28 December 2008

Where is Lenny?

Additional development of SkinnyDebbie has been held up by two things. The first is an unbelievable workload this term. I am teaching almost double the standard load. And on top of that (not because I am an idiot, but because I had no choice) I am taking two classes for my PhD program--two classes that are turning out to be much more time demanding that I had anticipated. I am hoping next term won't be as insane as this one.

The second reason is the delay in Lenny's release. It was originally on track for a September/October 2008 release, but due to some release-critical bugs, the final release is now not expected until June of 2009. (See also this and this.)

I don't really want to develop/fix/improve anything with SkinnyDebbie until Lenny's final form sees daylight. Given that there are release-critical (i.e., significant) bugs and the projected timeline for resolution is so long, there is a good chance that important bits of anything I develop now may break by the time the release is finalized, possibly is subtle, hard to find ways. I'd rather have a go at it once the infrastructure is finalized.

In the meantime, what is a light-and-lean Linuxer to do? The big concern I have with Etch is that support for Firefox 2 will soon go away. I'm pretty sure that means no more security updates from Mozilla. Does that mean that Etch will upgrade Iceweasel to v3 in Etch? Will Iceweasel developers backport security updates to v2? I haven't heard anything about this yet.

Given the delay with Lenny and issues with Etch's age, I am considering converting the SkinnyDebbie project to an Ubuntu-based deal. But I need to let this term play out before I can make a good decision. In the meantime, if you are brave you can use SkinnyDebbie as-is with Lenny. Some things won't work--the widgets for setting display resolution for example--but in my testing the overall scheme holds up pretty well.