Debian Weekly News - December 2nd, 2003
Debian Weekly News
Debian Weekly News - December 2nd, 2003
Welcome to this year's 48th issue of DWN, the weekly newsletter for
the Debian community. Still not all services have been resurrected
from the security breach the Debian project faced. Development is
effectively stalled since November 21st, since both ftp-master and the
CVS archive haven't been re-opened yet.
Fixing RC Bugs. David B. Harris proposed a mail template to
encourage developers to fix release-critical (RC) bugs in their
packages. It is intended to be sent to the maintainer for each of his
source packages that contains critical problems.
Status of Mozilla. Eric Valette pointed out some problems he
experienced with the Debian packages of Mozilla 1.5. He also noted
that the default font size has been modified compared to upstream
binary distribution which can make the appearance look rather ugly. A
lot of bugs are also reported against this package and require
skilled people to fix them. Any takers?
Glibc-based GNU/KNetBSD. Robert Millan announced that a Debian
GNU/KNetBSD system (K for 'kernel of') based on the GNU libc is now
available. He added that it was easy to port the base system, and
key packages like XFree86 are also available. The system in its
current state is usable for development.
Virtual Stallman not acting like the Real Stallman? Andrew Lau
noticed that vrms lists packages which contain documents
released under the GNU Free Documentation License and are hencely
considered free by the real Richard Stallman (RMS). Colin Watson
added that some of them use licenses that RMS would also
disapprove of for documentation.
Debian Enterprise? Andres Salomon wondered how to improve the
Debian distribution for Enterprise uses which require high
availability (HA), updated packages etc. Other developers agreed
that such a sub-project would be a benefit for Debian and its users.
Andrew Cater added that a similar discussion happened on the
Beowulf list before.
Requirement for new Packages? Andreas Tille suggested that all new
packages which are supposed to build on all architectures should have
to pass all architectures first before they will be added to the
unstable distribution. Colin Watson explained that holding back
PostgreSQL because of an incompatible Perl version was actually a good
thing since Perl upstream would have not noticed the problems this
Debian Roadmap? The project was asked if there was a roadmap for
the Debian distribution, so that certification can be organised
accordingly. Ben Collins pointed out that Debian hardly has
release goals and Jonathan Dowland added that a smaller group of
loose-knit volunteers has managed to agree on a roadmap.
Improving Archive Verification. Marc Haber wanted to establish
trust between our main archive and the end user. He suggested to sign
the Release files for the stable distribution off-site, to keep the
.changes files around with the binary packages, preferably in the
archive, and to package scripts for verification.
Creating System User Accounts. Fabio Massimo Di Nitto and Peter
Palfrader wondered what the best way would be to create a new
system user upon installation of a package. The policy does not
provide much details. Some packages automatically create new users
and even purge them.
Copying an API legally? Uwe Steinmann wondered if he is allowed to
take the description of an Application Program Interface (API) and
implement his own library. He has access to the header files at least.
Henning Makholm explained that if the header files contain only
function prototypes, struct definitions and typedefs necessary to
write the function prototypes, and constant definitions, you can
freely copy those to your own header.
Automatic Fetching of external DTDs. Brian May noticed that the
scrollkeeper cronjob tries to fetch a DTD for processing its
configuration file via HTTP. However, this fails if the host is not
connected to the Internet or has to use a proxy. Jochen Voss
explained that this is caused by the docbook XML package which
doesn't register its DTDs with the XML subsystem. It's a known problem
that is being worked on.
The perfect Setup for an ISP. Falko Timme described all steps in
detail that are required to setup a Debian based server which offers
all services needed by ISPs and hosters. He uses Quota, Apache,
Postfix, BIND, proftpd, qpopper and Webalizer.
Security Updates. You know the drill. Please make sure that you update
your systems if you have any of these packages installed.
* Linux 2.4.18 -- Local root exploit.
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