Debian Weekly News - September 3rd, 2002
Debian Weekly News
Debian Weekly News - September 3rd, 2002
Welcome to this year's 34th issue of DWN, the weekly newsletter for
the Debian community. Good news is coming from Venezuela, since
Linux Today reports that all software developed for the government
must be licensed under the GNU GPL.
OpenOffice.org uploaded to Unstable. Chris Halls recently
announced that Rene Engelhard has finally uploaded OpenOffice.org
1.0.1-5 to unstable/contrib. The packages contain a large set of help
documents and internationalization files for 18 languages. However,
since the package is new to the Debian archive, it will take a while
before the files appear in the public archive. Chris Halls also
announced translated help files.
Revising old ITP Reports. Bas Zoetekouw announced that he is going
to move very old ITP bugs (Intent to Package) into RFP bugs (Request
for Packaging). He only plans this for reports that are one year old
or even older. For such old intents it is unlikely that the original
reporter is still working on these packages. However, some of them
were already uploaded very recently and will be excluded.
Security Notification Script. Rob Bradford announced a script
that compares locally installed packages with those on
security.debian.org. Furthermore it provides a description of the
problem and the name of the Debian advisory if the package is
mentioned in the DSA RDF file. The Resource Description
Framework is used as an information interchange format for various
Wearable Debian. We have been notified that Debian is used at the
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) for a research
platform for wearable computers. The goal of the MIThril project
is the development and prototyping of new techniques of human-computer
interaction for body-worn applications. The systems running Debian are
based on a StrongARM processor.
The Debian Bug-Fixing Game. Andrew Suffield wondered whether
turning bug-fixing into a game would help Debian reduce the list of
open bugs. This could be a counterbalance to the huge quantities of
time which moon-buggy and frozen-bubble have taken away from Debian
development. Andres Solomon warned that this could change the goal
people have to changes from fixing bugs to simply closing them. Here's
a summary from an associated IRC discussion.
No uncompressed Packages Files anymore. Anthony Towns announced
that in a couple of days time uncompressed Packages files for unstable
will cease to be generated, and bzip2'ed Packages files will be
generated in their place. Similarly, the Contents-*.gz files for
unstable will probably be switching to .bz2 in the not too distant
future. Adam Heath pointed out that this is likely to break
apt-get when using file uris.
Automatic Bug Closing revised. Alfie Fuchs was annoyed by the current
system of how bugs are closed and proposed a change. Bug reports
referring to bugs in testing or stable will be automatically closed
when a new package was uploaded into unstable, even though the bug
still exists in stable and testing. Alfie proposed a stronger
connection between the Bug Tracking System and the testing scripts and
offered his assistance.
Problems with Testing Migration? Michael Meskes noticed that
packages don't seem to make it into the testing distribution currently
and wondered if there are any serious problems. Anthony Towns
explained that the glibc package in unstable has release critical
bugs assigned against it, which keeps it out of testing, which in turn
keeps other packages from entering testing, if they depend on glibc.
Debian Developer Packages Overview. Igor Genibel announced the new
interface to the packages overview system. It is meant to combine
links to all information that is relevant for a package maintainer.
The interface helps a maintainer to keep track of what is going on
with their packages with a particular focus on dependencies and
porting issues. At one time it was discussed start my.debian.org for
Free TrueType Fonts? Michael Cardenas wondered how to continue to
be able to distribute more free fonts (other than dustismo and
metatype). He came across a list of original font authors and
contacted some of them. Simon Law pointed at the freefont
effort and the ttfmod utility for creating and modifying TrueType
hinting. Additionally, Peter Novodvorsky pointed at fonts that
were converted from GPLed URW PostScript fonts with manual rehinting
done and cyrillic glyphs added, and Brian Carlson added links to
public domain fonts.
Is Apsfilter non-free? Ville Muikkula stomped over potential
postcardware in the apsfilter package. The license, though, looks
more like a "should" and not a "must", which should be fine. However,
in order to solve this issue Osamu Aoki contacted the author.
Customizing Applications for a common Look. Erich Schubert
wondered whether Debian should create and distribute a nice Debian
theme for KDE and GNOME, like other distributors do. Yenar Calentaure
added that every other major distribution has its own look, Debian
can differentiate from them by sticking with the upstream look and
proposed providing Debian wallpaper, logos and icons.
Debian based CD based Distributions. Dale Scheetz reported about
two distributions that are based on Debian and run directly from CD.
Dale says that it appears that Debian is finally being used in the
ways that the project had been wishing for since before Bruce Perens
was project leader. Dale includes a report about Knoppix from a
German development group and Demolinux from a French development
Uploading more than one Architecture. Dale Scheetz pondered
whether it would be useful and helpful to upload packages for more
than one architecture in parallel with the source. Ryan Murray
explained that it won't speed up the build process a lot since
build daemons pick up new packages once they're accepted by the
archive. However, it could be even worse if the maintainer misses an
architecture-specific transition and the package requires a
binary-only upload for the particular architecture.
Security Updates. You know the drill. Please make sure that you update
your systems if you have any of these packages installed.
* python -- Insecure temporary files.
* scrollkeeper -- Insecure temporary files.
New or Noteworthy Packages. The following packages were added to the
Debian archive recently or contain important updates.
* abntex -- LaTeX class for writing documents in ABNT standard.
* apt-cacher -- Caching system for .deb packages.
* bitlbee -- An IRC to other chat networks gateway.
* dacode -- Powerful and full-featured news engine written in
* debsigs -- Applies cryptographic signatures to Debian
* fragrouter -- Test a NIDS by attempting to evade using
* galeon-snapshot -- Mozilla based web browser with GNOME look
* grass -- Geographic Resources Analysis Support System.
* grisbi -- Personal finance tracking program based on GTK.
* mail-expire -- Utility to extract outdated messages from mbox
* messagewall -- SMTP proxy daemon, designed to help keep out
* mini-dinstall -- Daemon for updating Debian packages in a
* passivetex -- Macros to process XSL formatting objects.
* python2.3 -- An interactive object-oriented scripting language
* shapecfg -- Bandwidth limiter for virtual network interfaces.
* spass -- An automated theorem prover for first-order logic
* sun-resolver -- XML Entity and URI Resolver classes for
* tempest -- Modulator of SW radio waves through the computer
* textdraw -- Tool to draw/modify/move geometric figures & text
for ASCII art.
* unzoo -- Zoo archive extractor.
* xirssi -- GTK Version of irssi (Development version).
* zinf -- Extensible, cross-platform audio player.
Orphaned Packages. 6 packages were orphaned this week and require a
new maintainer. This makes a total of 117 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.
* jdresolve -- Fast alternative to apache logresolve.
* libconfig-ini-perl -- Perl module to access MS-Windows style
.ini files. (Bug#158522)
* sdl-image1.2 -- Image loading library for Simple DirectMedia
Layer 1.2. (Bug#158940)
* speedy-cgi-perl -- Speed up perl scripts by making them
* timeoutd -- Flexible user timeout daemon. (Bug#158333)
* umodpack -- Installer and viewer for .umod-files (Unreal Mod
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
mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.