Debian Weekly News - October 15th, 2001
Debian Weekly News
Debian Weekly News - October 15th, 2001
Misdirected German Translation. We are awfully sorry, but due to a
mistake made by Joey the To: address was mistyped when he wanted to
post the German translation of the last issue of Debian Weekly News to
the German list. Unfortunately it has been distributed to the
international list instead, causing some people to wonder what they're
reading. Again, sorry for that.
Problems with Automake. A new version of automake has been entered the
unstable archive. Unfortunately this version causes the build system
to behave like one could expect from the name - it's unstable.
Version 1.5 of automake is not backwards compatible to version 1.4,
even though that was a goal. As a result of this a lot of packages
cannot be compiled anymore, like all of KDE. A solution is due soon.
Additionally, Neil Spring posted some statistics about building
packages with automake 1.4 and 1.5.
Long Perl Module Naming. The current policy with regard to the naming
scheme for Perl modules is quite clear: Foo::Bar becomes
libfoo-bar-perl. This is fine for normal modules, however, there are
also modules awailable that contain
Business::OnlinePayment::BankOfAmerica, which in turn becomes
libbusiness-onlinepayment-bankofamerica-perl as package name. This
name is so long that it's a pain to type and dpkg -l wouldn't display
it entirely. Joey Hess made a proposal to remove foolish
consistency in Perl module names.
Debian Conference 2 in Bordeaux? The organisation of the Libre
Software Meeting 2002 has begun, which will take place from July
9th to 13th, 2002. As in past years, it is possible to organise a
Debian Conference at the same time but someone needs to lead the
organisation of it. Last year Thierry Laronde was kind enough to work
on it, but he can't organise another one this year. If you are
interested please get in touch with firstname.lastname@example.org.
Compiling OpenOffice. Peter Novodvorsky posted a mini HOWTO
describing how to get OpenOffice 638C compiled. You'll need a newer
JDK from Blackdown.org and older STLPort packages. Peter added a
couple of helpful links and patches to the document.
Webalizer stopped Working? If you noticed that webalizer from stable
does not create website statistics anymore, you may be trapped into
this. Older versions of the Webalizer (version 1.30 through
2.00-12) generated timestamps in a fashion that, on most platforms,
would overflow on October 5, 2001. The result is that statistics are
generated up until midnight of October 4th, but not after. The current
release of webalizer doesn't contain this bug. A patch against the
version from stable is available, linked from the mail above, as well
as a backport of the current version. The maintainer also
prepares an upload of corrected packages for into stable.
Branden got Heartburn. In our last issue we reported about problems
with SDL packages and Branden Robinsons attempt to fix them. This was
suddenly interrupted by problems introduced by a new version of
automake (see above). Finally Branden was able to fix the problems
with help of two collegues from Progeny Linux Systems and
uploaded NMU packages.
Java 2 Standard Edition for Debian? Blackdown Java 2 was recently
uploaded targeted for non-free. James Troup, our fearless ftp-master
would like some second opinions on the license. An interesting
term reads "do not distribute additional software intended to replace
any component(s) of the Software". Presumably things like kaffe, jikes
and gcj constitute software intended to replace j2sdk, j2se, which
makes it difficult not to breach the above rule. Stephen Zander
pointed out that Blackdown has been given permission by Sun to
alter the terms of the licence to allow the redistribution of
Blackdown released binaries by Blackdown mirrors and Linux
distributions, not just Debian, regardless of whatever else they may
distribute. Finally, these packages may end up in non-free at least.
New Apache2 Packages Delayed. Daniel Stone announced that new
Apache2 packages will hit the archive soon. However, apache2 is
packaged in a different manner and uses a completely different
directory layout (for details, check the link above). Too many people
have raised concerns about these changes resulting in a delay
Free Truetype Fonts? Erich Schubert contacted an author of some
freeware and asked him, if he could licence them under an open source
licence. His reply didn't exactly show that he read the provided
DSFG. While not being sure if the license would allow the
inclusion in Debian/main a discussion started on licensing artwork
contrary to software.
When Do Packages Get into Testing? A couple of requests showed us
that many people still aren't sure when a package is intended to enter
the testing distribution. Anthony Towns posted an explanation
about packages and testing. The basic rule is that a package has to be
tested for two weeks (without critical bugs and new uploads) and that
all of its binary packages have been recompiled for all architectures
that are scheduled for testing.
Splitting non-US in "crypto" And "patents"? Sunnanvind Briling
Fenderson came up with an idea to split the non-US archive up into
a "crypto" and a "patents" piece. Different countries have different
laws. This could terminate all the "put crypto in main" talk because
US based entities could distribute "crypto" and "main", while French
(for example) could distribute "main" and "patents".
Amicus Brief for Matt Pavlovich's Court Case. Branden Robinson spoke
with Allonn Levy on the phone a couple of weeks ago, and he asked us
to draft an Amicus Brief ("friend of the court") document for
submission to the California Supreme Court, who are currently deciding
whether to hear Matt's appeal on jurisdictional grounds. Levy is
Matt's attorny in the DVD CCA v. Bunner, et al. suit. The
Electronic Frontier Foundation has details.
Directions to Using Autoconf and Friends. Henrique de Moraes Holschuh
released a document in which he describes how autoconf/automake is
best used in Debian. The whole GNU autotools stuff is a hairy topic,
but if we don't document how to best use them somewhere, it will only
Debian is very Popular! Several readers wrote in to say that Debian
came in second in Linux Journal's Reader's Choice Awards. Debian
is moving up, having placed fourth in the Awards last year.
Good News... The W3C received enough 11th-hour negative feedback to
keep the odious proposed Patent Policy from sailing through. Daniel J.
Weitzner announced how the Policy Working Group will proceed. The
most notable change is the representation of the Free Software/Open
Source community on the Working Group. Bruce Perens (who should need
no introduction) and Eben Moglen (General Counsel for the Free
Software Foundation) will be joining as "invited experts."
Turnabout is Fair Play. The folks at Linux Weekly News are always
kind enough to post links to the latest DWN, and do a really fine job
of reporting news from and about the Linux Community so we thought
we'd give them a mention this week. Given recent cutbacks by Tucows,
it looks like LWN might be in a bit of a pickle financially.
They've set up a discussion list to help think up ways that LWN
might continue. If you're just joining the discussion, please read the
archives before throwing in your suggestions. Not only is LWN
consistently excellent, the crew that puts it together are good
people. We wish them luck.
New or noteworthy packages:
* ipac-ng -- Inserts iptables rules to classify network traffic
and monitors these rules for kernels >= 2.4.0.
* kvdr, dvb-mpegtools, dvb-zapping, vdr,
vdr-daemon, vdr-lirc, vdr-kbd and vdr-rcu --
Viewers and video disk recorders for DVB and DVB-S cards.
* kmerlin -- If you must use the MSN Messenger network, you can
use the KMerlin client for Linux.
* ntaim -- A curses-based AIM client.
* rocketworkbench -- Utilities to -- and we're not making this
up -- help design experimental rockets. Please use responsibly.
That's all folks! That's all we have for this week. Drop us a line at
email@example.com if you have any comments, questions or news tips.