Debian Weekly News - November 2nd, 1999

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

The freeze has been postponed until November 7th. The Release Manager was unable to coordinate the freeze this past weekend. The bugsquash party did go ahead as planned, and around 75 release critical bugs were fixed in one day. Read Richard Braakman's email for details about how the freeze will work, including the new "Test Cycles" process.

Build dependencies are being discussed again this week. A proposal specifying how they will work has been accepted and should be in the next version of policy, which is due out soon. Using that as a base, Roman Hodek posted a "vision for the future" of how build dependencies can be used by different programs in the future. But Julian Gilbey points out that figuring out what a package really depends on to build, to generate the build dependencies entry, can be quite hard.

Ben Collins has made an experimental version of dpkg available, with several new features that have been wanted for a long time, including internally signed packages, and bzip2 compression support.

Last week Debian Weekly News dropped the ball when we didn't mention a copyright problem with apt and Corel's "get_it" apt frontend, which is a Qt program. Since it was linked to the GPLed libapt, there was a licence conflict. Jason Gunthorpe and Corel quietly resolved this problem by changing apt's license to allow linking apt and Qt. Linux Weekly News laster posted an interesting editorial about this. It seemed the issue was closed.

Then this week, Ian Jackson brought up another issue: "lib-apt isn't the only thing that is bound together at run-time with Qt in this program. dpkg is too - the fact that the interface is program call rather than dynamic linking is an irrelevant technical detail." Ian isn't about to change dpkg's license, and he is presumably talking with Corel about this in private. Meanwhile, this spawned a long, murky thread on debian-legal, since the law is very unclear on this and many people, including RMS and Bruce Perens, disagree with Ian's reasoning.

BIND is once more in main. A patch from Paul Vixie allows easy removal of the non-free DNNSEC code.

New packages in Debian this week include the following and 36 more:

As usual, Debian JP news is available.

Thanks to Katsura S. Yoshio and Randolph Chung for contributing.

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