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Debian Weekly News - October 11th, 2000

Debian Weekly News
Debian Weekly News - October 11th, 2000
Welcome to Debian Weekly News, a newsletter for the Debian community.

Making bugs more manageable. Adam Heath and Anthony Towns have been
working on the bug tracking system recently, and have implemented an
[1]important new feature. Bug reports can now have "tags" associated
with them, to allow the bugs to be categorized in various ways that
should be useful for developers who are trying to deal with large
volumes of bug reports. Some of the tags that can be used include
"patch", "wontfix", "moreinfo", "unreproducible", and "stable". It
should be interesting to see in the next few weeks how these tags
effect the use of the BTS.

Several bugs in the bug tracking system itself have popped up
recently, including duplicated bug reports, and some bug reports that
were not sent to the maintainer (maintainers should check their bug
list page on the BTS web site). Adam Heath posted a [2]summary of the
status of these problems. He also talked about upcoming development
ideas for the BTS, and noted that "Yes, Debbugs activity is picking up
again. This is good."

Vladimir Vukicevic has managed to squeeze Debian onto Compaq's IPaq
handheld, and has written a [3]HOWTO describing the process. Aside
from some missing information in section 1.2.2, it looks fairly
painless. It does require a compact flash card be used with the IPaq
for the root filesystem.

Will a lack of security support for Debian 2.1 harm Debian's future
growth? A few weeks ago the security team announced that they are
phasing out security support of Debian 2.1. This was discussed in a
[4]recent Linux Weekly News, which explored the possibility that
commercial third parties such as Stormix and Corel could take over
such security support, but concluded that "the commercial distributors
are not filling in the Debian support gap." They also predict that
there is an audience for such fixes, and state that Debian "is going
to have to address the concerns that audience has. One important
component of that is to provide timely updates for current and past
releases. Currently, this need is not being met, and that will affect
Debian's future growth."" In the meantime, few people asked the
security team to continue to support Debian 2.1, and a security hole
in boa that exposes the contents of local files has been [5]fixed --
but only in Debian 2.2 and unstable. (Also, the security team has
announced that esound is [6]not vulnerable to a recently reported
/tmp file race condition -- it was fixed back in February.)

Should locale data be split out of large packages in some way? This
question first came up when KDE was added to Debian last month. KDE
includes nearly 50 kde-i18n-* packages, one for each support language.
Now glibc's maintainer is confronting the [7]same problem: He'd like
to let people avoid downloading and installing 20 megabytes of locale
data that is currently contained in the locales and i18ndata packages
if they are only going to use one language. The obvious solution is to
split the packages as was done with KDE, but there are already
[8]complaints about KDE's many i18n packages; splitting each major
package into 50 packages will not scale -- it will make the package
lists even more unwieldy to download and read through. Some ideas are
to dpkg support some form of [9]subpackages, or let dpkg be told
[10]never install files into certain directories, so even if all the
locale data has to be downloaded, one can choose to only install part
of it. Neither idea is perfect, and there is no resolution on this
question yet.

Voting has begun on whether to remove non-free from the Debian
archive. This decision will be made in [11]two stages: The [12]first
ballot will determine which of two proposals is finally voted on. Or,
if you prefer, you can debate the [13]finer points of Debian
constitutional procedure, and argue about whether this ballot should
be retracted entirely. Most of us would [14]rather be coding, so
Debian Weekly News will not go into any more detail on this issue
until it is resolved.

Andover News profiles Ian Murdock, father of Debian and also now a
baby girl (congrats, Ian and Deb!). [15]The article provides some
insights into Ian, and also some good quotes about Debian, such as:
"It's critical mass. I was Debian and eventually it grew beyond that
and other people became involved and at some point, I'm not sure when,
it took upon a life of its own. Like a living organism it's got it's
own survival instinct.".

  1. http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel-0010/msg00551.html
  2. http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel-0010/msg00378.html
  3. http://primates.helixcode.com/~vladimir/ipaq/debian-ipaq-howto.html
  4. http://lwn.net/2000/1005/
  5. http://www.debian.org//security/2000/20001009
  6. http://www.debian.org/security/2000/20001008
  7. http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel-0010/msg00252.html
  8. http://bugs.debian.org/71548
  9. http://lists.debian.org/debian-glibc-0010/msg00005.html
  10. http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel-0010/msg00430.html
  11. http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel-0010/msg00693.html
  12. http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel-announce-0010/msg00004.html
  13. http://lists.debian.org/debian-vote-0010/msg00036.html
  14. http://lists.debian.org/debian-project-0010/msg00001.html
  15. http://www.andovernews.com/cgi-bin/news_column.pl?677

see shy jo

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