Debian Weekly News - April 19th, 2005
Debian Weekly News
Debian Weekly News - April 19th, 2005
Welcome to this year's 16th issue of DWN, the weekly newsletter for
the Debian community. Micah Anderson noted that the oldest open
bug reports in Debian turn ten this month. Brian Proffitt
commented on a report about a survey that uncovered that in
2005 the majority of Free Software developers preferred
Debian based Desktops in Munich. The city of Munich chose (German)
the Debian distribution as a basis for their desktop. Two German
companies will configure and maintain the 14,000 machines based on
this client. The decision (German) to move away from a proprietary
system had attracted a lot of interest by all kinds of media.
Interview with Branden Robinson. Our former Editor Joe 'Zonker'
Brockmeier conducted an interview with Branden Robinson, the new
Debian Project Leader. He would like to put some care into
infrastructure that is often complained about and wants to emphasise
on Debian's continuing position as the most significant GNU/Linux
distribution. Regular reports will round this up.
Debian GNU/Linux 3.0 updated. The Debian project announced the
fifth update to their stable Distribution alias woody. It contains
mostly those security updates that have accumulated since January when
the last update was made. Some packages were also removed from the
stable distribution, mostly due to license infringements. A complete
list of all accepted and removed packages together with rationale is
on the preparation page.
GPL Programs belong in non-free? Adrian Bunk noted that all
programs licensed under the GNU GPL have to go into non-free,
since the GPL license itself must not be modified. Glenn Maynard
stated that the only reason the text of the GPL is allowed in main
is because including license texts is a fundamental, unavoidable
requirement of distributing software at all.
IRC Meetings. The Debian Kernel Team held an IRC meeting in which
they decided that the kernel in testing is frozen. A meeting of
the AMD64 porters will take place on 23rd of April to discuss how
to do an unofficial sarge release of the AMD64 port. On the 26th of
April there will also be a public IRC meeting of SPI.
Further Restricting the GPL. Warren Turkal wondered if terms
and conditions in addition to the GNU GPL would render a package
non-free. Glenn Maynard explained that granting the user
permission by using the GPL but at the same time limiting the rights
with additional limitation puts software in an uncertain state. Since
Debian tends to honour the author's desires as closely as possible
this would imply that Debian shouldn't be distributing this software.
Kernel Firmware Blobs. Sven Luther started a new discussion about
binary blobs in kernel drivers without an explicit copyright notice.
Allegedly, these blobs are considered a mere aggregation of bits and
bytes that aren't linked into the kernel and hence don't infringe the
Christian Debian Distribution. Raphaël Pinson reported about the
start of Ichtux, a custom Debian distribution (CDD) focusing on
Christianity and free Christian projects. They are currently
considering becoming an official CDD to be included as such in the
Documentation Licensing FAQ. Jacobo Tarrio released a draft
FAQ on documentation licensing. In this document he summarises
several questions and answers about this topic which should be useful
especially for people who have questions about the GNU FDL.
Security Updates. You know the drill. Please make sure that you update
your systems if you have any of these packages installed.
* DSA 706: axel -- Arbitrary code execution.
* DSA 707: mysql -- Several vulnerabilities.
* DSA 708: php3 -- Denial of service.
* DSA 709: libexif -- Arbitrary code execution.
* DSA 710: gtkhtml -- Denial of service.
* DSA 711: info2www -- Cross site scripting.
* DSA 712: geneweb -- Insecure file operations.
New or Noteworthy Packages. The following packages were added to the
unstable Debian archive recently or contain important updates.
* achims-guestbook -- PHP driven guestbook.
* albumshaper -- Photo album creator and photo manipulator.
* arch2darcs -- Convert Arch/tla repositories to Darcs.
* archmbox -- Simple email archiver written in Perl.
* cduce -- Programming language adapted to the manipulation of
* childsplay -- Suite of educational games for young children.
* cycle -- Calendar program for women.
* drawtiming -- Tool for documenting hardware designs through
* ingo1 -- Email filter component for Horde Framework.
* irb1.9 -- Interactive Ruby (for Ruby 1.9).
* jsvc -- Native application to launch java applications as
* monotone -- Distributed version control system.
* ncmpc -- NCurses client for the Music Player Daemon.
* ocrad -- Optical Character Recognition program.
* picwiz -- Simple picture resizing wizard for KDE/Konqueror.
* ttf-farsiweb -- FarsiWeb free TrueType Farsi fonts.
* ttf-paktype -- PakType free OpenType Urdu fonts.
* turba2 -- Contact management component for horde framework.
Orphaned Packages. 2 packages were orphaned this week and require a
new maintainer. This makes a total of 223 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.
* crm114 -- The Controllable Regex Mutilator and Spam Filter.
* toshutils -- Toshiba laptop utilities. (Bug#304160)
Removed Packages. 6 packages have been removed from the Debian
archive during the past few weeks:
* enbd -- Enhanced Network Block Device support.
Bug#298388: Orphaned, RC bug, upstream unresponsive.
* libxcb -- Lightweight, low-latency replacement for Xlib.
Bug#301850: Request of maintainer, too unstable yet for
* pdp11-unix-v5 -- Caldera UNIX V5 images for a PDP-11 emulator.
Bug#297437: Orphaned, non-free, virtually unused.
* pdp11-unix-v6 -- Caldera UNIX V6 images for a PDP-11 emulator.
Bug#297438: Orphaned, non-free, virtually unused.
* pdp11-unix-v7 -- Caldera UNIX V7 images for a PDP-11 emulator.
Bug#297440: Orphaned, non-free, virtually unused.
* xitalk -- Talk intercept utility for X.
Bug#302330: Request of QA, doesn't work, hardly used.
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