Debian Weekly News - December 27th, 2005

Welcome to this 52nd and thus last issue of this year of DWN, the weekly newsletter for the Debian community. Merry Christmas to those readers who celebrate the Christian event and a Happy New Year to all of you who feel like celebrating New Years Eve. In an essay David Chisnall took a look at the cost of Free Software in connection to the freedom people gain by using Free Software.

Package Backports for Sarge. Norbert Tretkowski announced that eventually supports the current stable Debian release code-named sarge. Debian developers can upload their backported packages into the archive. Norbert also provided some notes on using for end users and developers.

The Debian KDE Team in an Interview. The Debian KDE team has been interviewed by "The people behind KDE", a site that aims to present the people involved in the KDE community. The interview features technical aspects as well as a some personal questions.

Status of Debian unstable. Kamaraju Kusumanchi started a Wiki page to summarise up current major unstable upgrade issues and to give some workarounds to users. Ari Pollack announced another Wiki page tracking the topic of the #debian-devel channel on which provides a useful idea of what is broken and what is fixed in sid. However, he recommends the use of apt-listbugs/apt-listchanges and debian-devel-announce.

Common Power Management Framework. Kevin Locke announced the creation of a project to create a common power-management framework for Debian. Developers will be able to respond to power-related events, regardless of architecture or daemon by installing a single script for the common event handler. This script will be properly handled even as new power-systems and daemons are created with no necessary changes from the developer.

Kernel Package Hooks Transition. Manoj Srivastava warned about new versions of kernel-package which may produce binary kernel packages whose postinst script fails, even though the kernel will work fine. This is a result of the conversion to debconf and scripts that expect an interactive installation script or produce output.

Next Release Architectures. Steve Langasek, member of the Debian release team, announced the end of the architecture requalification phase. As an outcome, the next stable Debian release called etch probably won't support the arm, m68k, s390 and sparc architectures. However, it will support the amd64 architecture for the first time.

Mozilla and Friends based on XULRunner? Mike Hommey reported about his plans to package xulrunner, which ought to become the central engine for all future Mozilla technology, meaning that all Mozilla products (firefox, thunderbird, etc.) will be built on top of it. The mid-term plan is to migrate the applications that use Mozilla as a platform (such as epiphany, galeon, kazehakase, etc.) to xulrunner.

Debian in Munich. The city of Munich published an update about their migration to a Debian-based GNU/Linux solution. The current steps are to migrate their document management to an OpenOffice-based solution so that both the current windows clients and the new GNU/Linux clients can use it. They also shipped the first test versions of the Debian-based client to users in order to get feedback. The client administration is based on FAI (fully automatic installation) and GOsa (Gonicus System Administrator).

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. 4 packages were orphaned this week and require a new maintainer. This makes a total of 174 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 Sebastian Feltel, Meike Reichle, Mohammed Adnène Trojette, Andreas Barth and Martin 'Joey' Schulze.