Debian Weekly News - November 22nd, 2005
Welcome to this year's 47th issue of DWN, the weekly newsletter for the Debian community. Nathanael Nerode observed that the new C++ libraries are not transitioning to testing due to a rash of dependent uploads and has requested that maintainers hold off from uploading dependent packages that will contribute to the clog. Guillem Jover proposed to split dependency lines in the source control files for improved readability. Andreas Tille reported about a free Live CD aiming at children.
Standard C++ Library Modification. Matthias Klose announced that the memory allocator in the standard C++ library will be changed which requires several packages to be rebuilt for which he has appended a list. The library will be updated by new versions of the gcc-3.4 and gcc-4.0 packages. Maintainers may have to rename the binary packages to reflect the new dependency.
Declassification of private Mails. Anthony Towns proposed a general resolution to open the archives of the debian-private list to the public after three years. A declassification team should be delegated to extract financial information about individuals and mails of no historical relevance. Authors and recipients should be given a period to comment on the publication.
Project Leader Delegations. Branden Robinson released a document explaining how project leader delegations work. The constitution suggests that there may be other powers which the project leader may not directly wield, and which they must delegate instead. If a particular decision is delegated, the project leader cannot take back responsibility for the decision personally, but can re-delegate it to someone else.
Debtags Package Search. Enrico Zini announced an experimental search engine for Debian packages on the basis of debtags information. The search starts with a normal text search, and then continues with categories. Since it is a prototype the engine is currently slow.
LCA05: Call for Presentations. Matthew Palmer called for presentations for the upcoming small Debian conference at the 23rd and 24th of January 2006 prior to the Linux Conference Australia. The topic should be related to Debian and could be a normal presentation, discussion, tutorial or a story of grand success.
Automated Testing for Packages. Ian Jackson proposed an interface for packages to describe included tests that can be run automatically. This should help find regressions in more recent versions of packages. The format shall be RFC822-style again and describe limitations or side effects as well.
Debian Developer's Packages Overview. Christoph Berg announced new features for the packages overview page. Arbitrary packages can be added to the page, the system can be configured to display additional user-defined sections, recently uploaded version are displayed and data from the popularity contest is included as well.
No uncompressed Packages Files anymore. Ian Bruce noticed
that the Debian package archive doesn't provide uncompressed
Packages files anymore. Jörg Jaspert explained
that this change was announced three years ago already. Goswin Brederlow added
that apt from
experimental is able to use the recently provided differential
Automatic File Updates in Alioth. Frank Küster wondered
how files on Alioth could be kept
up-to-date with the Subversion repository
and already proposed to use a
post-hook. Enrico Zini explained
his way of updating the web pages by using a mail trigger and an anonymous
Descriptions for Dummy and Meta Packages. Enrico Zini asked for consistent descriptions for meta and dummy packages so that they aren't tagged wrongly and future package managers can handle them properly. A metapackage is used to pull in other packages. On the contrary, a dummy package is used for smooth upgrades of packages and can safely be removed afterwards.
PHP License Status.. Jeremy Bouse asked for clarification regarding the PHP licenses as to whether or not they qualify as free since many PEAR packages use them. Steve Langasek explained that the licenses itself are considered free but not suitable for anything which is not PHP.
Security Updates. You know the drill. Please make sure that you update your systems if you have any of these packages installed.
- DSA 898: phpgroupware -- Several vulnerabilities.
- DSA 899: egroupware -- Several vulnerabilities.
- DSA 900: fetchmail -- Potential information leak.
- DSA 901: gnump3d -- Several vulnerabilities.
- DSA 902: xmail -- Arbitrary code execution.
- DSA 903: unzip -- Unauthorised permissions modification.
- DSA 904: netpbm-free -- Arbitrary code execution.
- DSA 905: mantis -- Several vulnerabilities.
- DSA 906: sylpheed -- Arbitrary code execution.
New or Noteworthy Packages. The following packages were added to the unstable Debian archive recently or contain important updates.
- eidviewer -- Application to read out information from the Belgian electronic ID card.
- festlex-ifd -- Italian support for Festival.
- octave2.9 -- GNU Octave language for numerical computations (2.9 branch).
- paredit-el -- Minor Emacs mode for structurally editing Lisp code.
- php5-mapscript -- Module for php5-cgi to use mapserver.
- qa-assistant -- Checklist assistant.
- slang-cfitsio -- Read and write FITS files from S-Lang.
- trackballs-dbg -- Debugging symbols for Trackballs.
- wavpack -- Audio codec (lossy and lossless) - encoder and decoder.
- xtrace -- Trace communication between X client and server.
- zpkg -- Build software distributions based on the Python distutils package.
Orphaned Packages. 1 package was orphaned this week and requires a new maintainer. This makes a total of 201 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.
Removed Packages. 35 packages have been removed from the Debian archive during the past week:
- libcap2 -- Support for POSIX.1e capabilities
Bug#242810: Request of QA, no interest, libcap1 exists
- jslaunch -- Joystick button shell command execution/shutdown tool
Bug#252152: Request of QA, no interest
- bbconf -- Blackbox configuration utility
Bug#259581: Request of QA, dead upstream
- int-fiction-installer -- Installer for interactive fiction games from the if-archive.
Bug#260719: Request of QA, no interest
- mmm-mode -- Multiple Major Mode for Emacs
Bug#274137: Request of QA, no interest
- aggregate -- CIDR network aggregation and filtering
Bug#290264: Request of Maintainer, name-conflict with isc's aggregate, not used much
- xt-sdf2 -- Programmers tools for manipulating SDF2 formalism
Bug#300569: Request of QA, orphaned, no interest
- xt-aterm -- Data type (Tree) for exchange in distributed applications
Bug#300570: Request of QA, orphaned, no interest
- xt-toolbuslib -- C Libraries needed to connect to the ToolBus
Bug#300571: Request of QA, orphaned, no interest
- xt-toolbus -- Software architecture for distributed applications
Bug#300572: Request of QA, orphaned, no interest
- python-slang -- Python bindings for S-LANG
Bug#314994: Request of QA, orphaned, uninstallable, no upstream activity
- woody -- Hierarchic text editor
Bug#314996: Request of QA, orphaned, uninstallable, no upstream activity
- tuxracer -- Dummy transition package
Bug#322069: Request of maintainer, obsolete dummy package
- bonobo-activation -- GNOME Bonobo support binaries (dummy package)
Bug#330677: Request of maintainer, deprecated
- heaplayers -- High-performance memory allocators
Bug#332536: Request of QA, orphaned, RC buggy, no interest
- irssi-snapshot -- The irssi IRC client (Development version)
Bug#336475: Request of QA, outdated, older than regular packages
- linuxsampler -- Realtime audio sampler
Bug#336568: Request of maintainer, Legal issues
- libs11n -- Powerful, extensible C++ serialisation framework
Bug#336660: Request of maintainer, obsolete
- wdg-html-reference -- WDGs HTML 3.2, HTML 4, and CSS references
Bug#337035: Request of maintainer, non-free
- gccchecker -- Memory access debugger for C language development
Bug#337558: Request of maintainer, dead upstream; functionality superseded by valgrind
- ec-fonts-mftraced -- EC PostScript Type1 renderings and TFMs of the EC variants
Bug#337890: Request of maintainer, has never been part of a stable release; obsoleted by lilypond 2.6
- gnome-cpufreq-applet -- CPU Frequency Scaling Monitor applet for GNOME
Bug#338338: Request of maintainer, superseded by gnome-applets >= 2.10
- db4.1 -- Berkeley v4.1 Database Utilities
Bug#338354: Request of maintainer, superseded by db4.3
- libant1.6-java -- Java based build tool like make -- library
Bug#338654: Request of maintainer, superseded by ant
- licq-plugin-jonsgtk -- Graphical user interface plug-in for Licq using GTK+
Bug#338890: Request of maintainer, dead upstream; alternatives available
- libsapdbc7.5.01-java -- JDBC interface to the MaxDB database system
Bug#338893: Request of maintainer, superseded by libsapdbc-java
- tix8.1 -- Tix library for Tk, version 8.1 -- runtime package
Bug#338894: Request of maintainer, superseded by tix
- gnumach1 -- GNU version of the Mach microkernel version 1.
Bug#339916: Request of maintainer, superseded by gnumach
- python2.X-libplot -- Python wrapper for GNU libplot
Bug#335524: Request of maintainer, dead upstream, superseded by python2.X-biggles
- gnome-pkgview -- Display the version of your GNOME 2 desktop
Bug#332917: Request of Maintainer, Obsolete
- zope -- Open Source web application server
Bug#335488: Request of maintainer, superseded by zope2.7, zope2.8 and zope3
- pts-tetex-cm-super -- TeX font package with CM (EC) in Type1 in T1, T2*, TS1, X2 enc
Bug#338629: Request of maintainer, superseded by cm-super
- lsh -- Baby shell for novices with DOS compatible commands
Bug#338763: Request of maintainer, buggy, dead upstream, namespace conflict
- osh -- Operator's Shell
Bug#338764: Request of maintainer, RC-buggy
- (lib)inti-* -- integrated C++ foundation classes for GTK+ development
Bug#334991: Request of maintainer, superseded by gfccore and gfcui
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This issue of Debian Weekly News was edited by Martin 'Joey' Schulze.