Debian Weekly News - May 6th, 2003
Debian Weekly News
Debian Weekly News - May 6th, 2003
Welcome to this year's 18th issue of DWN, the weekly newsletter for
the Debian community. As a completion of the FLOSS survey last year
the University of Stanford is carrying out FLOSS-US. Bruce Perens
mentioned that he would like to see Debian-based efforts (such as
Knoppix, Trusted Debian, Libranet and others) work more closely with
Experimental APT with DDTP Support. The DDTP team and the Debian-BR
project announced the first public release of APT with support
for translated package descriptions. This initial experimental release
was based upon the CVS version of APT. Complete source and patches are
Automatic Merging of Configuration Files. Jarno Elonen announced
experimental support for merging configuration files in dpkg. When
the installed configuration file differs from the file in the package
dpkg will offer a merge option. This should help when the
configuration file is upgraded and offers more options.
Dropping Support for i386? Nathanael Nerode investigated the i386
problem and discovered that to maintain binary compatibility with C++
packages from other distributions, Debian needs to use the i486
version of atomicity.h supplied by GCC. Dagfinn Ilmari Mannsåker
wrote a small script that compares the speed of OpenSSL code
for i386 versus i486 on a P-III Mobile.
Debian Package Tags. Enrico Zini announced Debian Package Tags
which were created in cooperation with Erich Schubert. The tags (also
known as keywords or categories) can be edited online. Tags can be
thought as the evolution of the package sections historically used in
Debian systems. Enrico sent in an update as well.
Apt-get with Support for Suggests and Recommends? Alexander Wirt
announced a wrapper around apt-get that makes it possible to
install all recommended and/or suggested packages for a given package.
Graham Williams mentioned wajig which provides the same
functionality. Rene Engelhard added that aptitude which also
supports this interactively could probably also provide this
functionality on the command line.
Debian-Lex in Interview. The Age, an Australian newspaper, published
an interview with Jeremy Malcolm, who started the Debian-Lex
subproject. Apart from the input by all the developers involved in its
parent project, there are three qualified lawyers involved in the
Debian-Lex project, giving a mix of expert legal and IT input into its
development. Malcolm also talks about interoperability problems with
many proprietary software packages designed for use in legal practice.
Improving Debian's Reliability. Rémi Perrot started a discussion
on improving Debian's reliability. In his opinion the policy on
improving the stable release is too restrictive and doesn't give the
opportunity to improve Debian's quality outside of security fixes. He
believes that as the release cycle is very long we have to accept
fixes on all bugs in the stable release.
HP i2000 for Developer Use. James Troup announced that thanks to
the continuing support of Hewlett-Packard, caballero.debian.org -
the Debian ia64 build daemon - has recently been upgraded to an
rx2600. As a result the old caballero, an i2000, is looking
for a new home. The machine will be loaned to somebody helping with
the debian-installer, the toolchain (gcc, binutils, glibc), the kernel
or some other worthy cause. Interested developers should live in the
UK (or possibly Europe) and will need to supply some proof of previous
work or genuine potential for future work on a worthy cause.
Debate over Credits in Free Software. The long discussion on
debian-devel, started by Hans Reiser (and reported by DWN) has
moved to Newsforge. The discussion was regarding the stripping of
output from ReiserFS tools which included some sponsorship credits.
Hans Reiser subsequently posted an article about his position and
why he believes that credits in Free Software should be better
protected and enforced by license requirements. Responses to his
view were mostly negative.
Software Patents Conference in Brussels. Jama Poulsen mentioned
that the two-day interdisciplinary conference in Brussels on May
7th and 8th, will bring together programmers, engineers,
entrepreneurs, law scholars, economists and politicians to explore the
problems that the proposed patent law regulations will bring in
relation to the European policy and its goals.
Debian Subversion Server. Wichert Akkerman introduced the Debian
subversion server on svn.debian.org. Commit access is maintained
through Alioth. If you want to maintain a subversion repository
please register a project for it on Alioth. Once the project has been
approved please submit a support request asking for a repository to be
created. Adding someone to the Alioth project will automatically give
him write access to the repository as well.
Debian Miniconf3 announced. The Debian Miniconf run in conjunction
with Linux Conference Australia (LCA) is becoming quite a
tradition, and with the schedule for LCA2004 now being finalised
Jonathan Oxer announced that Debian Miniconf3 will take place
on January 10th and 11th, 2004 in Adelaide, Australia. He also asked
for anyone interested in presenting at the Miniconf to submit a
proposal for a talk.
Sun Ultra 30 available for Developer. Nathan Norman announced that
he's going to make his current desktop machine, a Sun Ultra 30,
available to the Debian project if anyone can use it. Martin Michlmayr
added that Debian will pay for shipping if somebody in the United
States would like to use this machine for porting the debian-installer
to the sparc architecture, something which Ben Collins has already
Packages scheduled for Removal. Petter Reinholdtsen was surprised
to learn that some maintainers did not notice that their packages were
scheduled for removal. Michael Banck noted that the BugScan
mail is sent to the debian-devel-announce list, which is mandatory to
read for all Debian developers, though.
Speaker for Conference in India sought. Martin Michlmayr seeks a
speaker to talk about Debian at a conference in India. The conference
will take place in Mumbai on June 12th and 13th and Debian has been
invited to deliver a talk. Anybody interested in giving a talk about
Debian in Mumbai should get in touch with Martin.
Debian at Conferences in Italy and Austria. The Debian project
announced that it has been invited to participate in two
conferences that are taking place during the next couple of days. At
the Webb.it in Padova, Italy, Debian will be present with a booth
and several developers will help visitors install Free Software. At
the IFIT in Innsbruck, Austria, the project will be present with a
booth and several talks.
Security Updates. You know the drill. Please make sure that you update
your systems if you have any of these packages installed.
* pptpd -- Remote root exploit.
* kdebase -- Arbitrary command execution.
* Snort -- Remote root exploits.
* EPIC4 -- DoS and arbitrary code execution.
* leksbot -- Improper setuid-root execution.
* Balsa -- Buffer overflow.
New or Noteworthy Packages. The following packages were added to the
unstable Debian archive recently or contain important updates.
* agistudio -- IDE for creating early Sierra style AGI games.
* apt-listbugs -- Lists critical bugs before each apt
* atop -- Monitor for system resources and process activity.
* battfink -- GNOME Power Management Configuration.
* cstream -- General-purpose stream-handling tool similar to dd.
* dirvish -- Filesystem based backup system using rsync.
* epstool -- Edit preview images and fix bounding boxes in EPS
* fcitx -- Free Chinese Input Toy for X (XIM).
* foomatic-gui -- GNOME interface for configuring the Foomatic
printer filter system.
* gap-core -- GAP computer algebra system, core components.
* gpredict -- Satellite tracking program for GNOME.
* gtkpod -- Software using GTK2 for managing songs and playlists
on an Apple iPod.
* icukrell -- GKrellm plugin which shows the status of GnomeICU.
* imhangul -- Hangul (Korean) input module for GTK+.
* jailer -- Build and maintain chrooted environments.
* nagi -- Game interpreter for Sierra Online (tm) AGI games.
* netrik -- Text mode WWW browser with vi like keybindings.
* ptkei -- Python TK Empire Interface.
* putty -- Telnet/SSH client for X.
* slicker -- Alternative for the KDE Kicker.
* slptool -- SLP command line tool.
* tagcoll -- Commandline tool to perform operations on tagged
* vlogger -- Virtual web logfile rotater/parser.
* webhttrack -- Copy websites to your computer, httrack with a
* wmcliphist -- Dockapp which provides a history for X11
Orphaned Packages. 2 packages were orphaned this week and require a
new maintainer. This makes a total of 192 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.
* arpd -- User-space ARP daemon. (Bug#191870)
* ide-smart -- S.M.A.R.T. status checking tool for IDE hard
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