Debian Weekly News - October 31st, 2006

Welcome to this year's 40th issue of DWN, the newsletter for the Debian community. This DebianHelp site contains a lot of information for Debian beginners. Since DWN is not published weekly anymore Joey Hess started to write weekly summaries to fill the gap. Parts have been included in this issue already. Jorge Salamero Sanz set up a repository with ported applications for the Nokia 770 web tablet.

Source-less Binary Objects in the Debian Linux 2.6 Packages. Frederik Schüler announced packages for Linux 2.6.18 and noted that this release contains all firmware blobs shipped upstream, even those that used to be pruned. He explained that the kernel team initially wanted to wait for a positive general resolution vote outcome but anticipates this to be delayed indefinitely and decided that this was not acceptable from a release point of view.

Practical Linux Day in Gießen. On October 21st the sixth Practical Linux Day was held at the University of Applied Sciences in Gießen, Germany. Debian participated with an own booth, which was managed in cooperation with the people of Skolelinux/DebianEdu. Martin 'Joey' Schulze also delivered an introductory talk about the Debian project.

Videos of the Internationalisation Meeting. Nicolas François announced videos recorded during sessions of the first internationalisation meeting that took place from September 7th to 9th in Casar de Caceres, Extremadura, Spain. The participants agreed to set up an internationalisation server that will hosted in the datacenter of the Junta de Extremadura. Users are asked to test the new installer in their native language and report bugs to ensure that the translations are done well.

Debian Conference Videos. Ben Hutchings announced DVDs with talks from this year's Debian Conference in Oaxtepec, Mexico, prepared by the video team. There are two discs with all English sessions and extras, and one disc with all Spanish sessions and all DebianDay sessions. The DVD images are available for download along with the respective source videos. You can also order the DVDs in a nice box.

Debian Internationalisation Server. Christian Perrier announced the server that will be used to build the internationalisation infrastructure for the Debian project. The server is hosted in the Junta de Extremadura datacenter, in Badajoz, Spain. A pootle server is running on the server with environments for alternative or complementary software. It is also used to extract the localisation material of the Debian packages.

Resumé Practical Linux Gießen. Martin 'Joey' Schulze reported that the Debian project shared a booth at this year's Practical Linux conference with Skolelinux and that both projects delivered a talk. 40 to 50 people were listening to each speech which seems to be quite good for such a small event. Kurt Gramlich and himself filled in for another speaker as well and talked about several issues more detailed.

Call for Testing the Debian-Installer. Frans Pop called for testing the daily builds of the new debian-installer. The release candidate 1 of the installer is imminent and the goal is to squash as many bugs as possible. A wiki page gives an overview about the release and known issues. Testers are encouraged to file a bug report with the results of their installation against the virtual installation-report package.

Dunc-Tank Position Statement. Jörg Jaspert published a position statement signed by several developers in which they consider Dunc-Tank to be a major change to the Debian project culture. They also raised several unanswered questions and listed areas where developers have reduced their contribution because they lost motivation as a result.

Mplayer in Sid. The mplayer package has finally been accepted into the archive after the longest tenure in the NEW queue of any package ever uploaded into Debian. Congratulations to mplayer's maintainers and to the ftpmasters for resolving the licencing issues that kept mplayer out of Debian for so long. Depending on the videos to be played, non-free codecs from outside of Debian may be needed, though.

Installer String Freeze and Release Plans. In preparation for the first release candidate of the installer for etch, a string freeze has been going on, and changes to the installer are limited to bug fixing. Frans Pop posted details and a timeline for the release candidate. These preparations have already broken most beta 3 images.

Firefox becomes Iceweasel. Due to trademark issues the Debian project felt impelled to rename the Firefox web browser to Iceweasel and the Thunderbird mail client to Icedove. Roberto Sanchez explained that the new packages don't contain non-free artwork from the Mozilla Foundation and that security updates will be properly backported. The trademark policy requires that such packages are not distributed under the original name, hence the new names.

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. 48 packages were orphaned last month and require a new maintainer. This makes a total of 340 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 Thomas Bliesener, Thomas Viehmann, Sebastian Feltel, Felipe Augusto van de Wiel, Joey Hess and Martin 'Joey' Schulze.