Debian Project News - November 22nd, 2010
Welcome to this year's sixteenth issue of DPN, the newsletter for the Debian community. Topics covered in this issue include:
- State of Debian 6.0
- Highlights from the Debian linux-2.6 Meeting
- New default artwork for Debian
- Debian Women IRC Training Sessions
- Bits from the DPL
- Bits from the Debian Multimedia Maintainers
- Interview with Debian Developer Joey Hess
- Revival of the m68k port?
- Other news
- New Debian Contributors
- Release-critical bugs statistics for the upcoming release
- Important Debian Security Advisories
- New and noteworthy packages
- Want to continue reading DPN?
Release Manager Neil McGovern gave an update for the upcoming
Squeeze stable release. As
Squeeze is almost in its final form
he calls for upgrade and installation tests (see also the separate announcement for
that). He also notes that even (experienced) users who have no systems available for
installation or upgrade tests can help by triaging installation reports
and upgrade reports, or
propose text for the release notes.
A report from Maximilian Attems on the Debian kernel group's
meeting at the Paris mini-Debconf in October was sent to the Debian
kernel mailing list. Among the things they discussed was the move to
Git as a source code management tool, allowing the kernel group to not
update infrastructure in separate branches as we have to do
The report also mentions the reduction of Linux kernel patches for Wheezy:
Several patches got pushed or landed since
2.6.32, thus state is in general good. Much more (e.g. about different
patches for virtualisation, the need for automated tests, and Linux Security
Modules) can be read in the
Yves-Alexis Perez announced the results of
the Debian Squeeze Artwork contest: the winner is the theme Space Fun by
Valessio Brito. Congratulations!
The new theme has been added to the desktop-base package, and is already available in Debian's development branch
The Debian Women project launched a new initiative to encourage more
people, and specifically women, to contribute to Debian while introducing
them to different aspects of the Debian Project: IRC Training Sessions.
The first session took place last Thursday, and was visited by many
interested people. Longtime Debian contributor Lars Wirzenius gave an
introduction to Debian packaging and was available for all kinds of
questions. The training session is also available as a tutorial on the Debian
More training sessions with topics like
Bug Tracking System usage,
Using Git, and
Python libraries and application packaging (and
many other interesting topics) are already planned
in the Debian wiki.
Debian Project Leader Stefano Zacchiroli sent another bits from the DPL report. He mentions events he has attended (see for example his separate short report about the Ubuntu Developer Summit) and the Debian Sprint program, making it easier for Debian Contributors to meet for developer gatherings. Last but not least he also asks for midterm feedback about his work as DPL.
Alessio Treglia sent some bits
from the Debian Multimedia Maintainers. While also giving a small
introduction to this team, he concentrates on multimedia related features
for consumers as well as producers in the upcoming Debian 6.0
Some of the highlights for consumers are a
version of ffmpeg and
the introduction of a mencoder package. He also
gave an overview of multimedia production related platforms,
technologies and end user applications.
Raphaël Hertzog published an interview
with long-time Debian Developer Joey Hess, who's already well known to
Debian Developers for his work on debconf, the configuration system for
Debian packages, debhelper, a collection of
helper scripts to ease package creation, or the debian-installer
(d-i for short). When he was asked about his biggest achievement, he answered:
But while it might sound corny, I am more proud of the accumulation of
all the smaller things done in the context of Debian. Joey Hess, who
by the way also once laid the base for this newsletter, also gives some
insights about his plans for Debian
Wheezy, what person he most admires,
and whether he regrets having written most of his applications in Perl.
Although Debian supported the
Motorola 680x0 processors from Debian 2.0
Hamm, support for that architecture was dropped with Debian 4.0
Etch for various reasons. One of the main factors was limited
support of the C library and other parts of the toolchain. However,
Thorsten Glaser recently started to work on these issues.
He has already made some progress and reports having been able to compile 84
core source packages for a first
Luca Bruno reported
on the Italian l10n community. While he confesses that the Italian
language team has failed at attracting new members, he also reported about
online sprints which took place recently.
Cyril Brulebois from the X Strike Force gave a report about the state of X in
experimental and also elaborated on dependency handling of X related
packages. Julien Viard de Galbert, who recently joined the
X Strike Force, blogged about his experiences joining the
team. His conclusion?
Working on X isn't that hard!
In a recent poll by the German Pro-Linux Webzine, Debian was named as the most important Linux distribution by 47% of the participants.
7 applicants have been accepted as Debian Developers, 5 applicants have been accepted as Debian Maintainers, and 28 people started to maintain packages since the previous issue of the Debian Project News. Please welcome Luis Uribe, Julián Moreno Patiño, Julien Viard de Galbert, Jeremie Corbier, Muammar El Khatib, Julien Valroff, Heiko Stuebner, Niels Thykier, David Bremner, John Sullivan, Bernhard Reiter, Lisandro Damián Nicanor Pérez Meyer, LIU Qi Makoto Yamashita, Hubert Pham, Mathias Behrle, Andrew Ross, Sascha Girrulat, Barry Warsaw, Michael Tokarev, Pekko Metsä, Estêvão Samuel Procópio, Roman Haefeli, Massimo Manghi, Ishan Bansal, William Grzybowski, Daniele Tricoli, David Steele, Mackenzie Morgan, Fernando Tarlá Cardoso Lemos, Xiangfu Liu, Sten Spans, David Banks, Stéphan Gorget, Arnout Engelen, Samuel Ribeiro da Costa Vale, Rosea Grammostola, Daniel Echeverry, Davi Leal, and Williams Orellana into our project!
According to the Bugs Search
interface of the Ultimate Debian Database, the upcoming release,
Squeeze, is currently affected by
200 release-critical bugs. Ignoring bugs which are easily solved
or on the way to being solved, roughly speaking, about
123 release-critical bugs remain to be solved for the
release to happen.
Debian's Security Team recently released an advisory for this package (among others): pidgin (updated advisory). Please read it carefully and take the proper measures.
Debian's Volatile Team released an update announcement for the package: tzdata. Please read it 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 (and the separate backports list and volatile list) for announcements.
The following packages were added to the unstable Debian archive recently (among others):
- 2ping — ping utility to determine directional packet loss
- a2jmidid — daemon for exposing legacy ALSA MIDI in JACK MIDI systems
- anything-el — open anything / QuickSilver-like candidate-selection framework
- autotalent — pitch correction LADSPA plugin
- bar — show information about a data transfer
- bootchart2 — boot process performance analyser
- browser-plugin-packagekit — plugin to install missing plugins using PackageKit
- btag — interactive command-line based multimedia tag editor
- clustershell — distributed shell that provides an efficient python interface
- cmip5-cmor-tables — CMIP5 tables for the Climate Model Output Rewriter library
- daemonfs — real time monitoring software
- dhcpcd-gtk — GTK+ frontend for dhcpcd and wpa_supplicant
- drumstick-tools — Qt4/C++ wrapper for ALSA sequencer - utilities
- dtd-ead — Encoded Archival Description Document Type Definition
- dumpet — dump information about bootable CDs and other similar formats
- el-get — install and manage elisp code for Emacs
- eurephia — flexible OpenVPN authentication module
- feed2omb — announces new articles in a feed to an open microblogging service
- felix-latin — Latin-French dictionary, by Félix Gaffiot
- fped — footprint editor
- gally — teaches sign languages
- getdp — general environment for the treatment of discrete problems
- ghostess — graphical DSSI plugin host
- git-annex — manage files with Git, without checking their contents into Git
- gmtkbabel — graphical interface for mtkbabel
- gmtp — simple MP3 player client for MTP based devices
- gnome-gmail — support for Gmail as the preferred email application in GNOME
- goban-ss — Goban screensaver
- gsql — integrated database development tool for GNOME
- gstreamer0.10-packagekit — GStreamer plugin to install codecs using PackageKit
- jack-mixer — JACK audio mixer
- kcov — code coverage analysis using DWARF debugging information
- kmetronome — ALSA MIDI Metronome
- ladvd — minimal LLDP/CDP sender
- letterize — phone digits to letter-mnemonics
- mercurial-nested — Mercurial extension to work with nested repositories
- mididings — MIDI router and processor based on Python
- midistream — streams MIDI notes and controls over RTP
- moria — A roguelike game with an infinite dungeon
- mriconvert — medical image file conversion utility
- multicat — set of tools for multicast and transport stream manipulation
- notmuchsync — utility to sync notmuch tags with maildir flags
- openfetion — open source implementation of fetion protocol client
- pidgin-twitter — Pidgin plugin for Twitter
- playitslowly — Plays back audio files at a different speed or pitch
- ptpd — Precision Time Protocol daemon
- pymca — Python applications and toolkit for X-ray fluorescence analysis
- qmidinet — MIDI Network Gateway via UDP/IP Multicast
- rheolef — finite elements for partial differential equations (unix commands)
- roarplaylistd — RoarAudio PlayList Daemon (RPLD)
- rtkit — Realtime Policy and Watchdog Daemon
- scenic — telepresence software for live performances and installations
- sea-defender — Sea Defender
- sisc — Java integrated, fully R5RS compliant Scheme system
- sm-archive — milter for archiving email
- stardict-czech — Stardict package for Czech dictionary of foreign words
- swig2.0 — generate scripting interfaces to C/C++ code
- tinyeartrainer — tool to learn recognizing musical intervals
- toonloop — live animation editor
- twatch — watch torrent trackers and automatically download new torrents
- ukopp — full and incremental backup to disk or disk-like device
- unscd — Micro Name Service Caching Daemon
- viridian — play audio streams from an Ampache server
- woof — share files through HTTP protocol
- xburst-tools — tools for Ingenic XBurst CPU USB boot and NAND flash access
- xdot — interactive viewer for Graphviz dot files
- xsystem35 — System 3.5 games engine for X Window System
- xul-ext-cacheviewer — GUI Front-end of "about --cache"
- xul-ext-syncplaces — synchronise Bookmarks and Passwords via WebDAV
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This issue of Debian Project News was edited by Jeremiah C. Foster and Alexander Reichle-Schmehl.