Debian Weekly News - July 9th, 2002
Debian Weekly News
Debian Weekly News - July 9th, 2002
Welcome to this year's 26th issue of DWN, the weekly newsletter for
the Debian community. Michael Golly informed us that you can finally
order Woody on a DVD+R (for i386) at his online shop. From the
ministry of truth: What if you were a package? Don't know? Find
500 Users in German Debianforum. Sebastian Feltel told us that
debianforum.de has added its 500th registrated member. The forum
has been running for about six months and aims at German speaking
users. With threads like "how to install X", debianforum.de has turned
into an important site for both the Debian beginner and the
professional in German speaking countries.
RFC: LaTeX Public Project License. Claire Connelly reported that
the LaTeX Project is in the process of considering changes to the
LaTeX Project Public License. She tried to summarize some of the
concerns that Debian people have expressed regarding the changes.
Hence, Frank Mittelbach asked for reviews of the draft of version 1.3
of the LaTeX Public Project License rather than of the current
Managing a System's Configuration. Alex Borges asked the Debian
community how they manage configuration since he recently arrived at
the point where he requires revision control for his configuration.
The answers were impressive and included prcs, comfortable
rcs, Emacs, rcs with Makefile and an extended version using
Permissions on Multiuser Web Server. Jason Lim wondered how he is
supposed to set up directories and permissions on a web server with
user owned directories mentioned in the configuration of Apache. If
such a directory gets removed, Apache won't start anymore. In return,
Peter Palfrader provided a complex but working setup.
Lost Speed for LaTeX Startup? Rainer Dorsch reported that latex
descended his entire home directory at startup. On large home
directories and network mounted systems this can slow down its startup
significantly. It turned out that this behaviour was triggered by
a double slash in the search path for kpathsea, which refers to
scanning the entire directory structure from that point. kpathsea
is a library for path searching, which is mainly used for TeX and its
Development of Debian FreeBSD i386. Nathan Hawkins released his
plans for porting the Debian system to FreeBSD on the i386
architecture. The midterm goals include to get a build system up,
running a buildd (Debian's own automatic package builder) and to
become a supported architecture in the Debian Archive.
Interestingly, XFree86 is already running but needs patches to be
Experimental NetBSD Install Disks. Matthew Garrett announced
highly experimental installation disks for Debian GNU/NetBSD.
After booting they continue with a network installation of the Debian
system. However, these disks are only useful for development and don't
install an entire operating system. You should not use them on a
system that contains important data which you haven't stored in a
Woody Release Status. Anthony Towns sent in another status report
in which he discusses the reasons that currently delay the Woody
release. The security build infrastructure still has its flaws that
need to be addressed. There is still a backlog of security related
problems which need to be fixed before the release. Even with those
problems, it looks like the release is close.
Wiki-based Documentation Project. Morten Hustveit brought up the idea
of using a Wiki-based system where users can freely add and modify
documentation about the Debian project. The purpose of any Wiki is to
provide an easy medium to share information with anyone who wishes to
learn. A Wiki system associated to the Debian project has already
been set up and even contains a collaborative document for system
administration. Alternatively, the Debian section of the
SuperLinux Encyclopedia could be used.
Introducing NEWS.Debian. Joey Hess reported from a discussion they
had during DebConf about the issue of overuse of debconf notes for
warning the user of things like major changes on upgrades. One idea
that came up is adding a NEWS.Debian file to supplement the
README.Debian and changelog.Debian files. This would require tools
like apt-listchanges to parse and display this file.
To su in X. Osamu Aoki is soliciting learned opinion and would
like to know which recommendation he should give to the reader of the
Debian Reference for running graphical programs as root while
using X as user. The main question, however, is where to place legacy
code to reduce typing. An unpackaged tool sux was mentioned as a
possible solution, but since it's not yet available in Debian...
Rewriting MAKEDEV? Andres Salomon started to work on a replacement
for the MAKEDEV script which does nasty things and has some flaws.
Since it's located in the system binaries directory, it must not
depend upon anything from /usr, so using a highlevel language isn't
possible; this leaves shell and C.
New or Noteworthy Packages. The following packages were added to the
Debian archive recently or contain important updates.
* artwiz-cursor -- Artwiz futuristic mouse cursor for X.
* aspectj -- A seamless aspect-oriented extension for Java.
* checkinstall -- installation tracker.
* cl-statistics -- Common Lisp Statistics Package.
* cryptcat -- TCP/IP swiss army knife extended with twofish
* ecos -- deeply embedded operating system.
* encore -- Core database for lambdamoo.
* gerris -- The Gerris Flow Solver.
* gs-esp -- The Ghostscript Postscript interpreter - ESP
* idsa -- A reference monitor, logger and intrusion detection
* iftop -- Display bandwidth usage on an interface.
* ircp -- Utility for "beaming" files via IRDA.
* lush -- Lisp Universal Shell Executable Shell.
* med-common -- Debian Med Project common package.
* nautilus2 -- File manager and graphical shell (GNOME2).
* phpnuke -- A web portal and community system, mostly like
* psrip -- extract images from postscript files.
* pyca -- Certification Authority written in python.
* redboot -- Red Hat Embedded Debug and Bootstrap firmware.
* rust -- RPM creation and sandbox toolkit.
* ssldump -- An SSLv3/TLS network protocol analyzer.
* subversion -- A compelling replacement for CVS (in
* synopsis -- Source code documentation tool.
* usenet-indexer -- A Usenet indexer and webbased search engine.
* wmmemmon -- A dockapp to monitor memory/swap usages.
Orphaned Packages. Two packages were orphaned this week and require a
new maintainer. This makes a total of 82 orphaned packages. Many
thanks to the previous maintainers who contributed to the Free
Software community. Please see the WNPP pages for the full list,
and please add a note to the bug report and retitle it to ITA: if you
plan to take over a package.
* mysql-navigator -- GUI client program for MySQL database
* scribe -- Document Production System. (Bug#151940)
Seen something interesting? Please drop us a note whenever you see
something noteworthy that you think is appropriate for inclusion in
DWN. We don't notice everything, unfortunately. Of course, we are also
thankful for completely written items from volunteer writers. Please
see the contributing page. We're looking forward to receiving your
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