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Debian Weekly News - December 5th, 2001

Debian Weekly News
Debian Weekly News - December 5th, 2001

We're Late. Yes, and we're awfully sorry for it. Joey went out for
International Linux Kongreß (see below) and time was too short writing
up an entire issue in time, hence we decided to skip one week and
prepare a fantastic issue for this week.

Fixing GPM Bugs. Zephaniah E. Hull worked on GPM recently, fighting
against broken mice which ignore mice protocols and send more
characters than expected. Zephaniah publically [1]asked for bug
reports about problems with GPM and PS/2 mice. Even if these bugs are
filed as bugs already, please read his mail and provide all
information he needs.

Quality of Ximian's Debian Packages. Eric Van Buggenhaut was playing
with Ximian's Debian Packages, [2]trying to get Ximian's version of
gdm compile. His fears include the possibility that some of Ximian's
packages could make it into Debian, even though they lack proper
maintenance, including: no Build-Depends, no clean target in
debian/rules and broken debian/conffiles.

Automatic Building of non-free Packages? Adrian Bunk started a
[3]discussion about discrimination of non-free packages. It was
noticed that Debian's Build Daemons (buildd) don't seem to
automatically build non-free packages for all architectures, resulting
in difficulties in getting non-free packages to enter testing.
[4]Richard Braakman and [5]James Troup (maintainer of nearly half a
dozen buildds and ftp master) explained why buildd's can't
automatically build non-free packages.

Freeze in Progress. The freeze for Woody is coming closer which will
definitively lead into a released Woody. Anthony Towns is reviewing
the situation of testing/unstable and [6]reports problems which the
maintainer of these affected packages have to solve in order to get
their packages updated in testing. People who care about Woody should
read the [7]debian-devel mailing list frequently.

Interpretive Guidelines Regarding DFSG 3. Branden Robinson
[8]proposed an interpretation to the [9]DFSG clause 3 that covers
modifications and derived works. His proposal reflects the current
situation where there are certain parts of packages that cannot be
modified (e.g. license texts and auxiliary material). Such auxiliary
material was introduced by the [10]GNU Free Documentation License (GNU

Quick Reference for Debian. Osamu Aoki started a new document named
[11]Quick Reference for Debian GNU/Linux which is distributed under
the GNU FDL. This document is mostly a collection of scripts which can
be used as quick reference. It covers many aspects of system
administration including shell command examples and configuration
files. Many issues were picked up from the [12]debian-user mailing

Freeze Update. Anthony Towns sent an [13]update of the freeze process.
After December 9th, no changes (beyond minimal security backports, or
incredibly special exceptions) will be made to base packages in Woody,
and standard packages which have been dropped from Woody won't be
reinstated. See our last issue for details.

Removing LDP Documents? David Merrill, the Linux Documentation Project
coordinator, [14]contacted the Debian Project recently with
[15]concerns about LDP documents (affecting packages doc-linux-html
and doc-linux-text, plus the various translations) having to be moved
to non-free or removed due to license issues. Unfortunately many LDP
documents are encumbered by distribution requirements. Many authors,
however, are cooperating with David and are relicensing their work.

Report from International Linux Kongreß 2001. The Debian Project had
the [16]opportunity to run a booth and a developers' workshop during
International Linux Kongreß 2001 which was held at the University of
Twente last week. Joey wrote a [17]trip report describing some details
of the meeting. More than a dozen Debian people joined the conference,
and were talking with each other about various topics and exchanging
GnuPG fingerprints. And, of cource, evening meetings were always fun
to attend.

Packages from NSA's SE Linux. Russell Coker spent some time
[18]investigating SE Linux and assembling a couple of [19]preliminary
packages. In order to benefit from the changes made to SE Linux you'll
first need to have a kernel with extra functionality booted. Russell
has a patch prepared already.

Free Software in Russian Companies. A non-public [20]conference
targeting Free Software in the business world was held in Moscow at
the end of November. Peter Novodvorsky and Wartan Hachaturow from
Debian attended the conference and gave a talk about Debian.

One Small Step for Debian... We normally don't do product
announcements, but we thought it was worth mentioning that HP's new
line of Blade servers will debut with Linux before Windows versions or
HP-UX. Naturally, one of the GNU/Linux distributions available is
[21]Debian GNU/Linux. Unfortunately, the first models won't ship until
January. Too late for stocking-stuffers, but just in time for

New or Noteworthy Packages. The following new or updated packages were
added to the Debian archive since our last issue.
 * [22]dhcping and [23]dhcpdump -- Test a DHCP server and decode DHCP
   data packages.
 * [24]dtaus -- Paperless money transfer with German banks on
 * [25]kudzu -- A hardware detecting library.
 * [26]pmidi -- A command line MIDI player for ALSA 0.9.
 * [27]snooper -- Captures communication between two external serial
 * [28]ghemical -- A computational chemistry software package.
 * [29]wbd -- A multicast white board application that allows you to
   share a virtual white board with other people running wbd.

A Particularly Interesting Package... This one really caught my eye,
it's called "[30]Vipul's Razor". It's a distributed, collaborative,
spam-catching and filtering program to help weed out SPAM. It rates
special mention because the more folks who use it, the more efficient
it will be. Anything that helps put an end to SPAM is a Good

Security Updates. Just one security issue to report this week, be sure
to update your systems if it affects you.
 * [31]wu-ftpd -- Remote root exploit.

Stay in touch! Be sure to send any comments, suggestions and news tips
to us at [32]dwn@debian.org.

  1. http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel-0111/msg01568.html
  2. http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel-0111/msg01212.html
  3. http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel-0111/msg01448.html
  4. http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel-0111/msg01468.html
  5. http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel-0111/msg01483.html
  6. http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel-0111/msg01617.html
  7. http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel/
  8. http://lists.debian.org/debian-legal-0111/msg00100.html
  9. http://www.debian.org/social_contract#guidelines
  10. http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html
  11. http://qref.sourceforge.net/quick/
  12. http://lists.debian.org/debian-user/
  13. http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel-announce-0111/msg00016.html
  14. http://lists.debian.org/debian-legal-0112/msg00052.html
  15. http://www.linuxdoc.org/ldpwn/ldpwn-2001-12-04.html
  16. http://www.debian.org/events/2001/1128-linuxkongress
  17. http://www.infodrom.org/Debian/events/LinuxKongress2001/report.html
  18. http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel-0111/msg01761.html
  19. http://www.coker.com.au/selinux/
  20. http://www.debian.org/events/2001/1128-business
  21. http://www.theregister.co.uk/content/53/23178.html
  22. http://packages.debian.org/unstable/admin/dhcping.html
  23. http://packages.debian.org/unstable/admin/dhcpdump.html
  24. http://packages.debian.org/unstable/misc/dtaus.html
  25. http://www.debian.org/Packages/unstable/misc/kudzu.html
  26. http://www.debian.org/Packages/unstable/sound/pmidi-0.9.html
  27. http://www.debian.org/Packages/unstable/comm/snooper.html
  28. http://packages.debian.org/unstable/science/ghemical.html
  29. http://packages.debian.org/unstable/net/wbd.html
  30. http://packages.debian.org/unstable/mail/razor.html
  31. http://www.debian.org/security/2001/dsa-087
  32. mailto:dwn@debian.org

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