Debian Project News - October 20th, 2008
Welcome to this year's 13th issue of DPN, the newsletter for the Debian
Some of the topics covered in this issue include:
- Bits from the Debian CD team
- Debian, software patents and archive layout
- Statistics about packages.debian.org usage
Bits from the Debian CD team
Steve McIntyre posted some
the Debian CD team. With the upcoming release of Debian GNU/Linux 5.0
Blu-ray Disc images will be available as well as CD and DVD images. For the
first time in several years, users should be able to fit all of the packages
for one architecture on a single disc. But due to the increased size of the
Debian archive and considerations of storage and network bandwidth (especially
on our mirrors) only a limited number of versions of each image will be
available for direct download on our mirrors.
All images will be available via Jigdo (a tool which creates images by downloading individual .deb files and assembling them into one .iso file), and most images for the popular architectures will be available as torrents, too.
He also gave some figures about the total numbers of images that need to be created for Lenny. Summarized over all architectures it comes to 414 CD images, 64 DVD images, and 13 Blu-ray Disc images.
Debian, software patents and archive layout
A recently announced Intent To Package
moonlight, an open source implementation of a patented proprietary product,
caused some discussion
regarding software patents. Packaging such software and
distributing it via our mirror network could be a legal risk for Debian and its
Paul Wise argued that problems caused by patented software are already
addressed by unofficial archives like
Reinhard Tartler pointed out some
flaws with these archives and
introducing a new section alongside main, contrib and non-free, with policy
adapted accordingly. His proposal, however, was criticised, too, for example the regression
of the section main not being
self contained any more.
Statistics about packages.debian.org usage
Since packages.debian.org has been moved to a new host sponsored by 1&1, Jörg Jaspert took the opportunity to publish some data about the usage of this service. Since the start of this year, packages.debian.org has already seen 5,777,672 unique visitors downloading the page 122,314,763 times (both numbers excluding bots, such as crawlers for search engines). Nearly half of the visitors went directly to packages.debian.org, while less than a quarter came by way of a search engine.
Unofficial bug tracker and delayed queue
The unofficial tracker for Release Critical bugs now incorporates bugs fixed by uploads to the so-called delayed queue. This makes it easier to track bugs needing to be worked on. The delayed queue is used for package uploads not carried out by the regular maintainer of the package (so-called NMUs).
Bits from the Eee PC team
Ben Armstrong delivered a report on the status of the port of Debian for the Eee PC netbooks. A recent upload of the Linux kernel fixed some thermal problems and solved issues with ACPI. Also, the ath5k driver included with the Linux kernel 2.6.27 supports the wireless adaptors of the 701, 900, 900A and 1000HD models, which previously required a non-free driver.
Policy for backporting KDE features
Sune Vuorela wondered how to deal with features introduced in recent versions of the desktop environment KDE. Other distributions often seem to backport new features to older versions they ship in their releases. He lists some pros and cons, and wonders whether Debian should do likewise.
Listing of debian.net domains
Nico Golde reported that he has removed his list of debian.net subdomains (which can be registered by any Debian Developer) due to privacy issues. He asks developers to add their debian.net subdomains to a wiki page.
Report from Skolelinux/Debian-edu gathering
Sune Vuorela reported on the recent gathering of Skolelinux/Debian-Edu developers. He spent some time working on educational videos and KDE related education packages as well as GNASH, a free software flash player.
The Debian Art team is seeking a slogan for the next stable release, Debian
Lenny. The discussion, as well as a poll, can be found in
the archives of the debian
publicity mailing list.
Systems Expo 2008
From Tuesday 21 October to Friday 24 October, the Debian Project will participate at the Systems expo 2008 in Munich, Germany. The Debian booth will be located in Area B2, Booth 315 along with other FLOSS projects. Please see the events page for further details.
Technical Dutch Open Source Event 2008
From Saturday 25 October to Sunday 26 October, the Debian Project will participate with a booth at the Technical Dutch Open Source Event (T-DOSE) in Eindhoven, Netherlands. Please see the events page for further details.
Since the previous issue of the Debian Project News, 7 applicants have been accepted as Debian Developers, and 3 as Debian Maintainers. Please welcome Adam Barratt, Julian Andres Klode, Jonny Lamb, Joachim Reichel, Bradley Smith, Behan Webster and Y Giridhar Appaji Nag as well as Emmanuel Bouthenot, Samuel Thibaul and David Paleino to our project!
Important Debian Security Advisories
Debian's Security Team recently released advisories for these packages (among others): iceweasel, openldap, ruby1.8, ruby1.9, linux-2.6.18 and libxml2. Please read them carefully and take the proper measures.
Please note that these are a selection of the more important security advisories of the last two weeks. If you need to be kept up to date about security advisories released by the Debian Security Team, please subscribe to the security mailing list for announcements.
New and noteworthy packages
The following packages were added to the unstable Debian archive recently (among others):
- antlr3-gcj -- language tool for constructing recognizers, compilers etc (native code)
- hotssh -- graphical interface to secure shell
- iceweasel-l10n-bn-in -- Bengali language package for Iceweasel
- iceweasel-l10n-gl -- Galician language package for Iceweasel
- iceweasel-l10n-hi -- Hindi language package for Iceweasel
- iceweasel-l10n-is -- Icelandic language package for Iceweasel
- iceweasel-l10n-kn -- Kannada language package for Iceweasel
- iceweasel-l10n-mr -- Marathi language package for Iceweasel
- iceweasel-l10n-te -- Telugu language package for Iceweasel
- iceweasel-l10n-th -- Thai language package for Iceweasel
- python-renderpm -- python low level render interface
- xen-linux-system-2.6.26-1-xen-686 -- XEN system with Linux 2.6.26 image on i686
- zshdb -- debugger for Z-Shell scripts
Currently 441 packages are orphaned and 124 packages are up for adoption. Please take a look at the recent reports to see if there are packages you are interested in or view the complete list of packages which need your help.
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This issue of Debian Project News was edited by Meike Reichle and Alexander Reichle-Schmehl.