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Debian Weekly News - June 24th, 2003

Debian Weekly News
Debian Weekly News - June 24th, 2003

Welcome to this year's 25th issue of DWN, the weekly newsletter for
the Debian community. Debian 3.0 has been on the [1]cover of the
Australian [2]Australian Personal Computer magazine for the first
time ever. Rob Savoye [3]reported an interesting experience of
bringing up a rack of 20 dual processor Itanium II machines (HP
zx6000s), over a 48 hour period. All of them are now running Debian.

 1. http://www.debianplanet.org/debianplanet/node.php?id=972
 2. http://www.apcmag.com/
 3. http://lists.debian.org/debian-ia64-0305/msg00008.html

Security Update Procedure. Matt Zimmerman [4]noticed that many
package maintainers are not aware of the recommended methods for
handling security issues in their packages. Therefore he urges anyone
who participates in package maintenance to read the relevant
[5]section in the [6]Developer's Reference which documents the
current recommended procedures. It has recently been updated with
additional details and clarifications.

 4. http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel-announce-0306/msg00010.html
 5. http://www.debian.org/doc/developers-reference/ch-pkgs.en.html#s-bug-security
 6. http://www.debian.org/doc/developers-reference/

Freeze Date Estimate. Drew Scott Daniels [7]talked about freeze date
estimates which he believes are useful for developers to help to
prepare for a release. He expects the debian-installer to be finished
in two months which makes him expect a freeze this year. He also
estimates that the freeze cycle will last 6 months.

 7. http://lists.debian.org/debian-release-0306/msg00004.html

Debian presence at LinuxTag. The Debian project will be exhibiting at
[8]LinuxTag in Karlsruhe, Germany from July 10th to 13th with a booth
in the exhibition and a [9]day of talks and workshops dedicated to
developers and interested users on July 11 2003. Newsforge has a
[10]story that details several of the non-profit [11]exhibitors.

 8. http://www.linuxtag.org/
 9. http://www.infodrom.org/Debian/events/LinuxTag2003/day.html
 10. http://newsforge.com/newsforge/03/06/14/130256.shtml?tid=23
 11. http://www.infodrom.org/Debian/events/LinuxTag2003/projects.php3

Popularity Contest Revised. Bill Allombert [12]announced that he has
written a replacement [13]page for Avery Pennarun's now broken
popularity contest web page. He's also made the page's script
[14]available. It sorts the results by number of installs, number of
votes and more.

 12. http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel-0306/msg00770.html
 13. http://people.debian.org/~ballombe/popcon
 14. http://people.debian.org/~ballombe/popcon/popcon.pl

Knoppix and MAME. [15]KnoppiXMAME 1.0 was released, as [16]announced
on Slashdot. [17]KnoppiXMAME is a bootable arcade machine emulator
powered by Knoppix Debian GNU/Linux, [18]X-MAME 0.69, and [19]gxmame
0.33. The ISO image is only 200 MB large. You can put the ROMs on the
CD ISO without remastering/recompressing [20]Knoppix.

 15. http://freshmeat.net/releases/126525/
 16. http://games.slashdot.org/games/03/06/19/1427228.shtml
 17. http://freshmeat.net/projects/knoppixmame/
 18. http://www.icewalkers.com/Linux/Software/54910/X-Mame.html
 19. http://gxmame.sourceforge.net/
 20. http://www.knoppix.org/

80,000 GNU/Linux Computers in Schools. According to
[21]DesktopLinux.org a sweeping initiative Spain has put 80,000
GNU/Linux computers in schools. The systems feature a [22]customized
version of Debian, called [23]GNU/LinEx, and features the GNOME
desktop and other Free Software productivity programs.

 21. http://www.desktoplinux.org/news/NS5160643271.html
 22. http://www.linex.org/linex2/linex/ingles/index_ing.html
 23. http://www.linex.org/

Voting Method General Resolution Results. Manoj Srivastava
[24]announced the results of the condorcet/Clone proof SSD Voting
Method General Resolution. There were a total of 160 unique votes
cast, with 144 votes in favour of the resolution. Therefore, the
resolution passed with a 9:1 super majority, which is in excess of the
required 3:1 majority.

 24. http://lists.debian.org/debian-vote-0306/msg00072.html

LaTeX Project Public License. The LaTeX Project Public License (LPPL)
has previously been [25]considered non-free under the terms of the
[26]Debian Free Software Guidelines (DFSG). Jeff Licquia has now
posted a new [27]revision of the LPPL, which he believes satisfies the
DFSG. There was [28]general [29]agreement that the new license is
DFSG-free and after a [30]year of work and perhaps 1,500 emails in
total, the issue should hopefully be resolved.

 25. http://lists.debian.org/debian-legal-0202/msg00123.html
 26. http://www.debian.org/social_contract#guidelines
 27. http://lists.debian.org/debian-legal-0306/msg00210.html
 28. http://lists.debian.org/debian-legal-0306/msg00219.html
 29. http://lists.debian.org/debian-legal-0306/msg00221.html
 30. http://lists.debian.org/debian-legal-0306/msg00229.html

Hardware Donations. Benjamin Mako Hill, the Debian Hardware Donations
Manager, announced the availability of various hardware donations.
Several [31]SGI Indys have been donated to Debian recently in
California, USA and Germany, and an [32]Alphastation 200 may be
available in Amsterdam. Mako also noted that there is no developer
accessible Hurd machine available, but would be happy to
[33]coordinate the donation of hardware for this if it is something
that developers feel would be useful.

 31. http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel-0306/msg01311.html
 32. http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel-0306/msg01310.html
 33. http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel-0306/msg01308.html

Open Source and Mayor Election. This Wired news [34]story tells us
about a candidate for Mayor of [35]Zaragoza, Spain, who is using the
benefits of open source development as his platform for the election.
Handing out copies of [36]Augustux a Debian based distribution, and
talking about free wireless Internet access for all, Belloch can
clearly explain how free and open technologies can be translated into
opportunities, political participation, economic growth and social
welfare, with hard numbers and real details.

 34. http://www.wired.com/news/politics/0,1283,58764,00.html
 35. http://www.ayto-zaragoza.es/
 36. http://www.zaralinux.org/proy/augustux/

Software Patents in Europe. Wookey [37]reported about the current
status of Software Patents in Europe. Recently there has been a vote
by the JURI committee which essentially allows complete patentability
of software. There have been no significant provisions to help Free
Software or reduce the effect on small businesses. The issue is very
urgent! Wookey continues with a report about the conference about
software patents in Brussels from May 5th to 7th.

 37. http://lists.debian.org/debian-events-eu-0306/msg00259.html

Using apt-get with Rsync. Dan Jacobson wanted to [38]know if using the
[39]rsync method for apt-get only affects fetching of the Packages
files or if it will also fetch the packages via rsync. Colin Watson
[40]added that gzip already contains a patch to create rsync-friendly

 38. http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel-0306/msg01091.html
 39. http://home.tiscali.cz:8080/~cz210552/aptrsync.html
 40. http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel-0306/msg01100.html

Missing Package Dates. Dan Jacobson [41]noted that the Packages files
don't contain information about when a package was uploaded. Hence,
without downloading and looking at the changelog file one can't say
whether it is a package that was updated recently or another which
hasn't been updated for a long time.

 41. http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel-0306/msg01120.html

Ceasing Support for Libc 5. Francesco Lovergine [42]suggested to drop
all i386-specific packages which are libc5 related. Some of these may
be required to run proprietary non-free software, though.

 42. http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel-0306/msg01153.html

Perl License Clarification. Marc Haber [43]noticed that ftp people
reject packages that are distributed "under the same terms as Perl
itself". However, Perl is dual-licensed, using the GNU [44]GPL and the
[45]Artistic license. Many people [46]acknowledged this as a possible
problem and recommended that upstream be made aware of the flexibility
of interpretation of the Perl style copyright and licensing.

 43. http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel-0306/msg01174.html
 44. http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/gpl.html
 45. http://www.perl.com/pub/a/language/misc/Artistic.html
 46. http://lists.debian.org/debian-legal-0302/msg00039.html

Annoying teTeX Upgrade Questions. Bernd Eckenfels [47]noticed that
upgrading teTeX packages results in updating configuration files. This
won't be a problem at all, but upon upgrade the user is asked for many
files whether it should be updated since allegedly local changes were
made. Matt Zimmerman [48]explained that this happens when a
configuration file moves from one package to another, is renamed, or
when a configuration file switches to being a configuration file when
it was previously not.

 47. http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel-0306/msg01178.html
 48. http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel-0306/msg01232.html

Improper Package Description. Javier Fernández-Sanguino Peña
[49]complained about wrongly used package descriptions. The
description should be written so that it gives the system
administrator enough information to decide whether to install the
package. Several packages fail to meet this requirement, hence, Javier
is going to open bug reports accordingly.

 49. http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel-0306/msg01273.html

Read-only Root Filesystem. Thomas Hood [50]reported that some progress
has been made towards the [51]goal of making Debian easier to use with
a read-only root filesystem. Action has been taken to remove variable
files from the directory /etc/, or at least to make it possible to do
so locally.

 50. http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel-0306/msg01307.html
 51. http://panopticon.csustan.edu/thood/readonly-root.html

Packaging Haskell Libraries. Isaac Jones [52]reported about problems
with packaging Haskell libraries. There has been a lot of discussion
recently on the Haskell mailing lists about the best ways to package
Haskell libraries and tools for Debian. One problem is that almost all
Haskell compilers, interpreters and releases are binary-incompatible.

 52. http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel-0306/msg01373.html

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

 * [53]ethereal -- Multiple vulnerabilities.
 * [54]eldev -- Insecure temporary file creation.
 * [55]orville-write -- Buffer overflows.
 * [56]xbl -- Buffer overflows.
 * [57]webfs -- Buffer overflow.
 * [58]osh -- Buffer overflows.
 * [59]tcptraceroute -- Failure to drop root privileges.

 53. http://www.debian.org/security/2003/dsa-324
 54. http://www.debian.org/security/2003/dsa-325
 55. http://www.debian.org/security/2003/dsa-326
 56. http://www.debian.org/security/2003/dsa-327
 57. http://www.debian.org/security/2003/dsa-328
 58. http://www.debian.org/security/2003/dsa-329
 59. http://www.debian.org/security/2003/dsa-330

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

 * [60]ddns3-client -- Issues dynamic DNS v3 requests.
 * [61]dns-browse -- Front-ends to DNS search.
 * [62]hexer -- Interactive binary editor with a Vi-like interface.
 * [63]obexserver -- Receive files with OBEX protocol.
 * [64]rafkill -- Vertical shoot'em-up similar to Raptor: Call of the
 * [65]steghide -- Steganography hiding tool.
 * [66]wiggle -- Program for applying patches with conflicting
 * [67]yaz -- Utility programs for Z39.50 toolkit.

 60. http://packages.debian.org/unstable/net/ddns3-client.html
 61. http://packages.debian.org/unstable/net/dns-browse.html
 62. http://packages.debian.org/unstable/utils/hexer.html
 63. http://packages.debian.org/unstable/comm/obexserver.html
 64. http://packages.debian.org/unstable/games/rafkill.html
 65. http://packages.debian.org/unstable/misc/steghide.html
 66. http://packages.debian.org/unstable/utils/wiggle.html
 67. http://packages.debian.org/unstable/devel/yaz.html

Orphaned Packages. 8 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 [68]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.

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

 * [69]gpe-todo -- GNU Palmtop Environment todo list.
 * [71]gtk-doc-tools -- GTK documentation tools. ([72]Bug#197849)
 * [73]kbackup -- A console single host backup solution for various
   media. ([74]Bug#198554)
 * [75]kforth -- Small Forth Interpreter Written in C++.
 * [77]libcapplet1 -- Library for GNOME Control Center applets.
 * [79]libgnomeprint15 -- GNOME Print architecture. ([80]Bug#197842)
 * [81]memprof -- Memory profiler and leak detector. ([82]Bug#197845)
 * [83]visual-tcl -- Tcl GUI builder. ([84]Bug#197844)

 69. http://packages.debian.org/unstable/utils/gpe-todo.html
 70. http://bugs.debian.org/198373
 71. http://packages.debian.org/unstable/gnome/gtk-doc-tools.html
 72. http://bugs.debian.org/197849
 73. http://packages.debian.org/unstable/utils/kbackup.html
 74. http://bugs.debian.org/198554
 75. http://packages.debian.org/unstable/interpreters/kforth.html
 76. http://bugs.debian.org/198151
 77. http://packages.debian.org/unstable/libs/libcapplet1.html
 78. http://bugs.debian.org/197841
 79. http://packages.debian.org/unstable/libs/libgnomeprint15.html
 80. http://bugs.debian.org/197842
 81. http://packages.debian.org/unstable/gnome/memprof.html
 82. http://bugs.debian.org/197845
 83. http://packages.debian.org/unstable/devel/visual-tcl.html
 84. http://bugs.debian.org/197844

Want to continue reading DWN? Please help us create this newsletter.
We still need more volunteer writers who investigate the Debian
community and report about events in the community. Please see the
[85]contributing page to find out how to help. We're looking forward
to receiving your mail at [86]dwn@debian.org.

 85. http://www.debian.org/News/weekly/contributing
 86. mailto:dwn@debian.org

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