Debian Project News - December 17th, 2008
Welcome to this year's 17th issue of DPN, the newsletter for the Debian community. Topics covered in this issue include:
- Release Update
- General Resolution: Project membership procedures
- Better backports.org Support
- Future of GTK 1.2
- Bug Squashing Party held at MIT
- Other news
- New Maintainer
- Release-critical bugs statistics for the upcoming release
- Important Debian Security Advisories
- New and noteworthy packages
- Work-needing packages
- Want to continue reading DPN?
about the state of the upcoming stable release Debian GNU/Linux 5.0
Lenny. While there are still a lot of release critical bugs open, he
explained that there is only
a . At the moment the most important blocking
issue is the missing second release candidate for the debian-installer, which
is still being worked
on. Christian Perrier
out, that the best way to help the debian-installer team is to test the so
short list of bugs that must
absolutely be fixed for Lenny
daily builds of the installation images, which are available from
The release could also be affected by the outcome of the recently started vote on the General
Lenny and resolving DFSG violations. The vote has
been discussed controversially on the debian-vote mailing list; for the full
discussion please refer to the mailing list
In related news, Peter Palfrader wondered whether the PA-RISC architecture (also known as "HPPA") is currently fit to be released with Lenny, since Debian's own HPPA infrastructure is in very bad shape. When several people offered their private HPPA hardware, Martin Zobel-Helas pointed out, that the real problem is not missing hardware, but a kernel related issue, which needs to be fixed. Helge Deller reported on progress regarding that issue, but it is not yet fixed completely.
A recently finished
General Resolution was
concerned with the proposal by Debian Account Manager Jörg Jaspert about Debian
membership changes, especially in regard to non technical /
package-oriented contributions to the project. Lucas Nussbaum
blogged about the
different options, and the general meaning of this General Resolution. In the
end, the second option,
Invite the DAM to further discuss until vote or
consensus, leading to a new proposal, won.
Gerfried Fuchs announced two services that facilitate the tracking of what's going on on backports.org, an unofficial service offering updated packages for the current stable release. One of the new services is a security tracker, the other one is a version comparison between the different Debian releases and the package versions available on backports.org.
Since version 1.2 of the
GTK tool kit has been
orphaned by its upstream developers as well as its Debian maintainers for quite
some time and has also collected a number of
bugs in the meantime, it is
scheduled to be removed during the releasing cycle for Debian
the version following Debian GNU/Linux 5.0
Lenny. However, several
packages are still depending on that library. Josselin Mouette
list of the concerned packages and tried to find alternative applications.
Morten Kjeldgaard argued, that there are still a lot of useful (scientific) applications depending on GTK+ 1.2, which are still in use. Charles Plessy explained, that with nobody taking care of GTK+ 1.2, there is no other choice but to port these applications to newer versions of that tool kit, which has worked very well for other examples.
Greg Price reported about a Bug Squashing Party which was held last Sunday and was hosted by the student computing group of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. 15 people contributed to resolutions or partial resolutions of 11 RC bugs, lowering the number of release critical bugs to 105. Greg also pointed to some scripts they found useful to create lists of relevant bugs.
The 11th issue of the miscellaneous news for developers has been released and covers the following topics:
- CD/DVD images for Lenny
- License AGPL v3.0 is suitable for main
- Building CD/DVD images made easier
- Mono 2.0 transition in progress
- SOAP interface to the PTS
- Tracking GCC 4.4 related build errors
- Mirror of git repositories on Alioth
Charles Plessy wondered if it would help the release to file properly justified 'requests for removal' bugs for packages that have a low popularity contest value, more or less inactive maintainers and generally seem to be in bad shape, maybe even orphaned upstream-wise. Christian Perrier's answer affirmed this idea.
Jörg Jaspert announced that Frank Lichtenheld has been added to the FTP team.
Charles Plessy proposed a peer review system for the copyright files of Debian packages.
One applicant has been accepted
as Debian Maintainer since the prior issue of the Debian Project News.
Please welcome Eugene V. Lyubimkin into our project!
According to the unofficial
RC-bugs count, the upcoming release Debian GNU/Linux 5.0
currently affected by 112 release critical bugs. 39 of them have already been
fixed in Debian's
unstable branch. Of the remaining 73 release critical bugs,
30 already have a patch (which might need testing) and 7 are marked as pending.
Ignoring these bugs as well as release critical bugs for packages in contrib or non-free, 34 release critical bugs remain to be solved for the release to happen.
Debian's Security Team recently released advisories for these packages (among others):
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.
The following packages were added to the unstable Debian archive recently (among others):
- cppcheck -- C/C++ code analyzer
- debirf -- build a kernel and initrd to run Debian from RAM
- fwsnort -- Snort-to-iptables rule translator
- gnomint -- x509 Certification Authority management tool for GNOME
- impressive -- PDF presentation tool with eye candies
- multiget -- graphical download manager
- pdfsam -- PDF Split and Merge
- pyke -- Prolog-inspired Python logic programming toolkit
- python-django-dmigrations -- Database migration tool for Django projects
- setroubleshoot -- Tool to help troubleshoot SELinux problems
- transmission-daemon -- lightweight BitTorrent client (daemon)
- ttyload -- Console based color-coded graphs of CPU load average
- vidalia -- controller GUI for the Tor software
- apt-forktracer -- a utility for tracking non-official package versions
- assogiate -- editor of the MIME file types database
- atmailopen -- elegant and intuitive ajax webmail client
- ditz -- distributed issue tracker
- e2dbg -- The Embedded ELF debugger
- elfsh -- The ELF shell
- esekeyd -- multimedia keyboard daemon for Linux
- etrace -- The Embedded ELF tracer
- evarista -- Program transformer and data-flow analyzer for binary programs
- fabric -- Simple Pythonic remote deployment tool
- ffmpegthumbnailer -- fast and lightweight video thumbnailer
- freedink -- adventure and role-playing game
- gadmin-openvpn-client -- GTK+ configuration tool for openvpn (client)
- gadmin-openvpn-server -- GTK+ configuration tool for openvpn (server)
- last-align -- genome-scale comparison of biological sequences
- linux-image-2.6-xen-amd64 -- Linux 2.6 image on AMD64, oldstyle Xen support
- maildir-utils -- Set of utilities to deal with Maildirs (upstream name mu)
- monkeysphere -- use the OpenPGP web of trust to verify ssh connections
- openerp-client -- Enterprise Resource Management (client)
- openerp-server -- Enterprise Resource Management (server)
- openvas-server -- Remote network security auditor, the server
- rtl8187se-source -- source for realtek's 8187SE driver
- sdl-ball -- brick-breaking game like DX-Ball/Arkanoid
- theseus -- superimpose macromolecules using maximum likelihood
- unetbootin -- installer of Linux/BSD distributions to a partition or USB drive
- vuurmuur -- netfilter frontend (utilities)
Currently 492 packages are orphaned and 118 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.
Please help us create this newsletter. We still need more volunteer writers to 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.
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Back issues of this newsletter are available.
This issue of Debian Project News was edited by Meike Reichle and Alexander Reichle-Schmehl.