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Debian Project News - September 21st, 2010

The Debian Project                                http://www.debian.org/
Debian Project News                    debian-publicity@lists.debian.org
September 21st, 2010              http://debian.org/News/weekly/2010/12/

Welcome to this year's twelfth issue of DPN, the newsletter for the
Debian community. Topics covered in this issue include:

  * Linux Mint Debian Edition
  * "Grave" software bugs
  * "This week in Debian" interviews Stefano Zacchiroli
  * etch-backports gone
  * Release-critical bugs in stable release
  * Debian Women Mentoring rebooting
  * Mythbusting Ruby packaging
  * Debian to welcome non-packaging contributors
  * ... and much more.

Linux Mint Debian Edition

Linux Mint, a Linux distribution whose purpose is to  "produce a modern,
elegant and comfortable operating system which is both powerful and easy
to use" , has released an edition based on Debian. This new Linux Mint
distribution will track Debian testing, as a more reliable upstream base.
Linux Mint appears to be a popular Linux distribution ranking highly at
DistroWatch.com as well as other non-scientific measures. Certainly they
received a large number of comments to theirblog post [1] regarding their
new distribution. Anecdotal evidence seems to point to this Debian-based
edition as a popular move. 

   1 : http://www.linuxmint.com/blog/?p=1527

The addition of Linux Mint to the Debian derivatives family is a welcome
one, and should the Linux Mint developers wish to be in contact with
Debian it has been suggested that they will be warmly welcomed at the
Debian Derivatives Front Desk [2].

   2 : http://wiki.debian.org/DerivativesFrontDesk

"Grave" software bugs

Andreas Tille began a short discussion [3] regarding bugs which are not
grave software bugs per se, but could cause grave harm to life or
property under certain conditions. As an example, the bug in question
involved improper data handling that could lead to a medical patient
being prescribed medicine which could lead to a possibly fatal reaction.
Responses from developers indicated that despite such bugs not being
explicitly mentioned in the bug guidelines, they should already fall
under release-critical severity and thus should have freeze exceptions
and possible Debian Security Advisories if needed. The fix for the bug in
question was approved for testing within the day.

   3 : http://lists.debian.org/20100909094049.GB4649@an3as.eu

"This week in Debian" interviews Stefano Zacchiroli

Jonathan Nadeau published the first issue of the "This week in Debian"
podcast! The podcast is available inOgg Vorbis [4] format as well as MP3
[5]. In this issue he interviewed Debian Project Leader Stefano
Zacchiroli about Debian influence in the Linux universe and its link with
upstream and derivative developers. Stefano also spoke about the Debian
Project and its organisation, and more specifically the Debian Project
Leader tasks.

   4 : http://www.frostbitemedia.libsyn.com/rss/twid.ogg
   5 : http://www.frostbitemedia.libsyn.com/rss/twidmp3

Congratulations, Jonathan, and thanks for your work! We are looking
forward to hearing new issues of your podcast!

etch-backports gone

Alexander Wirt announced that the backports for Debian "Etch" have finally
been removed from the servers. Over the lifetime of etch-backports there
accumulated a total of 508 different backports, resulting in more than
2250 binary packages for all Debian architectures offered to users.
Altogether the available backports and their source occupied 13Gb of disk
space on the mirrors. The backports team would like to thank every
contributor and mirror administrator for their work and their help which
made this possible.

Release-critical bugs in stable release

Gerfried Fuchs noticed [6] that recently the number of release-critical
bugs in the stable release Debian 5.0  "Lenny" has dropped below the 900
mark, and thanks all who helped keeping that number down. It should be
noted that the high number of open release-critical bugs for the stable
release contains a fair amount of false positives (e.g. serious "fails to
build from source" bugs with newer compiler versions that aren't shipped
in the stable release). Previously Gerfried blogged aboutusage of the
Bug Tracking System [7]. If you would like to join the efforts of keeping
the bug tracking system clean, please read this post and contact Gerfried
should any questions arise.

   6 : http://rhonda.deb.at/blog/2010/09/10#lenny-900-RCs
   7 : http://rhonda.deb.at/blog/debian/on-BTS-usage.html

Debian Women Mentoring rebooting

Helen Faulkner noted that the Debian Women mentoring project [8] has been
restarted. People interested in being a mentor or getting a mentor should
contact the coordinators [9].

   8 : http://lists.debian.org/4C886864.7020906@debian.org
   9 : mailto:mentoring@women.debian.org

Mythbusting Ruby packaging

After hearing some myths about how Ruby is packaged in Debian, Lucas
Nussbaum wrote about some of the Ruby myths [10] in his blog. It ranges
from general version culture and API stability, over the necessity of
package splits, performance issues and porting issues up to communication
with the upstream developers and motivation issues. He also noted that
due to these problems it's difficult to find new people to join the Ruby
packaging teams, and that they are quite understaffed.

   10 : http://www.lucas-nussbaum.net/blog/?p=566

In response to this initial post, some people volunteered to help [11] on
Ruby's packaging, so Lucas updated the corresponding wiki page [12] for

   11 : http://www.lucas-nussbaum.net/blog/?p=575
   12 : http://wiki.debian.org/Teams/Ruby

Debian to welcome non-packaging contributors

In coordination with Debian's Account Managers, Debian Project Leader
Stefano Zacchiroli proposed [13] a general resolution [14] to welcome
non-packaging contributors as full project members. While the Debian
Account Managers already are empowered to do so, and while it is already
possible to become an official Debian Developer without doing packaging
work, this procedure has rarely been used. So Stefano wants to make a
clear sign from the entire project that Debian does welcome and honour
non-packaging contributions. This goal has already been achieved partly,
as Stefano's proposal got a lot of support in quite a short time-frame.
However, the naming of non-packaging contributors as well as possible
upload rights are under discussion.

   13 : http://lists.debian.org/20100914085346.GA9209@upsilon.cc
   14 : http://www.debian.org/vote/2010/vote_002

Other news

Stephan Gran posted some notes from the meeting of Debian System
Administrators [15] in early September in Munich. Besides some internal
discussion (e.g. monitoring and configuration management), this also led
to a procedure for the handling of guest accounts on debian.org machines

   15 : http://lists.debian.org/20100906202630.GB22450@varinia.lobefin.net
   16 : http://lists.debian.org/20100906170305.GQ25990@anguilla.noreply.org

Joerg Jaspert posted a policy for how Debian Developers can get their
account names changed [17].

   17 : http://lists.debian.org/87zkvtbmd3.fsf@gkar.ganneff.de

Robert Millan announced the availability of the graphical installer for
Debian GNU/kFreeBSD [18].

   18 : http://robertmh.wordpress.com/2010/09/12/graphical-installer-for-debian-gnukfreebsd/

Raphaël Hertzog wondered [19] whether the Debian project shouldn't have
an official page on some non-free web service. Stefano Zacchiroli
disagreed [20]on the grounds that it would not be possible to use a
proprietary service without endorsing it.

   19 : http://raphaelhertzog.com/2010/09/09/can-debian-achieve-world-domination-without-being-on-facebook/
   20 : http://upsilon.cc/~zack/blog/posts/2010/09/yes_we_can/

Christian Perrier addressed his thanks to the release team [22] and
encouraged every developer, whether their package is unblocked or not, to
send private "thank you" messages to any Release Team member for their
amazing work.

   22 : http://www.perrier.eu.org/weblog/2010/09/12#release-team

Miriam Ruiz is grateful towards the release team who agreed to unblock
Gnash 0.8.8 in Debian [23] "Squeeze" , which is by far a better option
than the buggy 0.8.7. Among the improvements in the version that will be
shipped in the next Debian stable release, lots of online video will now
be working, it can switch at runtime between the Cairo, OpenGL, and AGG
renderers, and it can use hardware acceleration.

   23 : http://www.miriamruiz.es/weblog/?p=610

Luca Falavigna thanked everyone (especially Moritz Muehlenhoff) taking
the trouble to file removal bugs on the ftp.debian.org pseudo-package, in
order to clean up unused and buggy packages from the archive [24] in
order to prepare the upcoming Debian "Squeeze" release.

   24 : http://dktrkranz.wordpress.com/2010/09/12/less-cruft-for-a-better-release/

FTP Master Joerg Jaspert, in a short minute from the FTP Team meeting
[25] being held this weekend, welcomed Torsten Werner as new FTP Master.
Good luck and congratulations to him!

   25 : http://lists.debian.org/87wrqkjrkl.fsf@gkar.ganneff.de

Christian Perrier is pleased to announce that the upload of Samba 3.5.4
to [26] "Sid" has been authorised by the release team. He therefore asked
for users and system administrators to test the new packages and report
bugs in order to make this version a quality one to be provided in

   26 : http://www.perrier.eu.org/weblog/2010/09/09#samba-3.5.4

Lucas Nussbaum added [27] a bugs search interface [28] to the Ultimate
Debian Database [29]. It thus may replace the unofficial release-critical
bugs tracker [30], while providing many more features.

   27 : http://www.lucas-nussbaum.net/blog/?p=571
   28 : http://udd.debian.org/cgi-bin/bugs.cgi
   29 : http://udd.debian.org/
   30 : http://bts.turmzimmer.net/details.php

A new version of [31]klibc has been released. This newer klibc release
fixes ipconfig, which is responsible for netbooting, a method that is
quite often found in larger cluster environments or bigger Debian
deployments. ipconfig saw several fixes in order to procure more reliable

   31 : http://www.itp.tuwien.ac.at/~mattems/blog/2010/08/28#klibc_1.5.20

New Debian Contributors

1 applicant has been accepted [32] as a Debian Developer and 1 person
started to maintain packages [33] since the previous issue of the Debian
Project News. Please welcome Luke Faraone and Andreas Beckmann into our

   32 : https://nm.debian.org/nmlist.php#newmaint
   33 : http://udd.debian.org/cgi-bin/new-maintainers.cgi

Release-critical bugs statistics for the upcoming release

According to the unofficial release-critical bug counter [34], the
upcoming release, Debian 6.0 "Squeeze", is currently affected by 317
release-critical bugs. Ignoring bugs which are easily solved or on the
way to being solved, roughly speaking, about 126 release-critical bugs
remain to be solved for the release to happen.

   34 : http://bts.turmzimmer.net/details.php

There are also more detailed statistics [35] as well as some hints on how
to interpret [36] these numbers.

   35 : http://blog.schmehl.info/Debian/rc-stats/2010-37
   36 : http://wiki.debian.org/ProjectNews/RC-Stats

Important Debian Security Advisories

Debian's Security Team recently released advisories for these packages
(among others): xulrunner [37], couchdbr [38], phpmyadmin [39] (updated),
cvsnt [40], samba [41], linux-2.6 [42], squid3 [43], bzip2 [44], and
drupal6 [45].  Please read them carefully and take the proper measures.

   37 : http://www.debian.org/security/2010/dsa-2106
   38 : http://www.debian.org/security/2010/dsa-2107
   39 : http://www.debian.org/security/2010/dsa-2097
   40 : http://www.debian.org/security/2010/dsa-2108
   41 : http://www.debian.org/security/2010/dsa-2109
   42 : http://www.debian.org/security/2010/dsa-2110
   43 : http://www.debian.org/security/2010/dsa-2111
   44 : http://www.debian.org/security/2010/dsa-2112
   45 : http://www.debian.org/security/2010/dsa-2113

Please note that these are a selection of the more important security
advisories of the last weeks. If you need to be kept up to date about
security advisories released by the Debian Security Team, please
subscribe to the security mailing list [46] for announcements.

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

New and noteworthy packages

The following packages were added to the unstable Debian archive recently
(among others [47]):

   47 : http://packages.debian.org/unstable/main/newpkg

  * browser-plugin-gnash -- GNU Shockwave Flash (SWF) player - plugin for Mozilla and derivatives [48]
  * code-aster-gui -- graphical user interface for Code_Aster - client [49]
  * code-aster-run -- graphical user interface for Code_Aster - server [50]
  * debian-installer-6.0-netboot-amd64 -- Debian-installer network boot images for amd64 [51]
  * debian-installer-6.0-netboot-armel -- Debian-installer network boot images for armel [52]
  * debian-installer-6.0-netboot-hppa -- Debian-installer network boot images for hppa [53]
  * debian-installer-6.0-netboot-i386 -- Debian-installer network boot images for i386 [54]
  * debian-installer-6.0-netboot-ia64 -- Debian-installer network boot images for ia64 [55]
  * debian-installer-6.0-netboot-mips -- Debian-installer network boot images for mips [56]
  * debian-installer-6.0-netboot-mipsel -- Debian-installer network boot images for mipsel [57]
  * debian-installer-6.0-netboot-powerpc -- Debian-installer network boot images for powerpc [58]
  * debian-installer-6.0-netboot-sparc -- Debian-installer network boot images for sparc [59]
  * iceweasel-l10n-dz-bt -- Dzongkha language package for Iceweasel [60]
  * iceweasel-l10n-fa-ir -- Persian language package for Iceweasel [61]
  * iceweasel-l10n-fur-it -- Furlan language package for Iceweasel [62]
  * iceweasel-l10n-ne-np -- Nepali language package for Iceweasel [63]

Please note that due to the freeze of the upcoming Debian 6.0 [64]
"Squeeze" acceptance of new packages has almost ceased.

   48 : http://packages.debian.org/unstable/main/browser-plugin-gnash
   49 : http://packages.debian.org/unstable/main/code-aster-gui
   50 : http://packages.debian.org/unstable/main/code-aster-run
   51 : http://packages.debian.org/unstable/main/debian-installer-6.0-netboot-amd64
   52 : http://packages.debian.org/unstable/main/debian-installer-6.0-netboot-armel
   53 : http://packages.debian.org/unstable/main/debian-installer-6.0-netboot-hppa
   54 : http://packages.debian.org/unstable/main/debian-installer-6.0-netboot-i386
   55 : http://packages.debian.org/unstable/main/debian-installer-6.0-netboot-ia64
   56 : http://packages.debian.org/unstable/main/debian-installer-6.0-netboot-mips
   57 : http://packages.debian.org/unstable/main/debian-installer-6.0-netboot-mipsel
   58 : http://packages.debian.org/unstable/main/debian-installer-6.0-netboot-powerpc
   59 : http://packages.debian.org/unstable/main/debian-installer-6.0-netboot-sparc
   60 : http://packages.debian.org/unstable/main/iceweasel-l10n-dz-bt
   61 : http://packages.debian.org/unstable/main/iceweasel-l10n-fa-ir
   62 : http://packages.debian.org/unstable/main/iceweasel-l10n-fur-it
   63 : http://packages.debian.org/unstable/main/iceweasel-l10n-ne-np
   64 : http://www.debian.org/News/2010/20100806

Work-needing packages

Currently 492 packages are orphaned and 129 packages are up for adoption.
Please take a look at the recent [65] reports [66] to see if there are
packages you are interested in or view the complete list of packages
which need your help [67].

   65 : http://lists.debian.org/E1OtrU0-0004uy-P4@merkel.debian.org
   66 : http://lists.debian.org/E1OwOon-0006iP-9v@merkel.debian.org
   67 : 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 contributing page [68] to find out how to help. We're
looking forward to receiving your mail at
debian-publicity@lists.debian.org [69].

   68 : http://wiki.debian.org/ProjectNews/HowToContribute
   69 : mailto:debian-publicity@lists.debian.org

This issue of Debian Project News was edited by Richard Darst, David
Prévot, Jeremiah C. Foster and Alexander Reichle-Schmehl [70].

   70 : mailto:debian-publicity@lists.debian.org

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