Debian Weekly News - January 30th, 2007
Debian Weekly News
Debian Weekly News - January 30th, 2007
Welcome to this year's 2nd issue of DWN, the weekly newsletter for the
Debian community. Anthony Towns was interviewed by Liz Tay on
whether Dunc Tank was a failure or success. Joey Schulze
reported that the alpha port has caught up and is fitter than
before since it now has two working build daemon.
Dealing with personal Configuration and Data. Aigars Mahinovs
proposed a standard for applications to organise data and
configuration files stored in the user's home directory as an
extension to the Filesystem Hierarchy Standard. It should first
implemented in Debian and then passed upstream. Mark Hymers
pointed out that the XDG Base Directory Specification from
Waldo Bastian addresses configuration files already.
Social Committee for Debian? Josip Rodin proposed to found a
social committee that will deal with social problems within the Debian
project, similar to the technical committee handling technical issues.
It would have its own charter and would delegate communications
coordinators to particular teams and mailing lists to observe and
ensure that no complaints go unnoticed.
Request for Translation Updates. Javier Fernández-Sanguino Peña
asked maintainers to take the chance to upload packages with only
translation updates. Such modification have a good chance to be
granted a freeze exception by the release team. Even after the NMU
Campaign aimed to fix pending localisation bugs in the bug
tracking system, there are still many packages with open bugs.
Maintainers are encouraged to sent a message to debian-i18n asking
for translation updates.
Debian-Installer Loader. Robert Millan announced the availability
of a Debian-Installer Loader for win32. The program, inspired by
Ubuntu's similar project, features 64-bit CPU auto-detection,
download of kernel and initrd netboot images, and chain-loading into
Debian-Installer via grub4dos. Graphical installations are
supported as well. The frontend site goodbye-microsoft.com has
been setup for advocacy purposes.
New UTF-8 Migration Wizard. Martin-Éric Racine announced that a
new GTK2-based migration tool for UTF-8 has been uploaded into the
unstable distribution. It allows an easy migration to UTF-8 for
both locale settings and user file encodings. Martin-Éric Racine
recently took over the development of this tool which was
previously developed for Ubuntu.
Proposal for an official Screenshot Repository. Roberto C. Sanchez
requested comments about the idea of having an official archive of
screenshots that would allow users to browse through images of GUI
packages, a service similar to packages.debian.org for
descriptions. Nico Golde pointed a similar discussion in 2006.
Debian at the Chemnitzer Linux-Tage 2007. The Debian project will
maintain a booth at the this years' Chemnitzer Linux-Tage taking
place from March, 3rd to 4th at the Technical University of Chemnitz.
Torsten Werner will give a talk about advanced Debian packaging
and Jörg Jaspert will discuss virtualisation using Xen on Debian.
Debian Conference Deadline. Jörg Jaspert announced that
participants need to register on Pentabarf until Wednesday January
31st, 2007 if they would like to apply for sponsored accommodation,
food or travel, or if they are planning to submit a talk or event
proposal. This years' Debian Conference will take place in
Edinburgh from June 17th to 23rd, 2007.
Keeping virtual Disks clean. Aleksandr Koltsoff announced
zerotools, a set of tools to aid keeping virtual disks clean by
filling binary zero to those regions which are no longer in use. These
tools should not be used to make data retrieval close to impossible.
The author also noticed that no Debian packages were available. Amaya
Rodrigo Sastre added information about zum, a similar tool that is
part of perforate, a package maintained by her.
Updates during the Etch Life Cycle. Luis Matos proposed to add
kernel updates on stable point releases in order to support more
hardware and to keep using volatile and backports for other
programs. Moritz Mühlenhoff added that there are plans for a
second set of kernels (and probably X servers) nine months after the
release of etch, which will also have security support. However,
nothing is fixed yet, as the current focus is on getting etch ready
Architecture Release Requirements? Thomas Bushnell wondered why
alpha is a release architecture since it doesn't fulfil the
architecture requirements of having build daemon redundancy,
since the main alpha machine has been offline for more than ten days.
Martin Schulze added that the machine was being moved to a new
location. Steve Langasek answered that this requirement has been
waived as a hard requirement for release qualification so that this
particular outage doesn't affect the release status of alpha port.
Security Updates. You know the drill. Please make sure that you update
your systems if you have any of these packages installed.
* DSA 1252: vlc -- Arbitrary code execution.
* DSA 1253: Mozilla Firefox -- Several vulnerabilities.
* DSA 1254: bind9 -- Denial of service.
New or Noteworthy Packages. The following packages were added to the
unstable Debian archive recently or contain important updates.
* ascii2binary -- Convert between ASCII, hexadecimal and binary
* cone -- COnsole Newsreader and Emailer.
* cortado -- Streaming applet for Ogg formats.
* djplay -- DJ application for Linux.
* eancheck -- Check digit validator for EAN/PLU/UPC barcode
* extcalc -- Multifunctional scientific graphic calculator.
* flickrfs -- Virtual filesystem for flickr online photosharing
* formed -- Formula editor for first-order logic formulae.
* funionfs -- User-space directory concatenation.
* glbsp -- Nodes builder for Doom-style games; has support for
* gplcver -- Verilog simulator.
* gt5 -- Shell program to display visual disk usage with
* hdapsd -- HDAPS daemon for IBM/Lenovo ThinkPads.
* kallery -- Image gallery generator for the KDE.
* kxgenerator -- KDE X Server configuration utility.
* lazarus -- Rapid Application Development (RAD) tool for Free
* mace2 -- Program that searches for finite models of
* mailody -- Fast IMAP mail user agent for KDE.
* nfdump -- Netflow capture daemon.
* odt2txt -- Simple converter from OpenDocument Text to plain
* otter -- Resolution-style theorem prover.
* pdfcube -- PDF document viewer with 3D effects.
* qct -- GUI commit tool.
* stalonetray -- Standalone freedesktop.org and KDE systray
* xournal -- GTK+ Application for note taking.
Orphaned Packages. 4 packages were orphaned this week and require a
new maintainer. This makes a total of 371 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. To find out which orphaned packages are
installed on your system the wnpp-alert program from devscripts may be
* open21xx -- Tool suite for Analog Devices 21xx DSPs.
* pxe -- Free PXE daemon. (Bug#407907)
* quack-el -- Enhanced Emacs support for Scheme programming.
* usbmount -- Automatically mount and unmount USB mass storage
Removed Packages. 1 package has been removed from the Debian
archive during the past week:
* fixedpoint -- Fixed point math object for Python [dummy package]
Bug#405168: Request of maintainer, superseded by 'decimal' in
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 contributing
page to find out how to help. We're looking forward to receiving your
mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This issue of Debian Weekly News was edited by Felipe Augusto van
de Wiel, Robert Millan, Sebastian Feltel and Martin 'Joey' Schulze.