Debian Weekly News - June 3rd, 2003
Debian Weekly News
Debian Weekly News - June 3rd, 2003
Welcome to this year's 22nd issue of DWN, the weekly newsletter for
the Debian community. Petter Reinholdtsen announced a new
Skolelinux CD image a while ago that fixes many bugs and uses the
debian-installer already. Mario Lang urgently needs help fixing
bugs in the speakup kernel packages, otherwise the package has to be
Discussion about Debian on the Mac. This Slashdot posting
complains about the difficulty of installing Debian on an iBook and
says: "Knoppix has certainly made it easier to put Debian on x86
machines, but does such a thing exist for Macs?" In the discussion,
some readers argued that installing Debian is not that difficult
(possibly even easier on a Mac) and that package management is more
important, given that you only want to install once. Others mentioned
Gentoo's live CD for PowerPC.
New Mailing Lists for Debian. Anand Kumria announced five new
mailing lists hosted at lists.debian.org. The
debian-multimedia list was already covered in our last issue. The
debian-x86-64 list aims at people porting Debian to AMD's new
64-bit architecture. The debian-ukrainian list provides a forum
for Ukrainian users. Finally, debian-l10n-polish and
debian-l10n-turkish intend to help translate Debian into Polish
Flaming with Jamie Zawinski. LiveJournal contains a report by
Jamie Zawinski, the author of the xscreensaver program, in which
he complains about Branden Robinson being a "gigantic flaming
dick". However, it is not clear to us why Jamie considered the
answer to be a flame. Branden was demonstratively objective in his
reply. Jamie was confused by a string in the changelog of an
unofficial Debian package of XFree86, that he found on the Internet,
which contained the name of his program.
Debian Menu System Development. Bill Allombert announced that the
menu system is actively maintained again. Bill and Morten Brix
Pedersen fixed more than 80 bugs in the package and created a
project in Alioth. The package also supports
internationalisation. He also mentions that icons are not required
anymore to only use 24 colors documented in the menu package.
Quantian Scientific Computing Environment. Dirk Eddelbüttel
announced Quantian, a remastered version of Knoppix.
Quantian differs from Knoppix by adding a set of programs of
interest to applied or theoretical workers in quantitative or
data-driven fields. It still retains all of Knoppix' impressive
features in terms of automatic configuration of virtually all
available hardware features. If there is sufficient interest, this
project may become a Debian subproject.
Improved Indian Support for Debian. Jaldhar Vyas wondered if there
is any interest in a sub-project for increasing the support for Indian
languages within Debian. Both GNOME and KDE contain viable support
already. His goals would be to package Indian support software or
write it as necessary, help with i18n and l10n for existing software
and advocate the use of Debian in the Indian community.
Distributing Sound Files. Roberto Gordo Saez wondered if he is
permitted to use the sounds of a package that is distributed
considerably free in a different project. After looking at the
chromium game he found out that it contains third party sound
files, which may originally be distributed under a different
Knoppix CD for Machine Clusters. Slashdot reported about an effort
by Wim Vandersmissen who created ClusterKnoppix. He added support
for openMosix to a regular Knoppix image. The new CD features
the openMosix terminal server, openMosix autodiscovery, and
clustermanagement tools such as openMosix userland.
Debian on Power4 Highend Server. Florian Weps reported about the
opportunity he had to test an IBM p630 for a few weeks. After the
AIX tests were finished, he and his colleagues decided to install
Debian GNU/Linux on one partition of this machine. They benefitted a
lot from the howto by Rolf Brudeseth covering the Debian network
installation on IBM RS/6000 machines.
Conferences in Austria and Brazil. The Debian project announced
that it has been invited to participate in two conferences that are
taking place from June 5th to 7th. At the LinuxWochen in Vienna,
Austria, Debian will be present with a booth staffed by Gerfried Fuchs
who will also give a talk about Debian and organize a keysigning
party. At the International Free Software Convention in Porto
Alegre, Brazil, almost all Brazilian Debian Developers will meet while
Bdale Garbee and Wichert Akkerman will give talks.
Debian featured in HP Whitepaper. In a whitepaper from HP that
covers Open Source for web services development Debian is prominently
mentioned. The document emphasises its vendor-neutralness, the strict
open-source-only policy, its vigorous quality program, that avoids the
types of issues that have recently plagued certain commercial
distributions, and more. Finally, Debian has a very easy to use
interface for installing and updating software packages.
Managing Package Source with Subversion? Marcelo Magellon wondered
if and how to maintain the source of Debian packages with Subversion.
Most notably, he's interested in a way to convert an existing CVS
repository to Subversion. Joey Hess answered that he uses a set of
handmade scripts for maintenance and reported about his
experiences with Subversion.
Compiling 64bit Sparc Kernel. Martin Pitt would like to compile a
late 2.5 kernel for sparc64 which runs a 64bit kernel but a 32bit
userland. Therefore he needs a cross-compiler and egcs64 seems to old
for him. Ben Collins explained that it will build the kernel, and
after a bug is fixed the kernel will even run. He also mentioned that
gcc-3.3 will compile 64bit kernels, but they do not boot.
New Tags for the Bug Tracking System. Colin Watson announced two
new tags for the Bug Tracking System. The tag lfs refers to
bugs about large file support and ipv6 refer to bugs with support
for IPv6. Guido Günther added that if these things get tags it
would make a lot of sense to add architecture tags as well in order to
classify problems on certain architectures. James Troup objected,
Invariant Sections in Documentation. Richard Stallman started a
discussion that again covers problems inherited by the GNU
Free Documentation License (GFDL) if a document includes invariant
sections which renders the document non-free according to Debian's
interpretation. It seems that the GFDL is a dangerous license which
does not always imply free documentation.
Embedded Debian Package Management. Bruno Randolf would like to
use the Debian package management system for an embedded distribution
on a MIPS platform. Therefore he has investigated several projects and
found out that there seems to be quite a lot approaches and ideas, but
only little coordination. Wookey also mentioned the mini
policy for cross-compiling related packages.
GNU Emacs Manual considered non-free. Jérôme Marant reported that
the GNU Emacs Manual will have to be moved to non-free, due to
invariant sections and the use of the GNU FDL. Invariant sections
don't allow modifications which are required by the Debian Free
Software Guidelines. This is very unfortunate, especially since it
affects documentation from the Free Software Foundation.
OpenOffice.org 1.1beta Debian Packages. The Debian OpenOffice.org team
proudly announced the availability of preliminary packages of
OpenOffice.org 1.1 beta. They are downloadable from the
debian-openoffice mirrors, in section 'unstable'. These packages
are not yet polished with all features from the 1.0.x packages, but
the majority of the functionality is in place.
Software Patents Meetings. Wookey forwarded an announcement for a
public meeting taking place on June 5th in Cambridge. There is
another meeting set up in Strasbourg by the FFII on June 7th
where developers will be able to talk to politicians. The EU software
and gene patent debates have shown a frightening willingness of
Europe's legislators to ignore all informed discussions, including
EU-sponsored studies, and to restrict the creative freedom if its
citizens without a twinkling of the eye.
Debian Day at LinuxTag 2003. There will be a one day conference
dedicated to Debian people at this years' LinuxTag in Karlsruhe,
targeting advanced users and developers. It will take place on Friday,
June 11th, and last for the entire day. The project is still looking
for speakers and topics. If you would like to give a talk at this
Debian conference, please get in touch with Martin Schulze
Security Updates. You know the drill. Please make sure that you update
your systems if you have any of these packages installed.
* gps -- Multiple vulnerabilities.
New or Noteworthy Packages. The following packages were added to the
unstable Debian archive recently or contain important updates.
* aft -- Document preparation system for "free form".
* arson -- KDE frontend for burning CDs.
* debtags -- Enables support for package tags.
* gmp-ecm -- Factor integers using the Elliptic Curve Method.
* gpdf -- Portable Document Format (PDF) viewer.
* kgpg -- GnuPG frontend for KDE.
* kwiki -- Quickie Wiki that's not too Tricky.
* labrea -- Sticky honeypot and IDS.
* motioneye -- PPM/JPG snapshots or MJPEG compressed video on
* mysqlcc -- The official GUI interface for MySQL.
* oooqs-kde -- OpenOffice.org QuickStarter applet for KDE.
* openexr -- Viewer and docs for the OpenEXR image format.
* pen -- This is pen, a load balancer for "simple" tcp based
* pyblosxom -- simple weblog ("blog") written in Python.
* sdcc-doc -- Documentation for the SDCC compiler.
* tagcolledit -- GUI editor for tagged collections.
* zopectl -- Zope instances controlling utility.
Orphaned Packages. 6 packages were orphaned this week and require a
new maintainer. This makes a total of 189 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.
* pente -- Five in a row game for X and the console.
* fwctl -- Configure ipchains firewall using higher level
* gnophone -- An internet telephone application.
* phonecore -- IAX software telephone framework.
* pose -- PalmOS Emulator. (Bug#195373)
* pose-skins -- Skins for the PalmOS Emulator.
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