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Debian Weekly News - April 20th, 2004

Debian Weekly News
Debian Weekly News - April 20th, 2004

Welcome to this year's 16th issue of DWN, the weekly newsletter for
the Debian community. Distributing firmware blobs in the Linux kernel
is still discussed controversially and probably will be for quite a
while. Joshua Kwan reported about [1]progress with the installer on
the Sparc architecture. Manoj Srivastava also has [2]called for votes
on the [3]general resolution to add editorial changes to the social
contract a second time.

 1. http://triplehelix.org/~joshk/blog/linux/15.html
 2. http://lists.debian.org/debian-vote-0404/msg00061.html
 3. http://www.debian.org/vote/2004/vote_003

Java Plugins for Mozilla. Arnaud Vandyck [4]explained that Debian
does yet not have a free Java plugin for the [5]Mozilla web browser.
Michael Koch is working on a [6]gcj web plugin for Mozilla that only
works with Mozilla 1.7 and gcj 3.4. It will be uploaded to sid shortly
after [7]gcj 3.4 and Mozilla 1.7 are uploaded. Those who don't want
to wait for these packages, can try [8]konqueror, which uses a
different approach.

 4. http://people.debian.org/~avdyk/no_free_java_plugin_for_mozilla.html
 5. http:/packages.debian.org/mozilla
 6. http://savannah.nongnu.org/projects/gcjwebplugin
 7. http://packages.debian.org/gcj
 8. http://packages.debian.org/konqueror

Proprietary Firmwares not a Release Issue. Anthony Towns [9]explained
that the firmware issue consists of two different problems, firmware
being non-free and a violation of the [10]GNU GPL. While the first is
not an issue for sarge the latter is. He also pointed out that the
problem has been [11]known about for nearly two years. Later he
[12]asserted that both are not considered release issues at the

 9. http://lists.debian.org/debian-release-0404/msg00060.html
 10. http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/gpl.html
 11. http://lwn.net/Articles/3467/
 12. http://azure.humbug.org.au/~aj/blog/2004/04/17#2004-04-17-firmware

GNOME 2.6 for Debian unstable? Jordi Mallach [13]wondered if GNOME 2.6
and GTK 2.4 should be uploaded into unstable and migrated into
testing, even though the GNOME team did not plan this. He says that
the packages in experimental have been tested sufficiently, built on
not only one architecture and that the package splits have been
performed on packages in unstable as well. However, the release
manager raised some [14]concerns.

 13. http://lists.debian.org/debian-release-0404/msg00082.html
 14. http://lists.debian.org/debian-release-0404/msg00109.html

GPL and Scripting Languages. Wolfgang Borgert [15]wondered if it is
possible to use modules written in scripting languages and released
under the [16]GNU General Public License in a proprietary application.
Federico Di Gregorio [17]believes that as long as one doesn't link
directly with the GPL library and only use the Python interface one is
safe. Andrew Suffield, however, [18]asserted that the resulting
proprietary work must function without using any GPL works.

 15. http://lists.debian.org/debian-legal-0404/msg00030.html
 16. http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/gpl.html
 17. http://lists.debian.org/debian-legal-0404/msg00033.html
 18. http://lists.debian.org/debian-legal-0404/msg00050.html

Debian-Installer and Linux 2.6? Joey Hess [19]wrote that the
[20]debian-installer with Linux 2.6 is so close he can already taste
it. In fact, images can be built already with only one hacked udeb,
and it boots up and works fine all the way to partitioning. The
partitioner does not see IDE devices, though, but the kernel does, so
it looks like only a bug in the partitioner.

 19. http://kitenet.net/~joey/blog/entry/26-2004-04-14-01-25.html
 20. http://www.debian.org/devel/debian-installer/

Marking native Debian Packages. Bartosz Fenski [21]noticed that
several alleged native Debian packages are native only by accident and
not on intention. Therefore he proposed to use a special file in the
debian/ directory to prevent these accidents. Henning Makholm
[22]proposed dpkg-source -b to refuse to build a native source package
if the version number contains a dash instead.

 21. http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel-0404/msg01021.html
 22. http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel-0404/msg01026.html

Debian GNU/Linux Reference Card. Wolfgang Borgert [23]announced a
Debian reference [24]card he was working on. He asked interested
people to check the card and report problems to him. The card contains
information for people, who either are new to Debian or are new to any
Unix-like system.

 23. http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel-0404/msg01219.html
 24. http://people.debian.org/~debacle/refcard/

Open Software License. Free Ekanayaka wanted to [25]know whether the
[26]Open Software License is compatible with the [27]Debian Free
Software Guidelines. MJ Ray [28]believes that it isn't because it
terminates copyright permission for any software patent action,
including ones unrelated to the covered software.

 25. http://lists.debian.org/debian-legal-0404/msg00076.html
 26. http://lists.debian.org/debian-legal-0404/msg00079.html
 27. http://www.debian.org/social_contract#guidelines
 28. http://lists.debian.org/debian-legal-0404/msg00077.html

Unofficial Debian 3.0 DVD Images. Richard Atterer [29]announced an
untested DVD image with Debian GNU/Linux 3.0 that can be [30]fetched
via [31]jigdo. He ran an older script that even produced an image, but
he could not test it. Jan Houstek [32]added that there are unofficial
[33]images by Jan Kesten.

 29. http://lists.debian.org/debian-cd-0404/msg00026.html
 30. http://farbror.acc.umu.se/debian-cd-test/
 31. http://www.debian.org/CD/jigdo-cd/
 32. http://lists.debian.org/debian-cd-0404/msg00028.html
 33. http://www.the-hidden-realm.de/debian/jigdo-area/

Debian-Installer Documentation. Joey Hess [34]asked translators of the
new installation manual to make sure that the translation actually
builds and is reasonably complete. Wolfgang Silbermayr [35]wanted to
work on the German translation but couldn't find the manual. Frans Pop
[36]explained that the coordinator for the manual is Miroslav Kure and
that the manual itself is hosted on [37]Alioth.

 34. http://lists.debian.org/debian-boot-0404/msg01900.html
 35. http://lists.debian.org/debian-boot-0404/msg01865.html
 36. http://lists.debian.org/debian-boot-0404/msg01867.html
 37. http://d-i.alioth.debian.org/manual/

Security Updates. You know the drill. Please make sure that you update
your systems if you have any of these packages installed.

 * [38]Linux 2.4.18 (source+alpha+i386+powerpc) -- Several
 * [39]Linux 2.4.17 (hppa) -- Several vulnerabilities.
 * [40]Linux 2.4.18 (hppa) -- Several vulnerabilities.
 * [41]Linux 2.4.17 (ia64) -- Several vulnerabilities.
 * [42]Linux 2.4.18 (powerpc/apus+s390) -- Several vulnerabilities.
 * [43]mysql -- Insecure temporary file creation.
 * [44]xonix -- Failure to drop privileges.
 * [45]ssmtp -- Format string vulnerabilities.
 * [46]cvs -- Multiple vulnerabilities.
 * [47]neon -- Format string vulnerabilities.
 * [48]logcheck -- Insecure temporary directory creation.
 * [49]Linux 2.4.17 (mips+mipsel) -- Several vulnerabilities.
 * [50]zope -- Arbitrary code execution.
 * [51]Linux 2.4.19 (mips) -- Several vulnerabilities.
 * [52]iproute -- Denial of service.

 38. http://www.debian.org/security/2004/dsa-479
 39. http://www.debian.org/security/2004/dsa-480
 40. http://www.debian.org/security/2004/dsa-480
 41. http://www.debian.org/security/2004/dsa-481
 42. http://www.debian.org/security/2004/dsa-482
 43. http://www.debian.org/security/2004/dsa-483
 44. http://www.debian.org/security/2004/dsa-484
 45. http://www.debian.org/security/2004/dsa-485
 46. http://www.debian.org/security/2004/dsa-486
 47. http://www.debian.org/security/2004/dsa-487
 48. http://www.debian.org/security/2004/dsa-488
 49. http://www.debian.org/security/2004/dsa-489
 50. http://www.debian.org/security/2004/dsa-490
 51. http://www.debian.org/security/2004/dsa-491
 52. http://www.debian.org/security/2004/dsa-492

New or Noteworthy Packages. The following packages were added to the
unstable Debian archive [53]recently or contain important updates.

 53. http://packages.debian.org/unstable/newpkg_main

 * [54]autodia -- Generates UML diagrams from perl or C++ code.
 * [55]colo -- Boot loader for MIPS based Cobalt machines.
 * [56]docbook2x -- Converts DocBook/XML documents into man pages and
 * [57]fcrackzip -- Password cracker for zip archives.
 * [58]fpdns -- Remotely determine DNS server version.
 * [59]gimp-cbmplugs -- Plugins for The GIMP v2.0 to import/export
   Commodore 64 files.
 * [60]gjdoc -- Free drop-in replacement for Sun's "javadoc" written
   in Java.
 * [61]graphdefang -- Create graphs of your mimedefang spam and virus
 * [62]gnuradio1 -- Software Defined Radio.
 * [63]happydigger -- Program for cataloging for archaeological
 * [64]headache -- Tool to manage license notes of source files.
 * [65]hwinfo -- Hardware identification system.
 * [66]kaffeine -- Xine-based media player for KDE 3.
 * [67]kbiff -- KDE mail nonotification utility.
 * [68]konversation -- User friendly Internet Relay Chat client for
 * [69]manpages-tr -- Turkish version of the manual pages.
 * [70]med-cms -- Debian-Med content management systems.
 * [71]minit -- Small but powerful init system.
 * [72]mknfonts -- Create nfont packages for GNUstep.
 * [73]netpanzer -- Online multiplayer tactical warfare game.
 * [74]neverball -- 3D arcade games: neverball & neverputt.
 * [75]nsca -- Nagios service monitor agent.
 * [76]pcproxy -- Masquerading proxy for flight simulation networks.
 * [77]pmacct -- Promiscuous mode traffic accountant.
 * [78]polipo -- Caching web proxy.
 * [79]realtime -- Scripts for handling the realtime Linux security
 * [80]renameutils -- A set of programs to make renaming of files
 * [81]sql-ledger -- double-entry accounting program written in Perl.
 * [82]stripclub -- Online Comic reader and archiver.
 * [83]sysvconfig -- text menu based utility for configuring init
   script links.
 * [84]tcptrack -- Displays a TCP connection list, with states and
 * [85]vdradmin -- Web-based administration tool for vdr.
 * [86]xmail -- Advanced, fast and reliable ESMTP/POP3 mail server.
 * [87]zipper -- Tool for inspecting the contents of a compressed

 54. http://packages.debian.org/unstable/x11/autodia
 55. http://packages.debian.org/unstable/base/colo
 56. http://packages.debian.org/unstable/text/docbook2x
 57. http://packages.debian.org/unstable/utils/fcrackzip
 58. http://packages.debian.org/unstable/net/fpdns
 59. http://packages.debian.org/unstable/graphics/gimp-cbmplugs
 60. http://packages.debian.org/unstable/devel/gjdoc
 61. http://packages.debian.org/unstable/mail/graphdefang
 62. http://packages.debian.org/unstable/libs/gnuradio1
 63. http://packages.debian.org/unstable/utils/happydigger
 64. http://packages.debian.org/unstable/devel/headache
 65. http://packages.debian.org/unstable/admin/hwinfo
 66. http://packages.debian.org/unstable/kde/kaffeine
 67. http://packages.debian.org/unstable/mail/kbiff
 68. http://packages.debian.org/unstable/kde/konversation
 69. http://packages.debian.org/unstable/doc/manpages-tr
 70. http://packages.debian.org/unstable/misc/med-cms
 71. http://packages.debian.org/unstable/admin/minit
 72. http://packages.debian.org/unstable/text/mknfonts
 73. http://packages.debian.org/unstable/games/netpanzer
 74. http://packages.debian.org/unstable/games/neverball
 75. http://packages.debian.org/unstable/net/nsca
 76. http://packages.debian.org/unstable/games/pcproxy
 77. http://packages.debian.org/unstable/net/pmacct
 78. http://packages.debian.org/unstable/web/polipo
 79. http://packages.debian.org/unstable/base/realtime
 80. http://packages.debian.org/unstable/utils/renameutils
 81. http://packages.debian.org/unstable/web/sql-ledger
 82. http://packages.debian.org/unstable/net/stripclub
 83. http://packages.debian.org/unstable/admin/sysvconfig
 84. http://packages.debian.org/unstable/net/tcptrack
 85. http://packages.debian.org/unstable/web/vdradmin
 86. http://packages.debian.org/unstable/mail/xmail
 87. http://packages.debian.org/unstable/utils/zipper

Orphaned Packages. 11 orphaned packages were adopted this week, and we
wish the new maintainers well. 11 packages were also orphaned this
week and require a new maintainer. This makes a total of 157 orphaned
packages, the same number as a week ago. Many thanks to the previous
maintainers who contributed to the Free Software community. Please see
the [88]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.

 88. http://www.debian.org/devel/wnpp/

 * [89]asmodem -- AfterStep modem monitor. ([90]package info)
 * [91]cd-circleprint -- Prints round shaped CD labels. ([92]package
 * [93]dailystrips -- View web comic strips more conveniently.
   ([94]package info)
 * [95]gtklp -- Frontend for cups written in GTK. ([96]package
 * [97]netsaint-nrpe-plugin -- NetSaint remote plugin executor
   (plugin). ([98]package info)
 * [99]parchive -- Use PAR files to reconstruct missing parts of
   multi-part archives. ([100]package info)
 * [101]scanssh -- Get SSH server versions for an entire network.
   ([102]package info)
 * [103]swatch -- Log file viewer with regexp matching, highlighting,
   & hooks. ([104]package info)
 * [105]txt2pdbdoc -- Convert plain text files to Palm DOC (for
   PalmOS) and back. ([106]package info)

 89. http://bugs.debian.org/243235
 90. http://packages.debian.org/asmodem
 91. http://bugs.debian.org/244200
 92. http://packages.debian.org/cd-circleprint
 93. http://bugs.debian.org/244452
 94. http://packages.debian.org/dailystrips
 95. http://bugs.debian.org/244199
 96. http://packages.debian.org/gtklp
 97. http://bugs.debian.org/244238
 98. http://packages.debian.org/netsaint-nrpe-plugin
 99. http://bugs.debian.org/244453
 100. http://packages.debian.org/parchive
 101. http://bugs.debian.org/244454
 102. http://packages.debian.org/scanssh
 103. http://bugs.debian.org/244455
 104. http://packages.debian.org/swatch
 105. http://bugs.debian.org/244456
 106. http://packages.debian.org/txt2pdbdoc

Want to continue reading DWN? Please help us create this newsletter.
We still need more volunteer writers who watch the Debian community
and report about what is going on. Please see the [107]contributing
page to find out how to help. We're looking forward to receiving your
mail at [108]dwn@debian.org.

 107. http://www.debian.org/News/weekly/contributing
 108. mailto:dwn@debian.org

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