Debian Weekly News - February 28th, 2006

Welcome to this year's 9th issue of DWN, the weekly newsletter for the Debian community. Lars Wirzenius de-nominated himself from the upcoming project leader election due to aspects and parts of the project that he can't emotionally deal with. In a former article he already investigated the role of the project leader and came to the conclusion that the important thing is to inspire and not to force.

Call for Votes for the GFDL Position Statement. Manoj Srivastava called for votes on a General Resolution to address the Debian project's position on the GNU Free Documentation License. The result of this vote will affect the way the Debian projects handles documentation released under this particular license. The vote distinguishes between works with and without invariant sections.

Implementing the Mirror Split. Anthony Towns announced that will soon stop including a number of architectures for etch (testing) and sid (unstable). Since the total size of the archive is currently 170 GB official mirrors don't have to include the entire archive anymore. A special rsync module allows mirror admins to mirror the entire archive if they like to, though.

Debian Project Leader Election 2006. Manoj Srivastava announced the candidates for this year's project leader election: Jeroen van Wolffelaar, Ari Pollak, Steve McIntyre, Anthony Towns, Andreas Schuldei, Jonathan Walther, and Bill Allombert. The platforms for these candidates will be published as soon as they are available. Don Armstrong and Thaddeus H. Black have agreed to be debate chairs.

Inclusion of the AMD64 Architecture. Anthony Towns noted that various changes have been made to create Packages files in unstable, experimental and testing to support future amd64 uploads. In a couple of weeks when the mirror split transition is over, the amd64 autobuilder will get all packages rebuilt.

Weekly Polls and Social Pressure. Raphaƫl Hertzog proposed to run weekly polls on various issues, including social problems, which could be used as a basis for listmasters. Those polls should give a pretty good overview of the current opinion inside the project. Alberto Gonzalez Iniesta opposed this idea and MJ Ray considered this a bad idea that will lead to improper decisions.

Non-Maintainer Upload Policy. Mike Hommey wondered if it is still good practice to notify the maintainer before doing a non-maintainer upload. Eric Dorland quoted Andreas Barth and confirmed that developers are still required to notify the maintainer via the bug tracking system before uploading.

Essential Python Packages? Eric Cooper noticed that python-minimal is installed as an essential package. Matthias Klose explained that this was done as preparation for a later change in the package. Anthony Towns has reverted this in the meantime since it drags in most of the python distribution in Debian.

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. 26 packages were orphaned this week and require a new maintainer. This makes a total of 239 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.