Debian Weekly News - November 9th, 1999

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

Bad news: the freeze has been pushed back all the way to mid-January. The main problem is the boot floppies, which probably won't be ready until then. Read Richard Braakman's mail for his other reasons for delaying the freeze. According to Richard, the best way to help with the release at this point is to work on the boot floppies. The second best thing people can do to help is to avoid making any major changes to unstable, even though it's not formally frozen -- "don't start anything that you can't finish" before the new freeze date.

Few people are happy with this postponement of the freeze, and lots of ideas have been floated, including the idea of having a partial freeze. One idea that has gathered lots of support is Joey Hess' stable update proposal. Some kind of update needs to be made before next year, since stable has a few known Y2K problems. Vincent Renardias, Release Manager for stable, is looking at doing an update to slink specifically to fix the y2k issues.

A new version of policy has been released, and it potentially affects every package in Debian. The major changes are a final word on the /usr/share/doc issue, and the introduction of build dependencies. Other changes include FHS 2.1 (reverts /var/state to /var/lib), the deprecation of /etc/rc.boot, a MIME subpolicy, mailbox locking updates, and the conversion of HTML changelogs to plain text format.

Another package becomes free: OpenSSH has replaced the non-free version of ssh in Debian. There are a few known problems with OpenSSH, so those who need a stable ssh might want to install the ssh-nonfree package for now.

The size of Incoming has been a common concern this week, with many people worrying about what happens to packages that are still stuck there when we freeze. Incoming peaked at around 800 MB last week, though thanks to the hard work of the ftp admins, it is now about 250 MB and has only 70 .changes files in it. Since two new members have just been added to the archive maintenance team, now five strong, with any luck this problem won't resurface when we finally do freeze.

Pictures of Ian Murdock, founder of Debian, are available after a recent Debian get-together in Berkeley.

A quick look at other things going on this week:

New packages in Debian this week include the following and 202 more:

Thanks to Randolph Chung and Katsura Yoshio for contributing.

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