Debian Weekly News - September 19th, 2006

Welcome to this year's 38th issue of DWN, the weekly newsletter for the Debian community. David Barker thanked the project for the well developed etch distribution. Joey Schulze contemplated etch to be ready for release already. From Friday to Sunday a bug squashing party will be organised in Berlin, Germany.

Status of GNOME 2.16 in Debian. Frederic Peters announced a status page that helps tracking packages of GNOME 2.16 which has been released recently. Josselin Mouette added that it is planned to push packages for version 2.16 into experimental as soon as possible.

Report from Come 2 Linux. Joey Schulze reported about the Debian presence at the Come 2 Linux event in Essen, Germany. The Debian project maintained a booth in the exhibition area and delivered two talks which were well received. There was enough time and space at the booth to take care of visitors without many people queueing up.

Local DebConf7 Team Meeting. Steve McIntyre reported about several developers having met in Edinburgh, Scotland, to work out the bits that are needed for the Debian conference 7 next year. The team visited Teviot, the student centre that is planned to be used, and checked out several of the local hostels and public houses for suitability.

The Hurd with WLAN and PCMCIA. Michael Banck reported that the current GNU Mach upload has brought PCMCIA and WLAN with WEP encryption support to Debian GNU/Hurd. Earlier he stated that the latest gnumach and hurd packages are up-to-date with the developer CVS repository and hence include the work towards Berkeley Packet Filter support.

Debian Steering Committee? David Nusinov pondered about setting up a distribution steering committee. Ingo Jürgensmann considered this a good idea in general. David added that the bottom-up structure instead of top-down is a defining feature of Debian. Raphaël Hertzog suggested to replace the project leader with a steering board.

Setting up Subversion. Bert Heymans described in detail the required steps to set up a Subversion server including websvn with code colouring for easy repository browsing. This document includes the configuration of Apache 2 for Subversion WebDAV and contains some Subversion test commands.

PostgreSQL Transition Strategy. Peter Eisentraut explained that currently etch users who wish to install the postgresql package will end up with the older version and asked for advice. This situation occurs due to the transition to versioned PostgreSQL packages that can be installed in parallel.

APT Upgrade Problem. Ingo Jürgensmann discovered that when upgrading from sarge to etch, apt-get complains about untrusted source of packages because signatures couldn't be verified. Alexander Schmehl added that aptitude behaves the same and hence opened a release-critical bug report asking for a dependency against debian-archive-keyring.

Debian Installer Stance on non-free Firmware. Frans Pop stated that the installer team will not accept any structural changes to support loading firmware in the installer at this late stage before the release. In the long-term he would also prefer a solution that wouldn't require adding the entire non-free or contrib to the sources.list file.

Using Wikis for Discussions? Russell Coker suggested to use another mechanism instead of discussions lead via mail. He believes that endless discussions are more an illustration of the failings of mailing list culture than of failings of Debian. If each side had a Wiki page that they could modify then in a small amount of time there would be a set of two main consensus opinions which would each be explained clearly and summarised well.

Debian Boot Dependency Graph. Petter Reinholdtsen created a dependency graph of boot scripts now that a sufficiently large number of init scripts use the LSB convention. There's also a status summary for the packages used in a desktop installation. Nathanael Nerode added that the udev dependency information is not accurate since a lot of packages depend on udev running first.

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. 12 packages were orphaned this week and require a new maintainer. This makes a total of 315 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 and Martin 'Joey' Schulze.