Debian Weekly News - June 29th, 2004

Welcome to this year's 25th issue of DWN, the weekly newsletter for the Debian community. We have to apologise for not being able to send out an issue last week and only a short one today, but LinuxTag organisation kept Joey too busy with other stuff.

General Resolution 2004-004. The project secretary announced the beginning of the voting period on a general resolution titled "Sarge Release Schedule in view of GR 2004-003". The full text of the ballot is quite long. The simplified story is that, if the resolution passes, the social contract will be modified to allow non-free data, e.g. documentation and firmware, to be included in the next release (codename Sarge) of Debian. This would require a 3:1 supermajority. Voting ends Friday 2nd July at 23:59:59 UTC.

Debian at LinuxTag 2004. The Debian project announced that it will attend the upcoming LinuxTag in Karlsruhe, Germany, which takes place from June 23rd to June 26th. There will be a Debian booth and a Linux porting booth in the exhibition hall and a Skolelinux class room in the conference building. In addition to this a Debian mini conference is organised on Thursday, June 24th. The keynote for LinuxTag will be delivered by Ian Murdock.

Debian-Installer Screenshots. Martin Krafft announced that he has made a thorough set of debian-installer screenshots from the netboot 20040616 and netinst 20040616 images. Martin will be attempting to keep the screenshots up to date and would appreciate feedback. There is a README file included.

Bi-directional Language Support in Debian-Installer. Christian Perrier announced that, thanks to the hard work of Steve Langasek (and before him Shlomi Loubaton) support for bi-directional languages is now completely included in debian-installer. This appears to make Debian the first GNU/Linux distribution to use an installer translated to right-to-left languages such as Arabic, Hebrew and Farsi in text mode. Screenshots and an i386-netboot.iso are available.

Ideas for Fully Automated Installations. Christian Perrier discussed his idea for achieving fully automated installations. He is thinking about a simple package that would run early in the installation process, load the floppy module and read a file from the floppy containing simple debconf variables. It would then feed these values to debconf and run the installer. Jushua Kwan agreed it was a good idea, although he thought partitioning would be difficult.

Skolelinux 1.0 released. After about three years of hard work, Skolelinux 1.0 is released to the public. The distribution was started as a reaction to how much the Norwegian schools and the government relied on systems using closed source. Skolelinux is meant to be an easy way to set up a large and secure network of LTSP thin clients (normally PXE boot) for regular users.

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

Debian Packages introduced last Week. Every day, a different Debian package is featured from the testing distribution. If you know about an obscure package you think others should also know about, send it to Andrew Sweger. Debian package a day introduced the following packages last week.

Orphaned Packages. 4 packages were orphaned this week and require a new maintainer. This makes a total of 175 orphaned packages. Many thanks to the previous maintainers who contributed to the Free Software community. Please see the WNPP pages for the full list, and please add a note to the bug report and retitle it to ITA: if you plan to take over a package.

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