Debian Weekly News - November 16th, 2004
Debian Weekly News
Debian Weekly News - November 16th, 2004
Welcome to this year's 45th issue of DWN, the weekly newsletter for
the Debian community. Bruce Perens has written an article on
software patents in standards and explains how they hinder software
development. It seems that the memory consumption problem in
SpamAssassin 3 is finally fixed, so the package may be able to
migrate into sarge.
Release Status Update. Colin Watson sent in a new release status
update in which he reported that two more people are helping with
release management and that the toolchain has been finalised. However,
several architectures still face upgrade problems with regards to the
kernel and glibc. He also revealed that sarge will be released with
KDE 3.2. The key blocker, though, the buildd network, hasn't been
adjusted to testing-security yet.
GNOME 2.8 for Sarge? On behalf of the GNOME team Jordi Mallach
wondered if he may upload GNOME 2.8 into unstable since it was
released early in September already when sarge was said to be frozen
really soon. Since it has received a lot of testing and many users are
already using it through the experimental distribution, it seems to be
suited for the new stable Debian release. The release team has since
then approved the upload of GNOME 2.8.1 into unstable, which may
migrate in parts or as a whole into sarge as well.
Digging into the Installer. Ingrid Marson interviewed David
Pashley about the new Debian installer, which focuses on an easy
installation. Even though the installer is still text-based some
developers are working on a graphical interface. Anthony Awtrey added
that the Installer supports automation by allowing to pre-seed a
configuration with all the options managed by the Debian configuration
Large Opteron Cluster running Debian. Thomas Lange reported about
the new AMD Opteron cluster Sarek at the Umeå University. It
consists of 192 nodes (384 CPUs), was installed with FAI (Fully
Automated Installation) and runs the pure64 port of Debian GNU/Linux
for amd64 with a 2.6 Linux kernel. This cluster was even listed at
rank 165 on the top 500 list of June 2004 and at rank 220 in
YaST2 for Debian? Mario Fux was looking for somebody to port YaST2
to Debian. It's an overall configuration utility which seems to be
missing in Debian. Jaldhar Vyas answered that he planned to check
whether he can package YaST2 for Debian. He also mentioned a
YaST2-frontend to debconf.
Help for Upstream Software Authors. Adrian von Bidder started to
document hints for upstream authors which will make the work for
package maintainers easier. The idea is not to duplicate the Debian
policy, but to give upstream developers an idea how their software can
be written to be easily packaged.
Mounting removable Media. Martin Pitt reported about the idea of
upstream about automatic USB/FireWire device handling. Since he is not
satisfied with this he has developed pmount, which can be executed by
a normal user to mount removable media. He would like to propagate
this approach to Debian.
PHP Accelerator undistributable? Andres Solomon noticed that
turck-mmcache, a precompiler and cache to improve performance of PHP
scripts, is covered under the GNU GPL but links against PHP4, whose
license is incompatible with the GNU GPL. Since this renders the
package undistributable by Debian, an interested user is seeking a
Security Updates. You know the drill. Please make sure that you update
your systems if you have any of these packages installed.
* DSA 592: ez-ipupdate -- Format string vulnerability.
* DSA 593: imagemagick -- Arbitrary code execution.
New or Noteworthy Packages. The following packages were added to the
unstable Debian archive recently or contain important updates.
* archway -- GUI for GNU Arch.
* axp -- Command line tool and wrapper for tla.
* bandersnatch -- Log Jabber conversations to a peer-visible
* bittorrent-gui -- Scatter-gather network file transfer (GUI
* etpan-ng -- Console mail user agent based on libEtPan.
* fet -- Timetable generator.
* filepp -- Generic perl-based file pre-processor.
* gnome-u2ps -- Tool to convert UTF-8 text to PostScript.
* goobox -- CD player and ripper for GNOME.
* httping -- Ping-like program for http-requests.
* ksynaptics -- KDE application to configure Synaptics TouchPad.
* matanza -- Space ASCII war game.
* openscenegraph -- 3D scenegraph binary files.
* patcher -- Perl script useful for managing patches.
* phpunit -- Unit testing suite for PHP4.
* poker3d -- 3D multiplayer online poker game.
* reppu -- Network render program for blender.
* smilutils -- DV command line utilities.
* tellico -- Collection manager for books, videos, music.
* torcs -- 3D racing cars simulator game using OpenGL.
* underware -- Binary files to run 3D online games.
* xbox-cromwell -- Xbox BIOS image.
* xbox-raincoat -- Xbox BIOS flasher.
* xmlstarlet -- Command Line XML Toolkit.
Debian Packages introduced last Week. Every day, a different Debian
package is featured from the testing distribution. If you know
about an obscure package you think others should also know about, send
it to Andrew Sweger. Debian package a day introduced the following
packages last week.
* ding -- Dictionary lookup program for Unix.
* aiksaurus -- English-language thesaurus.
* 3ddesktop -- Three-dimensional desktop switcher.
* checkinstall -- Software installation tracker.
* installwatch -- Software installation tracker.
* xpp -- X printing panel.
Orphaned Packages. 2 packages were orphaned this week and require a
new maintainer. This makes a total of 221 orphaned packages. Many
thanks to the previous maintainers who contributed to the Free
Software community. Please see the 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.
* efax -- Programs to send and receive fax messages.
* synopsis -- Source code documentation tool. (Bug#280722)
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