Debian Weekly News - March 22nd, 2005

Welcome to this year's 12th issue of DWN, the weekly newsletter for the Debian community. The proposal from the meeting of release and ftpmaster teams was discussed controversial on the debian-devel list by many developers with more than 1000 mails. Many people don't appreciate to drop several architectures since supporting them was one big benefit of the Debian system.

Restricting the License to GPLv2. Daniel Carrera pondered about the restriction of the Linux kernel to version 2 of the GNU General Public License. Looking at the large number of contributors, this would make it nearly impossible to migrate to version 3 when it is available. Matthew Palmer fears for a lot of unpleasant forking action when the new license doesn't look like what developers expect.

Debian-Installer Release Candidate 3. Joey Hess began to work on the next release candidate of the new debian-installer. Most tests ran fine. He reported that they seem to be on schedule for the release on March 23rd, which will be 3 months since the rc2 release.

Creative Commons 2.0 Licenses. Evan Prodromou worked on the final revision to the draft summary of the Creative Commons 2.0 (CC) licenses. This document gives a summary of the opinion of debian-legal members on the six licenses that make up the CC license suite. Allegedly, there are already over 1 million works released under a CC license.

PC Resurrection with Debian. Richard White reported about his effort of providing computers for the economically disadvantaged. After he tried several live CDs he decided to use pure Debian Sarge. Afterwards he upgraded the Xfcs package and used the pinning feature of APT to keep sarge for the other packages.

Debian Use Survey Results. Enrico Zini announced the results of a survey on the purposes for which Debian is being used. The results include use cases and a list of features that users considered helpful. Another list contains results the users have achieved with their Debian installation.

300000th Bug Report opened. A few days ago the 300000th bug was opened by Florian Zumbiehl in the bug tracking system. This overwhelming number can be seen as a dedication from our users and developers to improve their favourite system. Developers interested in improving the quality of Debian should take a look at the list of old bugs.

Project Leader Election Vote Period. Manoj Srivastava called for votes for this year's Debian project leader election. Votes must be received by 23:59:59 UTC on April 10th, 2005. The vote must be GPG signed (or PGP signed) with your key that is in the Debian keyring. He also added that votes should not be encrypted, since devotee does not yet deal with encrypted ballots and they would just be ignored.

Autoconf Usage. Martin Krafft wanted to hear reasons for calling the autoconf utilities at package built time, even though the general rule is that they should only used by the maintainer and not at build time. Calling them while building could, e.g., reduce the source size but risk to render the package not buildable anymore when autoconf was changed.

Automatic OpenLDAP Upgrade. Torsten Landschoff asked for comments on his proposal for an automatic upgrade path from OpenLDAP 2.0 to version 2.1. When the Debian package is updated and the data should be available afterwards, several precautionary steps need to be taken.

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.

Orphaned Packages. 18 packages were orphaned this week and require a new maintainer. This makes a total of 235 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 Frédéric Bothamy and Martin 'Joey' Schulze.