Debian Weekly News - September 16th, 2003
Debian Weekly News
Debian Weekly News - September 16th, 2003
Welcome to this year's 37th issue of DWN, the weekly newsletter for
the Debian community. Several readers told us that the first hardware
audio player that supports Ogg/Vorbis is the NeurosAudio and has
been shipping for months. They are said to also support one of the key
Ogg authors and also supply a synchronization manager for GNU/Linux,
positron, which is packaged and distributed with Debian.
Too many Versions of Tcl? Andreas Rottmann wondered why there are
four different versions (8.0, 8.2, 8.3, 8.4) of the Tcl programming
environment in the archive. Matthew Palmer explained that Tcl
isn't particularly backwards compatible. Hence, several packages don't
run or build with newer versions of the language.
Status of Testing Migration. Petter Reinholdtsen reported that the
migration of packages into testing has been slowed down
significantly. At least partially this is due to the mips buildd being
under heavy load. Colin Watson pointed out that the reason is
glibc 2.3.2 and that there is a good chance that this will start to
clear quite shortly.
Second Revision of Woody. An official announcement has been sent
out stating the current status of the second revision of Debian
woody (3.0r2). This revision is planned to include about 130 security
updates that have been issued since the first revision. Comments
should be sent to Joey directly.
No Dueling Banjos from Debian. Some of the most bizarre mails on
debian-devel over the years have been repeated requests by
various people for the sheet music for dueling banjos. Several
list subscribers have been eager to assist the posters in
their search. Jim Penny called this the Dueling Banjo Effect and
explained that this has become a self-perpetuating Google-flop. People
use Google which points them to Debian to get this sheet music, and
the act of asking reinforces Google's notion that Debian is a good
place to get the music.
Criteria for Inclusion in Debian. Adam Kessel wondered if there
are guidelines for what gets included in Debian other than what is
required by the DFSG. Steve Langasek explained that it is rare
that Debian would overrule a developer who wishes to maintain a piece
of software which is free and legally distributable. Manoj Srivastava
added that if a developer has spent the time and effort to package
software and made it policy compliant, then as long as Debian can
legally distribute it, it has usually found its way in.
Alternative to the GNU FDL. Wouter Verhelst prepared a draft
documentation license that seeks to retain the spirit of the GNU
Free Documentation License (FDL), but which he thinks is
DFSG-free. Branden Robinson wasn't sure precisely what the FDL's
intent is, but thought that it would be more fruitful to enumerate the
license's intentions before constructing the text.
Attribution-ShareAlike License. John Goerzen wondered whether the
Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License was DFSG-free. On
his own analysis it occurred that it would satisfy each
requirement of the DFSG. Branden Robinson agreed, but warned that
licenses must also pass a more "holistic" reading to make sure they
aren't non-free despite passing each specific clause of the DFSG.
Florian Weimer thought it would depend upon whether the license
was applied to a documentation format suitable for editing.
News from the Package Tracking System. Raphaël Hertzog reported
about a new feature which has been added to the Package
Tracking System (PTS) a few months ago. It is now possible to add
custom information to the PTS web page for a particular package. The
PTS features many useful links (BTS, QA statistics, contact
information, DDTP translation status, buildd logs) and gathers much
more information from various places. There are over 3000
subscriptions from 1500 different addresses for 1650 different source
DebConf 4 in Brazil. Carlos Laviola announced that the Debian
Conference #4 will be held in Porto Alegre, Brazil. This country
has been extremely active in the Free Software movement but is very
unrepresented at past Debian conferences. There are already plans
planning to host the conference some days before or after the
Fórum Internacional de Software Livre (International Free Software
Forum), so that Debian developers can attend this event as well.
Improvements in the Bug Tracking System. Colin Watson announced
the new tag 'fixed-upstream' which is intended to replace the old
(mis)use of the 'pending' tag and refers to bugs that were fixed
upstream and the maintainer is only waiting for a new release. The new
'owner' attribute allows maintainer teams to divide the work up more
conveniently. If set the address receives the same mail sent to that
bug as a package maintainer would receive.
Installing Sarge with the Debian-Installer. Sebastian Ley reported
that the debian-installer team has cleaned up the build process of
debian-installer images. They also put together a howto which
guides through the process of installing sarge. At the same time the
Debian-CD team has reviewed the netinst iso images for a sarge
installation with the new debian-installer.
Maintaining Packages with Subversion. Eduard Bloch maintains the
svn-devscripts package which contains tools that help create and
maintain Debian packages in a large Subversion repository. Joey Hess,
however, has problems with the implementation and proposed
improvements. Graham Wilson also added another method of importing
new upstream source archives.
Debmirror Survey. Goswin von Brederlow would like to know how
other people use the debmirror package to mirror certain parts of
the Debian archive. He has rewritten most of debmirror in an effort to
clean up the codebase and to add flexibility of the actual download
method used. For the configuration part he is seeking input.
Using proper Build Dependencies. Joey Hess discovered a glitch in
the policy with regards to build dependencies. Hence, Wouter
Verhelst explained how Build-Depends and Build-Depends-Indep have
been created as a tool to make autobuilding packages easier and
proposed to rewrite the paragraph in the policy.
Debian-Installer Work Camp. An invitation to the 8th Oldenburg
Linux developers meeting was sent to the debian-boot list since it
will host a debian-installer debcamp. The meeting will take place
at the last weekend on September in Oldenburg, Germany. Several
developers who work on the debian-installer already subscribed to the
Security Updates. You know the drill. Please make sure that you update
your systems if you have any of these packages installed.
* sane-backends -- Several vulnerabilities.
* XFree86 -- Buffer overflows, denial of service.
* MySQL -- Buffer overflow.
New or Noteworthy Packages. The following packages were added to the
unstable Debian archive recently or contain important updates.
* athena-jot -- Print out increasing, decreasing, random, or
redundant data, one per line.
* axiom -- General purpose computer algebra system.
* bookcase -- An application for keeping track of your books.
* gnuift -- GNU Image Finding Tool - index and search images by
* gtkguitune -- Guitar and other instruments tuner.
* gtranslator -- PO-file editor by the Gnome I18N team.
* pconsole -- Parallel console shell for administering clusters.
* potrace -- Utility to transform bitmaps into vector graphics.
* quagga -- Inofficial successor of the Zebra BGP/OSPF/RIP
Orphaned Packages. 17 packages were orphaned this week and require a
new maintainer. This makes a total of 212 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.
* affiche -- Application to "stick" little notes on the desktop.
* distcc -- Simple distributed compiler client and server.
* docbook-utils -- Convert Docbook files to other formats (HTML,
RTF, PS, man, PDF). (Bug#211053)
* dpkg-cross -- Tools for cross compiling Debian packages.
* freenet-unstable -- Peer-to-peer network for anonymous
publishing (unstable branch). (Bug#210590)
* gamix -- Graphical mixer for ALSA using gtk+. (Bug#210730)
* mydns -- DNS server using MySQL for data storage.
* preferences -- GNUstep Preferences.app. (Bug#210594)
* preferences-app -- GNUstep Preferences.app. (Bug#210595)
* remind -- Sophisticated reminder service. (Bug#210891)
* sel -- Fullscreen file-selection and execution tool.
* tcl-sql -- Tcl generic database interface. (Bug#210393)
* ttysnoop -- Allows you to spy on telnet+serial connections.
* xdkcal -- Desktop Calendar for X. (Bug#210889)
* xotcl -- Object oriented extension for Tcl. (Bug#210239)
* xpaste -- Program to display the contents of the primary
paste buffer. (Bug#209359)
* xxkb -- Keyboard state indicator and switcher for xkb.
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