Debian Weekly News - August 23rd, 2005

Welcome to this year's 34th issue of DWN, the weekly newsletter for the Debian community. The Debian project leader has delegated to Don Armstrong the authority to make a decision regarding the use of the Debian trademark by the (as currently named) DCC Alliance. Mick Weiss thought about setting up torrents for large sets of data, not only CD and DVD images but also videos.

Installing Debian on Sun Blade 150. Nishant Sharma wrote a short howto on installing Debian on a Sun Blade 150, a 64 bit workstation based on the UltraSPARC processor. The installation goes by the book, using the network installer. Since configuring XFree86 is a bit tricky he provides a proper snippet from the configuration file.

Kernel Version Dependency. Masanori Goto (後藤 正徳) noticed that building glibc is not possible on 2.4 kernels anymore due to NPTL threading support, which requires certain kernel versions. This poses a problem when more architectures get NPTL support while their buildds still run Linux 2.4.

License Incompatibility. Elimar Riesebieter reported that the new version of moc requires the curl library which itself uses the OpenSSL library. This poses a problem since moc is licensed under the GNU GPL which is not compatible with the OpenSSL license. Torsten Landschoff added that the same has happened to libldap2 before. Domenico Andreoli seems to be willing to switch the curl library to GNU TLS.

Using LSB Init Scripts. Marco d'Itri considered switching the init scripts of his packages to lsb-base, which required it to be promoted to priority important. Petter Reinholdtsen provided an easy way to use the LSB only when it is available. Thomas Hood even noticed the lack of a progress function. The package lsb-base has since then been promoted to the priority important, hence, the provided functions may be used by all init scripts.

Removing transitional Packages. Mohammed Adnène Trojette would like to remove transitional packages that were required for the upgrade from woody to sarge, since they are no longer needed for the upgrade to etch. Steve Langasek explained that skipping a release is not supported when upgrading and, hence, these transitional packages are only useless cruft that Debian should strive to get rid of before the etch release.

Problematic cyclic Dependencies. Lars Wirzenius noticed while working on piuparts that dpkg isn't able to remove some packages, that turned out to have cyclic dependencies. In this case the removal script calls a program from the other package that is already removed, which results in a failure.

Report from the first Debian Conference India. Sundara Nagarajan wrote a report about the first Debian Conference India. Ramakrishnan Muthukrishnan and Ganesan Rajagopal spoke about the Debian philosophy, process and their experience of becoming Debian contributors. Ganesan also brought up his vision for integrating and merging other India-based free and open source projects with Debian.

Closing old Bug Reports. Hamish Moffatt wondered when it is appropriate to close bug reports for a package that is only around in woody (alias oldstable). Steve Langasek explained how the commands notfound, found and close work with the new version tracking and Gustavo Franco contributed a link to a quick reference.

Automatic Installation and Purging. Lars Wirzenius is running piuparts against etch and has discovered a lot of bugs that he would like to report properly. This effort was widely appreciated among readers. Petter Reinholdtsen wondered if this work could be extended to test upgrades from woody to sarge and from sarge to etch.

Digital Signatures for Bug Handling? Javier Fernández-Sanguino Peña had to reopen a bug report that was accidentally closed by a spam message. He proposed to start thinking about implementing authentication checks in the bug tracking system. While contributors were not opposed to this idea, they asked not to depend on only valid signatures from Debian developers.

Shared Library Package Naming. Junichi Uekawa (上川 純一) reported that the way to decide which -dev package accompanies which runtime library package is to heuristically look at the Packages file to investigate what packages are generated from the same source. Steve Langasek explained several options on how to deal with this in connection with libtool.

LDAP Gateway to the Bug Tracking System. Andreas Barth announced that the LDAP gateway to the bug tracking system (BTS) is running on master again, on port 10101. It had to be turned off on the machine running the BTS due to horsepower limitations since it also runs the archive as a temporary measurement.

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. 11 packages were orphaned this week and require a new maintainer. This makes a total of 190 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 Martin 'Joey' Schulze.