Debian Weekly News - May 25th, 2005
Welcome to this year's 21st issue of DWN, the weekly newsletter for the Debian community. A lot of activity has still been recorded on the debian-release list in order to fix the remaining release-critical bugs and to get the translations into shape. Matt Whipp quoted several people to counter the claim that Free Software is running short of developers.
Debian Desktop with 12 Watts. Silas Bennett wanted to run a low-power desktop system and ended up using a Mac mini. He described that he had removed the hard disk and CD-ROM drive to save power and space that he could reuse with a battery pack, so that the system draws 12 watts from it. He was also delighted to see the sarge installer run flawlessly.
Debian GNU/Hurd running GNOME and Qt. Michael Banck managed to get GNOME compile and run on GNU/Hurd, albeit with some caveats and loose ends, and also took a screenshot. Several packages had to be modified in order to make them build, so that GNOME won't be uploaded for hurd-i386 soon, but the general issues seem to have been solved. In related news, Qt is running fine on the Hurd as well, and volunteers are sought after for porting KDE.
Changes to the weekly WNPP Posting. Martin Michlmayr announced that the weekly mail about work-needing and prospective packages won't be sent to the announce list anymore but to the dedicated debian-wnpp list instead. In addition to that, future mails will only include new entries in order to have the mails be helpful again.
Confusing Package Versions. Nico Golde noticed that the most recent version of unrar has a lower version number than the packages before. Roberto Sanchez explained that the old package was non-free and has been replaced by a free version with a lower version number. Unfortunately it can't cope with current RAR 3.x archives. The free version has since then been renamed into unrar-free to avoid confusion.
Packaging Waste. Romain Beauxis wanted to package waste a collaboration tool for small teams. Mirco Bauer noted that the authors considered this unauthorised software. It seems that Nullsoft's parent company AOL didn't agree to the release, hence the strong message.
Last Update to Woody. Joey Schulze sent in the preparation for the last update to Debian 3.0. As usual, this mostly adds recent security updates to the woody release. He also explained that there can't be another update after the release of sarge due to deficiencies in the archive suite.
Non-US being phased out. Frans Pop proposed a paragraph about the end of the non-US archive to be added to the release notes since it is dysfunctional and not needed anymore. From the 29 packages still included, only five haven't been able to be moved into the main archive.
Debian-Volatile Strategy. The volatile team pondered to create a second volatile archive with less strict criteria. This would help packages such as Gaim that need to be updated during the lifetime of sarge in order to support modified protocols. They are also looking for ways to announce updated packages.
Security Updates. You know the drill. Please make sure that you update your systems if you have any of these packages installed.
- DSA 724: phpsysinfo -- Cross site scripting.
- DSA 725: ppxp -- Local root exploit.
- DSA 726: oops -- Format string vulnerability.
- DSA 727: libconvert-uulib-perl -- Arbitrary code execution.
New or Noteworthy Packages. The following packages were added to the unstable Debian archive recently or contain important updates.
- bbclone -- PHP based Web Counter on Steroids.
- chora2 -- Code repository viewing component for horde framework.
- cyrus2courier -- Converts Cyrus mailbox format to Maildir.
- desktop-profiles -- Framework for setting up desktop profiles.
- drift -- Type sensitive preprocessor for Haskell.
- grabc -- Identifies an onscreen colour using a crosshair cursor.
- installation-report -- System installation report.
- kiosktool -- Configure the KDE kiosk framework.
- p7zip -- File archiver with high compression ratio.
- releaseforge -- Alternative to SourceForge's File Release System (FRS).
- schism -- ImpulseTracker clone aiming at providing the same look&feel.
- unrar-free -- Unarchiver for .rar files.
- webcpp -- Configurable utility to convert source code to HTML.
- yaws -- High performance HTTP 1.1 webserver written in Erlang.
- z80asm -- Assembler for the Zilog Z80 microprocessor.
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This issue of Debian Weekly News was edited by Michael Banck and Martin 'Joey' Schulze.