Debian Weekly News - March 13th, 2007
Welcome to this year's 4th issue of DWN, the newsletter for the Debian community. The Debian listmaster determined as part of the spring cleaning effort several unused and obsolete lists that will be closed down. Tony Mobily noted that the last GIF patent has finally expired. Gustavo Franco reported that Second Life runs on Debian servers because it is suited to scaling massively with a small IT staff.
Directory for Web Applications. Paul Cager wondered
what directory should be used as document root for a small web server he is
packaging. Luis Matos noted
that packages like phpsysinfo use
/usr/share/<packagename> and symbolic
/var/www/<packagename>. Sean Finney explained
that the proper way to include web applications is via an alias in the web
server configuration and pointed to the Webapps Policy
Manual written by the Debian Webapps Team.
Release Status of the Motorola 680x0 Port. Bill Allombert reported that the last remaining showstopper for the m68k port has been fixed since etch contains GCC 4.1.1-21 for all architectures. Stephen Marenka added that the inclusion may be considered when the number of uninstallable packages in the testing distribution is as low as for other architectures.
Handling of inactive Debian Accounts. Jörg Jaspert announced that the account managers will lock unused accounts based on the ongoing Debian Project Leader election and other sources to measure developers activities and project participation. Depending on the elapsed time the developer will have to go through a reduced new maintainer process to reactivate their account.
One Laptop per Child Software on Debian. The human interface for the One Laptop per Child initiative is Free Software and can be installed on Debian unstable. sugar-jhbuild provides one of the easiest ways to install Sugar. All packages required for building are available in unstable and experimental.
Google's Summer of Code 2007. Anthony Towns reported that Google is running a Summer of Code again this year, seeking project applications until March 12th. Stefano Zacchiroli referred to the Wiki page coordinating Debian's participation which already lists several tasks. Students will work on accepted projects from end of May to end of August.
Offline Key for stable Updates of Etch. Goswin von Brederlow asked if the etch release will be signed with an offline key. Martin Zobel-Helas added that etch and every point release will be signed with both keys (online and offline) and explained that the key is already created and Andreas Barth is working to integrate it into debian-archive-keyring.
Better Internationalisation Support in Installer Manual. Frans Pop announced support for translated entities in the installation guide of the Debian-Installer, using a patch proposed by Miroslav Kure. Christian Perrier formerly noticed that the manual contained several custom entities that couldn't be translated into other languages.
Bharat Operating System Solutions GNU/Linux 1.0. Chandan M C announced that the Indian distribution BOSS GNU/Linux 1.0 is based on Debian GNU/Linux 4.0. It consists of a pleasing desktop environment coupled with Indian languages support and packages relevant for use in the government. The long-term goal is to localise the system into all 22 official Indian languages to support people who don't understand English and are thus denied Free Software's benefits. The National Resource Centre for Free/Open Source Software chose Debian for its high versatility and reliability as well as the guarantee to always remain 100 % Free Software.
Binary Upload Restrictions. James Troup explained that reproducibility and logging of automatic package builds together with build effort coordination caused binary-only uploads to be denied for several architectures and suites. Emulated or cross-compiled package builds are still considered potentially harmful and are thus not encouraged. He added implementation details and illustrated the events that lead to these restrictions.
Closing unreproducible Bugs. Julien Valroff
wondered when a maintainer may close an unreproducible bug report. Neil Williams added
that it should be taken into account whether the submitter is responsive and
whether the bug report includes sufficient information. He asserted that the
unreproducible tag has a similar meaning as
moreinfo, i.e. the report should
stay open, especially if it indicates a crash.
Babelbox with Etch Support. Frans Pop announced that he has updated babelbox to support the upcoming etch release. Babelbox is a set of scripts and tools to set up a machine that will continuously run fully automated installations in different languages using both the graphical and the textual installer. Between each installation it will boot into the installed system and log into GNOME for a short period of time.
Debian Project Leader Election. Manoj Srivastava announced that Wouter Verhelst, Aigars Mahinovs, Gustavo Franco, Sam Hocevar, Steve McIntyre, Raphael Hertzog, Anthony Towns and Simon Richter have nominated themselves for the upcoming Debian Project Leader election. On February 25th, right after the nomination phase, the campaigning phase begun during which the candidates will answer questions regarding their plans and ideas. Sven Luther who was also a project leader candidate withdrew his candidacy.
French Debconf Translation of Debian completed. Christian Perrier announced that Debian's Debconf templates in unstable are now fully translated into the French language thanks to the continuous work of the French localisation team and the whole internationalisation community. A similar effort is also ongoing for several other languages with a steady progress.
Security Updates. You know the drill. Please make sure that you update your systems if you have any of these packages installed.
- DSA 1259: fetchmail -- Information disclosure.
- DSA 1260: imagemagick -- Arbitrary code execution.
- DSA 1261: PostgreSQL -- Several vulnerabilities.
- DSA 1262: gnomemeeting -- Arbitrary code execution.
- DSA 1263: clamav -- Denial of service.
- DSA 1264: php4 -- Several vulnerabilities.
- DSA 1265: Mozilla -- Several vulnerabilities.
New or Noteworthy Packages. The following packages were added to the unstable Debian archive recently or contain important updates.
- afnix — Compiler and run-time for the AFNIX programming language.
- aiccu — SixXS Automatic IPv6 Connectivity Client Utility.
- biblememorizer — Bible verses memoriser.
- cbm — Display the current network traffic in colours.
- concalc — Console calculator.
- coolkey — Smart Card PKCS #11 cryptographic module.
- dbmail — Base package for the dbmail email solution.
- dds — Bridge double dummy solver - frontend.
- git-gui — Fast, scalable, distributed revision control system (GUI).
- gkrelltop — Top three intensive processes plugin for gkrellm.
- glchess — 2D/3D chess interface.
- ii — Minimalist FIFO and filesystem-based IRC client.
- keyjnotegui — KDE frontend for the presentation program KeyJnote.
- linuxdcpp — Linux port of the famous dc++ client.
- lwat — LDAP Web-based Administration Tool.
- magicor — Puzzle game in the spirit of Solomon's key.
- oolite — Space-sim game Oolite ported to GNUStep/OpenGL Linux.
- podget — Podcast aggregator/downloader optimised for cron.
- provami — Graphical interface to DB-All.e databases.
- sbcinfo — Subband codec (SBC) analyser.
- schedtool — Queries/alters process' scheduling policy and CPU affinity.
- sigit — Small utility to change signatures randomly.
- slice2html — Slice to HTML translator.
- slice2rb — Slice to Ruby translator.
- speedometer — Measure and display the rate of data across a network connection.
- svn-load — Enhanced import facility for Subversion.
- taktuk — Efficient, large scale, parallel remote execution of commands.
- tomatoes — I Have No Tomatoes - tomato smashing game.
- ttf-tuffy — Tuffy Font Family.
- treil — Tree structure into tiles.
- tss — Terminal ScreenSaver.
- ttf2tex — TrueType font installer for Unix.
- unadf — Extract files from an Amiga Disk File dump (.adf).
- x264 — Video encoder for the H.264/MPEG-4 AVC standard.
- xcircuit — Draw circuit schematics or almost anything.
- xen-shell — Console based Xen administration utility.
- xmoto-edit — Editor for xmoto, a 2D motocross platform game.
- zoneminder — Linux video camera security and surveillance solution.
- zzuf — Transparent application input fuzzer.
Orphaned Packages. 27 packages were orphaned since the
last issue and
require a new maintainer. This makes a total of 369 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.
- ami — X input method server for Korean text input. (Bug#413305)
- babygimp — Icon editor in Perl-Tk. (Bug#412626)
- bongo — Flexible and usable media player for Emacs. (Bug#413148)
- camas — Versatile WebMail system for the Caudium WebServer. (Bug#411674)
- caudium — Extensible WWW server written in Pike. (Bug#411675)
- dbengine — Plug 'n play Web interface for MySQL and PostgreSQL. (Bug#411819)
- dnsdoctor — DNS (Domain Name System) checking tool. (Bug#410901)
- dvbstream — Broadcast a DVB Transport stream over a LAN. (Bug#412480)
- dvbtune — Simple tuning application for DVB cards. (Bug#412476)
- emacs-snapshot — GNU Emacs editor (development snapshot). (Bug#413149)
- emms — Emacs MultiMedia System. (Bug#411422)
- gtkeyboard — Highly-configurable on-screen keyboard for mouse-typing. (Bug#412771)
- kiwi — Graphical framework to construct simple UI. (Bug#414259)
- kvdr — DVB (digital TV) Video Disk Recorder for KDE. (Bug#412469)
- linux-igd — Linux UPnP Internet Gateway Device. (Bug#411875)
- mtoolsfm — Graphical user interface for accessing dos formatted floppies. (Bug#412770)
- pexts — Pike modules. (Bug#411678)
- pike-public.network.pcap — Pike interface module for the pcap library. (Bug#411679)
- pike-public.parser.xml2 — Libxml2-based XML parser module for Pike. (Bug#411680)
- pike-public.protocols.syslog — Pike module implementing the Syslog protocol. (Bug#411682)
- pike-public.tools.configfiles — Pike module for accessing ini-style configurations. (Bug#411683)
- pike7.6 — Recommended meta package for Pike 7.6. (Bug#411684)
- pike7.7 — Recommended meta package for Pike 7.7. (Bug#411685)
- prolog-el — Emacs major mode for editing Prolog code. (Bug#411424)
- s48-refman — Unofficial reference manual for Scheme48. (Bug#411423)
- scheme48 — Simple, modular, and lightweight Scheme implementation. (Bug#411425)
- tramp — Remote file access in Emacs. (Bug#413146)
Removed Packages. 19 packages have been removed from the Debian archive since the last issue:
- xbox-cromwell — Xbox BIOS image
Bug#377862: Request of QA, orphaned, few popcon installs, buggy.
- ccc — Compaq C Compiler for Linux Alpha
Bug#399101: Request of QA, orphaned, unused, broken, alternatives available.
- firefox-locale-uk — Firefox Ukrainian language/region package
Bug#403748: Request of QA, superseded by iceweasel-l10n.
- emacs-color-themes — Color themes for Emacs
Bug#404883: Request of QA, superseded by emacs-goodies-el, orphaned.
- mbpeventd — Apple MacBook Pro & MacBook hotkeys event handler
Bug#405839: Request of maintainer, superseded by pommed.
- swingwt — Swing/AWT API over SWT library for development
Bug#405891: Request of QA, orphaned, no rev-deps, few popcon installs, alternatives available.
- xkeysw — Keyboard layout switch for the X Window System
Bug#405893: Request of QA, uninstallable, maintainer MIA, few popcon installs.
- gnobog — GNOME Bookmarks Organiser
Bug#405899: Request of QA, orphaned, RC-buggy, GNOME 1 package.
- jpilot-syncmal — MAL (AvantGo) plugin for jpilot (Palm Pilot desktop)
Bug#405946: Request of maintainer, FTBFS since libmal-dev is no more available.
- malsync — Allows a PalmOS PDA to synchronise to a MAL server
Bug#405947: Request of maintainer, FTBFS using new pilot-link API.
- ldmud — LDMud driver
Bug#406524: Request of QA, low user count.
- melon — Mail notifier with configurable icons, xbiff replacement
Bug#406573: Request of maintainer, abandoned upstream, better alternatives exist.
- autodebtest — Automatic as-installed testing for Debian packages
Bug#406585: Request of QA, superseded by autopkgtest.
- mozilla-firefox-locale-all — All languages package for Firefox
Bug#407523: Request of maintainer, superseded by iceweasel-l10n.
- sdljump — Platform game where you have to jump up to survive
Bug#407539: Request of maintainer, package has been renamed to gnujump.
- repostools — GNU R set of tools to interface and construct R repositories
Bug#408587: Request of maintainer, obsolete, no rev-deps.
- firefox — lightweight web browser based on Mozilla
Bug#409883: Request of maintainer, superseded by iceweasel.
- gst-ffmpeg — FFmpeg plugin for GStreamer
Bug#411258: Request of maintainer, superseded by gstreamer0.10-ffmpeg, security issues.
- gnomemeeting — GnomeMeeting Voice Over IP Suite
Bug#413280: Request of security team, obsoleted by ekiga.
Want to continue reading DWN? Please help us create this newsletter. We still need more volunteer writers who watch the Debian community and report about what is going on. Please see the contributing page to find out how to help. We're looking forward to receiving your mail at email@example.com.
To receive this newsletter weekly in your mailbox, subscribe to the debian-news mailing list.
Back issues of this newsletter are available.
This issue of Debian Weekly News was edited by Felipe Augusto van de Wiel, Sebastian Feltel and Martin 'Joey' Schulze.