This weeks edition of Distrowatch Weekly covers the updates to Debian apt and Ubuntu's Shipit.
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The latest issue of the Debian Weekly News reports about a useful improvement to the distribution's APT utility that will considerably cut down the time it needs to update the local package database: “The new version 0.6.44 of 'apt' has been uploaded to the unstable distribution which supports incremental updates of the packages database. With this version of apt the amount of data that has to be downloaded has drastically decreased from four or five megabytes down to a few hundred kilobytes by every run of 'apt-get update'.” Also of interest to Debian users, the same newsletter discusses plans to migrate the unstable branch to GCC 4.1, a version of the popular GNU C compiler that is believed to be vastly superior to version 4.0. As a result, it is now likely that the upcoming Debian 'etch', scheduled for release in December 2006, will also be compiled with GCC 4.1.