Debian Weekly News - July 27th, 2004
Welcome to this year's 29th issue of DWN, the weekly newsletter for the Debian community. Pablo Lorenzzoni reported that the Brazilian Debian community has decided to celebrate a huge nation-wide party on August 21st for Debian's 11th birthday.
New License Test. Branden Robinson and Matthew Palmer developed the Dictator Test, which has the ability to determine if a license is not compliant with the Debian Free Software Guidelines. A license is not Free if it prohibits actions which, in the absence of acceptance of the license, would be allowed by copyright or other applicable laws.
Update on Java in Main. Arnaud Vandyck reported that kaffe has entered testing recently. A lot of the effort of moving Java into main was based on building these Java packages with Kaffe. Another good news is that a lot of these packages can now be build with SableVM, which is also in testing.
Proposed General Resolution: Force AMD64 into Debian. Manoj Srivastava opened the proposal and amendment discussion period for the general resolution proposed by Josselin Mouette to force the pure AMD64 port into sarge and sid. However, with Chris Cheney rescinding his second the proposal lacks enough sponsors. The project leader also noted that there is no agreement at all among the amd64 porters concerning the inclusion in sarge.
Lightweight GNU/Linux Desktop. Knut Yrvin cited an article from eWeek in which Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols reports about lightweight approaches to the GNU/Linux desktop, i.e. a GNU/Linux thin-client solution with LTSP (Linux Terminal Server Project). To deploy LTSP properly without expertise in the house one can use Skolelinux, which was designed for school use with minimal resources in every sense of the word.
New debtags Alioth Project created. Given the raise of interest grown around debtags, Enrico Zini spun debtags development from Deb-Usability into an Alioth project of its own. With the spin off, new infrastructure has been added including a developers mailing list for developers interested in contributing or integrating debtags in their own projects.
Debian Booth Appearance Charter. Alexander Schmehl resumed the presence at this year's LinuxTag which was quite successful. He described several issues that caused problems or were nasty and therefore should be done better next year. This discussion is not limited to the presence at LinuxTag, so everybody is invited to join it.
The Release Problem. Joey Hess complained that the debian-installer team experiences problems that Debian has in overall release management in Debian, in miniature. He reported about a string freeze that was turned into a waterfall of new strings instead which also broke all kinds of stuff. This behaviour is quite natural, though.
Sarge Release Status. Steve Langasek announced the release team has been hard at work on finalising a viable release schedule. With the release of debian-installer's second test candidate at the beginning of August, there is a need to provide a fixed target for them. Hence, starting 31 July, no more non-RC changes are allowed into testing for base packages or for packages of priority standard and higher.
New Crypto Library for Sarge? Matthias Urlichs wanted to update gcrypt and gnutls to the current version, especially since the upstream developers have requested this. This would alter the dependencies for the debian-installer, though. Ray Dassen reminded him of the fiasco in connection with the last upgrade, but Andreas Metzler explained why this update will be smoother. However, Steve Langasek asserted that the packages need to be present in unstable and Matthias finally found a path to go.
Draft Summary of Creative Commons 2.0 Licenses. Evan Prodromou sent in a draft summary of comments about various creative commons licenses. Comments and criticism welcome and should be sent to the debian-legal mailing list.
Security Updates. You know the drill. Please make sure that you update your systems if you have any of these packages installed.
- php4 -- Multiple vulnerabilities.
- libapache-mod-ssl -- Multiple vulnerabilities.
- courier -- Cross-site scripting vulnerability.
- mailreader -- Directory traversal vulnerability.
New or Noteworthy Packages. The following packages were added to the unstable Debian archive recently or contain important updates.
- allegro-demo -- Cool game, demonstrating power of the Allegro library.
- cpp-3.4 -- The GNU C preprocessor.
- crip -- Terminal-based ripper/encoder/tagger tool.
- debian-builder -- Rebuild Debian packages from source code.
- doscan -- Port scanner for discovering services on large networks.
- freebsd-sendpr -- FreeBSD fork of send-pr (from GNU GNATS).
- freepats -- Free patch set for MIDI audio synthesis.
- g++-3.4 -- The GNU C++ compiler.
- g77-3.4 -- The GNU Fortran 77 compiler.
- gcc-3.4 -- The GNU C compiler.
- gcj-3.4 -- The GNU compiler for Java(TM).
- gij-3.4 -- The GNU Java bytecode interpreter.
- gnat-3.4 -- The GNU Ada compiler.
- gobjc-3.4 -- The GNU Objective-C compiler.
- gpc-2.1-3.4 -- The GNU Pascal compiler.
- mpatrolc102 -- Library for debugging memory allocations.
- orange -- Extracts CAB files from self-extracting installers.
- rsnapshot -- Local and remote filesystem snapshot utility.
- rzip -- Compression program for large files.
- sitebar -- Web based bookmark manager written in PHP.
- synce-serial -- SynCE connection manipulation scripts.
- treelang-3.4 -- The GNU Treelang compiler.
- ttf-alee -- A Lee's GPL'd Hangul truetype fonts.
- ttf-arabeyes -- Arabeyes GPL TrueType Arabic fonts.
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.
- smartmontools -- Control and monitor storage systems using S.M.A.R.T.
- unclutter -- Hides the cursor in X after a period of inactivity.
- filelight -- Show where your diskspace is being used.
- unison -- File-synchronization tool for Unix and Windows.
Orphaned Packages. 8 packages were orphaned this week and require a new maintainer. This makes a total of 173 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.
- gif2png -- GIF to PNG conversions. (Bug#261583)
- if-transition -- Change in the Weather, an interactive short story (non-free). (Bug#260720)
- imgvtopgm -- PalmPilot/III Image Conversion utility. (Bug#261584)
- int-fiction-installer -- Installer for interactive fiction games from the if-archive. (Bug#260719)
- librsync -- Binary diff library based on the rsync algorithm. (Bug#261580)
- mmake -- Makefile generator for Java programs. (Bug#261581)
- modemu -- Telnet services for communication programs. (Bug#261585)
- rdiff-backup -- Backup program to use deltas for history. (Bug#261578)
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This issue of Debian Weekly News was edited by Enrico Zini and Martin 'Joey' Schulze.