Debian Weekly News - September 5th, 2006

Welcome to this year's 36th issue of DWN, the weekly newsletter for the Debian community. Alexander Sack called for people to test upcoming security updates to the Mozilla packages for sarge. Ben Hutchings has managed to upload the final files for DebConf session videos. Three documentary videos filmed by Biella Coleman will follow later.

Etch Release Advertisement. Gustavo Franco suggested to ask for donations specific for a release advertisement. Joey Schulze raised some questions to get a clearer picture. The goal is to publish advertisements in large newspapers and magazines to get a press coverage like the past Firefox campaign.

New Tcl/Tk Team. Chris Waters announced the foundation of the Tcl/Tk team to co-maintain Tcl/Tk and some of its add-ons. To accomplish this he has created a project on Alioth and set up a mailing list for discussing Debian's Tcl/Tk infrastructure and policy.

Automatic Building of Packages. Matej Cepl suggested to delete all developer-supplied binary packages and recompile the source packages by a build daemon so that potentially build errors caused by a broken environment are avoided. Sven Luther explained that this feature has been disabled because packages had been uploaded that hadn't even been compiled on the developer's machine.

Swiss Bug Squashing Party. Martin Krafft announced a one-day bug squashing party in Zürich, Switzerland on Saturday, September 9th, sponsored by /ch/open, Google, and the Artificial Intelligence Laboratory of the University of Zürich. The second bug squashing party will take place on October 6th to 8th at the same location.

Permission for Quotes. Sebastian Wangnick wondered if citing small portions of text or code is allowed without asking for permission and with ignoring a potential license and presumed that quoting as an illustration or explanation is allowed by German copyright but using foreign code as a mandatory element in the software would not be OK. Michael Poole added that including a section of code containing creative expression for functional purposes rather than teaching, commentary, or similar purposes is not fair practice.

Package Archive Improvements. Anthony Towns explained that future improvements of the archive software will permit packages to be installed directly into the archive. This will remove the accepted queue and allow more than one daily archive reorganisation and mirror push. However, this will also remove the chance to delete a package from the queue before it gets installed which was necessary four times during past years.

Bug Squashing Marathon. Martin Zobel-Helas sent a reminder about the bug squashing party in Vienna, Austria, at September 8th to 10th and explained the process. The RC bug squashing howto by Steve Langasek gives a good introduction and is probably a must-read for beginners. He also added a lot of tasks everybody could do to help Debian move forward with the release of etch.

New CD Writing Tools. Jörg Jaspert called for testers of the new cdrkit package and the new wodim program. They will be shipped with etch and replace the old cdrtools collection. This fork is the result of several nearly endless discussions about incompatible licenses used by upstream which not only Debian suffered from. Other vendors are invited to participate in this effort as well.

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. 5 packages were orphaned this week and require a new maintainer. This makes a total of 322 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. 1 package has 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, Martin Krafft and Martin 'Joey' Schulze.