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Debian Weekly News - November 4th, 2003

Debian Weekly News
Debian Weekly News - November 4th, 2003

Welcome to this year's 44th issue of DWN, the weekly newsletter for
the Debian community. Bruce Perens [1]reserved nonfree.org as a
possible home for non-free if it ever spins off of Debian. Currently
it's just a CNAME to ftp.debian.org but with a little work it could be
a good facility to manage a non-free cut-over.

 1. http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel-0310/msg02212.html

Debian faster than Gentoo? Matt Garman [2]wondered why his C++
program ran dramatically slower when compiled on a Gentoo machine than
when compiled with Debian Sid. He later [3]reported that recompiling
the Gentoo C++ libraries with less aggressive optimization flags (-O2
instead of -O3) eliminated the speed difference. Matt also [4]added
that Debian and other distributions are conservative, but set up by
very experienced people.

 2. http://article.gmane.org/gmane.linux.gentoo.user/50924
 3. http://article.gmane.org/gmane.linux.gentoo.user/50973
 4. http://article.gmane.org/gmane.linux.gentoo.user/50953

System Recovery with Knoppix. IBM Developerworks has an [5]article by
Carla Schroder that describes how to rescue a non-booting Linux
system, edit files, mount networked filesystems, and do a bare-metal
rebuild with only a [6]Knoppix disk and an Internet connection.

 5. http://www-106.ibm.com/developerworks/linux/library/l-knopx.html
 6. http://www.knopper.net/knoppix/

Improving KDE Maintainership. Some people may have been alarmed to see
that many of the core KDE packages were orphaned last week by Chris
Cheney. Fortunately, this was done to pave the way for the Qt/KDE
Maintainers group of which Chris Cheney is a member. A [7]mailing
list for this group was created and a draft [8]policy document is
being discussed.

 7. http://lists.debian.org/debian-qt-kde/
 8. http://people.debian.org/~madkiss/debian-kde-policy.html

Amendment of the Social Contract. Branden Robinson [9]proposed to
amend the [10]Social Contract. Some of his [11]amendments change the
meaning of the Social Contract, whereas others are only editorial. One
of his key proposals is that Debian's commitment to a non-free archive
be deleted. This means that Debian would be free to stop providing
non-free software if it chose. The proposal was [12]discussed on
Slashdot, where Bruce Perens [13]suggested [14]how removing non-free
might work. The proposal would also make the Social Contract a bit
separate from the Debian Free Software Guidelines.

 9. http://lists.debian.org/debian-vote-0310/msg00106.html
 10. http://www.debian.org/social_contract
 11. http://www.xs4all.nl/~dark/draft-sc-amendment-20031030.html
 12. http://developers.slashdot.org/developers/03/10/30/1618243.shtml?tid=185&tid=90
 13. http://developers.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=84151&cid=7352420
 14. http://developers.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=84151&cid=7352723

Debian in the Enterprise? James Maguire [15]wondered if there is a
place for Debian in the enterprise world. He talks about certification
or rather the lack of and missing vendor support which is compensated
by third party support from different companies. Use of Debian depends
on the requirements of the end user. If they were technically self
supporting, and they don't want to pay a different vendor, they could
deploy Debian -- and it would lead to greater return on investment.

 15. http://www.newsfactor.com/perl/story/22602.html

Draft Position Statement regarding GNU FDL. Manoj Srivastava
[16]reported about the effort writing a document that attempts to
address some concerns that members of the Debian project have about
the GNU [17]Free Documentation License (FDL). This [18]document
attempts to present the reasoning behind the conclusion that the GNU
FDL is not regarded as a license that can easily satisfy the
[19]Debian Free Software Guidelines.

 16. http://lists.debian.org/debian-project-0310/msg00178.html
 17. http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html
 18. http://people.debian.org/~srivasta/Position_Statement.html
 19. http://www.debian.org/social_contract#guidelines

Constitutional Amendment Results. Proposal A in the [20]vote to
disambiguate [21]Constitution section 4.1.5 [22]succeeded over the
other options. This means that the [23]Debian Social Contract and
[24]Debian Free Software Guidelines are now "Foundation Documents",
and may be modified by a 3:1 majority of Developers. The amendment
also clarified the status of non-technical documents, ensuring that
Developers may issue, supersede and withdraw various statements,
including position statements about issues of the day.

 20. http://www.debian.org/vote/2003/vote_0003
 21. http://www.debian.org/devel/constitution
 22. http://lists.debian.org/debian-vote-0310/msg00114.html
 23. http://www.debian.org/social_contract
 24. http://www.debian.org/social_contract#guidelines

Debconf Templates Style Guide. Christian Perrier [25]announced a style
guide for writing debconf templates. During his work translating
debconf templates to French, Christian often found templates which
seemed to be inconsistent with some written or unwritten rules. It
became evident that some formalisation of writing rules and
recommendations could help package maintainers to prepare
"well-written" debconf templates. General style harmonisation could
also greatly improve the perception of Debian, giving it a more
"professional" presentation.

 25. http://lists.debian.org/debian-boot-0310/msg01686.html

NetBSD Status Report. Joel Baker [26]posted a NetBSD status report.
Joel will be restarting the archive using debpool (which should handle
uploads via HTTPS PUT, without needing logins on the box itself). The
archive will be based on -current again (aka, pre-2.0), since he has
run into problems which can only be resolved by having working POSIX
Thread support. He is also continuing to work on the 4-to-3-clause BSD
license conversion, with the permission of the NetBSD Foundation
(contacting authors and asking them to relicense, submitting patches,
and working with the Core team to get them integrated cleanly). So
far, this has been dramatically successful.

 26. http://lists.debian.org/debian-bsd-0310/msg00009.html

Getting HP Hardware supported for Debian. Kianusch Sayah Karadji is
[27]trying to convince [28]HP to add Debian support to their hardware.
HP claims, that since Debian has no figures on how many users it has
on HP servers, they do not know if supporting Debian would make sense.
If you do, please get in touch with Kianusch at
[29]debian@sk-tech.net. Several HP employees [30]are members of the
Debian development community.

 27. http://lists.debian.org/debian-user-0310/msg06517.html
 28. http://www.hp.com/
 29. mailto:debian@sk-tech.net
 30. http://www.opensource.hp.com/opensource_projects.html

Tasksel and custom Debian Distributions. Andreas Tille [31]wondered
how tasksel is supposed to support custom Debian distributions such as
[32]Debian Jr. or [33]Debian-Med. Currently tasksel displays the
debian-jr task but ignores the others. Of course, a more sophisticated
solution should be found to handle them equally.

 31. http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel-0310/msg02048.html
 32. http://www.debian.org/devel/debian-jr/
 33. http://www.debian.org/devel/debian-med/

Multiple PostgreSQL Packages. Oliver Elphick [34]pondered whether and
how to have multiple versions of the PostgreSQL packages [35]installed
at once. This is to get round problems with upgrading major versions,
and to allow people to have multiple database clusters, possibly at
different software versions.

 34. http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel-0310/msg02058.html
 35. http://cvs.alioth.debian.org/cgi-bin/cvsweb.cgi/common/postgresql-client.html?cvsroot=pkg-postgresql

Debian Project at COMDEX. There'll be a Debian [36]installation
festival at this year's [37]Comdex in Las Vegas on Thursday, November
20th, from 12:00pm to 1:30pm. Everybody is welcome to help or be
helped. Also at Comdex, in the "Open Source and Linux Innovation
Center", on Tuesday 18th from 1:30pm to 2:00pm a half hour talk
introduces Debian to corporate users and, in the Open Source
conference track, on Wednesday 19th from 3:30pm to 4:45pm a
[38]discussion panel titled "A Practical Guide to Open Source
Operating Systems" will include Debian.

 36. http://www.comdex.com/lasvegas2003/exhib/index.php?s=ic_open_spkr
 37. http://www.comdex.com/lasvegas2003/
 38. http://education.key3media.com:8080/comdex/lv2003/education/FMPro?-DB=K3Sessions.fp5&-lay=webform&-format=session_detail.html&Session_ID=3733&-Find

Alternative Postscript- and PDF-Viewer. Matthias Urlichs [39]noticed
that there are virtual packages for postscript-viewer and pdf-viewer,
but no alternatives, i.e. there's no /usr/bin/postscript-viewer. Mark
Brown [40]explained that Debian uses a MIME handler registration
system which viewer programs should be making use of. The run-mailcap
program can be used to find an appropriate program for a given MIME

 39. http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel-0310/msg02091.html
 40. http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel-0310/msg02109.html

Localised Bug Reports. Magosányi Arpád [41]wondered if there is a
known or planned way to report bugs to the Debian Bug Tracking System
in a non-english language. He proposed that if a non-english language
is detected, the bug report is sent to a language package instead the
real package. The maintainers of the language package would then
mediate the communication between the user and the package maintainer.

 41. http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel-0310/msg02141.html

Request for a Debian Kernels List. Francesco Paolo Lovergine
[42]proposed to create a new mailing list debian-kernels in order to
ease the coordination and maintenance of kernels and patches in
Debian. This list would not be limited to Linux kernels but also
include Hurd and *BSD. He also [43]requested the list to be created.

 42. http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel-0310/msg02173.html
 43. http://bugs.debian.org/218923

Circular Build Dependencies. Anthony DeRobertis [44]wondered if he is
the only one who believed that one could build Debian from source,
starting with only essential and build-essential packages. In
particular he stomped over the cdbs - libgd-gd2-*-perl - cdbs chain.
Joel Baker would [45]like to see Debian main in stable and testing as
closed sets in terms of build-dependencies. The current situation is a
pain for porters to a new architecture or kernel.

 44. http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel-0310/msg02223.html
 45. http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel-0311/msg00012.html

Split Kernel Header Files. Otto Wyss [46]wondered why [47]libc6-dev
suddenly depended on [48]linux-kernel-headers. Mark Brown
[49]explained that there have always been some kernel headers included
in libc6-dev. They have just been split out into a separate package
now. Several of these headers are referenced by headers provided by
glibc which would break those headers if linux-kernel-headers is not

 46. http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel-0311/msg00033.html
 47. http://packages.debian.org/libc6-dev
 48. http://packages.debian.org/linux-kernel-headers
 49. http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel-0311/msg00037.html

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

 * [50]thttpd -- Information leak, DoS and arbitrary code execution.

 50. http://www.debian.org/security/2003/dsa-396

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

 * [51]apache-utils -- Utility programs for webservers.
 * [52]bookmark-merge -- Merge bookmarks from Mozilla, Netscape and
 * [53]crosshurd -- Install a hurd-i386 system from any running
   Debian system.
 * [54]debian-installer-demo -- Debian Installer demo.
 * [55]gnue-appserver -- GNU Enterprise Application Server.
 * [56]gnue-navigator -- GNU Enterprise Navigator.
 * [57]gridlock -- Collection of grid-based board games for GNUstep.
 * [58]gtklookat -- VRML viewer for GTK+.
 * [59]gtodo -- GTK-2 todo list.
 * [60]ps2eps -- Convert PostScript to EPS (Encapsulated PostScript)
 * [61]udo -- Universal DOcument - text processing utility.
 * [62]wavesurfer -- Sound Manipulation Program.

 51. http://packages.debian.org/unstable/web/apache-utils.html
 52. http://packages.debian.org/unstable/utils/bookmark-merge.html
 53. http://packages.debian.org/unstable/misc/crosshurd.html
 54. http://packages.debian.org/unstable/devel/debian-installer-demo.html
 55. http://packages.debian.org/unstable/interpreters/gnue-appserver.html
 56. http://packages.debian.org/unstable/interpreters/gnue-navigator.html
 57. http://packages.debian.org/unstable/games/gridlock.html
 58. http://packages.debian.org/unstable/libs/gtklookat.html
 59. http://packages.debian.org/unstable/x11/gtodo.html
 60. http://packages.debian.org/unstable/text/ps2eps.html
 61. http://packages.debian.org/unstable/text/udo.html
 62. http://packages.debian.org/unstable/sound/wavesurfer.html

Orphaned Packages. 9 packages were orphaned this week and require a
new maintainer. This makes a total of 190 orphaned packages. Many
thanks to the previous maintainers who contributed to the Free
Software community. Please see the [63]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.

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

 * [64]findimagedupes -- Finds visually similar or duplicate images.
 * [66]gfpoken -- Recreate a grid of mirrors from clues given by
   tests. ([67]Bug#219061)
 * [68]glotski -- Slide the blocks to reach a goal. ([69]Bug#219062)
 * [70]lwm -- Lightweight Window Manager. ([71]Bug#219063)
 * [72]overkill -- Bloody 2D action deathmatch-like game in
   ASCII-art. ([73]Bug#218157)
 * [74]pong -- Preference/Property dialogs maker for GNOME.
 * [76]sourcenav -- Source code analysis, editor, browser and build
   tool. ([77]Bug#218158)
 * [78]tuxeyes -- Fancy version of xeyes. ([79]Bug#219065)
 * [80]typespeed -- Zap words flying across the screen by typing them
   correctly. ([81]Bug#219064)

 64. http://packages.debian.org/unstable/graphics/findimagedupes.html
 65. http://bugs.debian.org/218699
 66. http://packages.debian.org/unstable/games/gfpoken.html
 67. http://bugs.debian.org/219061
 68. http://packages.debian.org/unstable/gnome/glotski.html
 69. http://bugs.debian.org/219062
 70. http://packages.debian.org/unstable/x11/lwm.html
 71. http://bugs.debian.org/219063
 72. http://packages.debian.org/unstable/games/overkill.html
 73. http://bugs.debian.org/218157
 74. http://packages.debian.org/unstable/gnome/pong.html
 75. http://bugs.debian.org/218462
 76. http://packages.debian.org/unstable/devel/sourcenav.html
 77. http://bugs.debian.org/218158
 78. http://packages.debian.org/unstable/x11/tuxeyes.html
 79. http://bugs.debian.org/219065
 80. http://packages.debian.org/unstable/games/typespeed.html
 81. http://bugs.debian.org/219064

Want to continue reading DWN? Please help us create this newsletter.
We still need more volunteer writers who watch the Debian community
and report about what is going on. Please see the [82]contributing
page to find out how to help. We're looking forward to receiving your
mail at [83]dwn@debian.org.

 82. http://www.debian.org/News/weekly/contributing
 83. mailto:dwn@debian.org

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