Debian Weekly News - March 28th, 2000
Debian Weekly News
Debian Weekly News - March 28th, 2000
Welcome to Debian Weekly News, a newsletter for the Debian developer
Election results: Wichert Akkerman was re-elected Debian project
Leader. Congratulations to Wichert, and thanks to the other candidates
who volunteered for the job.
Debian 2.1r5 has been released. Like the last couple of minor
releases, it consists of security and Y2K updates.
We're now past the second bug horizon. 28 packages were not fixed
in time, of those about 12 are too important to really be removed.
Though it is clear that bug horizons do work to reduce the number
of release critical bugs, they're not as effective at motivating
people to fix bugs in very important packages.
Beware Debian's vast corporate might. This article talks about how
ports of major distributions to the PowerPC may affect existing
distributions there: "Linux PPC and Yellow Dog Linux are relatively
new upstart companies when it comes to the Linux world, and they just
do not have the corporate power and user base that both Debian and
SuSE boast. Despite that small gaffe, it does raise some interesting
Does the policy process need to be reformed? It certainly can have
problems, as in the case of the /usr/share/doc issue last year, when
things are added to policy without enough forethought. Ian Jackson
believes that the policy process needs to be changed back to
something like what it was 2 years ago, with a few people having
absolute control over policy. Others disagree, and think that
while adding a chairman to the process may be a good idea, the process
should remain in the hands of the people on the debian-policy mailing
list. This will be discussed further on IRC on the 29th.
A thread about default colors of programs like mutt, ls, and so on has
raised some interesting issues. Anyone who is not a "bug-eyed alien"
with ultraviolet vision has probably struggled to read dark blue
text on a black background, or bright yellow text on a white
background, before giving up and changing a program's colors to
something more usable. Two things are keeping Debian from changing the
colors by default: First, there's a lot of variation in personal
preferences and setups; some use a black background, and some a white.
It's difficult to come up with default colors that work well on both
backgrounds. Second, large changes from upstream defaults are likely
to annoy just as many people as they please. So while we can fix
extremely bad default color choices, the rest will still have to be up
to the individual user.
A new master archive server is in the works, thanks to an impressive
hardware donation from Sun. The new server will eventually take
over some of the duties of master.debian.org.
The amount of spam to Debian lists, the bug tracking system, and
individual developers has been on the rise lately. What can we do
about it? Jason Gunthorpe looked at the effects of using 4
different RBLs. Most people agree that any additional spam-blocking
should be carefully considered, to make sure we don't also block
legitimate Debian users.
Confirmation: Transmeta's Mobile Linux is based on Debian, as was
Every week Debian Weekly News reports on a very few of the more
important and newsworthy happenings in Debian. But don't be fooled by
the apparent slimness of these summaries. A lot is happening beneath
the surface, as this letter points out:
I was recently auditing some data I had collected from the Debian
project and came across the following statistic: Code changes are
submitted to or accepted by the Debian project once every 13
seconds to 7 minutes (depending on time of day). In other words, in
the time it takes to dial a 1-800 number, someone may have fixed a
bug in or added a feature to Debian, sometimes before the first
ring, and definitely before you finally get off the holding queue
and talk to a real human being.
see shy jo