Debian Weekly News - February 22nd, 1999

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

There's now a version of Debian translated into Italian. PROSA Debian is based on slink, and is sold with a book "Athena Linux". For more information see the announcement.

Linuxpower interviewed Wichert Akkerman. Definitely worth a read.

Bruce Perens is moving away from supporting the term "Open Source" and returning to promoting "Free Software". "Open Source has de-emphasized the importance of the freedoms involved in Free Software. It's time for us to fix that."

This month's Linux Journal contains three articles related to Debian. One is about the Linux Router Project, a mini-distribution derived from Debian. The second describes ARGO, an autonomous car driven by a computer running Debian. The last is by Andrew Feinberg, a Debian developer, and is a general article about linux in a high school. Debian seems to have quite a tradition of having high-school aged developers..

Someone proposed a Debian distribution based on FreeBSD. There was considerable debate on this topic. Most of the favorable opinions expressed were based on the argument that there should be a Debian distribution for as many open source UNIX variants as possible. This was countered with the argument that this would drastically increase the workload of the package maintainers.

The final test build of the X packages is available now, everyone who is able should test it. Also, X is now packaged though not yet part of the distribution. On a related note, the request for a prompt for the default term type during xterm's configuration has resurfaced. This would be nice for people in a heterogeneous environment, and who therefore prefer xterm over xterm-debian despite the disadvantages. For those interested, the reasoning for xterm-debian as a default term type is at the bottom of Branden's X Strike Force page.

If you're wondering where all the .deb's for the arm architecture went, they've all been removed from the archive. The arm port has broken binary compatibility with those .deb's and has deleted them all and has started building new ones.

Brian May has written a number of perl scripts which one might use to configure and maintain NFS images for diskless clients. He has asked whether these might be included in the Debian distribution. There are some problems that need to be resolved. For example how to compare two packages for upgrades and calculating module dependencies when /lib/modules is mounted as read-only.

Javier Fdz-Sanguino Peña has written an article on Slink for Open Resources and is asking for comments. Among other things, this article discusses the problems that needed to be overcome for this distribution and some of the issues involved with the gcc compiler upgrade.

It was a busy week for security holes:

It's always a nice change of pace to meet fellow Debian developers face to face. There were a couple of opportunities for this lately.

The next big chance to meet fellow developers will be at LinuxWorld Expo next week at the Debian booth.

New packages added to Debian this week include:

Help wanted:

Server news

Followups to previous news items:

Many thanks to this week's contributors: Michael Dahlberg and Brandon Mitchell.

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