Debian Weekly News - March 2nd, 2004

Welcome to this year's ninth issue of DWN, the weekly newsletter for the Debian community. On March 13th there's going to be a bug squish fest at the Sydney University by its local user group. Isaac Jones described that reporting and fixing bugs in software one uses frequently is one of the easiest ways to get involved in Free Software. Bradley Kuhn reminded us of the GIF patent that IBM holds until 2006, even though the Unisys patent will expire soon.

Debian Project Leader Election. Manoj Srivastava reported that the nomination period is at an end. Three candidates have nominated themselves: Martin Michlmayr, Gergely Nagy and Branden Robinson. The platforms from these candidates shall be published over the weekend. The three week campaigning period has begun.

New kind of GNU/Linux Distribution? LinuxWorld reports on Ian Murdock's weblog discussion, where he proposed a new kind of "component-oriented distribution". He explains that Progeny is building such a distribution from which users may build platforms from the bottom up, including only the features and technologies their products require. Progeny's component-oriented Linux is being built in the open as a community project, with components currently based on Debian sarge. The LSB 1.3-certified core runtime is available now, with more components and a component-aware, Anaconda-based installation mechanism to be added in the coming weeks.

Root on LVM on RAID with Debian. Charles Steinkuehler explained how, using Massimiliano Ferrero's Howto, he got Debian running with root on LVM on RAID. He got the mkinitrd script working with root on LVM on RAID by using the hooks provided to support LVM (RAID is already supported). This allows the use of apt-get to install kernel upgrades from the Debian archives. Charles detailed the settings he used for i386 architecture, which should work for other architectures using the same initial Debian ramdisk scripts as well.

New multi-arch Proposal. Tollef Fog Heen reported about a new multi-arch proposal aiming at supporting the AMD64 architecture. Of course, it caused a lot of debate on the #debian-devel channel, but that was just as expected. Comments are of course welcome.

Proposed non-free General Resolution. Manoj Srivastava sent a proposed draft of the ballot for vote that covers future handling of the non-free section. The voting period for this issue is from March 7th to 21st. Every registered Debian developer can rate two choices and "further discussion". Manoj solicits comments.

Firefox Trademark Problem. Eric Dorland reported about trademark problems with including the official icon and name of Firefox. André Dahlqvist informed him that this doesn't seem to be allowed upstream. Nathanael Nerode advised him to ask the Mozilla Foundation to explicitly permit naming unofficial builds "Mozilla" and "Firefox" provided they are clearly labelled as unofficial builds, or alternatively to provide alternative names for unofficial builds.

Including Vendor PPD Files. Roger Leigh has been contacted by Seiko-Epson to include their free laser printer PPD files in Debian. Bernd Eckenfels would rather like to have them included in the upstream package as well. Siggy Brentrup explained why this is unlikely to happen and Francesco Lovergine added a list of packages for vendor-provided PPD files.

Apache License Problems? Chris Waters discussed the new Apache Source License 2.0 which the Free Software Foundation claims to be incompatible with the GNU General Public License, contrary to the Apache Software Foundation. Chris is concerned about people who might waste time starting projects that could turn out to be undistributable.

Open Publication License. Oleksandr Moskalenko wondered if the Open Publication License complies to the Debian Free Software Guidelines. Henning Makholm and Nathanael Nerode consider one clause non-free, like a similar clause in the GNU Free Documentation License.

Security Updates. You know the drill. Please make sure that you update your systems if you have any of these packages installed.

New or Noteworthy Packages. The following packages were added to the unstable Debian archive recently or contain important updates.

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This issue of Debian Weekly News was edited by Matt Black and Martin 'Joey' Schulze.