Debian Weekly News - August 29th, 2006

Welcome to this year's 35th issue of DWN, the weekly newsletter for the Debian community. Bug squashing parties have been announced for September 8th to 10th in Vienna and for September 15th to 17th in Jülich, Germany. OSDir has taken screenshots of the new graphical Debian installer. Petr Stehlik reported that the installation of sarge and etch worked flawlessly in the recently fixed version of ARAnyM, a 32bit Atari ST/TT/Falcon virtual machine.

General Resolution: Handling Firmware. Steve Langasek proposed a general resolution to establish how DFSG#2 should be understood to apply to firmware, especially when distributed with the Linux kernel. When accepted firmware will be considered as data without the requirement of matching source code. It would also clarify the situation for other works such as images, video, and fonts.

FrOSCon Report. Joey Schulze reported about the Debian presence at the first Free and Open Source Software Conference in Sankt Augustin, Germany. The Debian project successfully maintained a one-day conference and ran a booth in the exhibition area. This community event featured both official tracks and sub-conferences maintained by several projects. Alexander Wirt also managed to get some pretzels that looked like Debian swirls.

Event Coordination Meeting Report. Meike Reichle summarised the main results of the event coordination meeting. Several ideas were collected during the meeting how Debian booth participations and talks could be improved to make them more attractive to visitors. To help the booth organisers there are new FAQ and Howto Wiki pages.

Debian and Free Software in Cuba. David Moreno Garza wrote a report about his visit to Cuba as a representative of the Debian project. A workshop on package creation and maintenance and talks about Custom Debian Distributions, internationalisation and localisation were organised by David and Maykel Moya at the Mathematics and Computing Faculty in the University of Havana.

Translation of Package Descriptions. Martijn van Oosterhout announced that he wrote a system that can send and receive e-mails from the Debian Description Translation Project and provides a web frontend where translating actually takes place. The most important advantage over the pure e-mail interface is that this additional system provides a review mechanism for translations.

GIT Transition Plans. Ian Beckwith explained that /usr/bin/git will be maintained via alternatives. Both GNU Interactive Tools and Linus Torvalds' source code management system git provide the same program name. The GNU interactive tools have been renamed into gitfm to resolve this conflict and in etch will contain a wrapper that is able to execute the other program.

Updates for Debian Sarge. Martin Zobel-Helas announced the preparations done for the next stable update. It will include an updated version of the Debian Installer to reflect the recent kernel changes introduced by the last round of kernel security updates. Most other packages are updated to incorporate the security corrections that have accumulated.

New Features in Etch. Alexander Schmehl started to collect new features that Debian will probably include in the upcoming etch release. Nathanael Nerode additionally noted that systems upgraded from sarge don't see the benefits of certain changes in the installer such as special tuning of the Ext2 filesystem.

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. 4 packages were orphaned this week and require a new maintainer. This makes a total of 323 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.

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This issue of Debian Weekly News was edited by Sebastian Feltel, Mohammed Adnène Trojette, Tobias Toedter and Martin 'Joey' Schulze.