I am going to start my Ph.D. next month (well, in case I find a new flat in Munich until then), so I decided to do some Debian hacking while I still have some time. I finally managed to build and upload untampered hurd-i386 xfree86 packages for the first time in history, this should make it much easier to build other packages now. Jeff Bailey said he would restart the Hurd buildd in the near future, so the port should start rolling big time again soon. I also assembled and uploaded a new Hurd package, fixing the permissions problems invoked by the switch to cdbs and adding Marco Gerard's keyboard and mouse repeaters.
Besides that, I also announced a new Debian GNU/Hurd base tarball for xattr-hurd-enabled Linux kernels. Grab the kernel-image or use the kernel-patch, extract the tarball with star, adjust grub and boot into a functional GNU Hurd. It was never easier to get it than now!. The gory details are still here. Somewhat relatedly, Philip Charles has released the K7 series of the Debian GNU/Hurd ISOs.
On the OpenBabel front, I implemented Turbomol support some time ago. I would like to work more on OpenBabel, but Geoff apparently is going to merge the new conversion framework soon, which will result in some shaking. Otherwise, I also cannot get off my ass. I really think OpenBabel should extent to being a base for other chemical applications like ghemical or gchempaint. Those currently use OpenBabel only for import/export of files and then transfer the structure data to their own internal representation. Interaction between the different programs would be much easier if a common ground was used.