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Debian Weekly News - August 19th, 2003

Debian Weekly News
Debian Weekly News - August 19th, 2003

Welcome to this year's 33rd issue of DWN, the weekly newsletter for
the Debian community. Aryan Ameri wrote a user [1]review of
[2]Libranet 2.8, which is based on Debian. Richard Stallman [3]said
he now prefers the [4]GNU/LinEx distribution over Debian because of
non-free software on our FTP servers. There's been a lot of discussion
on the [5]debian-legal list about the definition of the word
"software", with much heat generated.

 1. http://www.linuxiran.org/modules/news/article.php?storyid=232
 2. http://www.libranet.com/
 3. http://www.ofb.biz/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=260
 4. http://www.linex.org/
 5. http://lists.debian.org/debian-legal-0308/

Birthday Present: Rescue CD. As a special birthday present for the
[6]10th anniversary of the Debian project Jörg Jaspert has created a
business card sized [7]rescue CD. Although only 50 MB in size, it
contains most tools required to rescue a GNU/Linux systems, plus some
tools which are useful to rescue other systems. The CD can be ordered
at [8]LinuxLand.

 6. http://www.debian.org/News/2003/20030811
 7. http://people.debian.org/~joerg/rettcd/
 8. http://www.linuxland.de/katalog/01_linuxdistri_bs/debian/debiangeburtstag/framify

Origins of the DFSG. Bruce Perens [9]explained that when he designed
the [10]Debian Free Software Guidelines (DFSG), his intention was that
the entire contents of that CD would be under the rights stated in the
DFSG, be they software, documentation, or data. His view is that
invariant sections in documentation, such as those allowed by the
[11]GNU Free Documentation License, are OK for attribution, the
copyright statement and license only, and not for other aspects of the

 9. http://lists.debian.org/debian-legal-0308/msg00264.html
 10. http://www.debian.org/social_contract#guidelines
 11. http://www.fsf.org/copyleft/fdl.html

Public Release of xml-core. Ardo van Rangelrooij [12]announced the
first public, highly experimental version of the [13]xml-core package.
It contains the update-xmlcatalog tool to manage XML catalog files.
For more details see the draft of the [14]Debian XML Policy. Note that
the next version of the policy will require a local catalog for
often-used stylesheet files, which is already implemented in
update-xmlcatalog. Issues or bugs should be reported to the
[15]debian-sgml mailing list.

 12. http://lists.debian.org/debian-doc-0308/msg00014.html
 13. http://people.debian.org/~ardo/UPLOADS/
 14. http://people.debian.org/~mrj/oasis/XML-Catalogs/Implementation-Guide.html
 15. http://lists.debian.org/debian-sgml/

Open Source good Choice for Companies. In a short [16]story by Jan
Stafford, editor of SearchEnterpriseLinux.com Debian Developer Tony
Mancill says "Because most open source software is based upon open
standards and written to fill functionality gaps left by proprietary
offerings, conversion from Proprietary A to open-source can be easier
than the conversion to another proprietary product." Tony Mancill
talks about two examples of how open source technology helped two
firms he has worked with.

 16. http://searchenterpriselinux.techtarget.com/newsItem/0,289139,sid39_gci919102,00.html

Continuing the G++ 3.x Transition. Matthew Wilcox [17]noted that work
on this [18]transition plan has slowed down. He reveals that there are
more than 120 [19]maintainers who maintain packages that still depend
on libstdc++2.10. There are still 145 source packages compiled with
g++ 2.95 in the archive. If Debian wants to hit this release goal,
it's time to get working on these packages.

 17. http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel-announce-0308/msg00003.html
 18. http://people.debian.org/~willy/gcc-transition/
 19. http://people.debian.org/~willy/gcc-transition/maint-packages-2.95

Installing Debian on an Indy. Jan Ivar Pladsen wrote a [20]document
which describes how to install Debian GNU/Linux on Indy. In detail he
describes how to fetch and configure the MAC address to boot the
machine via the network. He continues with a detailed calculation for
partitioning the harddisk. Most of this information should already be
part of the Debian [21]installation manual but apparently isn't.

 20. http://www.pvv.org/~pladsen/Indy/HOWTO.html
 21. http://www.debian.org/releases/stable/mips/install.en.html

Debian's Founding Moment. With Debian's 10th Birthday, Ben Finney
[22]wondered if there was an inaugural email or some other document
that marked the start of the Debian project. This [23]email from Ian
Murdock was pointed out. Matt Zimmerman [24]thought the goals of an
"installation procedure that doesn't need to be babysat" and a "system
setup procedure that will attempt to setup and configure everything
from fstab to Xconfig" may still need work. But Peter Makholm
[25]noted that at least the "Be warned that it will be rather large
:)" message was accurate.

 22. http://lists.debian.org/debian-project-0308/msg00017.html
 23. http://groups.google.com/groups?selm=CBusDD.MIK%40unix.portal.com&oe=UTF-8&output=gplain
 24. http://lists.debian.org/debian-project-0308/msg00021.html
 25. http://lists.debian.org/debian-project-0308/msg00024.html

Mounting the Root Filesystem read-only. Thomas Hood [26]noted that one
of the remaining obstacles to running cleanly with the root filesystem
mounted read-only has been the mount program, which can only write the
mtab file in /etc/. If this file is a symbolic link then mount will
not write to it. People [27]have [28]wished that mount would follow a
symlink so that it could point somewhere like /run/mtab. Thomas has
developed a [29]patch for this, so [30]did Goswin von Brederlow.

 26. http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel-0308/msg00822.html
 27. http://bugs.debian.org/94076
 28. http://bugs.debian.org/154438
 29. http://panopticon.csustan.edu/thood/readonly-root.html
 30. ftp://mrvn.homeip.net/util-linux/

When a Build requires Kernel Headers. Jörg Wendland [31]experienced
problems with including kernel header files in a regular package. Ben
Collins [32]explained that userspace applications should not require
kernel headers for building. Herbert Xu [33]added that the solution in
this case is to include a copy of the said header file in the package

 31. http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel-0308/msg00961.html
 32. http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel-0308/msg00963.html
 33. http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel-0308/msg01066.html

Support for encrypted Swap and Data Partitions. Vincent Bernat
[34]wondered if Debian would like to support encrypted swap and
encrypted data partitions. He has [35]modified mountall.sh to allow
encrypted partitions. Encrypted partitions need user interaction to be
mounted, since the password is not generated on the fly (like for the
swap), so it is only usable on laptops and maybe on some home systems.

 34. http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel-0308/msg02488.html
 35. http://bugs.debian.org/203538

Protest against Software Patents. Felix Klee [36]informed us that on
September 1st the European parliament will vote on a directive that
legalises software patents in Europe. If this directive comes through
we will be stuck with software patents in the foreseeable future.
Chances of changing the patent law back are close to zero. The
[37]FFII is organizing a [38]conference in Brussels on August 27 as a
last minute protest to raise the attention of yet undecided members of
the parliament and asks webmasters to close their websites on August

 36. http://lists.debian.org/debian-project-0308/msg00041.html
 37. http://www.ffii.org/
 38. http://swpat.ffii.org/events/2003/europarl/08/

Introducing Mepis Linux. [39]Mepis Linux is derived from the Debian
GNU/Linux code base. LinuxOnline is hosting a series of articles on
this LiveCD. The first is an [40]overview of the CD, which reveals
that there are not that much cheat codes like Knoppix. It is followed
by a [41]full review. Finally, Mepis creator Warren Woodford is
[42]interviewed, and said that Mepis wouldn't be possible without the
high quality committed work of the Debian community.

 39. http://www.mepis.org/
 40. http://www.pclinuxonline.com/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=7115
 41. http://www.pclinuxonline.com/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=7143
 42. http://www.pclinuxonline.com/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=7171

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

 * [43]netris -- Buffer overflow.
 * [44]autorespond -- Buffer overflow.

 43. http://www.debian.org/security/2003/dsa-372
 44. http://www.debian.org/security/2003/dsa-373

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

 * [45]ample -- Simple MP3 server easy to use.
 * [46]apoo -- Assembly course aid.
 * [47]c2n -- Tape transfer utility for CBM/Oric-1 machines.
 * [48]checkpolicy -- SELinux policy compiler.
 * [49]csound -- Powerful and versatile sound synthesis software.
 * [50]giftoxic -- GTK2 based GUI for the giFT filesharing system.
 * [51]gngb -- GameBoy Emulator.
 * [52]gnotime -- Tracking and invoicing time spent on projects.
 * [53]irqbalance -- Balances irq's for SMP systems.
 * [54]late -- Simple game of capturing balls.
 * [55]lcab -- Create Cabinet (.cab) files.
 * [56]mpichpython -- MPI-enhanced Python interpreter.
 * [57]nast -- Packet sniffer and LAN analyzer.
 * [58]pgpdump -- PGP packet visualizer.
 * [59]pound -- Reverse proxy, load balancer and https front-end for
 * [60]spip -- User Friendly but powerful Content Managment System
   build in php.
 * [61]thuban -- Interactive geographic data viewer.
 * [62]tictactoe -- Tic-tac-toe game written in Ruby.
 * [63]ulogd-pcap -- PCAP extension to ulogd.

 45. http://packages.debian.org/unstable/sound/ample.html
 46. http://packages.debian.org/unstable/misc/apoo.html
 47. http://packages.debian.org/unstable/otherosfs/c2n.html
 48. http://packages.debian.org/unstable/utils/checkpolicy.html
 49. http://packages.debian.org/unstable/sound/csound.html
 50. http://packages.debian.org/unstable/net/giftoxic.html
 51. http://packages.debian.org/unstable/x11/gngb.html
 52. http://packages.debian.org/unstable/gnome/gnotime.html
 53. http://packages.debian.org/unstable/utils/irqbalance.html
 54. http://packages.debian.org/unstable/games/late.html
 55. http://packages.debian.org/unstable/utils/lcab.html
 56. http://packages.debian.org/unstable/python/mpichpython.html
 57. http://packages.debian.org/unstable/net/nast.html
 58. http://packages.debian.org/unstable/utils/pgpdump.html
 59. http://packages.debian.org/unstable/net/pound.html
 60. http://packages.debian.org/unstable/web/spip.html
 61. http://packages.debian.org/unstable/graphics/thuban.html
 62. http://packages.debian.org/unstable/games/tictactoe.html
 63. http://packages.debian.org/unstable/net/ulogd-pcap.html

Orphaned Packages. 15 packages were orphaned this week and require a
new maintainer. This makes a total of 195 orphaned packages. Many
thanks to the previous maintainers who contributed to the Free
Software community. Please see the [64]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.

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

 * [65]amiwm -- Amiga look-alike window manager. ([66]Bug#206021)
 * [67]bibview -- X11 Bibliography database tool. ([68]Bug#206137)
 * [69]boust -- Tcl/Tk text-reader that formats the file in
   boustrophedon. ([70]Bug#206023)
 * [71]bulkmail -- Speed up delivery of e-mail to large numbers of
   recipients. ([72]Bug#206102)
 * [73]crm114 -- Controllable Regex Mutilator and Spam Filter.
 * [75]freedict -- Freedict. ([76]Bug#206113)
 * [77]pftp -- Fast file transfer program. ([78]Bug#206119)
 * [79]phototk -- GUI interface for digital cameras. ([80]Bug#206121)
 * [81]pyching -- Python program to cast and interpret I Ching
   hexagrams. ([82]Bug#206024)
 * [83]rsxs -- Really Slick X Screensavers. ([84]Bug#205725)
 * [85]sn -- Small NNTP server for leaf sites. ([86]Bug#206025)
 * [87]squishdot -- Web-based News/Discussion System.
 * [89]w3mir -- All purpose HTTP copying and mirroring tool.
 * [91]zircon -- Powerful X Internet Relay Chat client.
 * [93]zope-tinytable -- Present tabular data in Zope.

 65. http://packages.debian.org/unstable/x11/amiwm.html
 66. http://bugs.debian.org/206021
 67. http://packages.debian.org/unstable/tex/bibview.html
 68. http://bugs.debian.org/206137
 69. http://packages.debian.org/unstable/text/boust.html
 70. http://bugs.debian.org/206023
 71. http://packages.debian.org/unstable/mail/bulkmail.html
 72. http://bugs.debian.org/206102
 73. http://packages.debian.org/unstable/mail/crm114.html
 74. http://bugs.debian.org/206105
 75. http://packages.debian.org/unstable/text/dict-freedict.html
 76. http://bugs.debian.org/206113
 77. http://packages.debian.org/unstable/net/pftp.html
 78. http://bugs.debian.org/206119
 79. http://packages.debian.org/unstable/graphics/phototk.html
 80. http://bugs.debian.org/206121
 81. http://packages.debian.org/unstable/games/pyching.html
 82. http://bugs.debian.org/206024
 83. http://packages.debian.org/unstable/x11/rsxs.html
 84. http://bugs.debian.org/205725
 85. http://packages.debian.org/unstable/news/sn.html
 86. http://bugs.debian.org/206025
 87. http://packages.debian.org/unstable/web/squishdot.html
 88. http://bugs.debian.org/206101
 89. http://packages.debian.org/unstable/web/w3mir.html
 90. http://bugs.debian.org/206103
 91. http://packages.debian.org/unstable/net/zircon.html
 92. http://bugs.debian.org/206116
 93. http://packages.debian.org/unstable/web/zope-tinytable.html
 94. http://bugs.debian.org/206114

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
[95]contributing page to find out how to help. We're looking forward
to receiving your mail at [96]dwn@debian.org.

 95. http://www.debian.org/News/weekly/contributing
 96. mailto:dwn@debian.org

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