Debian Weekly News - February 15th, 1999
Welcome to the seventh edition of Debian Weekly News, a newsletter for the Debian developer community. If this issue is a little slim, it's because I spent most of yesterday attending Windows Refund Day instead of working on it, and most of my contributors have been just as busy with other things. To split up the work load some more, I'm looking for more contributors to help with reading the lists and sending me summaries for this newsletter, mail me if you're interested.
If things go as planned, Debian 2.1 will be released on March 2nd. This is very good news, because to judge by traffic on the lists this week, everyone is tired of being in the freeze.
Bob Hilliard is making slink's Release Notes document. On a related note, the next boot-floppies upload will probably be the last one for slink, since most bugs are resolved, and the installation manual is almost done.
Some of the most substantial changes from hamm to slink include alpha and sparc architectures. The sparc release is even more impressive because it is based on glibc2.1. This means lots of bug fixes for packages that didn't work with glibc2.1 have already been made. The end result: other platforms will have a much easier time converting to glibc2.1. Experimental glibc2.1 packages are now available for i386 as well, and some i386 packages were uploaded this week linked to that library. Don't do that; glibc 2.1 will not go into the i386 architecture of potato until after slink is released.
If you're in Japan and would like to buy a computer with Debian pre-loaded, you're in luck. " CUTE 2000, an all-in-one Linux based server was exhibited at the NET & COM '99 show. It is based on Debian GNU/Linux, and includes software for functions such as DNS, WWW, SMTP, FTP, SAMBA, NETATALK, DHCP and others."
In security news this week it was announced to bugtraq that the super package has a buffer overrun hole, a fix was uploaded for all versions of Debian a few hours later. Also, the maintainer of cfengine discovered and fixed a temporary file security hole in it, and the maintainer of grepmail found and fixed 2 security holes in that package. Despite what you may read on LWN, Debian does take security very seriously. It must be admitted that our security web pages do continue to lag behind the latest fixes.
If you're thinking of upgrading to a 2.2.x kernel, check out rcw's kernel 2.2 checklist for an idea on what will break and what needs to be upgraded.
Some complaints about the instability of our gnome and gtk packages (which tend to break everything that depends on them with each new release) quickly led to a useful idea: form a Debian gnome team, which will coordinate making consistent releases of all the gnome related packages. A proposal was made to this effect, and has met with acceptance from the maintainers.
Due to licensing problems, the programs skill and snice have been moved from procps into a new package named procps-nonfree. They will probably be dropped from Debian entirely unless people have a strong need for them.
As if Debian's not big enough already, there is now some talk of packaging E, wmaker, and gtk themes, and perhaps irc client scripts. No one has any real objections to this happening, provided the copyrights of the themes are ok.
New packages added to Debian this week include:
- aspell, a more intelligent ispell replacement.
- The classic arcade game xinvaders has been added back into Debian.
- realtimebattle, in which you program robots that fight each other.
- wmaker-kde and wmaker-gmone, versions of wmaker with support for those environments.
- zicq, yet another ICQ client.
- sketch, a vector graphics program.
- uptimed, which keeps track of the highest uptimes your system achieves.
- irssi, an irc client for the gnome panel.
- wmheadlines, which displays slashdot and other linux news headlines in windowmaker's menus.
- Problems with non-us.debian.org continue. There have been offers to move non-US to Australia, but nothing official has been done yet.
- va.debian.org has been upgraded to slink. It's no longer being used as the gnome cvs archive, so is mostly idle, and can be used to build packages.
Followups to previous news items:
- The cause of the bug that makes cron switch to UTC time has been found.
- The logo submissions in the Gimp contest keep pouring in; the number has doubled from what was available last week. Here's a good example.
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This issue of Debian Weekly News was edited by Joey Hess.