Debian Weekly News - February 3rd, 2004
Debian Weekly News
Debian Weekly News - February 3rd, 2004
Welcome to this year's fifth issue of DWN, the weekly newsletter for
the Debian community. Most true Unix geeks will recognise just how
nice lpd is as a distributed queueing mechanism for managing all
jobs sent to the printer, but don't realise it can be used for other
things as well. In fact, it can be viewed as a general queueing
mechanism and used as an engine for distributed spooling of audio
files. The January issue of the German LinuxUser magazine shipped
with Knoppix, Debian 3.0 and sarge on two DVDs.
Debian Project at European Conferences. The Debian project
announced that its members and affiliates will attend four
exhibitions and conferences that cover Free Software and GNU/Linux in
Europe. From February 3rd to 5th Solutions Linux takes place in
Paris, France. On February 16th and 17th Linux Expo Ulm will take
place in Ulm, Germany. Finally on February 21st and 22nd FOSDEM
will take place in Brussels, Belgium, where the Debian project will
share a developers room with another project and organise a mixed
Debian fastest growing Distribution. Over the last six months Debian
has been the fastest growing GNU/Linux distribution when measured
by counting active sites that contain the name of a distribution in
the Apache Server header. A distribution name is present in a little
over a quarter of Linux based Apache sites. In January 2004
Netcraft counted 442,752 Apache servers running on Debian, a 25 %
growth rate from 355,469 counted in July 2003.
Report from Practical Linux and Dresden InfoTag. Alexander Schmehl
wrote a report about Practical Linux in Gießen, and a report
about LinuxInfoTag in Dresden, both in Germany. They were small events
but the Debian booth was crowded, as usual, so they ran out of
freebees before the end. In Gießen, Alexander also gave a talk and a
workshop covering the Debian system.
XFree86 to alter its License. According to an announcement of the
XFree86 project there will be a new license starting with XFree86
v4.4.0-RC3. There are some worries (German) that these changes
might be incompatible with the GPL due to a BSD-style advertising
clause. Branden Robinson indicated that he will probably not be
maintaining the system using the new license.
Report from LinuxWorld Expo New York. Jaldhar H. Vyas wrote a
report about the successful Debian presence at this year's
LinuxWorld Expo in New York. The Debian booth attracted a lot
people, usually more experienced than on past events, and they handed
out many CDs, flyers and t-shirts. He also gave an interview on
SYS-CON radio covering the Debian project.
Debian Extra CD Project. A few people have started a new
project to provide an additional CD for the stable Debian
distribution. They want to update the desktop software (GNOME and KDE
most likely) with backported packages but don't want to force
people to download large amounts of data.
Debian Administrator's Toolbox. David B. Harris is soliciting
package lists from other Debian administrators. He's going to put
together a live CD of applications and utilities he wants to have
everywhere. He's going to put them on 185 MB CD media for its small
Debian-Installer Call for Help. Joey Hess called for helping the
development of the debian-installer. The debian-boot team still
lacks manpower for several tasks such as report processing,
documentation, PCMCIA, low memory support, arm, sparc and s390 ports,
policy checks for udeb files, boot screen, support for PPP and much
Distribution Chords of Music? Raphael Goulais wondered if it would
be ok to distribute chords but not melody since this is done in
mma. Henning Makholm added that many popular tunes work with
chord sequences that are so generic and nondescript that it would be
ridiculous to claim a copyright on them.
Supporting new GNU TLS Library. Kenshi Muto wondered how he should
switch CUPS from GNU TLS version 7 to version 10. Matthias Klose asked
him to wait until the current version of CUPS has entered testing, so
that a recent version will be distributed at least. Andreas Metzler
also asked to wait until libgnutls10 has entered testing so
this can't keep a new version of CUPS out of testing.
License Change for C-Kermit. Ian Beckwith reported about his
conversation to Frank da Cruz, the author of C-Kermit. Both would
like to see Kermit move to main and are negotiating a license change.
In 2000 the license was already altered in order to free C-Kermit
more, but it is still not compliant with the Debian Free Software
Browsers without "mailto" Support? Andreas Tille noticed that both
Galeon and Firebird don't know how to handle mailto URLs until
a GNOME mail reader is configured, which is not the case on a new
desktop. Felipe Almeida Lessa confirmed this behaviour for Galeon,
but not for Firebird. He assumes that the support for mailto URLs does
not exist yet.
Changing the Priority for GCC? Andrea Menucc complained about
GCC having priority standard. Unless the user goes into
dselect and deselects all of them, GCC and friends will always be
installed. When either space or bandwidth is low, this can be quite
annoying. Hence, he proposed to move them to priority "optional".
Nathanael Nerode explained that the issue is not that easy since a
lot of packages depend on CPP which should therefore stay at the
Goals for a new Debian-Installer Release. Joey Hess discussed
goals for another release of the debian-installer which could
become beta 3. This includes discover 2, partman, using grub,
support for XFS, Linux 2.6, improved language chooser, less questions
in base-config, better PCMCIA and wireless support,
sub-architecture support for PowerPC and m68k and a move to
subversion, among others.
Security Updates. You know the drill. Please make sure that you update
your systems if you have any of these packages installed.
* trr19 -- Local games exploit.
* Perl -- Information leak in suidperl.
* crawl -- Local group games exploit.
New or Noteworthy Packages. The following packages were added to the
unstable Debian archive recently or contain important updates.
* adduser-ng -- Add and remove users and groups.
* cdebootstrap -- Bootstrap a Debian system.
* debram -- Ramified catalog of available .debs.
* drip -- GNOME application for encoding a DivX from a DVD.
* drpython -- Simple and customizable editor for the Python
* eli -- Compiler construction kit.
* fig2ps -- Converts xfig files into ps or pdf files using LaTeX
for processing text.
* filelight -- Show where your diskspace is being used.
* flexbackup -- Flexible backup tool for small to medium sized
* flowscan -- Flow-based IP traffic analysis and visualization
* gnugk -- OpenH323 Gatekeeper - The GNU Gatekeeper.
* ion2 -- Keyboard-friendly window manager with tiled windows
* iptotal -- Monitor for IP traffic, not requiring SNMP.
* kdiff3 -- Compares and merges 2 or 3 files or directories.
* madison-lite -- Display versions of Debian packages in an
* makeztxt -- Create zTXT databases from ASCII files to read
them in a Palm.
* mma -- Musical Midi Accompaniment generator.
* odin -- Powerful make replacement.
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