Debian Weekly News - August 22nd, 2006

Welcome to this year's 34th issue of DWN, the weekly newsletter for the Debian community. Jörg Jaspert announced that the backports archive also understands the tilde character in version strings and that packages are set to NotAutomatic so that they shouldn't be updated automatically anymore. HP recently announced that they support Debian GNU/Linux on its ProLiant, BladeSystem servers, and the new HP t5725 Thin Client server.

Event Coordination in the German-speaking Area. Meike Reichle announced a new Wiki page for coordinating public events in the German-speaking area such as fairs, exhibitions and conferences in which the Debian projects participates. This is one result of a meeting of Debian event organisers last weekend. Alexander Schmehl added that the events section on the Debian website will be overhauled in the near future.

WNPP Bug Report Page. Hendrik Sattler noticed that the page for Work-Needing and Prospective Packages (WNPP) in the bug tracking system causes problems with Konqueror and Firefox due to the sheer size of 3 MB. Ben Armstrong reminded the existence of light pages with direct links to the different WNPP packages sections.

Review of Debian Development Tools. As part of his research on Debian, Martin Krafft asked about the tools that have been successfully adopted or those that have been rejected by the developers. Michael Banck mentioned CDBS, Alioth and Debian's Subversion repository, but Debhelper, patch management systems and distributed version control systems have also been widely adopted. Debian Developers also appreciated devscripts and package checkers like lintian, linda and piuparts. A list of tools is available.

New Desktop Features. Gustavo Noronha Silva announced the upload of a new version of update-notifier. This tool, that was initially made by Ubuntu, puts a notification icon in the notification area and warns the user about updates being available. The version of the Debian package notifies about reboot requirements for critical packages only and informs about Debian CDs/DVDs inserted in the drive. Such features should contribute to make Debian a nicer desktop distribution.

Publicity for Debian Events. Joey Schulze asked to emphasise events a bit more again. He suggested also more talks and workshops with a Debian background and more promotion. This would generate more interest by users to meet Debian people at exhibitions and conferences and would give developers a better chance to talk to users in person. It would also be nice if a report would be written after the event.

Alioth Updates. Roland Mas reported that the Alioth host costa now supports both git and bzr for hosting source archives. He added an explanation how to use both systems to access the repositories. User replication has also been improved so that the downtime drops from 15 minutes to only a few seconds.

Etch Kernel Schedule Proposal. Frederik Schüler suggested to select 2.6.18, which is to be released within the next four weeks, as final kernel for etch and freeze it at the beginning of November. Frans Pop, however, would prefer the kernel to remain in unstable at least one month before it migrates into testing.

New Architectures for Packages. Ludovic Brenta wondered how to inform build daemon that a package should be built on another architecture than before. Luk Claes answered that the maintainers of Packages-arch-specific need to be contacted. Wouter Verhelst added an explanation why the wanna-build database doesn't use control files but archive index files.

Managing Packages with Subversion. Marcus Better recently started to use subversion to maintain his packages and wondered what the recommended repository layout would be. The point of having a common layout is that it would be possible to write support tools that make this layout less cumbersome to work with.

Creative Commons 3.0 Public Draft. Evan Prodromou reported on the public draft of the next version of Creative Commons licenses. The changes from the 2.x version are largely due to an effort to make the licenses compatible with the Debian Free Software Guidelines (DFSG). He wondered if the anti-DRM requirement in the license draft, without a parallel distribution proviso, make it incompatible with the DFSG?

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. 13 packages were orphaned this week and require a new maintainer. This makes a total of 328 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. 24 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 Sebastian Feltel, Mohammed Adnène Trojette and Martin 'Joey' Schulze.