configuration, with newer features such as reiserfs/ext3 and devfs. The initial release 0.1 became available March 11, 2002.
More Debian News. Here's the Debian Weekly News for March 6. It looks at the second Debian Conference (Toronto, July 5-7), the Debian leader election, Woody's release status, and more.
Here, also, is the March 10 Woody Release Status Update.
Mandrake Linux Community Newsletter. The Mandrake Linux Community Newsletter for March 5 is available. It looks at the release of Mandrake Linux 8.2 beta 4, a new training offering, MandrakeSoft at CeBIT, and more.
The Mandrake Linux Community Newsletter for March 12 is also out. It looks at the availability of 8.2 RC1, a legislative alert, and more.
SuSE Linux 8.0 Available on April 22nd. SuSE has announced that SuSE Linux 8.0 will hit the shelves on April 22. New features include more security products (i.e.IPSec), a three-step installation procedure, and KDE 3. (Update: SuSE has since sent us a second release with more details on the new features in 8.0).
Minor Distribution updates
Linux Orbit Reviews Lycoris Desktop/LX distribution. Linux Orbit reviews the Lycoris Desktop/LX distribution. "Lycoris Desktop/LX has really raised the bar for simple Linux installations. What they've done for convenience however may not make an experienced Linux user happy. The number of choices you have for your configuration are limited to those needed to set up a Linux workstation. This is a distribution clearly focused at current Windows users or Linux newbies looking to get the Microsoft license monkey off their back, which is really original for Linux distributions when you think about it."
Section Editor: Rebecca Sobol
March 14, 2002