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Debian Weekly News - April 15th, 2003

Debian Weekly News
Debian Weekly News - April 15th, 2003

Welcome to this year's 15th issue of DWN, the weekly newsletter for
the Debian community. Watch your machines people, because if you
don't, bad things can happen. If you notice a burning smell, check
your power supply for [1]loitering dragonfly brooches as Hugh Saunders

 1. http://h.arqz.com/broachfan.jpg
 2. http://lists.debian.org/debian-curiosa-0303/msg00008.html

Libcupsys2 Splitting. Jeff Licquia [3]announced that following a
grave bug filed against libcupsys2, he has built the libcupsimage
libraries and header files as separate "libcupsimage2{-dev}" packages
(as of version 1.1.18-3). Although it was technically [4]possible to
address the bug by splitting only the -dev packages, Jeff had other
[5]good reasons and also generally prefers not to have foo-dev
packages without corresponding foo packages.

 3. http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel-0304/msg00581.html
 4. http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel-0304/msg00617.html
 5. http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel-0304/msg00645.html

Debian Popularity Contest Web Pages. Bill Allombert [6]thought the
Debian [7]Popularity Contest was a good idea, but wondered if it
could be improved. The Popularity Contest uses anonymised data
gathered from users who install the popularity-contest package to find
out which packages are most popular. Igor Genibel [8]advised that he
is integrating the Popularity Contest information into the [9]Debian
Developer's Packages Overview. The Popularity Contest maintainer,
Avery Pennarun, [10]said that each week the number of user submissions
increases, but he does not have time to improve the system.

 6. http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel-0304/msg00607.html
 7. http://people.debian.org/~apenwarr/popcon/
 8. http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel-0304/msg00609.html
 9. http://qa.debian.org/developer.php
 10. http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel-0304/msg00632.html

New Debian Menu System proposed. Enrico Zini [11]thought that Debian's
current desktop menu system needs some redesign to keep up and
integrate with the other existing systems. He proposes that Debian
switches to the format of the [12]Desktop Menu Specification for
desktop entries, and that Debian continues to provide menu information
for applications that do not have their own. Colin Walters, who
maintains the [13]Debian Desktop subproject, gave his backing to the

 11. http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel-0304/msg00800.html
 12. http://www.freedesktop.org/standards/menu/draft/menu-spec/menu-spec.html
 13. http://www.debian.org/devel/debian-desktop/

Information Law Training for Debian Developers. James Miller has been
teaching an online course in information law at Southeastern
University. He is [14]considering offering the course to interested
Debian Developers. The course is demanding but gives those in computer
science and information technology fields an understanding of the
sources of law in the U.S., the major substantive areas of law, and
issues of intellectual property. Students could apply that knowledge
to regulatory infrastructures and the internet, privacy, and security.
James envisages having 10-15 students in the course, however there is
currently a need to buy an expensive textbook.

 14. http://lists.debian.org/debian-legal-0304/msg00126.html

Removal of orphaned Packages. Martin Michlmayr [15]announced that he
intends to request the removal of several packages in two weeks time,
since they have been on the [16]Work Needed and Prospective Packages
list for a long time. These packages are not maintained in Debian
anymore and contain release-critical bugs. If anyone wants to keep one
these packages they should ensure they follow the steps Martin has
outlined. This issue is being discussed on [17]debian-devel.

 15. http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel-announce-0304/msg00005.html
 16. http://www.debian.org/devel/wnpp/
 17. http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel-0304/msg00872.html

Status of the m68k Port. Marco d'Itri [18]asked whether the m68k
architecture is currently in a state ready for release, after he spent
quite a while figuring out why Mutt doesn't build on this architecture
anymore. Wouter Verhelst [19]explained that some of the buildds failed
recently and that there were severe problems with the toolchain, which
were fixed recently, with kudos to Matthias Klose.

 18. http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel-0304/msg00355.html
 19. http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel-0304/msg00432.html

Categories or Sections? Erich Schubert [20]announced a new version of
his [21]Package Browser that intends to help categorise Debian
packages. This should improve browsing packages through hierarchical
categories instead of sections as he earlier [22]proposed. Mark Howard
[23]considered freshmeat style trove categorisation is a quite
interesting idea. However this would be problematic for the existing

 20. http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel-0303/msg01371.html
 21. http://debian.vitavonni.de/packagebrowser/
 22. http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel-0111/msg00253.html
 23. http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel-0304/msg00451.html

Debian User Analysis. Enrico Zini [24]posted a document about user
analysis as part of usability improvements. He saw many practical
proposals about Debian improvements, but rarely saw them backed with
an analysis identifying the needs and the goals that they are supposed
to address. He identified four types of interesting information to
gather. Understanding users expectations should help us understand the
usability problems.

 24. http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel-0304/msg00503.html

Debian for x86-64? Daniel Whelan is [25]interested in a port to the
Opteron processor (x86-64) from AMD and wondered about the status of
this port. Michael Banck [26]said we would have to sign a
non-disclosure agreement to get access to hardware, and Adam Conrad
[27]reported that [28]SuSE has already done the groundwork with kernel
and glibc. Masanori Goto [29]added that this architecture is capable
of running 64- and 32-bit programs, requiring special considerations.

 25. http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel-0304/msg00700.html
 26. http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel-0304/msg00723.html
 27. http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel-0304/msg00711.html
 28. http://www.suse.com/
 29. http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel-0304/msg00726.html

Debian NetBSD for Sparc. Matthew Garrett [30]demonstrated his success
in building a Debian system on the Sparc architecture on top of the
[31]NetBSD kernel. Additionally Joel Baker [32]reported about
significant work for the NetBSD/x86 port, such as dpkg and APT, that
will work without additional patches.

 30. http://lists.debian.org/debian-bsd-0304/msg00001.html
 31. http://www.netbsd.org/
 32. http://lists.debian.org/debian-bsd-0303/msg00009.html

Debian-Gentoo Collaboration on Hurd? Robert Millan [33]suggested that
Debian and Gentoo porters for the Hurd work together closely. Both
share the same goal, to port a lot of Free Software. Many patches for
applications were reported through the Debian [34]bugtracking system
and applied either in the Debian package or upstream.

 33. http://lists.debian.org/debian-hurd-0303/msg00125.html
 34. http://www.debian.org/Bugs/

Alioth Updated. Wichert Akkerman [35]reported that [36]alioth was
changed to GForge, partly due to a request from [37]VA Software not to
use their logo and name. This change had already been planned for a
later date however the work caused some unforseen problems that are
being resolved. If you discover any other problems, please do not
hesitate to file a support request using the support request
[38]tracker for the [39]siteadmin project.

 35. http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel-announce-0304/msg00006.html
 36. http://alioth.debian.org/
 37. http://www.vasoftware.com/
 38. https://alioth.debian.org/tracker/?group_id=1
 39. https://alioth.debian.org/projects/siteadmin/

New SPI Board Members elected. Branden Robinson [40]announced that
Bruce Perens, John Goerzen, and Benjamin "Mako" Hill have been
appointed to the [41]Board of Directors of [42]Software in the Public
Interest, Inc. (SPI), as of 11 March 2003. This action recognizes and
implements the outcome of the recent election. The board now consists
of 10 people and should be in a proper state for meetings again.

 40. http://lists.spi-inc.org/pipermail/spi-announce/2003/000051.html
 41. http://www.spi-inc.org/corporate/board
 42. http://www.spi-inc.org/

Security Updates. You know the drill. Please make sure that you update
your systems if you have any of these packages installed.

 * [43]glibc -- Arbitrary code execution.
 * [44]xfsdump -- Insecure file creation.
 * [45]kdegraphics -- Arbitrary command execution.
 * [46]lprng -- Insecure temporary file creation.
 * [47]gs-common -- Insecure temporary file creation.
 * [48]epic -- DoS and arbitrary code execution.

 43. http://www.debian.org/security/2003/dsa-282
 44. http://www.debian.org/security/2003/dsa-283
 45. http://www.debian.org/security/2003/dsa-284
 46. http://www.debian.org/security/2003/dsa-285
 47. http://www.debian.org/security/2003/dsa-286
 48. http://www.debian.org/security/2003/dsa-287

New or Noteworthy Packages. The following packages were added to the
unstable Debian archive recently or contain important updates.

 * [49]ara -- Utility for queries on the Debian package database.
 * [50]aspell-sv -- The Swedish dictionary for GNU aspell.
 * [51]bbappconf -- Configuration tool for Blackbox application
 * [52]ctrlproxy -- IRC proxy with multiserver support.
 * [53]ctxextensions -- Context Menu Extensions for Mozilla.
 * [54]debbuggtk -- GTK applications for managing Debian bug reports.
 * [55]dnstop -- Console tool to analyze DNS traffic.
 * [56]ipython -- Enhanced interactive Python shell.
 * [57]karamba -- Program improving the eyecandy of KDE.
 * [58]mailfront -- Mail server network protocol front-ends.
 * [59]mozplugger -- Plugin allowing external viewers to be launched
   inside Mozilla.
 * [60]sqcwa -- Workaround for Squid not caching some pages.
 * [61]tabextensions -- Tabbed browsing extensions for Mozilla.
 * [62]therion -- Cave surveying - 2D and 3D drawing software.

 49. http://packages.debian.org/unstable/utils/ara.html
 50. http://packages.debian.org/unstable/text/aspell-sv.html
 51. http://packages.debian.org/unstable/x11/bbappconf.html
 52. http://packages.debian.org/unstable/net/ctrlproxy.html
 53. http://packages.debian.org/unstable/web/ctxextensions.html
 54. http://packages.debian.org/unstable/x11/debbuggtk.html
 55. http://packages.debian.org/unstable/net/dnstop.html
 56. http://packages.debian.org/unstable/python/ipython.html
 57. http://packages.debian.org/unstable/kde/karamba.html
 58. http://packages.debian.org/unstable/mail/mailfront.html
 59. http://packages.debian.org/unstable/web/mozplugger.html
 60. http://packages.debian.org/unstable/web/sqcwa.html
 61. http://packages.debian.org/unstable/web/tabextensions.html
 62. http://packages.debian.org/unstable/science/therion.html

Orphaned Packages. 12 packages were orphaned this week and require a
new maintainer. This makes a total of 200 orphaned packages. Many
thanks to the previous maintainers who contributed to the Free
Software community. Please see the [63]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.

 63. http://www.debian.org/devel/wnpp/

 * [64]fribidi -- Free Implementation of the Unicode BiDi algorithm.
 * [66]gap4 -- Testfiles for GAP4. ([67]Bug#188800)
 * [68]gap4-doc-dvi -- DVI-Docu files for GAP4. ([69]Bug#188803)
 * [70]gap4-doc-html -- HTML Documentation for GAP4. ([71]Bug#188801)
 * [72]gap4-doc-ps -- Postscript files for GAP4. ([73]Bug#188798)
 * [74]gap4-gdat -- Group data libraries for GAP4. ([75]Bug#188802)
 * [76]gap4-tdat -- Table data libraries for GAP4. ([77]Bug#188799)
 * guppi -- GNOME graph and plot component, interface to Gnumeric.
 * [79]libgd-gif -- GD Graphics Library with gif support (development
   version). ([80]Bug#188456)
 * [81]nail -- BSD mail(1) supporting MIME, SMTP, POP3/SSL and UTF-8.
 * [83]pam-pgsql -- PAM module to authenticate using a PostgreSQL
   database. ([84]Bug#188658)
 * [85]prboom -- clone of the legendary first person shooter Doom.

 64. http://packages.debian.org/unstable/libs/libfribidi0.html
 65. http://bugs.debian.org/188662
 66. http://packages.debian.org/unstable/math/gap4.html
 67. http://bugs.debian.org/188800
 68. http://packages.debian.org/unstable/math/gap4-doc-dvi.html
 69. http://bugs.debian.org/188803
 70. http://packages.debian.org/unstable/math/gap4-doc-html.html
 71. http://bugs.debian.org/188801
 72. http://packages.debian.org/unstable/math/gap4-doc-ps.html
 73. http://bugs.debian.org/188798
 74. http://packages.debian.org/unstable/math/gap4-gdat.html
 75. http://bugs.debian.org/188802
 76. http://packages.debian.org/unstable/math/gap4-tdat.html
 77. http://bugs.debian.org/188799
 78. http://bugs.debian.org/188498
 79. http://packages.debian.org/unstable/libs/libgd-gif1.html
 80. http://bugs.debian.org/188456
 81. http://packages.debian.org/unstable/mail/nail.html
 82. http://bugs.debian.org/188806
 83. http://packages.debian.org/unstable/non-us/libpam-pgsql.html
 84. http://bugs.debian.org/188658
 85. http://packages.debian.org/unstable/games/prboom.html
 86. http://bugs.debian.org/188807

Want to continue reading DWN? Please help us create this newsletter.
Some people are submitting items already, but we are still in need of
volunteer writers who prepare items. Please see the [87]contributing
page to find out how to help. We're looking forward to receiving your
mail at [88]dwn@debian.org.

 87. http://www.debian.org/News/weekly/contributing
 88. mailto:dwn@debian.org

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