Debian Weekly News - January 20th, 2004
Debian Weekly News
Debian Weekly News - January 20th, 2004
Welcome to this year's third issue of DWN, the weekly newsletter for
the Debian community. Looks like we are popular among Slashdot
readers as well, since we were quoted by the word recently.
Another news site, Symlink, recently noticed that the most
important contract is Debian's social contract. Domenico
Andreoli also noticed another Free Software developer survey.
Moving Java Packages from contrib to main. Arnaud Vandyck started
to investigate whether Java-using packages in Debian's contrib archive
can move into main by using kaffe or gcj instead of a non-free
Java environment. His progress notes suggest that a few packages
can indeed be used with free Java environments.
Outdated Web Site Translations. Peter Karlsson has been working on
identifying outdated web site translations. He prepared a
report which lists, for each language, all documents not updated
for two weeks. Once normal CVS operations are restored, Peter's
intention is to start removing all translation pages that have not
been updated six months after the original document has changed.
Keeping outdated translations on-line only confuses readers rather
than helping them.
Debian Developer wins Sun Award. The Sydney Morning Herald
reported that Matthew Palmer, a Debian developer, has won the 2004
national Regional Delegates Program Award at Australia's national
Linux conference. Matthew was given the award for development and
management of eight software packages for the Debian project. Sun
Microsystems also said that he had made a significant contribution to
the NSW ComputerBank project, an initiative to supply free
GNU/Linux systems to low-income individuals, community groups and
Debian-Installer Beta 2. Joey Hess announced the second beta
release of the Debian sarge installer for the i386, PowerPC, and IA-64
architectures. Besides the addition of the ia64 architecture, new
features in this release include an improved and streamlined
installation process, support for installation from USB mass storage
(USB keychain, etc). and support for systems with only 32 MB of memory
on the i386 architecture. The installer is also translated completely
or nearly completely into 16 languages.
Debian used for Data Mining in Business. Rodney Gedda reported in
Computerworld about the use of Debian by Commonwealth Scientific
and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO) in Australia. Principal
computer scientist for enterprise data mining, Dr. Graham Williams,
stated that CSIRO uses a number of toolkits including R, GNOME, and
Python scripting, running on the Debian GNU/Linux operating system.
"The Department of Health and Ageing has a 200 CPU cluster running
Debian GNU/Linux", Williams said. "Debian is a stable server operating
system that is easy to maintain and we also use it on desktops."
Remote Debian Installation over Red Hat. Emma Jane Hogbin
proclaimed the success of her remote Debian installation on the
Debian user list. This method does not use debootstrap, and is
documented in two files, which describe the installation and the
post-installation configuration. Emma Jane acknowledged the
helpful mails and original HOWTOs of Karsten Self and Erik
Jacobson and described her notes as a bit rough, but most people will
find them well documented.
Bug Tracking System moved to new Machine. Colin Watson announced
that the bug tracking system (BTS) has been moved to a dual
hyperthreaded Xeon hosted at Oregon State University, with lots of
disk space and bandwidth. The reason for this move is that master (the
old host) has been getting rather low on disk space lately, it's
difficult to add more to that particular machine, and it became
obvious that trying to run the lists web archives and BTS on the
same machine is an increasingly painful proposition.
New Approach to coordinate Translations. Tim Dijkstra explained
how the Dutch and French translation teams coordinate translations
through their mailing lists. They use pseudo-urls in the subject
line of the mail for this, much like the wnpp does. A script is
generating this status page from their mails. Tim wants to extend
this system, so that other translation teams could benefit from it as
Debian at LinuxWorld Expo New York. The LinuxWorld Expo &
Conference will once again take place in New York City from Jan 21st
to 23rd, 2004, at the Jacob Javits Center. The Debian project will be
in booth #2 in the .Org pavilion. Visitors can get their GnuPG key
signed, make a donation to the Debian project by buying a t-shirt or
just to say hello. If you don't have an entrance pass you can
print one out and register at the show for free access to the
Dependency on Ext2 Checker? Donggyoo Lee wanted to clean up his
system and remove Ext2/3 utilities which are essential. Thus, he
proposed that util-linux includes /sbin/fsck and suggests
packages providing this program for other filesystems. Theodore Ts'o,
though, hasn't implemented this since this would only save a few
hundred kilobytes. Adrian Bunk also added that one must not remove
Top 5 missing Things in Debian. Dan Shearer asked about
technologies or significant packages which should be in Debian but are
not? Quickly, mplayer was named, Mono, which is in
progress already, threaded boot scripts, and good Java
support, including a free Java plugin for web browsers.
Dropping Support for old libtool? Scott James Remnant pondered
removing libtool 1.4 since it is no longer maintained upstream
and superseded by libtool 1.5. The old version is only required by
using Autoconf 2.13, which is also no longer maintained upstream, and
only 10 Debian packages include a build dependency on it.
Security Updates. You know the drill. Please make sure that you update
your systems if you have any of these packages installed.
* Linux 2.4.17 (ia64) -- Several vulnerabilities.
* mc -- Buffer overflow.
* tcpdump -- Multiple vulnerabilities.
* netpbm-free -- Insecure temporary file creation.
* Linux 2.4.17 (mips+mipsel) -- Local root exploit.
* slocate -- Buffer overflow.
New or Noteworthy Packages. The following packages were added to the
unstable Debian archive recently or contain important updates.
* libaire0 -- The (VHDL) Advanced Intermediate Representation
* libaltlinuxhyph-dev -- ALTLinux hyphenation library
* libassuan-dev -- IPC library for the GnuPG components.
* scrabble -- Popular crossword game.
* siege-ssl -- HTTP/HTTPS regression testing and benchmarking
* tunnelv -- Encrypted network connection within a TCP/IP
* vtun -- Virtual Tunnel over TCP/IP Networks.
* yahoo2mbox -- Retrieve and store Yahoo! Groups messages.
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