Debian Project News - August 26th, 2010
Welcome to this year's tenth issue of DPN, the newsletter for the Debian community. Topics covered in this issue include:
- Debian turns 17
- Screenshots at packages.debian.org
- Some bits from ARM porters
- Join the DebConf Team
- Progress of the Debian GNU/kFreeBSD port
- Bits from the MIA team
- Other news
- Release-critical bugs statistics for the upcoming release
- Important Debian Security Advisories
- New and noteworthy packages
- Work-needing packages
- Want to continue reading DPN?
As a surprise present for most Debian contributors, Maintainers and Developers, users were asked to submit their thanks via the website thanks.debian.net, and birthday balloons pointing to that page were added to several of Debian's web services.
About 3000 submissions were
received, ranging from plain
Thanks in various forms, up to heartwarming
messages in (to most of us) foreign
languages. We would like to thank all users for their feedback, which
really strengthened our project's morale and motivation! Thanks!
As an unrelated sidenote, the editor would also like to mention that Debian's bug submission tool reportbug supports a --kudos option, making it easy to submit thanks to package maintainers on the other 364 days of the year ;).
As it is often easier to get an impression of an application by looking at screenshots, instead of just reading a descriptive text, Gerfried Fuchs has integrated the screenshots.debian.net service into the package information at packages.debian.org. See for example the screenshot of the package extremetuxracer.
For packages that do not yet have a screenshot available, a placeholder image is shown. Users are encouraged to contribute by uploading their own screenshots for their favourite applications.
Riku Voipio published some volatile packages, non-free packages and packages from backports.org are now automatically built as well. Finally, he announced some work being done on a Hardfloat ARM port, which will work better on newer ARM processors with a hardware floating-point unit.
Richard Darst started a series of blog
posts about the organisation of the annual Debian Conference by
commenting on the recent
DebConf & Debian discussion. He
doesn't see a difference between the two, and invites all interested
people to join the organisation team by subscribing to the DebConf team
mailing list and joining the #debconf-team IRC channel on
irc.debian.org. In his
he explained the timeline of a DebConf.
Different aspects of the port of the Debian operating system to the FreeBSD kernel
have made great progress recently. The Debian installer has been upgraded
to the FreeBSD kernel version 8.1, which also allows the
installation system to be used in languages other than English. Also the debian-cd scripts used to
create CD and DVD images now support the creation
of the new architectures. Daily build images for Debian unstable are
already available; daily and weekly builds for
Squeeze will be made available
with the next beta release of the Debian installer. However, the Debian
GNU/kFreeBSD related web pages are outdated, and help is needed to fix the web and
Jan Hauke Rahm sent some bits
from the MIA team, which tries to identify and handle package maintainers
who sadly have become inactive. He gave some advice on how package maintainers should
react when they think a package has been neglected by its maintainer, and
stressed that the work of the
MIA team is an important aspect of
Valessio Brito wondered whether a webchat interface similar to the one used during the last Debian conference should be permanently available, to make it easier for users unfamiliar with IRC to join.
Martin Zobel-Helas noted that now more than 50% of Debian's hosts and public services are reachable over IPv6.
According to the unofficial
release-critical bug counter, the upcoming release,
Squeeze, is currently affected by
302 release-critical bugs. Ignoring bugs which are easily solved
or on the way to being solved, roughly speaking, about
128 release critical bugs remain to be solved for the
release to happen.
Debian's Security Team recently released advisories for these packages (among others): squirrelmail, lxr-cvs, smarty (update), ghostscript, Linux 2.6.26, lvm2, and zope-ldapuserfolder. 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):
- 3depict — visualisation and analysis for single valued point data
- bluedevil — KDE Bluetooth stack
- eatmydata — library and utilities designed to disable fsync and friends
- font-manager — font management application for the GNOME desktop
- freetts — speech synthesis system
- gitit — wiki engine backed by a Git or Darcs filestore
- luakit — fast and small web browser extensible by Lua
- mpris-remote — command-line interface for MPRIS compatible media players
- mricron — magnetic resonance image conversion, viewing and analysis
- phoneui-apps — SHR applications
- spectacle — RPM Spec file generator and management tool
- stackapplet — panel applet to track reputation on StackExchange sites
- wordpress-shibboleth — Shibboleth plugin for WordPress
Currently 576 packages are orphaned and 135 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 Jeremiah C. Foster and Alexander Reichle-Schmehl.