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Debian Weekly News - November 30th, 1999

Debian Weekly News
Debian Weekly News - November 30th, 1999

Welcome to Debian Weekly News, a newsletter for the Debian developer

Has Corel goofed up again on licensing issues? Corel Linux's [8]EULA
prohibits minors -- including minors who are Debian developers and
contributors to free software -- from [9]downloading the Debian-based
distribution. (Bruce Perens, [10]frustrated at the third Corel
licencing issue in as many months, [11]briefly advocated a lawsuit
against Corel.) Corel has been [12]talking to Debian about the issue,
though people are still unsatisfied with the results and are getting a
bit fed up with these continuing problems.

The idea of an "Enhances" field that is like a reverse Suggests field
has been broached again on debian-policy. Dpkg will support this field
soon, and Wichert Akkerman [13]wants to use it to make packages in
main no longer suggest anything in non-free, thus satisfying some of
RMS's concerns. While most people agree the Enhances field is a useful
new addition, there is disagreement about using it in the way Wichert
is proposing. Some [14]feel that doing this would be putting
"political correctness and quick hacks" ahead of doing things right.

Should we get rid of the "base" section? It [15]turns out that
packages in the section aren't automatically put in the base system on
the boot floppies, nor does being in the section seem to affect things
any other way. People agree it would be a lot cleaner to get rid of
the section and put the packages in it in the sections they really
belong in. The discussion [16]moved on to a more general discussion of
getting rid of all sections and organizing packages in other ways.

New packages in Debian this week include the following and [17]18
  * [18]erlang: A real-time, concurrent and distributed functional
  * [19]flexml: Generate fast validating XML processors and
  * [20]gsl-bin: The GNU Scientific Library (GSL) -- binary package
    ([21]docs [22]lib, [23]dev)

Other things happening this week include:
  * "Ask the Debian Project Leader" is this week's interview [24]on
    Slashdot. Wichert will answer the questions on Friday.
  * Ben Collins [25]posted a PAM mini-policy. If you want to use PAM
    in your packages, this is a must-read.
  * Debian has gained several machines lately, including a new
    [26]netwinder, and a [27]loaded alpha. We have lots of machines of
    many architectures available for developers to use, all listed
  * It's hard to summarize [29]this thread about release critical bugs
    except to say that tons of people are working on fixing various
    release critical bugs and they all spoke up -- a good thing to

I'll conclude with an editorial message to Debian users: A common
theme this week, and indeed for the past several weeks has been
annoyance at overuse of bug severities higher than 'normal'. Messages
like [30]this one are common. The inflation in bug severities seems to
have arisen because bug reporting tools are now making it easy to set
higher severities, and because it is hard to think objectively about a
bug that is affecting you -- most bugs seem important to the person
who is tripping over them. Bear in mind that tagging a bug as 'grave',
'critical', or 'important' does not necessarily mean it will be fixed
sooner; it only means that if it is not fixed, the package it is in
will be removed from Debian. Unless your bug is of a magnitude to make
this necessary, it should be a 'normal' severity bug. If you are
unsure, it is better to file a 'normal' severity bug and let the
maintainer decide if a higher severity is necessary. Thanks.

Thanks to Randolph Chung for [31]contributing.

8. http://linux.corel.com/products/linux_os/eula.htm
9. http://www.userfriendly.org/cartoons/archives/99nov/19991128.html
10. http://www.debian.org/Lists-Archives/debian-legal-9911/msg00227.html
11. http://slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=99/11/28/1113233&mode=nested
12. http://www.debian.org/Lists-Archives/debian-legal-9911/msg00272.html
13. http://www.debian.org/Lists-Archives/debian-policy-9911/msg00184.html
14. http://www.debian.org/News/weekly/current/issue/mail#1
15. http://www.debian.org/Lists-Archives/debian-project-9911/msg00113.html
16. http://www.debian.org/Lists-Archives/debian-project-9911/msg00115.html
17. http://master.debian.org/~tausq/newpkgs-19991129.html
18. http://www.debian.org/Packages/unstable/interpreters/erlang.html
19. http://www.debian.org/Packages/unstable/devel/flexml.html
20. http://www.debian.org/Packages/unstable/math/gsl-bin.html
21. http://www.debian.org/Packages/unstable/math/gsl-ref-pdf.html
22. http://www.debian.org/Packages/unstable/math/libgsl0.html
23. http://www.debian.org/Packages/unstable/devel/libgsl0-dev.html
24. http://slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=99/11/29/1131218&mode=nested
25. http://www.debian.org/ists-Archives/debian-devel-9911/msg01833.html
26. http://db.debian.org/machines.cgi?host=rameau
27. http://db.debian.org/machines.cgi?host=lully
28. http://db.debian.org/machines.cgi
29. http://www.debian.org/Lists-Archives/debian-devel-9911/msg01847.html
30. http://www.debian.org/Lists-Archives/debian-devel-9911/msg01826.html
31. http://www.debian.org/News/weekly/contributing

see shy jo

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