Debian Weekly News - August 8th, 2006

Welcome to this year's 32nd issue of DWN, the weekly newsletter for the Debian community. Enrico Zini noticed that the description for Pike packages contains a long explanation of Pike which produces erroneous search results, Helmut Wollmersdorfer added that PHP packages have similar issues. Erich Schubert called for artists to design artwork for the etch release that could be used as the desktop background.

New SPI Board Officers elected. David Graham, secretary of Software in the Public Interest, Inc. (SPI), announced that during the board meeting on August 1st Bdale Garbee was elected as president, Michael Schultheiss as vice president, Neil McGovern as secretary and Josh Berkus as treasurer for the 2006-2007 fiscal year. The last three board members have beforehand been elected to the board by a total of 125 voters (33 % of all eligible voters).

Debian Architectures Statistics. Petter Reinholdtsen reported on the architecture distribution in Debian, as reported by the popularity contest. He noted that an increasing number of users are using the ARM port whereas the Alpha and Sparc ports are losing market share. Joey Hess suggested that the Linksys NSLU2 machines are a good reason for this increase in ARM users. The popularity contest package is also used to decide the number of the installation CD for a particular package.

New Information Media for Users. Wolfgang Lonien announced the creation of The Debian User, a website that will aggregate thoughts and comments of Debian users. The same day, Andreas Barth announced the launch of DebianTimes, which is intended to deliver news items to developers and interested Debian users. DebianTimes is available on the web and as an RSS feed.

Bits from the Stable Release Team. Andreas Barth announced that Dann Frazier became a member of the Stable Release Team to handle and improve kernel updates. A new webpage created by Martin Zobel-Helas is also available to track packages that are waiting to be accepted for proposed-updates.

Debian adopted in the Extremadura. The project announced that the local flavour of Debian GNU/Linux 3.1 has been adopted by the local government of the autonomous region of Extremadura in Spain. All workers of the public administration will also use Open Document Formats for their office applications as well as PDF for document exchange. Future versions of additional software also need to be distributed under a free license.

Debian for the Uninitiated. Lars Wirzenius wondered how usable Debian with GNOME is for the uninitiated, or more specifically, for someone who has been using Windows for a number of years, and switches to Debian. The experiment will continue for a couple of months. The first use went pretty well, with only a couple of real problems which he outlined.

MiniDebconf Colombia. Santiago Ruano Rincón announced that there will be a Mini DebConf held at Popayan, Cauca on the 19th and 20th of August. There will be talks, a hacklab, a bugsquashing party and so on. The conference is organised through a Wiki page. All interested people are welcome to attend.

Hosting for Debian-related Mailing Lists. Pascal Hakim reported that he has set up which aims at providing space for Debian-related mailing lists and archives, including package lists, user groups lists and mailing lists for special events. The service could also act as a temporary server for testing new mailing lists before making them official on Pascal created a set of rules for using his service.

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. 3 packages were orphaned this week and require a new maintainer. This makes a total of 329 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. 8 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 David Graham, Mohammed Adnène Trojette, Sebastian Feltel and Martin 'Joey' Schulze.