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Debian Weekly News - August 22nd, 2000

Debian Weekly News
Debian Weekly News - August 22nd, 2000
Welcome to Debian Weekly News, a newsletter for the Debian community.

A Release update: In the aftermath of the release, everything is
mostly going well. Ftp.debian.org has been running at full capacity
since release -- if you have not yet upgraded, remember to use a

There were some problems with the CD images for 2.2. It took a while
to get CD images mirrored to enough sites to meet demand. Then it
[2]was discovered that the SPARC and alpha CDs released with potato
were not bootable, and there were some [3]other minor problems with
other images. These problems are due to both insufficient testing of
the final CD images, and hardware problems with the CD image build
machine. [4]Fixed images are labelled as version 2.2rev0a.

Several articles have already appeared about Debian 2.2. Linux Weekly
News wrote up an [5]article about the press conference. LinuxPlanet
posted a comprehensive and generally favourable [6]review of Debian
2.2 that's full of good quotes, like "The project moves forward at a
seemingly ponderous pace, but a little time spent reading through the
myriad developer and user lists reveals a disarmingly feverish quest
for perfection" and "installation has improved in some key areas since
the Slink release of over a year ago, noticeably lowering the bar to
entry. And ITworld [7]ran a story on Debian. "Much attention has been
paid to the commercialisation of Linux, but the spirit of open source
that drives Linux may be best seen in efforts like the Debian
development group, which is something of a labor of love for the
programmers involved."

Security fixes: The version of xlockmore shipped with Debian 2.1
(slink) is vulnerable to a local exploit of the shadow group. In
general, the versions in Debian 2.2 and unstable are not, but
[8]fixed packages have been provided for all three versions, just in
case. An [9]updated fix for a security hole in Zope was released --
the original fix "did not fully address the issue".

With the release out of the way, everyone was glad to get back to the
important things, like inconclusive flamewars over obscure points of
the FHS. This was mostly a rehashing of an [10]old controversy about
whether traceroute belongs in /usr/sbin or /usr/bin Some [11]good
points were made, but we continue to be as divided as ever on this

A more interesting discussion concerned meta-packages. It would be
nice to generalize the several methods we have of grouping packages
now -- by priority, by section, in task packages -- and come up with
[12]one mechanism that can handle all three.

How would you like to have an up-to-date distribution like unstable,
without the associated set of nasty new bugs every day? Anthony Towns
has been working to make this a reality with his "testing"
distribution, and now he's [13]ready to roll it out into Debian
proper. According to AJ, "the point of the 'testing' distribution: to
contain a consistent set of the most recent 'believed-to-be-reliable'
packages". "The point of packages in testing is not that they should
be perfect or bug-free, just that they should be usable." This is
accomplished by making testing lag behind unstable by a couple of
weeks, watching what bugs are opened against new versions of packages
in unstable, and allowing updated packages that do not introduce bad
bugs to filter into testing. The result is that three distributions
would always be available:
  * unstable bleeding edge, broken, etc
  * testing leading edge, maybe buggy, but working
  * stable static, usable, going out of date
AJ thinks that this will also speed up the release process -- we can
freeze testing rather than freezing unstable, and start preparing for
a release with a distribution that is already mostly bug-free. He
concludes that "it's coded. It works. It serves a useful purpose. I
think we should use it."

The ftp-maintainers have been hard at work this week. [14]Incoming has
been empty for brief periods of time. [15]177 packages were added to
Debian this week, including:
  * [16]ari-yahoo: Text based simple Yahoo Messenger client
  * [17]arrow: GPG-aware GUI mail client
  * [18]code-crusader: Full-featured software development IDE
  * [19]code-medic: GUI frontend to GDB
  * [20]cupsys-client: Common UNIX Printing System(tm) ([21]libs,
  * [23]dmbt: Debian maintainer's bug-tool
  * [24]exdbm: eXode database manager
  * [25]fbi: linux FrameBuffer Imageviewer
  * [26]libdetect0: a library for automatic hardware detection
  * [28]libqt2.2: Qt GUI library

  1. http://www.debian.org/distrib/ftplist
  2. http://lists.debian.org/debian-cd-0008/msg00158.html
  3. http://lists.debian.org/debian-cd-0008/msg00216.html
  4. http://cdimage.debian.org/lastmin.html
  5. http://lwn.net/2000/features/LinuxWorld/Debian.php3
  6. http://www.linuxplanet.com/linuxplanet/reviews/2204/1/
  7. http://www.idg.net/ic_221264_1794_9-10000.html
  8. http://lists.debian.org/debian-security-announce-00/msg00028.html
  9. http://lists.debian.org/debian-security-announce-00/msg00029.html
  10. http://www.debian.org/News/weekly/1999/48/#traceroute
  11. http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel-0008/msg00758.html
  12. http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel-0008/msg00721.html
  13. http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel-0008/msg00906.html
  14. http://incoming.debian.org/
  15. http://auric.debian.org/~tausq/newpkgs-20000821.html
  16. http://www.debian.org/Packages/unstable/net/ari-yahoo.html
  17. http://www.debian.org/Packages/unstable/mail/arrow.html
  18. http://www.debian.org/Packages/unstable/editors/code-crusader.html
  19. http://www.debian.org/Packages/unstable/editors/code-medic.html
  20. http://www.debian.org/Packages/unstable/net/cupsys-client.html
  21. http://www.debian.org/Packages/unstable/libs/libcupsys2.html
  22. http://www.debian.org/Packages/unstable/devel/libcupsys2-dev.html
  23. http://www.debian.org/Packages/unstable/devel/dmbt.html
  24. http://www.debian.org/Packages/unstable/libs/exdbm.html
  25. http://www.debian.org/Packages/unstable/graphics/fbi.html
  26. http://www.debian.org/Packages/unstable/libs/libdetect0.html
  27. http://www.debian.org/Packages/unstable/devel/libdetect-dev.html
  28. http://www.debian.org/Packages/unstable/libs/libqt2.2.html

see shy jo

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