Debian Weekly News - April 12th, 1999
Welcome to Debian Weekly News, a newsletter for the Debian developer community.
Adam Di Carlo posted a list of items that need to be fixed in Slink. This includes moving in the source to kernel 2.2.5, and makedev and lsof fixes. A consensus was quickly reached that these fixes need to go into a point release of Slink.
Several proposals of different kinds were made this week:
- Here is a proposal for how to make the info system FHS compliant. This would be another step along the long road to a fully FHS-compliant Debian.
- Avery Pennarun posted about a way to allow the use of /dev/modem symlinks safely, without having to worry about other programs using /dev/ttySx and thus ignoring the lock files that indicate /dev/modem is locked. He proposes that programs that access serial devices follow symlinks, so they will follow the /dev/modem symlink and still lock /dev/ttySx. Fabrizio Polacco pointed out that the liblockdev library already does this, but it is only used by one package. Some discussion followed about changing policy to mandate programs use the library.
- Joey Hess posted a proposal and explanation of the changes he plans to make to the xaw-wrappers package so it will not need to use dpkg-divert.
A thread popped up on debian-user featuring the authors of pine talking about the copyright of pine. It's worth reading to understand why the authors of pine have given it the copyright they have, which keeps it in non-free and allows it to be distributed only as source.
There was a bit of discussion about knfs, the kernel nfs server, and about how to let it be used when a 2.2.x kernel is in use while still allowing the old user space nfs server to be used with 2.0.x kernels, and allowing people who prefer the user space server to continue to use it.
Following a thread about how long it takes for the new-maintainer team to process an application, James Troup sent a mail that gives a good feel for the current situation. "Processing can take under 10 minutes or it can take > 1.5 years+." Hopefully no one in the queue will have to wait that long...
Gtk and glib 1.1 are about to be removed from the archive, to be replaced with gtk and glib 1.2. This affects a fair number of packages that are still linked to the old library. If your package is affected, you have already gotten a bug report, but it's worth repeating here that all such packages should be recompiled with gtk 1.2.
A debian-perl mailing list has been created. It will be used for discussion among perl module maintainers, and for the transition to perl 5.005.
Some discussion took place regarding the splitting up of fvwm-common into separate packages, or at least renaming it. The package has nothing fvwm-specific in it anymore.
A few packages changed hands this week. Among them were the mysql packages, which were passed back and forth several times before finally ending up in the lap of Christian Hammers. And Martin Schulze unleashed upon the developers list a large list of packages he is giving away for adoption.
- Another version of procmail has been uploaded, fixing more buffer overruns.
- There was some discussion on the BugTraq mailing list about Debian's policy of web servers exporting /usr/doc to the world, which allows anyone to see what versions of what software are installed on a Debian system. This was reported long ago as bug 34099 against apache and as bug 23661 against Debian policy. Hopefully now that it's reached such a high-profile list, policy will be changed soon, and apache fixed.
- Master.debian.org had an upstream network problem that resulted in downloads from it going very slowly -- only a few bytes per second. This didn't affect uploads, but it did affect other things, like the updates of the web site, mirrors, etc. (This was also responsible for last week's edition of Debian Weekly News being delayed an additional 2 days.)
- Wichert is setting up a replacement machine for non-us.debian.org, and it should go online soon if it isn't already by the time you read this.
New packages added to Debian this week include:
- c2html - Highlight C sources for WWW presentation
- pinfo - An alternative info-file viewer
- vfu - A versatile file manager for the console
- wmcalclock - A clock dock.app
- xchat-gnome - IRC client for GNOME
- gbdk - Gameboy development kit
- cxterm - Wide-character xterm for Chinese/Korean/Japanese
Followups to last week's news:
- There has been some grumbling about the logos that the logo team picked. Not everyone likes the available choices, and some people would like to add another logo to the ballot. Darren Benham points out that this is allowed by our constitution; see his message for details on proposing an amendment to the logo ballot.
Thanks to our contributors, Pablo Averbuj, Randolph Chung, and Branden Robinson.
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This issue of Debian Weekly News was edited by Joey Hess.