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Debian Project News - November 3rd, 2008

Debian Project News
Debian Project News - November 3rd, 2008

Welcome to this year's 14th issue of DPN, the newsletter for the Debian
Some of the topics covered in this issue include:

 * Debian GNU/Linux 4.0 updated
 * Debian membership
 * First Lenny Bug Sprint finished successfully

Debian GNU/Linux 4.0 updated

The Debian project is pleased to announce the fifth update of its
stable distribution Debian GNU/Linux 4.0 (codename "Etch"). This update
mainly corrects security problems in the stable release, along with a
few adjustments to serious problems. Those who frequently install
updates from security.debian.org won't have to update many packages and
most updates from security.debian.org are included in this update. New
CD and DVD images containing updated packages are available at the
regular locations.

Upgrading to this revision online is usually done by pointing the
aptitude (or apt-get) package tool (see the sources.list(5) manual
page) to one of Debian's many FTP or HTTP mirrors. A comprehensive list
of mirrors is available [1]online.

   1: http://www.debian.org/mirror/list

More information is available in the [2]press release.

   2: http://www.debian.org/News/2008/20081023

Debian membership

After talking to several of the groups involved, Joerg Jaspert
[3]proposed changes in the way Debian membership is handled. The
motivation for these changes is to make it possible for people who
contribute to Debian without maintaining packages (such as translators
or documentation writers) to become members of the project. He later
[4]wrote some comments additional to his proposal. However due to the
scope of the envisioned changes, several developers proposed to
[5]stop these changes until they have been decided upon via a general
resolution, while Peter Palfrader [6]asked to be allowed to continue
trying to solve this problem.

   3: http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel-announce/2008/10/msg00005.html
   4: http://blog.ganneff.de/blog/2008/10/24/developer-status.html
   5: http://lists.debian.org/debian-vote/2008/10/msg00193.html
   6: http://lists.debian.org/debian-vote/2008/10/msg00266.html

Lars Wirzenius and others would like to see the whole [7]membership
system rethought, not only the process by which membership is granted.
Lars proposed that membership must be periodically renewed, while
"People should be allowed to join Debian when there is reasonably
widespread consensus that they agree with the project's goals, are
committed to working on those goals, and are trustworthy."

   7: http://lists.debian.org/debian-project/2008/10/msg00145.html

Martin Krafft [8]argued that instead of introducing different classes
of membership Debian should instead define different privileges and
criteria for how to obtain them. Since these privileges already exist
it would be easier to define the criteria instead of mapping the
privileges to classes.

   8: http://lists.debian.org/debian-project/2008/10/msg00061.html

First Lenny Bug Sprint finished successfully

To help clean up release critical bug reports, especially longstanding
ones, Josselin Mouette [9]initiated the first Bug Sprint. In this
competition, Debian Developers and other interested people volunteered
to try to fix their assigned release-critical bugs in a five day
period. The winners in this competition would get cookies.

   9: http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel-announce/2008/10/msg00004.html

Josselin later added that 27 players [10]joined the bug sprint and
posted [11]the results. (He already sent a more detailed [12]draft
ealier). All in all, he was very satisfied with the results. Stefano
Zacchiroli [13]proposed repeating this kind of event.

  10: http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel/2008/10/msg00636.html
  11: http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel/2008/11/msg00046.html
  12: http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel/2008/10/msg00875.html
  13: http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel/2008/10/msg00887.html

Firmware in Lenny and how to deal with DFSG-violating packages

Ben Finney [14]wondered about several release-critical bugs getting the
lenny-ignore tag, which specifies that these bugs are not considered
release critical for the upcoming release of Debian GNU/Linux 5.0
"Lenny". Release Manager Marc Brockschmidt [15]explained that "In all
of the bugs I recently tagged, the DFSG violation is usually a formal
problem, something that other distributions and upstream don't consider
a problem at all. While fixing these issues is and should be a goal of
Debian, it's hardly something that can be done in the last few weeks
before releasing. The drawbacks of delaying the release indefinitely
for these bugs are much greater than releasing with these minor DFSG

  14: http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel/2008/10/msg00368.html
  15: http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel/2008/10/msg00369.html

In the following discussion, Robert Millan [16]proposed a general
resolution on how to deal with packages violating the [17]Debian Free
Software Guidelines. In his proposal, packages having a bug report open
regarding their compliance with the Debian Free Software Guidelines for
a certain amount of time must be moved from the main section to the
non-free section. In his response to Robert's initial [18]proposal,
Release Wizard Steve Langasek [19]argued that Debian has been following
the road of incremental improvement. He notes that all bugs reported
regarding non-free firmware for older releases have been dealt with.

  16: http://lists.debian.org/debian-vote/2008/10/msg00107.html
  17: http://www.debian.org/social_contract#guidelines
  18: http://lists.debian.org/debian-vote/2008/10/msg00010.html
  19: http://lists.debian.org/debian-vote/2008/10/msg00128.html

State of NEW queue

Aurelien Jarno [20]wondered whether the NEW queue (where uploaded
source packages creating new binary packages are held back awaiting the
check and approval of an ftp-master) is currently being processed.
Joerg Jaspert [21]answered that the NEW queue has indeed not been
processed very often recently. He explained further that changes in the
software used to process this queue give precedence to packages that
only add new binary components, as distinct from packages that add
completely new code to the archive.

  20: http://lists.debian.org/debian-project/2008/10/msg00071.html
  21: http://lists.debian.org/debian-project/2008/10/msg00180.html

Changes to archive.debian.org

Joerg Jaspert [22]announced several changes for archive.debian.org, the
most important being that Debian GNU/Linux 3.1 "Sarge" has been moved
from the regular mirrors to archive.debian.org. [23]For the convenience
of our mirror network, the deletion is being performed in several
chunks, avoiding problems with mirrors refusing to delete too many
files at once. He later [24]highlighted that the unofficial port of
Debian GNU/Linux 3.1 "Sarge" to the AMD64 architecture has been moved
there, too.

  22: http://blog.ganneff.de/blog/2008/10/26/archiving-sarge-aka-oldstable.html
  23: http://lists.debian.org/debian-mirrors-announce/2008/11/msg00000.html
  23: http://blog.ganneff.de/blog/2008/11/02/archivedebianorg-old-bugs-and.html

Other changes are the availability of binary packages for Debian
GNU/Linux 1.2 "Rex", 1.1 "Buzz" and 0.93R6. An archive for packages
from [25]volatile.debian.org, [26]security.debian.org and
[27]www.backports.org is now also available at archive.debian.org.

  25: http://www.debian.org/volatile/
  26: http://www.debian.org/security/
  27: http://www.backports.org

During work on this, old mail archives from 1995, which had been lost,
were found again as well as old bug reports ranging from bug #350 to
#1750. These will soon be added back to the appropriate archives.

BTS link in need of new maintainer

Pierre Habouzit [28]announced that he won't be able to maintain and run
the BTS link service any more. This service is used to track activity
in upstream bug tracking systems and update the corresponding bug
reports in Debian's BTS in a semi-automated way. Currently this service
needs to be run manually. Don Armstrong, one of the maintainers of
Debian's BTS, [29]highlighted the importance of the bts-link service,
but won't be able to maintain it himself. Christoph Berg [30]suggested
maintainership under the mantle of Debian's Quality Assurance group if
someone would volunteer to act as the main responsible maintainer.

  28: http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel-announce/2008/10/msg00006.html
  29: http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel/2008/10/msg00860.html
  30: http://lists.debian.org/debian-qa/2008/10/msg00066.html

New Developers

Since the previous issue of the Debian Project News, 2 applicants have
been accepted as Debian Maintainers.

Please welcome Mehdi Dogguy and Olly Betts to our project!

Important Debian Security Advisories

Debian's Security Team recently released advisories for these packages
(among others): [31]linux-2.6.24, [32]cupsys, [33]qemu, [34]dbus,
[35]clamav and [36]openoffice.org. Please read them carefully and take
the proper measures.

  31: http://www.debian.org/security/2008/dsa-1655
  32: http://www.debian.org/security/2008/dsa-1656
  33: http://www.debian.org/security/2008/dsa-1657
  34: http://www.debian.org/security/2008/das-1658
  35: http://www.debian.org/security/2008/das-1660
  36: http://www.debian.org/security/2008/das-1661

Please note that these are a selection of the more important security
advisories of the last two weeks. If you need to be kept up to date
about security advisories released by the Debian Security Team, please
subscribe to the [37]security mailing list for announcements.

  37: http://lists.debian.org/debian-security-announce/

New and noteworthy packages

The following packages were added to the unstable Debian archive
recently ([38]among others):

 * [39]a56 -- Motorola DSP56001 assembler
 * [40]antlr-gcj -- language tool for constructing recognizers,
   compilers etc
 * [41]apgdiff -- Another PostgreSQL Diff Tool
 * [42]apt-dater -- terminal-based remote package update manager
 * [43]apt-dater-host -- host helper application for apt-dater
 * [44]avr-evtd -- AVR watchdog daemon for Linkstation/Kuroboxes
 * [45]automysqlbackup -- a daily, weekly and monthly backup for your
   MySQL database
 * [46]ballz -- B.A.L.L.Z. - platform/puzzle game where you control a
   rolling ball
 * [47]ballz-data -- B.A.L.L.Z. - game data
 * [48]barry-util -- Command line utilities for working with the RIM
   BlackBerry Handheld
 * [49]barrybackup-gui -- GTK+ based GUI for backing up the RIM
   BlackBerry Handheld
 * [50]batman-adv-battool -- B.A.T.M.A.N.-advanced network debugging
 * [51]batv-filter -- Mail Filter (milter) for BATV
 * [52]blocks-of-the-undead -- Tetris Attack clone with spooky
 * [53]blocks-of-the-undead-data -- Tetris Attack clone with spooky
   undertones - data files
 * [54]bti -- command line micro-blogging tool
 * [55]btnx -- daemon for rerouting mouse button events
 * [56]btnx-config -- graphical user interface for btnx
 * [57]buildtorrent -- command line torrent creation program
 * [58]cciss-vol-status -- HP SmartArray RAID Volume Status Checker
 * [59]cdde -- CD Detect & Execute utility
 * [60]command-not-found -- Suggest installation of packages in
   interactive bash sessions
 * [61]dns323-firmware-tools -- build and manipulate firmware images
   for the DNS-323
 * [62]dwdiff -- font-end fof the diff program that operates word by
 * [63]elfrc -- convert arbitrary files into elf objects
 * [64]etoolbox -- Toolbox for LaTeX class and package authors
 * [65]faketime -- report faked system time to programs
 * [66]fbterm -- A fast framebuffer based terminal emulator for Linux
 * [67]fwknop-client -- FireWall KNock OPerator client side
 * [68]fwknop-server -- FireWall KNock OPerator server side
 * [69]gedit-latex-plugin -- GEdit plugin for composing and compiling
   LaTeX documents
 * [70]git-cola -- highly caffeinated git gui
 * [71]gracie -- OpenID server for local PAM accounts
 * [72]guvcview -- GTK+ base UVC Viewer
 * [73]jardiff -- tool to visualise API differences between two JAR
 * [74]kiki-the-nano-bot -- a 3D puzzle game, mixing Sokoban and
 * [75]ldap-account-manager-lamdaemon -- Quota and home directory
   management for LDAP Account Manager
 * [76]mono-vbnc -- Mono Visual Basic Compiler (VB.NET)
 * [77]mozvoikko -- Finnish spell-checker extension for Iceweasel
 * [78]mrpt-apps -- Mobile Robot Programming Toolkit - Console and GUI
 * [79]mz -- versatile packet creation and network traffic generation
 * [80]netplug -- network link monitor daemon
 * [81]nvramtool -- Read/write coreboot-related NVRAM/CMOS information
 * [82]onetime -- command-line encryption using the "one-time pad"
 * [83]openyahtzee -- classic dice game of Yahtzee
 * [84]pacpl -- a multi-purpose audio converter/ripper/tagger script
 * [85]pgtap -- Unit testing framework for PostgreSQL
 * [86]prayer-templates -- templates for customizing Prayer Webmail
 * [87]python-cssutils -- CSS Cascading Style Sheets parser and
 * [88]python-feedvalidator -- library and tool for validating
   syndication feeds
 * [89]python-netaddr -- manipulation of various common network
   address notations
 * [90]python-netifaces -- portable network iface information for
 * [91]python-poppler -- Poppler Python bindings
 * [92]python-soaplib -- Python library for writing and calling soap
   web services
 * [93]python-socksipy -- Python SOCKS client module
 * [94]python-zebrapygtk -- scanning and decoding bar codes (PyGTK
 * [95]qorganizer -- featured lightweight graphical organizer
 * [96]recoverdm -- recover files/disks with damaged sectors
 * [97]replaceit -- A quick, light and effective text replacement
 * [98]rifiuti -- A MS Windows recycle bin analysis tool
 * [99]rst2man -- tool to convert reST documents to Unix manual pages
 * [100]rst2pdf -- ReportLab-based reStructuredText to PDF renderer
 * [101]sdlbasic -- BASIC interpreter for game development
 * [102]sdlbrt -- BASIC interpreter for game development - runtime
 * [103]simplyhtml -- Java word processor based on HTML and CSS
 * [104]snimpy -- interactive SNMP tool with Python
 * [105]sofa-apps -- GUI for the Simulation Open Framework
   Architecture (SOFA)
 * [106]sofa-tutorials -- Simulation Open Framework Architecture -
 * [107]sputnik -- Extensible wiki
 * [108]sputnik-goodies -- Extra modules for the sputnik wiki
 * [109]sqlline -- JDBC command-line utility for issuing SQL
 * [110]switchsh -- bind-mount bash as /bin/sh
 * [111]tint2 -- lightweight taskbar
 * [112]twidge -- Unix Command-Line Twitter and Identica Client
 * [113]unworkable -- efficient, simple and secure bittorrent client
 * [114]vbackup -- A modular backup utility
 * [115]virtaal -- graphical localisation editor
 * [116]wicd -- wired and wireless network manager
 * [117]wiipdf -- present a PDF file using your wiimote
 * [118]xd -- smart directory change utility
 * [119]zebra-tools -- scanning and decoding bar codes (utilities)
 * [120]zope-maildrophost -- send mails from within Zope through a
   mail queue

  38: http://packages.debian.org/unstable/main/newpkg
  39: http://packages.debian.org/unstable/main/a56
  40: http://packages.debian.org/unstable/main/antlr-gcj
  41: http://packages.debian.org/unstable/main/apgdiff
  42: http://packages.debian.org/unstable/main/apt-dater
  43: http://packages.debian.org/unstable/main/apt-dater-host
  44: http://packages.debian.org/unstable/main/avr-evtd
  45: http://packages.debian.org/unstable/main/automysqlbackup
  46: http://packages.debian.org/unstable/main/ballz
  47: http://packages.debian.org/unstable/main/ballz-data
  48: http://packages.debian.org/unstable/main/barry-util
  49: http://packages.debian.org/unstable/main/barrybackup-gui
  50: http://packages.debian.org/unstable/main/batman-adv-battool
  51: http://packages.debian.org/unstable/main/batv-filter
  52: http://packages.debian.org/unstable/main/blocks-of-the-undead
  53: http://packages.debian.org/unstable/main/blocks-of-the-undead-data
  54: http://packages.debian.org/unstable/main/bti
  55: http://packages.debian.org/unstable/main/btnx
  56: http://packages.debian.org/unstable/main/btnx-config
  57: http://packages.debian.org/unstable/main/buildtorrent
  58: http://packages.debian.org/unstable/main/cciss-vol-status
  59: http://packages.debian.org/unstable/main/cdde
  60: http://packages.debian.org/unstable/main/command-not-found
  61: http://packages.debian.org/unstable/main/dns323-firmware-tools
  62: http://packages.debian.org/unstable/main/dwdiff
  63: http://packages.debian.org/unstable/main/elfrc
  64: http://packages.debian.org/unstable/main/etoolbox
  65: http://packages.debian.org/unstable/main/faketime
  66: http://packages.debian.org/unstable/main/fbterm
  67: http://packages.debian.org/unstable/main/fwknop-client
  68: http://packages.debian.org/unstable/main/fwknop-server
  69: http://packages.debian.org/unstable/main/gedit-latex-plugin
  70: http://packages.debian.org/unstable/main/git-cola
  71: http://packages.debian.org/unstable/main/gracie
  72: http://packages.debian.org/unstable/main/guvcview
  73: http://packages.debian.org/unstable/main/jardiff
  74: http://packages.debian.org/unstable/main/kiki-the-nano-bot
  75: http://packages.debian.org/unstable/main/ldap-account-manager-lamdaemon
  76: http://packages.debian.org/unstable/main/mono-vbnc
  77: http://packages.debian.org/unstable/main/mozvoikko
  78: http://packages.debian.org/unstable/main/mrpt-apps
  79: http://packages.debian.org/unstable/main/mz
  80: http://packages.debian.org/unstable/main/netplug
  81: http://packages.debian.org/unstable/main/nvramtool
  82: http://packages.debian.org/unstable/main/onetime
  83: http://packages.debian.org/unstable/main/openyahtzee
  84: http://packages.debian.org/unstable/main/pacpl
  85: http://packages.debian.org/unstable/main/pgtap
  86: http://packages.debian.org/unstable/main/prayer-templates
  87: http://packages.debian.org/unstable/main/python-cssutils
  88: http://packages.debian.org/unstable/main/python-feedvalidator
  89: http://packages.debian.org/unstable/main/python-netaddr
  90: http://packages.debian.org/unstable/main/python-netifaces
  91: http://packages.debian.org/unstable/main/python-poppler
  92: http://packages.debian.org/unstable/main/python-soaplib
  93: http://packages.debian.org/unstable/main/python-socksipy
  94: http://packages.debian.org/unstable/main/python-zebrapygtk
  95: http://packages.debian.org/unstable/main/qorganizer
  96: http://packages.debian.org/unstable/main/recoverdm
  97: http://packages.debian.org/unstable/main/replaceit
  98: http://packages.debian.org/unstable/main/rifiuti
  99: http://packages.debian.org/unstable/main/rst2man
 100: http://packages.debian.org/unstable/main/rst2pdf
 101: http://packages.debian.org/unstable/main/sdlbasic
 102: http://packages.debian.org/unstable/main/sdlbrt
 103: http://packages.debian.org/unstable/main/simplyhtml
 104: http://packages.debian.org/unstable/main/snimpy
 105: http://packages.debian.org/unstable/main/sofa-apps
 106: http://packages.debian.org/unstable/main/sofa-tutorials
 107: http://packages.debian.org/unstable/main/sputnik
 108: http://packages.debian.org/unstable/main/sputnik-goodies
 109: http://packages.debian.org/unstable/main/sqlline
 110: http://packages.debian.org/unstable/main/switchsh
 111: http://packages.debian.org/unstable/main/tint2
 112: http://packages.debian.org/unstable/main/twidge
 113: http://packages.debian.org/unstable/main/unworkable
 114: http://packages.debian.org/unstable/main/vbackup
 115: http://packages.debian.org/unstable/main/virtaal
 116: http://packages.debian.org/unstable/main/wicd
 117: http://packages.debian.org/unstable/main/wiipdf
 118: http://packages.debian.org/unstable/main/xd
 119: http://packages.debian.org/unstable/main/zebra-tools
 120: http://packages.debian.org/unstable/main/zope-maildrophost

Debian Package of the Day featured the packages [121]synfig (a free
software alternative for 2D animation) and [122]rdiff-backup (easy
incremental backups from the command line).

 121: http://debaday.debian.net/2008/11/02/synfig-the-free-software-alternative-for-2d-animation/
 122: http://debaday.debian.net/2008/10/26/rdiff-backup-easy-incremental-backups-from-the-command-line/

Work-needing packages

Currently 498 packages are orphaned and 118 packages are up for
adoption. Please take a look at the [123]recent [124]reports to see if
there are packages you are interested in or view the complete list of
[125]packages which need your help.

 123: http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel/2008/10/msg00609.html
 124: http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel/2008/10/msg00869.html
 125: http://www.debian.org/devel/wnpp/help_requested

Want to continue reading DPN?

Please help us create this newsletter. We still need more volunteer
writers to watch the Debian community and report about what is going
on. Please see the [126]contributing page to find out how to help.
We're looking forward to receiving your mail at

 126: http://wiki.debian.org/ProjectNews/HowToContribute
 127: mailto:debian-publicity@lists.debian.org

This issue of Debian Project News was edited by Joerg Jaspert, Ben
Finney, Justin B. Rye and Alexander Reichle-Schmehl.

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