Debian Weekly News - February 25th, 2003
Debian Weekly News
Debian Weekly News - February 25th, 2003
Welcome to this year's 8th issue of DWN, the weekly newsletter for the
Debian community. For those of you who always wanted to learn more
about nerds, the most recent essay from Paul Graham about why nerds
are unpopular may shed some light on the issue. The Swedish agency for
public management has performed a feasibility study on free and open
source software and has given advice to use free and open source
Debian reviewed at DistroWatch. Alexander Antoniades wrote a
report about Debian GNU/Linux. He did not only look at the
installation process but also used the distribution and learned about
powers of the apt-get command. The article admits that the Debian
installation wasn't the easiest, but it is not particularly hard.
Using unofficial repositories you can get pretty much all the newest
Maintaining Success Stories. Colin Walters announced that he is
putting the Debian users page up for adoption. He did not have the
time to give it the love it deserves, and accumulated an embarassingly
long queue of submissions. If somebody is interested, please send him
a mail. Good English skills are very important, and the person
will also need some knowledge of how the Debian website works.
Debian-Installer still installs Debian. Tollef Fog Heen reported
that debian-installer is still able to install Debian. Most of the
goals he mentioned in an earlier report are mostly reached.
cdebconf has gotten a slang frontend, which seems to work
reasonably well. A lot of work has been going into infrastructure
issues, but more needs to be done. The most important job, however, is
porting the tools to other architectures.
Project Leader Platforms. Platform statements from each of the
candidates for the Debian Project Leader elections are online.
Moshe Zadka plans to do as little as possible but help people do
their work. Bdale Garbee believes that the primary role of a
leader is facilitation and approached this by spending a lot of time
listening and reading. Martin Michlmayr intends to represent
Debian to the outside world, while his main focus will be on internal
matters. Branden Robinson wants to delegate responsibility and set
clear and reasonable expectations for their fulfillment.
Questions to the DPL candidates. Raphaël Hertzog formulated several
questions to the candidates for the Debian Project Leader
elections. For Bdale Garbee, Martin Michlmayr and Branden
Robinson he asked specific questions as well. Eduard Bloch added more
questions for all candidates.
Help with Packaging Roxen 3.3. Turbo Fredriksson spent the last couple
of months on packaging Roxen Webserver 3.3 and is close to a
release. New versions of the Roxen Webserver require a MySQL server to
run. He wonders how to handle the situation best. The package should
still be able to use an external database server and not depend on a
locally installed one.
Ominous Security Support Policies. An article in The Register
caused a discussion about supporting old versions and the
recognition of the release process including the testing distribution.
The article complains about the Debian Security Team ceasing support
for slink (2.1) with only two weeks notice but ignores the update
sent out later which announces that the support period was extended by
one month. Another discussion about this is taking place at
SecurityFocus. The Security Team is trying to support the old
potato for 12 months after the current stable distribution was
released, which is superior to all other distributions.
List of APT Frontends. Javier Viñuales Gutiérrez revealed Jeff
Licquia's list of frontends to the Debian package management
system. The list includes aptitude and stormpkg, but also apt-move,
apt-proxy and apt-zip or jablicator. Junichi Uekawa added two
special modes for Emacs. Alexander Wirt also added the missing
Installing Debian parallel to Operating Systems. DebianHelp has an
article that describes how to install woody and two different
proprietary operating systems on the same harddisk. This can be tricky
because of the way that those systems use the bootsectors of other
partitions, including overwriting the master bootrecord. However,
since LILO can boot them all, it'll become the primary boot loader.
Linux Certification Tutorials. IBM has made available a set of
tutorials designed to be guides for preparation for Linux
Professional Certification from the Linux Professional Institute.
The tutorials cover general GNU/Linux administration and networking
and should also be helpful to those not interested in certification.
Do Font Names Infringe Trademarks? Anton Zinoviev wondered whether
his font package might be infringing some trademarks. He remembered
that one font developer was asked to change the name of his fonts
because their use on modified font designs was said to infringe the
creator's trademark. Terry Hancock suggested that Debian could
simply give fonts alternate but similar names, as has been done by
some companies faced with the same problem.
LinEx presented to the European Parliament. Last week LinEx was
presented (Spanish only) during the celebration of the first
annual meeting of the European Regions Committee within the European
Parliament Brussels. This is the first time it was demonstrated
outside of Spain. LinEx is a government funded distribution of
GNU/Linux based on Debian GNU/Linux that was adapted for the needs of
the Extremadura, an extremely poor region in Spain.
Knoppix for the masses FAQ. Karsten Self burned 50 CDs with the
Knoppix release and is handing these out to people he meets on the
street. He would like to use additional information to give away with
the CDs. Therefore he prepared a short introductory FAQ to include
with the CD.
SPI Board Membership Election Results. Software in the Public
Interest, Inc. (SPI) has held an election for new Board members. The
voting period ended on Friday and the three winners were Bruce
Perens, John Goerzen, and Benj. Mako Hill. The current Board
of Directors will vote on adding them to the Board at its next
meeting. The lists of voters, votes and results is available and
there is a seven day dispute-period during which people can verify
Messages Promoting non-free Software. The new cdrecord program
displays a message saying "If you need DVD-R/DVD-RW support, ask the
Author for cdrecord-ProDVD". Ben Collins thought that Debian
should not be promoting non-free software in this way and that the
message should instead point users to the free dvdrecord package.
Andreas Metzler preferred to leave the message where it is and
maintain good relations with the upstream author, but Craig Dickson
suggested to simply remove the message.
Debian Project at three European Events. The project announced
that it has been invited to participate in three events taking place
during the next days. On March 1st developers meet at LinuxForum
2003 in Copenhagen, Denmark, where Debian maintains a booth. From
March 1st to 2nd a talk about the benefits of using Debian GNU/Linux
will be given at Wilhelmshavener Linux Information Days in
Germany. At the same time Debian will maintain a booth at
Chemnitzer Linux-Tag and give talks about the Debian
Description Translation Project and Debian-Med.
Packaging Electronic Magazines. Kevin Rosenberg intended to
package all issues of the Phrack Magazine as separate package.
Lars Wirzenius raised concerns since this would dramatically
increase the size of the Package files that users have to download
Exim 4 Packages in Experimental. Marc Haber announced that the
Debian Exim 4 maintainer team has uploaded the first version of Exim 4
into Debian experimental. The packages will be moved into the archive
soon. The packages offer a semi-clean update path from Exim 3 by
trying to parse the old configuration file if it has been generated by
Debian Workshops on IRC. Gürkan Sengün alias tarzeau informed us that
he is organizing online workshops on IRC. Last week they had a
talk about Debian Packaging. This weekend (on Saturday at 15:00
GMT) the workshop will cover IPv6 on Debian by Ricardo Javier Cardenes
Medina alias Heimy. The workshops take place on #debian-friendly on
Security Updates. You know the drill. Please make sure that you update
your systems if you have any of these packages installed.
* slocate -- Local group slocate exploit.
* openssl -- Timing-based attack vulnerability.
New or Noteworthy Packages. The following packages were added to the
unstable Debian archive recently or contain important updates.
* ale -- Tool to reduce aliasing in images.
* atlantikdesigner -- Game board designer for Atlantik.
* bluez-pan -- Personal area networking for Bluetooth devices.
* cascades -- Stylesheet editor for Mozilla Composer.
* checky -- Online validation and analysis services for Mozilla.
* diggler -- Set of URL manipulation utilities for Mozilla's
* epiphany-browser -- Intuitive GNOME web browser.
* freqtweak -- Realtime audio frequency spectral manipulation.
* gav -- GPL Arcade Volleyball.
* gqueue -- Gnome2 frontend to print queues.
* jnettop -- View hosts/ports taking up the most network
* lft -- Display the route packets take to a network
* lshw -- Information about hardware configuration.
* mailgraph -- Mail statistics RRDtool frontend for Postfix.
* nglister -- Downloads information from NNTP server.
* pspresent -- Fullscreen PostScript presentation tool.
* rubber -- Automated system for building LaTeX documents.
* sip -- Python/C++ Bindings Generator.
* xmlsec -- XML security command line processor.
* zenity -- Display graphical dialog boxes from shell scripts.
Orphaned Packages. 3 packages were orphaned this week and require a
new maintainer. This makes a total of 164 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.
* jed-ja -- Editor for programmers for Japanese.
* slang1-ja -- The S-Lang programming library with Japanese
* slrn-ja -- Threaded news reader (fast for slow links),
Japanese version. (Bug#182435)
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