Debian Weekly News - May 2nd, 2006

Welcome to this year's 18th issue of DWN, the weekly newsletter for the Debian community. Jörg Jaspert reported that the web content for past Debian Conferences is online again. In an effort to remove old cruft Andreas Barth proposed to remove packages from unstable which are neither available in the current sarge nor in the upcoming etch distribution.

PowerPC Port needs Help. Frans Pop asked for help with the PowerPC port of the debian-installer. In particular someone is needed to take responsibility for architecture-specific issues. This comprises of regularly testing of the installer, keeping an eye on installation reports, taking care of architecture specific components of the installer, resolving bugs and taking care of daily builds.

Relicensing the Debian Web Pages. Javier Fernández-Sanguino Peña pointed out that there is still an open bug in the bug tracking system which is about the non-DFSG-free license for the current Debian web pages. It was suggested to use an modified FreeBSD documentation license. Some others want to use the GPL for the web pages. There are also technical, legal and practical problems which needs to be resolved before the license could be changed. The discussion is still ongoing on the debian-www mailing list.

Avoiding native Debian Packages. Panu Kalliokoski wondered why one should not add Debian packaging information to upstream packages. Lars Wirzenius explained the benefits as keeping package fixes out of upstream and to simplify things if the upstream maintainer is no longer a Debian developer. Henning Makholm added that the lack of Debian-specific information indicates that the package might be useful by any GNU/Linux distribution.

/usr/doc Transition finished. Joey Hess announced that he has opened bug reports for the last remaining packages which still create /usr/doc symlinks. This final step marks the end of the era of regular documentation in /usr/doc.

Device Mapper Support for Block Device ID Library. Theodore Ts'o reported that he has received a patch which allows the block device id library to properly handle device mapper partitions. Since this would essentially drag in three more libraries into everybody's systems he wondered if this would be acceptable. Mike Hommey stated that two of them have already been added via other packages.

New Features of Buildd.Net. Ingo Jürgensmann announced new features of such as tracking packages for sarge backports, various new package state checks, estimation of time needed for building all packages in a queue, a new mailing list for discussions and as a bonus the source is available under a sane license.

Stable Installer Update. Frans Pop proposed how to deal with ABI changes introduced by the recent kernel security updates and to rebuild the installer images using the new kernel udebs. This will break some existing installation images. The main problem is going to be testing the new images as it will not be possible to run an installation and download udebs from different sources.

Removing Log Files during Package Purge? Martin Krafft proposed to alter the policy to not remove log files upon package purge. He argued that this removal may put an administrator into legal trouble with the authorities in Europe. Marco d'Itri suggested to run a backup prior to the package purge or not purge it at all if not all files should be removed anyway.

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 Sebastian Feltel and Martin 'Joey' Schulze.