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Weekly news, issue 20

Allego l'issue n° 20 di Weekly news, qualcuno è disposto a tradurla ed
inviarla via mail al sottoscritto affinchè possa committarla?

Davide Puricelli, apurice@tin.it
Debian Developer: evo@debian.org | http://www.debian.org
PGP key:  finger evo@debian.org
#use wml::debian::weeklynews::header PUBDATE="2001-09-03" SUMMARY="Lintian, Archives"

<p><strong>Debian for professionals.</strong> The German computer magazine c't
has published a <a href="http://www.heise.de/ct/01/17/186/";>survey</a> in their
17th issue which compares the use of various Linux distributions by different
types of users in Germany.  One result of the study was the fact that the more
people know about Linux the more they use Debian in favour of other
distributions like Mandrake, SuSE or RedHat.  28 percent of people with more
than five years Linux experience prefer Debian, though only 3 percent of all
newbies use it.</p>

<p><strong>Lack of Localisation.</strong> The same article criticizes the lack of
German localisation in all distributions.  This shows that our projects of <a
href="http://auric.debian.org/~grisu/debian_translation/";>translating packages
files</a>, localized boot-floppies and international message catalogs for many
packages are the right way to improve the acceptance of Linux and Debian among
people who are not native English speakers.</p>

<p><strong>Lintian reports are back.</strong> Josip Rodin has <a
the return of public lintian reports for all packages.  You can now check the
reports sorted by <a
href="http://lintian.debian.org/reports/packages_1.html";>package names</a>, <a
href="http://lintian.debian.org/reports/maintainers.html";>maintainer</a> or by
<a href="http://lintian.debian.org/reports/tags.html";>lintian tags</a>.  The
main page at <a href="http://lintian.debian.org/";>http://lintian.debian.org/</a>
also shows some interesting statistics. If you're wondering, "what the heck
<i>is</i> Lintian?" its a Debian package checker that can check binary and
source packages to make sure the package is in compliance with Debian policy
for packages. It's a Good Thing.</p>

<p><strong>New layout for lists.debian.org.</strong> Joy has had a busy week, he
also <a
href="http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel-0108/msg01042.html";>announced</a> a
new layout for the public web-archive of our mailing lists at <a
href="http://lists.debian.org/";>http://lists.debian.org/</a>.  The main page
will only refer to index pages for <a
href="http://lists.debian.org/devel.html";>Development</a>, <a
href="http://lists.debian.org/users.html";>User</a>, <a
href="http://lists.debian.org/i18n.html";>Internationalisation</a>, <a
href="http://lists.debian.org/misc.html";>Miscellaneous</a> etc.  This should
improve load time for the index pages drastically since they don't contain links
to all lists anymore, a lot of people have requested this change.</p>

<p><strong>GPG Key Signing Coordination page.</strong> In order to enter
Debian's web of trust, prospective Debian developers have to meet an existing
developer in person for a <a href="http://www.gnupg.org/";>GnuPG</a> (GPG) <a
href="$(HOME)/events/keysigning">key signing</a>.  Although the almost 900
Debian developers are distributed all around the world, it is often hard to find
one nearby.  In order to facilitate the coordination of GPG key signing
meetings, Martin Michlmayr has created a <a
href="http://nm.debian.org/gpg.php";>web page</a> where prospective and existing
developers can sign up and enter their location.  Prospective developers can now
see at a glance whether someone nearby is willing to meet for a key signing or
sign up so existing developers can contact them.</p>

<p><strong>Linking non-PIC code with PIC code for libraries.</strong> A <a
came up on debian-devel that covers a problem with linking PIC (position
independent code) with non-PIC code in the same shared library.  PIC-code is
used in shared libraries (suffix <code>.so</code>) while non-PIC code is used in
static libraries (suffix <code>.a</code>).  The thread covers some <a
href="http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel-0108/msg01105.html";>details</a> about
how dynamic linking is done with Linux for those who didn't know already.</p>

<p><strong>Missing RedHat Compatibility.</strong> A problem has been <a
with programs compiled under a current RedHat system that does not run on a Debian
system.  RedHat's choice of C++ compiler (2.96) for their release is the <a
href="http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel-0108/msg00996.html";>reason</a> for
this breakage.  Unfortunately they have used a compiler which was <a
href="http://gcc.gnu.org/ml/gcc-announce/2000/msg00003.html";>never released</a>
and which generates binaries that are incompatible with both earlier and later
releases.  The precarious issue with this is that many commercial vendors are
supporting RedHat systems and compile their software on such a box.  These
software simply won't run on other systems, which could keep companies from
using Debian or other distributions on their production boxes.  A similar
problem arose with SuSE using an unreleased version of egcs in may 1999 which
lead to this <a
(only German, sorry).</p>

<p><strong>ReiserFS with Debian?</strong> A couple of people wanted to run
Debian on top of a Reiser filesystem to benefit from its journaling and
dramatically reduced fsck-time.  Debian does not yet officially support a
ReiserFS on its boot-floppies.  However, there are <a
projects</a> listed on Freshmeat which cover Debian boot-floppies with support
for ReiserFS.</p>

<p><strong>Sections for doc-base.</strong> Yoshito Komatsu <a
href="http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel-0108/msg00869.html";>found out</a>
that there is no policy, howto or anything that tells us which section to use
for which kind of documentation that is registered with doc-base.  One way to
get around this was to use the menu sections as a guideline.  Yoshito finally
came up with a <a
href="http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel-0108/msg00975.html";>draft</a> of a
doc-base section HOWTO.</p>

<p><strong>Boxed Penguin contains Debian GNU/Linux.</strong> <a
href="http://www.mekinok.com/";>Mekinok Systems Engineering</a> has introduced <a
href="http://www.mekinok.com/intranet/products/bp.html";>Boxed Penguin: Instant
Infrastructure</a>.  This product uses Debian GNU/Linux and adds additional
packages that integrate all of the most common parts of a company's software
infrastructure into a single system.  The system consists of Free Software so
the product itself is free.  Mekinok hopes to make money on support.</p>

<p><strong>A hard time for security.</strong> Wichert Akkerman, member of the
Debian Security Team, has posted a <a
href="http://lists.debian.org/debian-68k-0108/msg00016.html";>mail</a> outlining
problems with doing security uploads and architectures that will be released
with woody.  Currently the security team has to support six architectures
(alpha, arm, i386, m68k, powerpc, sparc).  With the release of woody there may
be five more architectures to support (ia64, hppa, mips, mipsel, s390).  Doing
recompiles on six architectures is a hassle already, but doing it on eleven
machines is even more time consuming.  One possible solution would be to use an
<code>rbuilder</code> for all architectures, so recompiles could be triggered
via mail.</p>

<p><strong>Freeze Upload Policy.</strong> The release manager, Anthony Towns,
has posted a <a
not to make any major changes to the base system as part of the ongoing freeze.
Changes should be limited to the absolute minimum required to make the package
suitable for release.  The focus for base packages is fixing release-critical
bugs, but other bugs and wishlists can be done as well, as long as the fix makes
minimal changes in order to not introduce new bugs.  His request also includes a
list of base packages.</p>

<p><strong>Experimental Berlin packages.</strong> Bastian Blank has <a
href="http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel-0108/msg01342.html";>announced</a> the
availability of <a href="http://people.debian.org/~waldi/berlin/";>prelimnary
packages</a> for the Berlin display server.  <a
href="http://www.berlin-consortium.org/";>Berlin</a> is a windowing system
derived from <a href="http://www2.berlin-consortium.org/fresco/";>Fresco</a>, a
powerful structured graphics toolkit. Berlin extends Fresco to a full,
network-transparent windowing system which is not based on X.</p>

<p><strong>Porting Debian to Cygwin?</strong> Doesn't that sound strange?
Somebody on debian-devel has started a <a
about porting Debian to a Cygnus cygwin environment running upon a well-known
non-free system.  It's quite unclear how the architecture should be named,
though this would be one of the first things that is required to make
dpkg work as expected.</p>

<p><strong>LVM Problem.</strong> A severe problem with the Logical Volume
Manager and the current Debian unstable has been <a
The problem is quite tricky, since LVM needs to be initialized before all
filesystems are mounted, though it can't initialize correctly since it writes to
<code>/etc/lvmtab</code> which will fail before the root-filesystem is mounted,
which in turn eventually can't be mounted since it is on a LVM device.  The
maintainer came up with a <a
solution</a>.  Another solution would be to use an <a

<p><strong>Problem with fonts.</strong> It has been <a
href="http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel-0108/msg01447.html";>reported</a> that
fonts under Linux are not in a satisfying state.  The problem is mostly that
some applications use "blocky" fonts, bitmapped fonts that are enlarged. As an
exercise just try to use a font in <code>xfig</code>, enlarge it, export that to
Postscript and re-view it with <code>ghostscript</code>.  Some techniques such
as anti-aliasing and <a href="http://grc.com/cleartype.htm";>Sub-Pixel Font
Rendering</a> could fix parts of the problem, however this requires tweaking of
the X-server and applications.  An interesting project was mentioned during the
discussion: <a href="http://pfaedit.sourceforge.net/";>PfaEdit</a> - a postscript
font editor.</p>

<p><strong>German Debian News.</strong> Joey has started an <a
href="http://bugs.debian.org/109918";>experiment</a> and requested the creation
of the debian-news-german mailing list.  The list is moderated and will contain
Debian news and announcements translated into German.  For the last months
translations were only done on www.debian.org transparently and on <a
href="http://www.linux-community.de/";>linux-community.de</a>.  Frequently we
meet people who don't speak English fluently and who would certainly appreciate
a German news list.  We'll have to find out if this list will be accepted by our
German speaking users or not.</p>

<p><strong>Recent Security Advisories</strong>
<p>If you have any of these packages installed on your system, you'll want to
upgrade ASAP.


	<li><a href="http://www.debian.org/security/2001/dsa-068";>openldap</a> -- Remote DoS
	<li><a href="http://www.debian.org/security/2001/dsa-069";>xloadimage</a> -- Buffer overflow
	<li><a href="http://www.debian.org/security/2001/dsa-070";>netkit-telnet</a> -- Remote exploit
	<li><a href="http://www.debian.org/security/2001/dsa-071";>fetchmail</a> -- Memory corruption
	<li><a href="http://www.debian.org/security/2001/dsa-072";>groff</a> -- Print format attack
	<li><a href="http://www.debian.org/security/2001/dsa-073";>imp</a> -- 3 Remote exploits
	<li><a href="http://www.debian.org/security/2001/dsa-074";>wmaker</a> -- Buffer overflow


<p><strong>New Packages</strong> 


	<li><a href="http://packages.debian.org/unstable/x11/x-window-system.html";>x-window-system</a> and <a href="http://packages.debian.org/unstable/x11/x-window-system-core.html";>x-window-system-core</a> -- New X packages, yum!
	<li><a href="http://packages.debian.org/unstable/doc/lskb.html";>lskb</a> -- The Linux Security Knowledge Base, includes info on Linux-specific security issues.
	<li><a href="http://packages.debian.org/unstable/admin/samhain.html";>samhain</a> -- Integrity checker and intrustion detection system, because a little paranoia is a Good Thing.
	<li><a href="http://packages.debian.org/unstable/net/kinkatta.html";>kinkatta</a> -- QT client for AOL Instant Messenger.
	<li><a href="http://packages.debian.org/unstable/math/kgeo.html";>kgeo</a> -- The program formerly known as KEuklid, a geometry program for KDE.



<p>We've had a lot of interest in translating DWN, if you haven't heard from us yet about translating we will be in touch shortly.</p>

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