Debian Weekly News - July 26th, 2005

Welcome to this year's 30th issue of DWN, the weekly newsletter for the Debian community. The hosting offer for two important Debian machines ended and they are being temporarily relocated to HP, resulting in a temporary downtime of several services. Lars Wirzenius reported that piuparts, a testing utility for Debian packages, has been added to the archive.

Greylisting for Debian Hosts. Santiago Vila would like the project to consider using greylisting, a technique to delay mails, on Debian hosts. Rich Walker explained that some mail servers can't cope with such delays. Florian Weimer added that zombie software that is locked out with greylisting will probably be improved in the future, leaving greylisting without effect. Marc Haber noted that exim runs the queue every 30 minutes, which would be a significant delay for many users.

Setting the CPU Frequency Policy. Mattia Dongili pondered setting a default governor for the CPU frequency on boot during the rc.S stage in order to set the policy early during the boot process. Bernd Eckenfels explained that setting it early during startup doesn't help since reducing the CPU frequency during boot is not useful and having the CPU run at full speed for a short moment won't drain the battery.

Potential Debconf Abuse. Jörg Sommer wondered if using debconf to ask about the default look for an editor would be abuse. Hamish Moffatt pondered whether it is necessary to ask such a question when there is a sensible default. Petter Reinholdtsen proposed to use priority low but then there's not much point in asking it at all.

Automatic Password Generation. Olaf van der Spek wondered how to tell the admin about a newly generated password to access a daemon on their system. The best method would probably be to store it in a configuration file in /etc as John Hasler pointed out and protect it from unauthorised persons by using sane permissions.

Multi-Architecture Proposal. Nikita Youshchenko asked about the status of the multi architecture proposal. While this is not required to support the pure amd64 port which is going to be integrated into Debian, it is a requirement for supporting sparc64, s390x, mips64, mipsel64 and powerpc64. It is planned to provide only a limited number of packages for native 64-bit use on these architectures instead of the entire archive.

Debian Logo Font. Andreas Tille wondered if the font used on the Debian logo is available as TeX font as well and could be used for the "Debian-Med" sign. Jörg Friedrich mentioned the wiki page with more details and contributed a mail by Gerfried Fuchs that revealed Poppl Laudatio Condensed as used font.

Bug Mail Subscription. Joachim Breitner announced a new bug subscription feature of the bug tracking system (BTS). During DebConf the feature was integrated into the BTS and the listserver. It is now possible to subscribe and unsubscribe to individual bug reports. This also works for non-existing bug numbers.

Changed Program Behaviour. Matt Kraai reported that the behaviour of texi2html has changed recently. The new version will place the generated HTML files in a sub-directory when it is asked to split by chapter. This will cause several packages to fail during their building stage.

Debian QA Meeting. Martin Zobel-Helas announced a QA team meeting taking place from the 9th to the 11th of September in Darmstadt, Germany. He noted that the group is already maintaining about 265 packages that have accumulated around 633 bugs. The aim of this meeting is to fix long outstanding bugs, improve the QA infrastructure and work on documentation.

Debian Conference ends in a Success. The Debian project announced that this year's Debian Conference was a great success with more than 300 people attending and over 20 sponsors. One highlight was the presentation about the large-scale deployment of 80,000 Debian workstations in Extremadura, Spain. The presentations were captured by the video team and are available online.

Debtags finally integrated. Enrico Zini reported that Packages files recently started to include debtags information that others had already noticed. The tag information can be browsed online and edited with either debtags-edit or tagcolledit.

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.

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This issue of Debian Weekly News was edited by Martin 'Joey' Schulze.