Debian Weekly News - June 8th, 2005

Welcome to this year's 23rd issue of DWN, the weekly newsletter for the Debian community. Now that Debian 3.1 has been released, people are keen to celebrate this. There may be a party in your neighbourhood as well. Branden Robinson announced that SPI, Debian's legal umbrella, is now able to accept donations via check from Canada.

Debian Sarge released. The Debian project announced the release of Debian GNU/Linux 3.1 alias sarge. After three years of development, this release marks another milestone in the history of Debian. With more than 15,000 binary packages, a lot of updated software and the new and shiny installer this release boosts Debian back into the present.

Problems with new Debian DVDs and CDs. Colin Watson reported about a problem with the brand-new 3.1r0 CD/DVD images. Due to incorrect Release files on the images the apt resource for is not active. As a result, users who install from these images won't benefit from security updates automatically. New 3.1r0a images should be available when this issue is released to correct this flaw.

Debian at Code Fest Japan 2005. In the Japanese capitol city, Tokyo, Code Fest Japan 2005 was held. Around 40 hackers from all around Japan have assembled for a 24-hour endurance hacking session. A dozen Debian developers from Japan and China attended the session and worked on Debian. Hacking included developments around Input Methods (im-switch), testing printers with CUPS and porting Debian to the m32r architecture. Participants left notes on how they endured their 24 hours.

Delaying the Release? Rickard Armiento brought up an issue with KDE that several people considered release-critical, although others believed that it's just a normal bug. The random screensaver of KDE, which is not activated by default, ignores the settings of xscreensaver and randomises over all existing screensavers. This includes the WebCollage screensaver that loads random images from the network, which can include offensive content.

QA Goals for Etch. Shortly after the release of sarge, Frank Lichtenheld mentioned his goals for quality assurance (QA) work for the etch release. All packages should be installable and removable on a clean target, the number of overlapping files needs to be minimised. He would also like to fix the last twenty packages that can't be installed non-interactively.

GNOME 2.10 in unstable. Josselin Mouette reported that following the release, the GNOME team is in the process of moving GNOME 2.10 packages from the experimental repository to unstable. The core libraries are already installed, and the rest will follow within a few days. A handful of packages will require updates to their .desktop files so that they appear correctly in the menus.

Library ABI Changes. Philipp Kern wondered what to do besides updating the soname if the maintainer notices that the application binary interface (ABI) of the library is changed. Hamish Moffatt explained that an advantage of keeping the old library in section oldlibs for a while is less hassle for local admins with self-compiled binaries. Tollef Fog Heen added that when the package name is changed as well, older versions will stay on the admin's system.

Keysigning without personally meeting. Wesley Landaker proposed a guideline to sign other people's keys without meeting them in person. This method was soon revealed as weak since falsifying a graphic is no crime, because a notary is not as trustworthy in every country and because the web of trust is entirely self-contained, without putting any trust on government and state official. In short, keysigning requires to meet in person for a reason.

Debian Java in Sarge. Arnaud Vandyck gave a rough overview about what has changed between woody and sarge with Java on Debian. Most notably sarge contains improved and new free Java runtime environments. In addition to that, a lot of software got packaged and moved to the main section. Java packages are also group-maintained via Alioth.

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.

Removed Packages. 2 packages have been removed from the Debian archive during the past week:

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This issue of Debian Weekly News was edited by Junichi Uekawa (上川 純一), Josselin Mouette and Martin 'Joey' Schulze.