Debian Weekly News - March 22nd, 1999

Welcome to Debian Weekly News, a newsletter for the Debian developer community. It's been a week dominated by a few long threads with vague conclusions, so there isn't too much to report on for this week.

One of the most important things to happen this week is not even strictly Debian related, but the project took interest in it as the guardians of the DFSG and Open Source Definition. Apple has released the core of Mac OS X Server under the Apple Public Source License. Their FAQ claims that "the Open Source Initiative has determined that the Apple Public Source License conforms to the Open Source Definition". Unfortunately, the license actually fails the DFSG on two counts. In response to this, Bruce Perens, Wichert Akkerman, and Ian Jackson issued a joint statement informing the community of the problem and asking Apple to fix their license. This was rebutted by Eric Raymond and OSI. To muddy the waters further, RMS stepped in with more reasons the license is not free.

All Debian developers can now receive two free Debian 2.1 CDs from Linux Central. You just have to send in a PGP signed email -- details here.

Richard Braakman has replaced Brian White as our release manager. The announcement includes a summary of the release manager's powers and duties.

Wichert Akkerman has released revision 6 of his Configuration Management specification.

Ian Jackson proposed closing debian-devel to postings from non-developers. This could half the volume of the list. In general, people agree that debian-devel has too much volume, but disagree with Ian's analysis that non-developers are the problem -- and have a large number of other ideas of their own.

Ian also proposed "... a new Priority level distinction, which subdivides Optional, such that most people will want to install all packages in the better half' of old Optional." The idea was received enthusiastically, the only question is what to call this new priority to make people react to it in the desired way.

When does a document belong in Debian? The upload of The Anarchist FAQ as a Debian package raised this question. Opinions vary; some people think that Debian should contain only documents that are computer related or those like the bible-kjv package which have a special program to process them. Others think the only important criteria is if a developer feels the document is important enough to package. A very long thread developed, starting here.

Steve McIntyre is organizing a Debian get-together in the UK. There seems to be a lot of interest. Another possible get-together could happen in Germany sometime between today and the 26th.

New packages added to Debian this week include:

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This issue of Debian Weekly News was edited by Joey Hess.