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Tomorrow I will deliver a talk on Debian "etch" at the University of Limerick Computer Society.

Staying true to my principles, I held back the preparation of slides until the last minute, but now I actually ended up having them done well in advance, with enough time to invite you to take a look [*]_ and provide feedback.

In this talk, I introduce Debian, give a status update on the "etch" release, talk a little bit about the future and how I see Debian's strategies evolving/developing/changing, and finally relate a bit to Ubuntu. That latter point was added on request, and I will remain objective and talk about the status quo, problems, and benefits (so it won't be a subjective take like this, although I certainly will address some of the issues).

Comments welcome!

.. [*] the slides were prepared for S5 and can be viewed directly in : modern browsers. The best experience is with a 1024x768 or higher resolution. Here are instructions on how to browse them (though you probably don't need them).

Update: the talk went well. I planned it to be 40 minutes (which is ambitious for 25 slides, but I can zip through them at high speed if I need to), and I learnt that the room was scheduled for two hours, so I added about 5 slides and went into it without a clock... and totally enjoyed delivering a talk with almost no time restrictions, which turned out to last just under 2 hours in the end. I talked a bit too much about what Debian is, then delivered the status report on the "etch" release, and in the end also had quite some time to spare on talking about our current and future challenges, as well as discussing some of the problems with the distribution and the project, as I see them.

I would like to thank the attendants for making their way to the campus on a Saturday, and for their attention throughout the two hours of presentation without a single one of them giving me the impression of disinterest!

We ended in a bar with beer in the afternoon, of which I probably had a little more than I should have had, given that I needed to be a little more productive that day. But even that worked out well. Laura, the society's president, offered me an honorary membership with skynet.ie, which I gladly accepted [*]_, and I enjoyed hearing some of their stories about the past and the present. Given that university computer societies may be somewhat in decline, I think they still have their rightful purpose, and they are definitely a great place to gain experience and have a lot of fun.

Thanks, skynet.ie for a good time! And now on to meet them at a pub...

.. [*] If nothing else, then an account on skynet.ie should allow me to : port-forward or even use VPN from Zurich, to access some of the electronic library resources available here, to which the University of Zurich has not subscribed.

Update: An audio recording of my talk is available from Gareth Eason's blog. Thanks, Gareth!