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Debian Weekly News - September 27th, 2000

Debian Weekly News
Debian Weekly News - September 27th, 2000

Welcome to Debian Weekly News, a newsletter for the Debian community.

Be careful. If you have grown complacent tracking unstable for the
past month, and were wondering why nothing has broken yet, wonder no
more. Unstable now has several breakages, most of them centered around
a [1]new version of libc. It is known to [2]break exim, [3]sendmail,
perl, and apache, and may break other packages as well.

This week's only security update was a [4]fix for a root exploit in
sysklogd. This one could be exploited remotely in theory. Slink users
have been given a short reprieve: the security team has [5]decided
based on the feedback it has received to keep producing security
updates for Debian 2.1 until October 30th, 2000.

Several threads this week involved Debian's support of emerging
technologies. It's now possible for any Debian developer to join the
6bone with a [6]few simple commands, which nicely demonstrates that
Debian's ipv6 support is usable, and should encourage developers to
work on making their packages support ipv6. There has been [7]talk of
making ipv6 support a tentative release goal for woody. [8]Another
thread discussed preparing Debian to use capabilities. In it, Nicolás
Lichtmaier pointed out that on a capability-based system, root
shouldn't necessarily be able to write to files like /bin/ls, and he
proposed we make all such files be owned by a special group such as
"bin". But linux capabilities are still [9]under development, not yet
supported by the filesystem, and so on, so it may not yet be time to
worry about them.

Mentions of Debian in the media this week:
  * The Duke of URL [10]reviewed Debian 2.2, with mostly favorable
    results if you can stand the kernel/distribution confusion like
    "Debian reached a milestone, Potato, or 2.2. Immediately after
    that, a couple distributions started using the 2.2 kernel,
    including such popular ones as Stormix's Storm Linux 2000" This
    review is no more and no less shallow than most linux distribution
    reviews -- so it's not quite [11]the perfect review.
  * The most recent [12]Linux Weekly News opened with a look at
    Debian's organizational structure. " Kernel development looks like
    a benevolent dictator floating serenely above a screaming bazaar
    of hackers loudly trying to get their patches noticed and
    accepted. Apache is an anarchic, but calmer group of people
    quietly implementing the features they need. Debian, instead,
    resembles an established constitutional democracy, complete with
    elections and a civil bureaucracy. " Overall it's a good summary,
    though it is conspicuously quiet on the subject of the infamous
    Cabal. Debian can certainly overdo the bureaucracy at times, as is
    exemplified by [13]this post: "the shenanigans of altering the
    quorum requirements for the final vote on the GR based upon the
    vote on the proposed amendment to it are totally out-of-line and
    in gross violation of the letter and the spirit of the
Manoj Srivastava [14]posted a draft of the Debian packaging manual
that he hopes will be blessed into policy. Whether the Debian
packaging manual has been a part of policy all along is unclear; the
new draft excises some parts of the manual that do not belong in
policy. If this is accepted, the API's of various parts of Debian such
as the fields in the control file and the way postinst scripts are
called will all become part of policy.

Internationalization of Packages files was also [15]discussed this
week. While figuring out how to allow for the fields in the control
file to be internationalized is hard enough, it looks like the real
problem will be making dpkg use the translations in a [16]sane
fashion. Nothing conclusive has yet come from the thread.

Debian's main web server suffered a dead disk drive and is [17]offline
while a replacement is being readied. Besides serving as the Debian web 
server, va.debian.org was Debian's cvs server. All of its functions have 
been moved to other Debian servers in the meantime. [ These problems have
delayed the publishing of the web version of DWN until tomorrow -- Ed. ]

  1. http://lists.debian.org/debian-glibc-0009/msg00022.html
  2. http://kitenet.net/~joey/debian.org/News/weekly/current/issue/mail.html#1
  3. http://kitenet.net/~joey/debian.org/News/weekly/current/issue/mail.html#2
  4. http://lists.debian.org/debian-security-announce-00/msg00042.html
  5. http://lists.debian.org/debian-security-announce-00/msg00043.html
  6. http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel-0009/msg01457.html
  7. http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel-0009/msg01712.html
  8. http://lists.debian.org/debian-policy-0009/msg00054.html
  9. http://lists.debian.org/debian-policy-0009/msg00076.html
  10. http://www.thedukeofurl.org/reviews/misc/debian22/
  11. http://www.advogato.org/article/169.html
  12. http://lwn.net/2000/0921/
  13. http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel-0009/msg01876.html
  14. http://lists.debian.org/debian-policy-0009/msg00044.html
  15. http://lists.debian.org/debian-i18n-0009/msg00004.html
  16. http://lists.debian.org/debian-i18n-0009/msg00014.html
  17. http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel-0009/msg01724.html

see shy jo

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