Debian Weekly News - October 14th, 2003
Debian Weekly News
Debian Weekly News - October 14th, 2003
Welcome to this year's 41st issue of DWN, the weekly newsletter for
the Debian community. A new site, Russian Debian, has just opened
its doors especially to the Russian Debian community. Just like
Debian Planet, they also use Drupal to power the site.
Additionally there has been a review of Libranet 2.8.1, which is a
SPI/Debian Trademark Committee. Martin Michlmayr reported about
the formation of a trademark committee based on a resolution by Mako
Hill and Gregory Pomerantz which was passed by the SPI board in
June. The goal is to draft a new policy on the use of the Debian
trademark. It will attempt to balance the restrictive elements of
trademark law with the need for certain types of open use that are
important to community driven Free Software projects like Debian.
Debian GNU/Linux the Favorite Distribution. The Debian project
announced that Debian GNU/Linux was awarded this year's Linux
Journal Ninth Annual Readers' Choice Award in the category favorite
distribution with over 7,500 readers participating in the poll. "I
would like to thank the Linux Journal readers on behalf of the Debian
community, for taking the time to make their preferences known and for
choosing Debian," said Martin Michlmayr in response to receiving the
Ballot for the Constitutional Amendment. Manoj Srivastava proposed a
draft ballot for the general resolution currently under
discussion. Three variants have been proposed, and hence the ballot
covers all of them as well as no-action and further discussion. The
first call for votes will go out on Tuesday when DWN is released.
Report from the Linux Expo UK 2003. Steve McIntyre wrote a short
report about the Debian presence at the Linux Expo UK 2003 last
week. It was a very successful show overall which kept Debian people
busy for the two days. They spoke to a lot of people and sold loads of
T and polo shirts in addition to CDs and DVDs. Many existing GNU/Linux
and Debian users came to talk or ask particular questions.
Language Suffixes for Programs. Marco Paganini wondered whether
programs in /usr/bin are allowed to have a language suffix such as .pl
or .py. Marcelo Magallon strongly opposed this idea and Daniel
Burrows explained that adding .py to programs in /usr/bin can
cause problems with Python's module importing.
Debian GNU/Linux is the Best Enterprise Distribution. The German Linux
Enterprise magazine conducted a "Readers Choice" survey. Among
various questions readers also had to vote for the "Best Enterprise
Distribution". The winner is, Debian GNU/Linux which received 33 % of
votes. It was followed by SuSE Linux Enterprise Server with 32 % and
Red Hat Advanced Server at 22 %.
Eating Spam and Viruses with Debian GNU/Linux. Ugo Bellavance recently
discovered MailScanner, which is a powerful security/spam/virus filter
for mail servers. He wrote a short introduction on its use and
installation. It can also be used in connection with an anti-virus
product. The behaviour for spam and virus catching is highly
customisable using several settings, and the defaults usually make
sense, if one is using a recent version.
Building Packages consume too much Memory. Sam Hocevar noticed
that building openvrml on arm, mips and mipsel
consumes too much memory so that the automatic build is terminated. He
admitted that g++ uses about 200 MB of memory on his own system.
Adam Majer suggested not to use the -O2 switch for optimisation in
order to save memory on these architectures.
SysFS - Managing Device Nodes. Martin Pitt read about the new
architecture for Linux kernel device nodes and wondered how to
package its library. A user-space daemon will provide a consistent
interface to the kernel device information file system sysfs and
replace devfs. Marco d'Itri contributed preliminary packages
Booting a Debian System faster. Andrea Mennucc wondered if there
have been any effort in speeding up the boot sequence by implementing
parallel starting of daemons, minit or Richard Gooch's
boot scripts. Henrique de Moraes Holschuh has been working on
the init system. Joe Drew added that he has converted an
embedded machine from busybox init to simpleinit plus tools that
support dependencies and saved some time during boot. Gerrit Pape also
implemented runit, but it's not a drop-in replacement for the
SysV init system.
Helping busy Maintainers. Martin Michlmayr called for a group of
people who are willing to help busy developers by co-maintaining
their packages for a while. Interested people don't need to be
registered as Debian developer yet, but should contact him.
Security Updates. You know the drill. Please make sure that you update
your systems if you have any of these packages installed.
* OpenSSL 0.9.5 -- Denial of service issues.
New or Noteworthy Packages. The following packages were added to the
unstable Debian archive recently or contain important updates.
* apachetop -- Realtime Apache monitoring tool.
* bibclean -- Pretty-printer for BibTeX databases.
* chasen-cannadic -- Japanese dictionary for ChaSen derived from
* crywrap -- Simple TCP service encryption using TLS/SSL.
* cvsreport -- Extract activity reports from a CVS repository.
* genders -- Collection of cluster config management utilities.
* gtkboard -- Many board games in one program.
* juman -- Japanese Morphological Analysis System.
* liferea -- Simple FeedReader clone for GNOME2.
* nabi -- Korean X input method server plus imhangul status
* qtads -- Qt text-only interpreter for TADS.
Orphaned Packages. 17 packages were orphaned this week and require a
new maintainer. This makes a total of 180 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.
* ent -- Pseudo-random number sequence test program.
* gcvs -- GTK+ front-end for cvs. (Bug#215380)
* gnade -- Runtime library for the GNat Ada Database
* gnats -- GNU problem report management system (central
* gutenbook -- Graphical document reader for Gutenberg Etext
* gutenbrowser -- Project Gutenberg Etext reader.
* intel-rng-tools -- Daemon to use the RNG on i810 motherboards.
* libextutils-f77-perl -- Simple interface to F77 libs.
* libsdl-sge -- Set of graphic functions that use SDL.
* lsadb -- Utility to scan devices on the ADB bus. (Bug#214927)
* mps -- Mtop and mps for the Mosix multicomputer.
* pdfscreen -- Make PDF documents which are printable and
readable on screen too. (Bug#214928)
* pdl -- Perl data language. Perl extensions for numerics.
* sash -- Stand-alone shell. (Bug#215544)
* simpleproxy -- Simple TCP socket proxy. (Bug#215381)
* xcruise -- Fly about 3D-formed file system. (Bug#215195)
* xmms-singit -- Display and edit lyrics with XMMS.
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