Debian Weekly News - October 25th, 2000

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

Debian has package pools! James Troup revealed that "for the last month and a half, I've been working on re-implementing dinstall and switching to package pools." His message gives details about how regular users, developers, and mirror admins will be affected (not much, not much, and a great deal), the new layout of the Debian archive, the database backend, the migration strategy ("an as-of-yet-unwritten tool will migrated n Mb of data a day into the pool from the legacy dists/ tree"), and the timeline before this is put in place on the Debian archive (about two weeks).

A beta version of the LSB-FHS test suite was run against several major distributions including Debian woody, which failed 17 tests out of 243. A chart shows that other distributions failed many more, while SuSE only failed 5. The detailed report of Debian's failures is interesting reading. After examining each failure, Wichert Akkerman commented, "Not all of the test results are fair in my opinion: some are real bugs in Debian, others are bugs in the testsuite or the result of using an incomplete install." Some were really bugs in the test suite, a few were things that should not be in the FHS, and 6 of the 9 remaining failures "can be fixed by simply creating empty directories" Since FHS editor Daniel Quinlan and the author of the test suite are involved in the discussion, it appears that all of these things will be eventually worked out.

Why isn't Helix Gnome in Debian yet? For a while now there has been duplication of effort, with Peter Teichman of Helix maintaining an apt repository of Helix Gnome packages, and other Debian developers maintaining regular Gnome in Debian. The only real reason for this duplication of work is that Peter thinks that there might be copyright problems with some of the images in Helix Gnome, but he's not sure, and for whatever reason this question has been unresolved for some time now. Meanwhile, some folks feel that "the woody packages aren't BAD, but after using Helix, going back feels like a serious downgrade", and others have found that the Helix packages "do not have the same quality when it comes to dependencies and such". A subthread that tried to list the differences between the two sets of packages found very little of note besides Helix's branding. Whatever the differences, many people are using the Helix debs, and bothering Debian developers with things like this bug report. This situation really needs to be resolved before it has a chance to turn ugly.

Debian's newest server is, which is now serving as Debian's main web server. Of course, it's named after Joel "Espy" Klecker. Unfortunately, many home directories from the old machine, which suffered a disk failure, have still not been recovered and may be gone for good. A new hostname, has also been set up, "which will exclusively be used for individual web pages". Developers with personal Debian web pages should begin using URLs based on the new domain name.

New packages in Debian this week include the following, and 80 more:

There were no security announcements this week.

More and more Debian news sources are appearing. The latest arrival is Debian Planet, a web site providing Debian news in a weblog format. In the meantime, Kernel Cousin Debian is up to their 7th issue, but still needs more contributors.

To receive this newsletter weekly in your mailbox, subscribe to the debian-news mailing list.

Back issues of this newsletter are available.

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