Debian Weekly News - July 11th, 2006

Welcome to this year's 28th issue of DWN, the weekly newsletter for the Debian community. Bruce Perens warned against patent holders filing law suits against Free Software developers after a suit has been filed against Red Hat. Steinar Gunderson noticed that the buildd network is really surprisingly fast these days when a package was built by eight architectures within an hour.

The debian-devel Mailing List. Cesare Leonardi wondered who is supposed to participate in discussions on the debian-devel mailing list since the attitude of some mails gave the impression that people who are not contributing actively in form of code were only second class list members. Matthew Garrett asserted that this merely means that if one is not participating in Debian development, one is not supposed to make demands to the project.

Hidden Files in Debian Packages. Klaus Ethgen noticed that several packages add hidden files inside of /usr. Linas ├ůvirblis added that these files may confuse security scanners and Henrique de Moraes Holschuh stated that it is a bad form to have hidden files anywhere but under the user's home directories. Mike Hommey revealed that the mentioned file helps component registration on upgrade and Joey Hess explained that mooix uses dotfiles as a flag to mark objects.

Debian Kernel with Bootsplash Graphic. Paul van der Vlis asked for a way to configure a boot graphic to the Debian kernel without the need to compile a kernel of his own. Paul Wise reported that splashy from experimental totally runs in user-land and doesn't require a kernel patch to take effect.

Dependency Resolution. Andreas Barth reported about a meeting with researchers from the Rencontres Mondiales du Logiciel Libre (RMLL) in which many ideas about dependencies in Debian were exchanged. The dependency web of Debian packages has been converted into the Boolean satisfiability problem (SAT) so that a normal resolver could find a solution. This produced some amusing outcome such as a Debian weather that represents the installability status of the packages or a SAT temperature that denotes the difficulty of resolving a set of dependencies.

Next Debian Conference in Edinburgh. Neil McGovern announced after a long meeting that the next Debian conference will take place in Edinburgh, United Kingdom. Another potential venue for this conference has been Sarajevo in Bosnia. Both locations have been visited before and a lot of discussion took place with both local teams.

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. 7 packages were orphaned this week and require a new maintainer. This makes a total of 321 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. To find out which orphaned packages are installed on your system the wnpp-alert program from devscripts may be helpful.

Removed Packages. 86 packages have been removed from the Debian archive during the past week:

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This issue of Debian Weekly News was edited by Martin 'Joey' Schulze.