Dear users and supporters of the backports service!
The Backports Team is pleased to announce the next important step on getting backports more integrated. People who are reading debian-infrastructure-announce will have seen that there was an archive maintenance last weekend: starting with wheezy-backports the packages will be accessible from the regular pool instead of a separate one, and all backports uploads will be processed through the regular upload queue (including those for squeeze-backports and squeeze-backports-sloppy).
What exactly does that mean for you? For users of wheezy, the sources.list entry will be different, a simple substitute of squeeze for wheezy won't work. The new format is:
deb http://ftp.debian.org/debian/ wheezy-backports main
So it is debian instead of debian-backports, and offered through the regular mirror network. Feel invited to check your regular mirror if it carries backports and pull from there.
What does it mean for contributing developers? Uploads for backports are no longer to be pushed to backports-master but to ftp.upload.debian.org, like any other regular package. Also, given that the packages are served from the same archive install there is no need to include the original tarball in the upload any longer because the archive knows it (Squeeze and beyond).
Also, given that the upload goes to the same upload queue, there is only one keyring used anymore, so no more pain with expired or replaced keys. We though still keep the rule of adding your UID to an ACL list (this also includes DM additions). This is mostly only to give us the chance to remind you that uploads to backports are directly available for installation onto stable systems and you thus should take special care there. We carefully tried to take over the old ACLs, in case you can't upload anymore, please tell us so we can look into the issue.
I've mentioned wheezy-backports (and squeeze-backports-sloppy) a few times here already, and you might wonder when it will be available. Technically, it is available from now on. Practically, while you could already upload to it, the set up of the buildd network is more painful than expected, so please allow the Buildd Team some days for setting them up.
The upload rules for wheezy-backports are the same: packages that are in the next suite are accepted. Given that Jessie isn't created yet, we want you to think about whether the package you want to upload will go into Jessie final, and that you are taking a closer look once Jessie is created and the package entered there about the upgradeability. For the time until the suite is available, you can see this as relaxed upload rule.
The same goes for squeeze-backports-sloppy: packages from two suites after Squeeze are acceptable, which turns it into the same relaxed rule as wheezy-backports above. Please also keep in mind that uploads to squeeze-backports-sloppy usually should be accompanied by uploads to wheezy-backports so people are able to upgrade from squeeze-backports-sloppy to wheezy with wheezy-backports.
Finally, we want to thank the FTP-Master Team for their fine work on making this happen.