Debian Weekly News - November 8th, 2001

Debian 2.2r4 Released! The announcement went out on Monday, Debian 2.2r4 is out. This release is part of the Potato series containing additional security fixes and bugfixes. If you're running stable, you probably want to upgrade now. See the announcement for more info. Phil Hands created cd-images for this release already.

Continuing The Freeze Process. Anthony Towns sent in a report telling us that the project finally obtained the legal advice it needed to go about putting crypto in main. Since this was the last piece which stalled the freeze process, there is progress now. This means that no new packages will be added to base. This especially requires maintainers of base packages to avoid fiddling with their dependencies, or compiling against new libraries. Additionally, base packages should not be bumping shlibs versions from this point, under any circumstances.

Recognizing IRC Channels. Raphaƫl Hertzog proposed a General Resolution targetting IRC as a Debian communication channel as a result of recent events on a famous developer channel. He proposes that all #debian-* channels be open to anybody interested with the exception of #debian-private for which the same policy applies as for the private mailing list. However, Peter Makholm raised the question if Debian as an open project really can accept more closed forums?

Serious Bug in gnome-pilot. There is a problem with the backup conduit in gnome-pilot 0.1.62 that can cause a crash requiring a hard reset (and loss of all data) on at least some Palm devices. The same bug also renders all Palm device backups created by it completely useless. These backups will, in all likelihood, crash the device if restored to it. The author recommends that everyone cease using 0.1.62 immediately. New packages for 0.1.63 have been uploaded already.

Default Mail Transport Agent (MTA). Tollef Fog Heen investigated the current situation with dependencies to MTAs now that Exim is the default MTA on a freshly installed Debian system. This revealed several different dependencies instead of just exim | mail-transport-agent, which are parsed by our package tools as "use exim as preference over other packages that provide mail-transport-agent, however they are fine as well".

Upgrade for two Important Machines. Adam Heath announced a maintenance hour for the machines master and murphy, which perform important functions for the project. Brainfood has replaced 64MB of RAM with 512MB on our poor list server, which helps a lot for this loaded machine. The other machine was taken back to its co-location. Thanks Brainfood, this is really appreciated.

Policy Proposal for javadoc. Guillaume Rousse has a proposal for the placement of javadoc-generated documentation under /usr/share/apidoc. This might be of interest to any Java developers out there.

Misuse of Debconf Notes. Joey Hess feels that both of the recently added pcmcia-cs debconf notes (about 2.4 kernels and network up ordering) are a misuse of the note datatype, which, as he states in the debconf tutorial, is for "something important, that the user really should see." Joey's main concern is that debconf notes are being vastly overused, and that this will probably result in a Debian installation which is so cluttered with low-value notes that the important stuff is easily missed.

ReiserFS On SRM-Alpha Drives. James Freels converted all of his Ext2 filesystems to ReiserFS filesystems on his Alpha machine. He has written notes to himself on how to setup the boot process for a Debian/Alpha computer using the SRM console. Some of it may also be helpful for other architectures.

Debian And /usr Mounted read-only. Anthony Towns recently posted a report about a Debian system which has /usr mounted read-only. During package installation it will be remounted read-write, which apt is configured to do. However, there is still a problem with used files that were replaced during installation. In such a case the filesystem can't be umounted again. Anthony attached two scripts which ought to take care of this.

Bug-Squashing Party #6. Colin Watson announced that the sixth Debian Bug-Squashing Party for woody will take place on the second weekend of November: Friday 9th to Sunday 11th. The goal is to fix release-critical bugs, especially those filed against base and standard/task packages. As usual, the party will by co-ordinated in the #debian-bugs IRC channel on the OpenProjects Network (IRC server

New and Updated Packages.

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This issue of Debian Weekly News was edited by Joe 'Zonker' Brockmeier and Martin 'Joey' Schulze.