Debian Project News - January 12th, 2009
Welcome to this year's 1st issue of DPN, the newsletter for the Debian community. This issue is dedicated to Thiemo Seufer, who died on 26 December 2008 in a tragic car accident.
Topics covered in this issue include:
- Bits from the Debian CD team
- Bits from the Debian Installer team
- Results from the
Lenny release GR
- New maintainer for search.debian.org needed
- Security support for next testing (Squeeze)
- Internationalization support for planet.debian.org
- Personnel change of the Debian Secretary
- Personnel changes in Debian's Technical Committee
- Personnel changes in the New Maintainer front desk
- Other news
- New Developers and 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?
Frans Pop sent Bits from the Debian CD team,
summarizing various changes affecting the installation media for the
upcoming release of Debian GNU/Linux 5.0
The most notable change is the replacement of the Xfce installation disc with a
light desktop installation disc for installing Xfce or
LXDE. Furthermore, all four major desktop environments (GNOME, KDE, Xfce
and LXDE) are directly installable from the first DVD image; the desktop
environment to be installed can now be chosen via the boot menu.
The Debian CD team still plans to create the following images:
- Architecture-specific images:
- businesscard CD
- network install (netinst) CD
- full CD (650 MB) images — users can now choose between:
- standard CD set, which will by default install GNOME
- special KDE CD
- special light desktop environments CD (LXDE + Xfce)
- DVD set
- Blu-ray image (only as jigdo files for i386, amd64 and source)
- Multi-architecture images:
- alpha/hppa/ia64 network install CD
- i386/amd64/powerpc network install CD
- i386/amd64 DVD; also includes source packages
Christian Perrier sent
bits from the Debian Installer team. With the upcoming release of Debian
Lenny in mind, he summarized the improvements made during
this release cycle, including (but not limited to) support for loading
firmware during installation, SATA RAID support, early upgrade of
packages for security fixes, support for
volatile, a new boot menu for
i386/amd64, and support for installation from Windows through
He also mentioned that the next release candidate version is intended to be the version used in the Lenny official release. This version will fix a few bugs discovered in Release Candidate 1 (RC1) and a few more which were listed in RC1 errata. The team intends to begin the final release process of Debian Installer RC2 in the very early days of January 2009.
He also stresses the need for new blood to join the Debian Installer team after Lenny has been released, since out of the 180 people with commit access only three have been active in the coordination list and IRC channel during the last three months.
From all the proposed options, the one titled
Assume blobs comply with
GPL unless proven otherwise won. With this outcome, the Debian project
now assumes that
source less firmware (rather small programs that
internally control various electronic devices, see
Wikipedias Page about
Firmware) has been created the way it is
(without a source in a higher level programming language) and therefore
fullfils the requirements of the GNU General Public License.
Thomas Viehmann is seeking a new maintainer for search.debian.org. The search engine is a slightly patched xapian-omega instance. You should be a Debian Developer or be willing to be part of a team for access to the installation. Some more improvements to the language support are desirable, which involve some C++, but Thomas would try to help out there.
The Testing Security Team
that security support for the next Debian testing
Squeeze) will not begin immediately after the release of
Lenny as stable. Users of Debian testing who need security support should
stay with Lenny until the beginning of security support for Squeeze is
Jörg Jaspert announced that planet.debian.org, a service collecting the personal blogs of various Debian Developers, Maintainers and other Debian-associated people, is now capable of hosting web pages and RSS/Atom-feeds in different languages, as demonstrated by the Spanish Planet Debian.
Adding a new language is quite simple but requires at least ten feeds to be added for the newly created language.
Due to criticism while conducting the recent
Lenny release GR vote,
Manoj Srivastava, long term secretary of the Debian Project, decided to
from this position. Following his resignation many developers
have thanked him for his work.
After being member of Debian's Technical Committee for three years, Anthony Towns resigned from that position to get fresh blood into the committee. We would like to thank Anthony for the work he has done over the past years.
Bdale Garbee, current chair of the Technical Committee, announced that Russ Allbery and Don Armstrong have been added to the technical committee. Please join us in congratulating them on achieving this level of recognition and trust within our community.
Christoph Berg announced some personnel changes in the New Maintainer front desk, handling applications of people interested in becoming Debian Developers. Marc Brockschmidt, who has been a member since 2005, has resigned from this position, while Bernd Zeimetz has joined the team.
We would like to thank Marc for his long term dedication.
The 12th issue of the miscellaneous news for developers has been released and covers the following topics:
- Bdale Garbee as Acting Secretary
- New proposal to track maintenance status of all packages
- Packages-arch-specific maintenance changes
- Githubredir available
- Babelbox updated for Lenny
Holger Levsen called for help to record the sessions to be held in Debian's Developer Room at the upcoming Free and Open Source Developer Europe Meeting (FOSDEM).
Simon McVittie wrote a small
converting Debian packaging from bzr to git.
Ana Beatriz Guerrero Lopez proposed looking at bug reports you reported and updating their status as a new year's resolution, and gave a brief explanation on how to do so. She also proposed helping the maintainers of your favourite package with their bugs.
Luk Claes and Ralf Treinen are looking for some help with GPG Key Signing Coordination, a service primarily aimed at prospective contributors, finding existing Debian developers who can sign their key for the ID part of the new maintainer process. It's not much work; a description of the tasks can be found in their Subversion repository.
Daniel Burrows created some diagrams about the APT system and applications using it.
Three applicants have been accepted as Debian Developers and one applicant has been accepted as Debian Maintainer since the previous issue of the Debian Project News. Please welcome Michael Casadevall, Arthur Loiret, Jelmer Vernooij and Tiago Bortoletto Vaz into our project!
According to the unofficial
RC-bugs count, the upcoming release Debian GNU/Linux 5.0
Lenny is currently affected by 99 release critical bugs. 26 of them
have already been fixed in Debian's
unstable branch. Of the remaining
73 release critical bugs, 15 already have a patch (which might need
testing) and 12 are marked as pending.
Ignoring these bugs as well as release critical bugs for packages in contrib or non-free, 49 release critical bugs remain to be solved for the release to happen.
Debian's Security Team recently released advisories for these packages (among others): courier-authlib, proftpd-dfsg, avahi, moodle, phppgadmin, xterm, ruby1.8 and ruby1.9, icedove, iceape and gforge. 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 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):
- freespeak — GNOME frontend to online translator engines
- giplet — GNOME IP display applet
- hunspell-gl-es — Galician dictionary for hunspell
- iaxclient-tcl — Tcl interface to the iax2 client lib
- iceweasel-downthemall — iceweasel extension with advanced download capabilities
- igal2 — online image gallery generator
- imvirt — detects several virtualizations
- kdm-gdmcompat — Provide basic gdm functionality to systems running kdm
- kio-ftps — an ftps KIO slave for KDE 4
- kism3d — 802.11 visualizer for s3d
- libapache-mod-security — Tighten web applications security for Apache
- libapache2-mod-authn-sasl — SASL authentication backend provider for Apache
- libcherokee-mod-admin — Cherokee web server - Administrative plugin
- libcherokee-mod-ldap — Cherokee web server - LDAP user validator plugin
- libcherokee-mod-libssl — Cherokee web server - SSL crypto functions plugin
- libcherokee-mod-mysql — Cherokee web server - MySQL user validator plugin
- libcherokee-mod-server-info — Cherokee web server - Server information plugin
- libgoogle-collections-java — suite of collections and related goodies for Java 5.0
- mandos — a server giving encrypted passwords to Mandos clients
- mandos-client — do unattended reboots with an encrypted root file system
- minisapserver — Mini SAP Server
- performous — karaoke game that allows user supplied songs
- php5-svn — PHP Bindings for the Subversion Revision control system
- pushover — Fun puzzle game with dominos
- qprint — encoder and decoder for quoted-printable encoding
- rtpg-www — web based front end for rTorrent
- s3d — 3d network display server
- subdownloader — automatically downloads/uploads subtitles for video files
- trac-authopenid — OpenID authentication plugin for Trac
- tstools — set of tools for reporting on and manipulating MPEG data
- urlwatch — tool for monitoring webpages for updates
- whohas — query multiple distributions' package archives
- yagtd — utility to help organize your to-do lists
- xdemorse — GTK+ Morse Code Decoding Software
Debian Package of the Day featured the packages procps (watch: Execute a program at regular intervals and show the output), atool (handling archives without headaches) and tellico (a collection manager for books, videos, music and a whole lot more).
Currently 482 packages are orphaned and 107 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Back issues of this newsletter are available.
This issue of Debian Project News was edited by Thomas Viehmann, Paul Wise and Alexander Reichle-Schmehl.