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Debian Weekly News - December 7th, 2004

Debian Weekly News
Debian Weekly News - December 7th, 2004

Welcome to this year's 48th issue of DWN, the weekly newsletter for
the Debian community. Frank Ronneburg has updated his [1]book about
Debian to cover the upcoming release of sarge and will [2]present it
on December 14th in Berlin, Germany. [3]Europcar has [4]switched
1,500 computers in branch offices to Debian based thin clients, and is
now moving 3,500 more machines in headquarters to GNU/Linux.

 1. http://debiananwenderhandbuch.de/
 2. http://www.lob.de/cgi-bin/work/pages?id=Dvj09C3PcRVB&page=Bernd1
 3. http://www.europcar.com/
 4. http://news.zdnet.co.uk/software/linuxunix/0,39020390,39175484,00.htm

Hot Babe and non-US? After Thibaut Varene [5]declared his intention
to package [6]hot babe, a small application showing different
pictures (of a drawn girl) depending on the CPU temperature, a
discussion about which packages should be part of Debian started. The
question came up how to handle packages that are against the law in
some countries. Paul Hampson [7]wondered if non-US should be
reactivated for such packages.

 5. http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel/2004/11/msg00986.html
 6. http://dindinx.net/hotbabe/
 7. http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel/2004/11/msg01042.html

Sarge Release Update. Andreas Barth sent in another [8]status report
about the sarge release progress. He reported that GNOME 2.8 was
accepted while KDE 3.3 still has issues that need to be resolved
before its addition can be discussed. The main blocker of the release
is still missing infrastructure, though.

 8. http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel-announce/2004/11/msg00015.html

Package Lists via LDAP. Sean Finney [9]stated he has worked on
implementing a alternative package list structure using the
[10]Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP). Applying search
filters on [11]timestamps would make package list updates a lot
faster, but apt is currently designed with the assumption that it
fetches the list of packages in the same manner that it fetches the
packages themselves.

 9. http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel/2004/12/msg00290.html
 10. http://www.openldap.org/faq/data/cache/29.html
 11. http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel/2004/12/msg00329.html

Does Sarge really matter? Joe 'Zonker' Brockmeier [12]wondered if it
really matters whether or when Debian releases the sarge distribution
as official release. He added that the official release date doesn't
really mean anything, since sarge is already widely in use. He
emphasises on one of the nice things about Free Software which is
immediate availability. Andreas Barth [13]responded.

 12. http://blogs.zdnet.com/open-source/index.php?p=56
 13. http://blogs.turmzimmer.net/2004/12/06#why-release

Preseed URL via DHCP. Joey Hess [14]noticed that the kernel boot
parameter space is too limited on HPPA to provide a preseed URL for
Debconf and [15]debian-installer. Steve Langasek [16]added that the
DHCP server is able to distinguish between classes which would make it
possible to [17]overload a common option.

 14. http://lists.debian.org/debian-boot/2004/11/msg01525.html
 15. http://www.debian.org/devel/debian-installer/
 16. http://lists.debian.org/debian-boot/2004/11/msg01532.html
 17. http://lists.debian.org/debian-boot/2004/11/msg01543.html

New Debian-Installer Branch. Joey Hess [18]announced that he has
created a special development branch for the debian-installer sarge
will use. The main trunk is now open for post-sarge changes. This
means that the installer for sarge is more or less frozen. Christian
Perrier additionally [19]urged developers to avoid string changes.

 18. http://lists.debian.org/debian-boot/2004/11/msg01344.html
 19. http://lists.debian.org/debian-boot/2004/11/msg01347.html

Alternatives for su-to-root? Grant Diffey [20]proposed to use the
alternatives mechanism for programs that provide su-to-root
functionality. Nikita Youshchenko [21]asserted that the programs he
listed do different things. Wouter Verhelst even [22]added that the
fact that gksu is used from the menu system instead of gksudo, means
that one cannot conveniently use sudo in graphical environments.

 20. http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel/2004/11/msg00728.html
 21. http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel/2004/11/msg00735.html
 22. http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel/2004/11/mail2.html

Finding an Improved Release Process. Lex Hider [23]started a
discussion on alternatives to the current Debian release process which
lead to [24]comments on what stable actually means, the [25]size of
Debian and the [26]increasing [27]complexity of the dependency tree.
Joey Hess eventually created a [28]wiki page for release proposals and
current bottlenecks to be discussed.

 23. http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel/2004/11/msg00887.html
 24. http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel/2004/11/msg00893.html
 25. http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel/2004/11/msg00914.html
 26. http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel/2004/11/msg00946.html
 27. http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel/2004/11/msg00969.html
 28. http://wiki.debian.net/index.cgi?ReleaseProposals

Virtual Package Dependencies. Daniel Burrows [29]reminded other
developers of the proper way to add a dependency (or recommendation)
to a purely virtual package. He emphasises that it should be an OR
dependency with a real package proposed as well so that apt-get
doesn't install an arbitrary package that fulfils this dependency
which may result in a lot of packages that neither the user nor the
maintainer intended to get installed.

 29. http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel/2004/12/msg00391.html

Character Encoding in Control Files. Peter Samuelson [30]noticed that
most non-ASCII characters in the control file are UTF-8 encoded.
However, some characters aren't but [31]policy only talks about
character encoding in the changelog files. Denis Barbier [32]opted for
manual fixes instead of simply passing the lines in question through

 30. http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel/2004/12/msg00521.html
 31. http://www.debian.org/doc/debian-policy/ap-pkg-sourcepkg.html#s-pkg-dpkgchangelog
 32. http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel/2004/12/msg00550.html

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

 * DSA 603: [33]openssl -- Insecure temporary file creation.
 * DSA 604: [34]hpsockd -- Denial of service.
 * DSA 605: [35]viewcvs -- Information leak.

 33. http://www.debian.org/security/2004/dsa-603
 34. http://www.debian.org/security/2004/dsa-604
 35. http://www.debian.org/security/2004/dsa-605

New or Noteworthy Packages. The following packages were added to the
unstable Debian archive [36]recently or contain important updates.

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

 * [37]newmail -- Biff like tool for the terminal.
 * [38]openoffice.org-dev -- OpenOffice.org SDK - development files.
 * [39]openoffice.org-evolution -- Evolution 2 Addressbook support
   for OpenOffice.org.
 * [40]openoffice.org-gtk-gnome -- GTK UI Plugin and GNOME File
   Picker for OpenOffice.org.
 * [41]openoffice.org-kde -- KDE UI Plugin and KDE File Picker for
 * [42]wwwstat -- HTTPd logfile analysis package.
 * [43]zsync -- Client-side implementation of the rsync algorithm.

 37. http://packages.debian.org/unstable/mail/newmail
 38. http://packages.debian.org/unstable/devel/openoffice.org-dev
 39. http://packages.debian.org/unstable/gnome/openoffice.org-evolution
 40. http://packages.debian.org/unstable/gnome/openoffice.org-gtk-gnome
 41. http://packages.debian.org/unstable/kde/openoffice.org-kde
 42. http://packages.debian.org/unstable/admin/wwwstat
 43. http://packages.debian.org/unstable/net/zsync

Orphaned Packages. 2 packages were orphaned this week and require a
new maintainer. This makes a total of 224 orphaned packages. Many
thanks to the previous maintainers who contributed to the Free
Software community. Please see the [44]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.

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

 * [45]efax-gtk -- A GTK front-end for the efax package.
 * [47]ksetisaver -- SETI screensaver for KDE. ([48]Bug#283932)

 45. http://packages.debian.org/unstable/comm/efax-gtk
 46. http://bugs.debian.org/283931
 47. http://packages.debian.org/unstable/kde/ksetisaver
 48. http://bugs.debian.org/283932

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 [49]contributing
page to find out how to help. We're looking forward to receiving your
mail at [50]dwn@debian.org.

 49. http://www.debian.org/News/weekly/contributing
 50. mailto:dwn@debian.org

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