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Debian Weekly News - April 27th, 2004

Debian Weekly News
Debian Weekly News - April 27th, 2004

Welcome to this year's 17th issue of DWN, the weekly newsletter for
the Debian community. In light of recent events Nathanael Nerode is
working hard on [1]splitting binary firmware blobs out of the Linux
kernel so they can be loaded via the request_firmware command which
would resolve incompatibilities with the Linux license. Steve Kowalik
[2]announced a new major release of [3]linda, a policy checker, that
adds full support for internationalisation.

 1. http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel-0404/msg03877.html
 2. http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel-0404/msg01688.html
 3. http://packages.debian.org/linda

Report from the Linux User & Developer Expo. Vincent Sanders
[4]reported about the Debian project attendence at the [5]Linux User
& Developer Expo in the London Olympia hall. Debian presented a very
professional appearance to the public. Less common Debian CDs could be
cut to order as Steve McIntyre had production facilities at the booth.

 4. http://www.debian.org/events/2004/0420-linuxuserexpo-report
 5. http://www.debian.org/events/2004/0420-linuxuserexpo

Progeny Debian 2.0. Ladislav Bodnar [6]looked at the alpha
[7]release of Progeny Debian 2.0 ([8]ISO Images). This is the first
example of Progeny's [9]componentised GNU/Linux idea previously
[10]mentioned in DWN. Each component, for example XFree86 or GNOME
2.4, is in its own apt repository. This is intended make it easier to
upgrade individual components.

 6. http://lwn.net/Articles/80473/
 7. http://platform.progeny.com/archives/000034.html
 8. http://archive.progeny.com/progeny/linux/iso-i386/20040412/
 9. http://platform.progeny.com/componentized/
 10. http://www.debian.org/News/weekly/2004/09/

Kernel Security Support for Sarge. Martin Schulze [11]described the
issues raised by the frequent need for kernel security [12]updates in
the stable Debian release. The sheer number of packages and releases
to support places an unbearable burden on the security team. Thus the
number of packages in sarge needs to be reduced before the release. A
particular problem is posed by the dependence of some architectures on
the 2.2 kernel line which the security team will probably not be able
to support for sarge.

 11. http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel-0404/msg01623.html
 12. http://www.infodrom.org/~joey/log/?200404211935

Request for Help by the Installer Team. Joey Hess [13]called for help
with the next debian-installer beta release by processing installation
reports. He reported that there are more than 480 uncategorised
installation reports for which nobody had found time yet. We could
have lots of serious problems we don't know about.

 13. http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel-0404/msg01468.html

Purge of Firmware to recommence. Herbert Xu [14]reported that he will
recommence the removal of non-free firmware blobs from the kernel
where no acceptable solution using user-space firmware loaders has
been provided. This is in accordance with the release manager's
decision to treat violations of the [15]GNU General Public License as

 14. http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel-0404/msg01488.html
 15. http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/gpl.html

Collection of DFSG-compliant Licenses. Joachim Breitner [16]announced
that he has started to [17]collect licenses that are compliant with
the [18]Debian Free Software Guidelines (DFSG). He also lists those
that are not compliant, though. Frank Lichtenheld [19]confirmed that
he is working with Andreas Barth to create such a directory on the
Debian website.

 16. http://lists.debian.org/debian-legal-0404/msg00142.html
 17. http://wiki.debian.net/index.cgi?DFSGLicences
 18. http://www.debian.org/social_contract#guidelines
 19. http://lists.debian.org/debian-legal-0404/msg00143.html

Survey on Debian Usage. Enrico Zini [20]announced an exploratory
survey of Debian usage. The goal of this survey is to understand the
purposes for which the Debian operating system is being used and the
ways in which people use Debian to achieve these purposes.

 20. http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel-0404/msg01508.html

Squeak License. Roland Stigge [21]restarted the discussion about
whether the [22]Squeak license is DFSG compliant or at least suitable
for non-free. Lex Spoon [23]asserted that Apple has abandoned Squeak
and will not be changing the license in the foreseeable future so the
issues will probably remain.

 21. http://lists.debian.org/debian-legal-0404/msg00160.html
 22. http://www.squeak.org/
 23. http://lists.debian.org/debian-legal-0404/msg00242.html

ReiserFS 4 License. Sami Liedes [24]wondered if the license for
reiser4progs (GPL and clarifications) renders this package non-free.
The license also tries to declare plugins and a clustering file system
built to work on top of this file system as derivative works, which
Sami denies. People seem to agree that the current license renders
reiser4 non-free or even non-distributable at all.

 24. http://lists.debian.org/debian-legal-0404/msg00229.html

Editorial Amendments to the Social Contract passed. Manoj Srivastava
[25]announced that the [26]general resolution covering editorial
amendments to the [27]social contract has passed with a 4:1 majority
(3:1 required). From 213 valid votes 174 were in favour of these
changes while 39 people voted for further discussion.

 25. http://lists.debian.org/debian-vote-0404/msg00073.html
 26. http://www.debian.org/vote/2004/vote_003
 27. http://www.debian.org/social_contract

Sarge Release Status. Anthony Towns [28]reported that he can not
justify the policy decisions to exempt documentation, firmware, or
content any longer, as the social contract has been amended to cover
all these areas and not only software. Hence, these blobs need to be
removed from sarge before it can be released. This will make a release
impossible for this year, though.

 28. http://lists.debian.org/debian-vote-0404/msg00074.html

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

 * [29]xchat -- Arbitrary code execution.
 * [30]ident2 -- Buffer overflow.
 * [31]Linux 2.4.16 (arm) -- Local root exploit.

 29. http://www.debian.org/security/2004/dsa-493
 30. http://www.debian.org/security/2004/dsa-494
 31. http://www.debian.org/security/2004/dsa-495

New or Noteworthy Packages. The following packages were added to the
unstable Debian archive [32]recently or contain important updates.

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

 * [33]atanks -- Tank-battling game.
 * [34]binclock -- Binary clock for console with color support.
 * [35]buildtool -- Portable build infrastructure.
 * [36]cenon -- Vector graphics tool for GNUstep.
 * [37]disktype -- Detection of content format of a disk or disk
 * [38]esmtp-run -- User configurable relay-only MTA.
 * [39]fbpager -- Pager application for the Fluxbox window manager.
 * [40]fontforge -- Font Editor for PS, TrueType and OpenType fonts.
 * [41]gosa -- Web Based LDAP Administration Program.
 * [42]kid3 -- KDE ID3 tag editor.
 * [43]lessdisks -- Flexible diskless (x)terminal system - server
   base files.
 * [44]linuxvnc -- VNC server to monitor a tty.
 * [45]mailping -- Monitor email service availability and
 * [46]menu-xdg -- Freedesktop.org menu compliant window manager
 * [47]mp3gain -- Lossless mp3 normalizer with statistical analysis.
 * [48]mywiki -- Personal Wiki on GNUstep or Cocoa environment.
 * [49]openswan -- IPSEC utilities for Openswan.
 * [50]perlpanel -- Lean menu and launcher panel written in Perl and
 * [51]php-date -- PHP PEAR module for Date and Time Zone Classes.
 * [52]price -- Image filtering and manipulation using GNUstep.
 * [53]skribe -- Document production system.
 * [54]srs -- Command-line Sender Rewriting Scheme client.
 * [55]svk -- Distributed Version Control System.
 * [56]whatsnewfm -- Utility to filter the daily newsletter from
 * [57]whitespace -- Programming language where only whitespace
 * [58]x11vnc -- VNC server which uses your current X11 session.
 * [59]yarssr -- RSS reader for the notification area.
 * [60]zoidberg -- Modular Perl shell.

 33. http://packages.debian.org/unstable/games/atanks
 34. http://packages.debian.org/unstable/text/binclock
 35. http://packages.debian.org/unstable/devel/buildtool
 36. http://packages.debian.org/unstable/graphics/cenon
 37. http://packages.debian.org/unstable/utils/disktype
 38. http://packages.debian.org/unstable/mail/esmtp-run
 39. http://packages.debian.org/unstable/x11/fbpager
 40. http://packages.debian.org/unstable/x11/fontforge
 41. http://packages.debian.org/unstable/web/gosa
 42. http://packages.debian.org/unstable/kde/kid3
 43. http://packages.debian.org/unstable/misc/lessdisks
 44. http://packages.debian.org/unstable/x11/linuxvnc
 45. http://packages.debian.org/unstable/devel/mailping
 46. http://packages.debian.org/unstable/admin/menu-xdg
 47. http://packages.debian.org/unstable/sound/mp3gain
 48. http://packages.debian.org/unstable/misc/mywiki
 49. http://packages.debian.org/unstable/net/openswan
 50. http://packages.debian.org/unstable/x11/perlpanel
 51. http://packages.debian.org/unstable/web/php-date
 52. http://packages.debian.org/unstable/graphics/price
 53. http://packages.debian.org/unstable/devel/skribe
 54. http://packages.debian.org/unstable/mail/srs
 55. http://packages.debian.org/unstable/perl/svk
 56. http://packages.debian.org/unstable/mail/whatsnewfm
 57. http://packages.debian.org/unstable/interpreters/whitespace
 58. http://packages.debian.org/unstable/x11/x11vnc
 59. http://packages.debian.org/unstable/net/yarssr
 60. http://packages.debian.org/unstable/perl/zoidberg

Orphaned Packages. 21 packages were orphaned this week and require a
new maintainer. This makes a total of 169 orphaned packages. Many
thanks to the previous maintainers who contributed to the Free
Software community. Please see the [61]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.

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

 * [62]vcheck -- Utility to check and download the most recent
   program version. ([63]Bug#245101)
 * [64]xfce4-artwork -- Additional artwork for the XFce4 Desktop
   Environment. ([65]Bug#244558) ([66]Bug#245126)
 * [67]xfce4-battery-plugin -- Battery monitor plugin for the XFce4
   panel. ([68]Bug#244559) ([69]Bug#245114)
 * [70]xfce4-clipman-plugin -- Clipboard history plugin for the XFce4
   panel. ([71]Bug#244560) ([72]Bug#245115)
 * [73]xfce4-datetime-plugin -- Date and time plugin for the XFce4
   panel. ([74]Bug#244561) ([75]Bug#245116)
 * [76]xfce4-diskperf-plugin -- Disk performance display plugin for
   the XFce4 panel. ([77]Bug#244562) ([78]Bug#245117)
 * [79]xfce4-minicmd-plugin -- Mini-command line plugin for the XFce4
   panel. ([80]Bug#244565) ([81]Bug#245118)
 * [82]xfce4-netload-plugin -- Network load monitor plugin for the
   XFce4 panel. ([83]Bug#244566) ([84]Bug#245121)
 * [85]xfce4-notes-plugin -- Sticky notes plugin for the XFce4
   desktop. ([86]Bug#244567) ([87]Bug#245122)
 * [88]xfce4-showdesktop-plugin -- A show desktop button for the
   XFce4 panel. ([89]Bug#244568) ([90]Bug#245123)
 * [91]xfce4-systemload-plugin -- System load monitor plugin for the
   XFce4 panel. ([92]Bug#244569) ([93]Bug#245124)

 62. http://packages.debian.org/unstable/utils/vcheck
 63. http://bugs.debian.org/245101
 64. http://packages.debian.org/unstable/x11/xfce4-artwork
 65. http://bugs.debian.org/244558
 66. http://bugs.debian.org/245126
 67. http://packages.debian.org/unstable/x11/xfce4-battery-plugin
 68. http://bugs.debian.org/244559
 69. http://bugs.debian.org/245114
 70. http://packages.debian.org/unstable/x11/xfce4-clipman-plugin
 71. http://bugs.debian.org/244560
 72. http://bugs.debian.org/245115
 73. http://packages.debian.org/unstable/x11/xfce4-datetime-plugin
 74. http://bugs.debian.org/244561
 75. http://bugs.debian.org/245116
 76. http://packages.debian.org/unstable/x11/xfce4-diskperf-plugin
 77. http://bugs.debian.org/244562
 78. http://bugs.debian.org/245117
 79. http://packages.debian.org/unstable/x11/xfce4-minicmd-plugin
 80. http://bugs.debian.org/244565
 81. http://bugs.debian.org/245118
 82. http://packages.debian.org/unstable/x11/xfce4-netload-plugin
 83. http://bugs.debian.org/244566
 84. http://bugs.debian.org/245121
 85. http://packages.debian.org/unstable/x11/xfce4-notes-plugin
 86. http://bugs.debian.org/244567
 87. http://bugs.debian.org/245122
 88. http://packages.debian.org/unstable/x11/xfce4-showdesktop-plugin
 89. http://bugs.debian.org/244568
 90. http://bugs.debian.org/245123
 91. http://packages.debian.org/unstable/x11/xfce4-systemload-plugin
 92. http://bugs.debian.org/244569
 93. http://bugs.debian.org/245124

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 [94]contributing
page to find out how to help. We're looking forward to receiving your
mail at [95]dwn@debian.org.

 94. http://www.debian.org/News/weekly/contributing
 95. mailto:dwn@debian.org

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