Debian Weekly News - June 29th, 1999

Welcome to Debian Weekly News, a newsletter for the Debian developer community.

A new Debian Book has been published. Titled Debian GNU/Linux: Guide to Installation and Usage, it is authored by developers John Goerzen and Ossama Othman and should get a wide distribution in many bookstores. It includes a CD, some profits go to the FSF, and best of all, the entire book is GPL'd (and will soon be packaged)!

It's time to vote on the logo again. This time, the vote is a question of swapping the official and liberal use logos. Here's the Call For Votes and here's a ballot. This went to vote quickly and is the third vote related to the logo, and there has been a bit of a reaction against that. As Philip Hands says, "Decision making in Debian has always previously been based on consensus, even if the consensus was simply “We should vote on it”". This may point to a flaw in the Debian constitution, since "Every vote so far has been conducted under the constitution".

In security news, a new version of mailman is available fixing a security hole that allowed access to list administration webpages without knowing the proper password.

Manoj Srivastava has put together a draft of Debian policy As the version number indicates, this is a major revision, representing a lot of work and discussion in debian-policy over the past few months. The two major changes are that policy now mandates FHS compliance, and that logrotate is now Debian's preferred log rotation tool. Other changes include merging the packaging manual into the same source package, clarification on the use of the Standards-Version tag, a recommendation that libtool *.la files be included in -dev packages, and the inclusion of the menu hierarchy in the policy package. All these changes are summarized by Manoj here.

The topic of niced cron jobs has come up again. It looks like both anacron and cron will soon default to nicing the jobs they run. The thread did generate one valid objection this time around -- niced cron jobs can lead to resource starvation on very heavily loaded machines.

YASDI (Yet Another Simple Debian Installation) was announced at the Europe-Japan Conference on Linux and Free Software. According to the speaker writeup, YASDI allows one to automatically generate customized distributions based on Debian and can be thought of as a meta-distribution or meta-installer. Slides are available here.

A debian-sgml mailing ist list has been created, for discussion of SGML and XML in Debian.

Stephane Bortzmeyer has written a draft policy for java compilers and virtual machines in Debian.

For a summary of what's been going on in the Debian-JP project lately, check out the Debian JP News.

The LinuxTag convention was last weekend in Germany, here's a report of Debian related activities there.

Server news:

Followups to last week's items:

Thanks to Mike Linksvayer, Christian Meder, and Katsura S. Yoshio for contributing.

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