Project News for GNU-Darwin Distribution
GNU-Darwin: past, present and future
I'm going to break a few rule here and give you some secret numbers ;-}.
A couple of people have noticed that our SourceForge statistics appear
to be low. There are a number of factors that affect this. At the
center of our work is the package collection, which typically does
not show up on the SourceForge activity monitors at all. In another
example, I have been doing most of my CVS maintenance using imports instead
of commits, but only commits show up on the SourceForge tables. Our
package collection is currently frozen for stability, development, and
strategic purposes, and we are only doing maintenance updates, such as
security releases and fixes to key packages. Although the package
collection is frozen, we are focused elsewhere on publicity and
GNU-Darwin Internet Services development among other things. Moreover,
the ongoing 1.1 package revisions are not available from the SourceForge
servers yet. Thus, the SourceForge statistics are severely skewed,
and we are in reality one of the largest, most active, and
popular projects at the SourceForge.
I was pleasantly surprised to see that we continue to provide about 270
one_stop style installations per month from the gnu-darwin.org mirror
alone (ppc:200,x86:70). This number has been fairly stable (on average)
for almost a year. Thus, we are providing many thousands of
packages to one_stop users each month and probably around 60,000
(+/-15k) overall per month, as estimated from changes in package
deployments since October 2001. Our cd images have regularly appeared
in the top 100 files for the whole internet, and our website was also in
the top 100 at the commencement of the Free Darwin action last December.
(pause for effect ;-)
Given these numbers, our support load is incredibly low and manageable,
probably due to growing expertise among our users and also the excellent
FreeBSD and SourceForge based infrastructure. It is difficult to relate
these numbers to our total usership, but it appears to be well into the
thousands at least, which is verifiable with several independent
metrics. Moreover, we are able to scale our numbers to the total
OS X usership and whole internet, and everything cross-validates very
neatly. I think it is also safe to assume from all of this that our
usership has been growing at a slow steady rate for a long time. This
growth was assisted by the Free Darwin and anti-war actions and
unhindered by the rudeness of some of our critics.
Despite these remarkable facts and numbers, GNU-Darwin is not yet a
self-sustaining project. Although proceeds have provided for various
modest hardware updates, they do not yet pay for the gnu-darwin.org
network connection. We are not funded, and there is no endowment, so I
pay for the network and other miscellaneous items out of pocket, which
is a little burdensome for a lowly post-doc. Given the current
situation, a modest endowment of 10-20 thousand dollars would be enough
to sustain the project into the foreseeable future.
Despite the financial challenge, GNU-Darwin is not going away, and we
are on track for the 1.1 revision. Clearly the one_stop files should be
updated for the next revision. We will be moving "Yves' Two Step
Installer" to the front for ppc users, and the Office-x86 installer
(plus cksums) for x86. We will continue to accept donations, sell discs,
and deliver internet services. Now that Darwin is soon to be free, we
are very well situated to take our place as a major free software
2003-08-04 23:07:57 GMT by proclus
GNU-Darwin: Scientific computing
GNU-Darwin was founded to leverage the open source development dynamic and build the infrastructure for scientific computing. Now that infrastructure is available to everyone on our digital media discs. Read about it.
2003-07-31 01:07:22 GMT by proclus
We are announcing the immediate availability of OpenDarwin-6.6.1 on
CD-R disc ($15 plus shipping). Initial testing results with x86 have
demonstrated good compatibility with the GNU-Darwin-1.0 Office and
Packages offerings; just back up your /usr/X11R6/bin/XDarwin file
before running the GNU-Darwin installers.
2003-05-28 15:45:44 GMT by proclus
We've started the push to 1.1. If you would like to try the current
revision for yourself, here are the steps.
1. Get the latest post-6.0.2 Darwin update from Apple or OpenDarwin.
2. Install the GNU-Darwin basefiles from the web or from Office discs,
but do not install the XDarwin, CoreFoundation, or gcc-3 updates.
3. Proceed to the latest package utilities revision, which provides
up-to-date FreeBSD-style functionality.
4. If you would like to use the ports system, then use the latest ports/Mk files
5. Stay tuned for further revisions, which will be appearing in the
packages tree eventually, such as GNOME and KDE updates.
2003-05-23 20:47:53 GMT by proclus
GNU-Darwin on DVD-R
Access the full power of GNU-Darwin. Our entire package collection is now available on DVD-R media. This revolutionary collection peaked at over 15,000 titles last summer, and the complete package set is now available DVD-R disc, which should be especially helpful to those without high speed internet access. The x86 packages disc includes nearly 8000 packages, plus GNU-Darwin Office and essential files, all of the packages that are available for Darwin-6.0.2 for Intel- and AMD-based computers. It was created with Darwin-x86 and free software, 100%.
GNU-Darwin-ppc packages set is distributed on 2 discs; 10,000 packages strong on DVD-R, plus GNU-Darwin Office and essential files on CD-R. Note to Apple users! Some early combo drives are not compatible with the DVD-R format, Superdrive recommended. All of our ppc packages are compatible with Mac OS X.
For those who prefer non-proprietary DVD writing software, we are making ours available to everyone. Check it out.
2003-05-17 01:13:37 GMT by proclus
Here are some GNU-Darwin News releases going back to the very beginning. More to come.