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Debian Weekly News - July 31st, 2001

Debian Weekly News
Debian Weekly News - July 31st, 2001
Base bugs and the freeze. Anthony Towns has posted yet another base
bugs report[1]. It says that we have most of the base bugs fixed. The
architectures which will be released seems to be ARM, i386, m68k,
PowerPC, Sparc, HPPA and IA-64. Alpha doesn't have boot-floppies yet,
while mips and mipsel are being considered. We also need to decide on
crypto in main. The process concerning this has a deadline August 4th.
If everything goes better than planned then we will have woody
released before Christmas.

Mips and mipsel for woody? We hear interesting and promising news from
our mips ports. Henning Heinold has reported a partial success[2]
story for boot-floppies on a MIPS machine (big endian, binary-mips).
The installer is loaded via NFS-Root. Karsten Merker and Martin 'Joey'
Schulze have managed[3] to get a DECstation (little endian,
binary-mipsel) boot the Debian installer through a kernel with an
appended ramdisk which is loaded via TFTP. The porters hope that these
steps classify for an inclusion in woody. Here is Karsten's

Useful utilities on debian-devel. Small script gems keep popping out
on debian-devel. You have probably su'ed to root in order to run an X
program and then discovered that you only got a message like xterm Xt
error: Can't open display: 0:0. Then you got around it in some way,
either by running xhost, or ssh -X -l root localhost. Now, Francois
Gouget has made a tool which solves the problem. It's called sux[5]
(su-with-x). Here is his announcement[6].

Sponsoring problems. For people who are in the New Maintainer Queue,
there is a way to get a package into Debian. That is to get a sponsor,
who checks the package and uploads it on behalf of the person being
sponsored. Lately, there has been some problems with the Debian
Developer not checking the package well enough. As usualy, this
spawned off a big discussion on debian-devel, and Anthony Towns
proposed[7] a way for the sponsor to become more involved with the
packages she is sponsoring.

Say cheese. Or APT. Debian has the best packaging system around, but
not everybody knows which utility to use when. Is dpkg it dpkg
--reconfigure or dpkg-reconfigure? (It's the latter, but to be
confused with dpkg --configure.) Joe[8] Wreschnig wrote a small
frontend to apt, called FETA[9] (Front End To Apt), which looks cute.

Quality of bug reports. Anthony Towns has posted a little
complaint[10] about the quality of bug reports. "If we get more and
more users, or more and more newbie users, or more and more users who
want an information appliance instead of a computer, I can only see
this getting worse." This seems to be a result of the increased
pupularity of Debian GNU and our encouragement to send bug reports
while tools like bug(1) and reportbug(1) make it quite easy to submit
new bug reports, even it the problem is PEBKAC[11]. The discussion
quickly lead into technical proposals to cope with the number of bug
reports and their classification. Matt Zimmerman came up with a
bugzilla-like[12] proposal (even with a flow chart), while Anthony
introduced[13] new tags.

Size of the Debian Archive. Marcelo Magallon has studied the size of
the Debian archive for over one month and has summarized[14] it on a
graphic[15]. It shows a steady increase in size of the Debian archive.
New architectures which are catching up quickly like S/390, HP PA-RISC
and both MIPS architectures, let the size increase fast.

New packages this week
  * rdesktop[16] -- RDP client for Windows NT/2000 Terminal Server
  * gnulpr[17] -- GNUlpr printing system.
  * junior-system[18] -- Debian Jr. System tools
  * python-xlib[19] -- Interface for Python to the X11 Protocol
  * s3switch[20] -- Manage the output device on S3 Savage chips
  * toppler[21] -- A clone of the "Nebulous" game on old 8 and 16 bit
  * x86info[22] -- Display diagnostic information about i386 CPUs
  * apt-howto[23] -- A Guide to APT
  * clara[24] -- Free OCR program for Unix Systems
  * innovation3d[25] -- I3D modeler
  * tsocks[26] -- Transparent network access through a SOCKS 4 or 5
  * update-cluster[27] -- System to update configuration files for
    clusters automatically

  1. http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel-announce-0107/msg00011.html
  2. http://lists.debian.org/debian-boot-0106/msg00295.html
  3. http://lists.debian.org/debian-mips-0107/msg00081.html
  4. http://lists.debian.org/debian-mips-0107/msg00087.html
  5. http://fgouget.free.fr/sux/
  6. http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel-0107/msg00008.html
  7. http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel-0107/msg01342.html
  8. http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel-0107/msg01614.html
  9. http://www.sacredchao.net/software/feta/
  10. http://lists.debian.org/debian-project-0107/msg00058.html
  11. http://www.foldoc.org/foldoc/foldoc.cgi?query=pebkac
  12. http://lists.debian.org/debian-project-0107/msg00060.html
  13. http://lists.debian.org/debian-project-0107/msg00062.html
  14. http://lists.debian.org/debian-mirrors-0107/msg00000.html
  15. http://auric.debian.org/~mmagallo/archive-size.png
  16. http://www.debian.org/Packages/unstable/non-us/rdesktop.html
  17. http://www.debian.org/Packages/unstable/utils/gnulpr.html
  18. http://www.debian.org/Packages/unstable/misc/junior-system.html
  19. http://www.debian.org/Packages/unstable/x11/python-xlib.html
  20. http://www.debian.org/Packages/unstable/utils/s3switch.html
  21. http://www.debian.org/Packages/unstable/games/toppler.html
  22. http://www.debian.org/Packages/unstable/admin/x86info.html
  23. http://www.debian.org/Packages/unstable/doc/apt-howto.html
  24. http://www.debian.org/Packages/unstable/text/clara.html
  25. http://www.debian.org/Packages/unstable/graphics/innovation3d.html
  26. http://www.debian.org/Packages/unstable/net/tsocks.html
  27. http://www.debian.org/Packages/unstable/admin/update-cluster.html

Debian Weekly News is edited by 
Joe 'Zonker' Brockmeier, Jean-Christophe Helary and Tollef Fog Heen

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