Debian Weekly News - November 11th, 2003
Debian Weekly News
Debian Weekly News - November 11th, 2003
Welcome to this year's 45th issue of DWN, the weekly newsletter for
the Debian community. According to the latest data from Netcraft
the number of websites running on the Apache web server has shown a
significant gain over the last month and is now at 67.41 percent.
James Maguire wanted to know if Java is dead and concluded that
nothing could be further from the truth. Also, another update for
the stable Debian release (codename woody) is being prepared.
Exec-Shield for Debian? Russell Coker looked at exec-shield
which adds a certain amount of precaution similar to what PaX
does, which is the most desirable feature in GRSecurity.
Exec-shield also has support for 2.6 and looks like it will be a
standard feature in Red Hat. Russell proposed to add exec-shield to
the standard Debian kernel source. If adding exec-shield to the Debian
kernel is not considered a good idea then he'll create a kernel-patch
package for exec-shield.
Clarification of DFSG Clause 1. Roland Stigge proposed to alter
the Debian Free Software Guidelines (DFSG) in order to add a
little bit of clarification to clause one. This is a reminiscence of
the discussion about the legal status of LaTeX2HTML. Henning
Makholm added that this complies with the consensus on
Debian Jr. joins OSEF. Ben Armstrong announced that Debian Jr.
joined the Open Source Education Foundation (OSEF). Ben is also a
new board member of their newly expanded board. This will strengthen
both Debian Jr. and OSEF. Both groups aim to improve the quality of
Debian Jr. packages and they share the common goal to introduce
children to Free Software.
Discussion about the Social Contract. Branden Robinson summarized
part of the thread about his proposed amendment of the Social
Contract. He stated that he would be willing to consider breaking up
the proposal, and is seeking guidance from the Project Secretary.
Anthony Towns stated that if he were to propose a rewrite of the
Social Contract it would include points like building a free
and superior operating system, supporting the community, being open
and supporting all the software that Debian can.
SPI Board Vote begins. Wichert Akkerman announced that the voting
period has begun to elect three new directors to the Software in the
Public Interest, Inc. (SPI) board of directors. The candidates are
David Graham ("cdlu"), Ian Jackson, Jimmy Kaplowitz
("Hydroxide"), and Martin Schulze ("Joey"). All contributing
members can cast their vote online until November 21st. People who
become contributing members during this period are also eligible for
voting. Newsflash: There will be a debate with all candidates on
Monday, November 17th, at 17:00 UTC on Channel #SPI on irc.oftc.net.
Package Version Numbering. Mark Johnson wondered how he is
supposed to update the docbook-simple package from version 1.0cr2
to version 1.0. Neil Roeth suggested to use 1.0.0 as version
string. Andreas Metzler explained that removing the old package
from the archive and uploading a new one would not solve the problem,
because anybody who has already installed the old version would not be
upgraded automatically if the new upload had a lower version-number in
New proposed Apache License. The Apache Software Foundation is
considering the adoption of a new set of licenses for their
open source projects. They have invited the public to review and
comment on the proposed 2.0 license and related material. Brian
Carlson has doubts that part of the new license are even legal, at
least in the U.S.
Debian Installer Beta 1. Joey Hess announced the first beta
release of debian-installer, the new installation system for
sarge. This first beta is available for the i386 and powerpc
architectures only. More architectures were said to follow in later
betas. Please see the todo if you want to help out.
Debian-Installer Floppies with BRLTTY. Mario Lang announced a new
floppy set based on the new Debian-Installer for Sarge with
support for BRLTTY included. He has also installed a fresh system with
them, so they appear to work. You need to pass a kernel option to lilo
when the first floppy boots, to tell brltty what display you have, and
where it is connected.
New Skolelinux CD Image. Petter Reinholdtsen announced the new
Skolelinux CD image, prerelease 41. He included the changelog
which notes several security and language updates besides updates in
the Debian installer such as improved support for PCMCIA and USB as
well as hardware detection.
Debian XML/SGML Policy Draft. Mark Johnson announced a policy
draft for XML and SGML resources. At this point, only chapters 2 and 3
(covering directory layouts, etc.) are anywhere near being finished.
Feedback should be sent to the debian-sgml list.
Collaborative XML/SGML Packaging Project. Mark Johnson invited all
XML/SGML package maintainers to join a collaborative packaging and
maintenance effort hosted on Alioth. Motivation is provided by the
implementation of the OASIS XML Catalog specification and the
proliferation of newly available XML resources. Another motivation is
to eliminate the hassles of non-maintainer uploads.
Debian MiniConf3 in Adelaide. The Debian MiniConf will once again
be held in conjunction with Linux Conference Australia in
Adelaide. Registration for the conference also includes
registration for the Debian MiniConf, and the organisers are currently
calling for papers.
Filesystem Hierarchy Standard 2.3. Martin Michlmayr noted that
FHS 2.3 will be released soon, but there is currently some
controversy over /srv and /media. He thought it would be good
if Debian had an opinion about this and encouraged people to look at
and comment on the proposals.
Debian wins several Readers' Choice Awards. The Debian project
announced that this year was quite successful and it has won
several readers' choice awards from major GNU/Linux magazines. Debian
has won in the category of "Favourite Distribution" of the Linux
Journal 2003 Readers' Choice Awards, in the category "Best Enterprise
Distribution" of Linux Enterprise Reader's Choice 2003 and in the
category "Best Distribution" of the Linux New Media Award 2003.
Security Updates. You know the drill. Please make sure that you update
your systems if you have any of these packages installed.
* PostgreSQL -- Buffer overflow.
* conquest -- Local conquest exploit.
* EPIC4 -- Denial of service.
* omega-rpg -- Local games exploit.
New or Noteworthy Packages. The following packages were added to the
unstable Debian archive recently or contain important updates.
* aap -- Make-like "expert system" for building software.
* anteater -- MTA log analyser written 100% in C++.
* aqmoney -- Command line utility for HBCI homebanking.
* arc -- Archive utility based on the MSDOS ARC program.
* arptables -- ARP table administration.
* chasen-dictutils -- Japanese Morphological Analysis System -
utilities for dictionary.
* cutter -- Disconnect routed IP connections.
* digikam -- Digital Camera Application for KDE 3.x.
* discus -- Pretty version of df(1) command.
* dvdauthor -- Create DVD-Video file system.
* dvdrtools -- DVD writing program.
* eagle -- Printed circuit board design tool.
* eciadsl -- User-space driver for the Globespan-based USB ADSL
* festalon -- NSF player for OSS (/dev/dsp).
* fisg -- Fast IRC Statistics Generator.
* gngeogui -- GUI frontend for gngeo.
* gnome-office -- The GNOME Office suite.
* gnusound -- Powerful sound editor.
* ifmetric -- Set routing metrics for a network interface.
* lg-issue96 -- Issue 96 of the Linux Gazette.
* opendb -- Web Open Lending Database.
* osdsh -- Overlays your screen with various system information.
* powernowd -- Control CPU speed and voltage using 2.6 kernel
* prelude-lml -- Hybrid Intrusion Detection System [ Log
Monitoring Lackey ].
* prelude-manager -- Hybrid Intrusion Detection System [ Report
* prelude-nids -- Hybrid Intrusion Detection System [ Network
* pxe -- Free PXE daemon.
* qalculate -- Powerful and easy to use desktop calculator.
* smbget -- Downloader for the SMB/CIFS protocol.
* sng -- Specialized markup language for representing PNG
* tcltls -- TLS OpenSSL extension to Tcl.
* toursst -- RSS channel news items where you want them.
* vpnc -- Cisco-compatible VPN client.
* vqadmin -- Web based control panel for vpopmail.
* waproamd -- WLAN roaming daemon.
Orphaned Packages. 3 packages were orphaned this week and require a
new maintainer. This makes a total of 187 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.
* ipmasq -- Securely initializes IP Masquerade
* php4-apc -- Caches PHP scripts to get them loaded much
* snd -- Sound file editor. (Bug#219837)
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