Debian Weekly News - March 30th, 2004
Debian Weekly News
Debian Weekly News - March 30th, 2004
Welcome to this year's 13th issue of DWN, the weekly newsletter for
the Debian community. The next update to Debian GNU/Linux 3.0 is being
prepared together with a discussion about the Linux Standard
Base. Manoj Srivastava called for votes on the project leader
election a second time. Votes must be received by 23:59:59 UTC on
April 10th. Two US states proposed an open source repository that
would run on a Debian server.
Editorial Amendments to the Social Contract. Manoj Srivastava
announced the formal discussion period on editorial amendments
to the social contract, giving people the chance to propose
amendments and modify wording, now that the non-free general
resolution has passed. The following voting period shall be from
Sunday, April 11th, to Sunday, April 25th.
GNOME 2.6 for Sarge? A user on Debian Planet noticed that it is
quite unlikely for sarge to include GNOME 2.6, which has been
rescheduled for March 31st. This would be a pity, especially as
KDE 3.2 has gotten in. Ray Dassen explained that GNOME 2.6 is
being uploaded into experimental so that its release can't delay the
release of sarge.
Debian Project Leader Portraits. Bdale Garbee reported that
Elizabeth Gordon-Werner is the first person who ever painted him
during one of his talks. She has painted watercolours of many speakers
at last February's Open Source World Conference in Málaga. Included
are portraits of the former project leader Bdale Garbee and
current one Martin Michlmayr.
UUCP and Sendmail. Peter Palfrader noticed that the new
sendmail package has split off rmail which is required for
processing mail via UUCP. Adrian Bunk requested that if something
(B) is split out of a package A, the new version of A should depend on
the new package B until after the next stable release, since this is
the only way to prevent breakage on upgrades.
Kernel Source contains non-free Firmware? Adrian Bunk noticed that
Linux 2.6.4 contains non-free firmware which is uploaded into the
device by the kernel. Herbert Xu explained that in most of these
cases the driver cannot communicate with the device in any meaningful
way until the firmware is loaded.
User Accessible Filesystem Hierarchy Standard. Gary Greene from Ark
Linux proposed a standard to accommodate the accessibility of
the filesystem by end-users. Nicolas Mailhot explained why hidden
files (and directories) are very bad from a users point of view.
Henning Makholm added that hidden directories are not compatible
with the way configure can be told to use a different prefix.
Debian-Installer on Oldworld Mac Hardware. Sven Luther reported
about his work getting debian-installer to work on oldworld
powermac machines. This does not only require a non-free compiler but
also a non-free and binary-only boot sector. However, miBoot and the
said boot block used to sit around in the boot-floppies source code,
without any license or source code, as Jeremie Koenig pointed out.
Creative Commons Attribution License. Francesco Poli wondered
whether the Creative Commons Attribution License 1.0 was
considered free under the Debian Free Software Guidelines.
Nathanael Nerode at first thought it was free, but upon
reconsideration decided it was not free. Jeremy Hankins noted
that Creative Commons have not designed the license to be free, but
rather to maintain attribution by ensuring that people who see the
license know about the people who contributed to the work.
Release Status Update. Colin Watson sent in an updated release
progress report. He asserts that debian-installer is holding up
fairly well. The plan from now on is to release beta versions at
roughly monthly intervals. He also reports that we want to freeze for
as short a time as possible and as soon as the installer schedule for
a stable release is absolutely clear.
Security Updates. You know the drill. Please make sure that you update
your systems if you have any of these packages installed.
* ecartis -- Several vulnerabilities.
* emil -- Multiple vulnerabilities.
* pam-pgsql -- SQL injection.
New or Noteworthy Packages. The following packages were added to the
unstable Debian archive recently or contain important updates.
* aiksaurus -- English-language thesaurus.
* alleyoop -- GNOME front-end to the Valgrind memory checker.
* dvipng -- Program that makes PNG graphics from DVI files.
* gaiksaurus -- Graphical interface to the Aiksaurus toolkit.
* gmsh -- Three-dimensional finite element mesh generator.
* gomoku -- Extended TicTacToe game for GNUstep.
* ifscheme -- Scheme control for network interfaces.
* k3blibs -- The KDE cd burning application library.
* mathopd -- Very small, yet very fast HTTP server.
* movixmaker-2 -- Simple interface to create customized
eMoviX/MoviX/MoviX² CD images.
* picocom -- Minimal dumb-terminal emulation program.
* pkgsync -- Automated package list synchronization.
* rsrce -- Editor for Macintosh resource forks.
* slurm -- Realtime network interface monitor.
* vobcopy -- Tool to copy DvD VOBs to hard disk.
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