Debian Project News - April 18th, 2011
Welcome to this year's sixth issue of DPN, the newsletter for the Debian community. Topics covered in this issue include:
- Bits from the Release Team — Kicking off
- Registration now open for DebConf11 and call for contributions
- Report from the FTP Master meeting
- The Canterbury Project: an amazing example of cross-distro collaboration
- Report from Med@Tel
- Further interviews
- Other news
- New Debian Contributors
- Important Debian Security Advisories
- New and noteworthy packages
- Work-needing packages
- Want to continue reading DPN?
Neil McGovern sent some bits from the Release Team calling for feedback on the recent release. He also addresses various subjects that are currently under discussion: time-based freezes, transitions, release goals, sprint organisation and 0-day NMU policy.
Luk Claes proposed (amongst other ideas) continuing the removal of obsolete libraries. Josselin Mouette suggested starting with HAL and
Although there has been some progress towards getting rid of HAL (still used by
on kFreeBSD), Cyril Brulebois pointed out that this effort is stalled for now.
Christian Perrier also proposed to drop
led to calls for an
overhaul of Debian's default network management infrastructure.
be adopted to this end, though this proposal has provoked a great many
rational or less so.
Stefano Zacchiroli proposed some further release goals relating to package quality, and relaunched the
time based freezes proposal. He argued that fixed freeze dates would
allow Debian's developer base to improve planning and coordination with
upstream developers, and underlined that the first part of the
Squeeze freeze (blocking library transitions while being lax about
general migration of new packages) was quite successful, and that it
should be done similarly in the future. While the time frame for such
freezes (and how
they should be announced) is still being discussed, there generally seems to be a
Gunnar Wolf announced the opening of DebConf11 registration. Registration instructions are available and the deadline for sponsored food and accommodation is 8 May 2011. A call for contributions has also been sent, and the organisers welcome all sort of submissions: performances, art installations, debates, or anything else can be proposed as well as traditional talks. There will be a poster session this year. More information on submissions of events or posters is available on the DebConf11 website and the deadline for submissions is also 8 May 2011.
Jörg Jaspert sent a report from the FTP Master meeting which was held at Linux Hotel in Essen, 21–27 March. During the meeting a lot of work was done, in various areas:
an upgrade of the main archive machine (as well as backports and
security machines) to
the update frequency
of the DD accessible copy of the
dakinstallation (moved from merkel.debian.org to ries.debian.org) was changed to reflect the database changes immediately
a new field (
Built-Using) was implemented in
dakand a related patch for
dpkghas been prepared
the creation of the
Uploadersfiles was sped up (from roughly 15 minutes to about a minute)
- the project of enabling autosigning for the buildds has finally been completed
distsfiles were added
Meanwhile, in a discussion with the Debian GNU/Hurd porters it was
decided that the Hurd port will stay on ftp-master.debian.org
Wheezy is released, while the alpha port will be completely
removed from Debian and the hppa port will move over to debian-ports.org.
As a side note, Jörg added that during the meeting Ansgar Burchardt was
appointed to the post of FTP Assistant; congratulations, Ansgar!
Gerfried Fuchs blogged from behind
the scenes of one of the most hilarious — and well orchestrated —
April Fools' pranks of this year: the Canterbury Project. As you probably
noticed, on the morning of April the first, the homepages of Arch Linux,
Debian, Gentoo, Grml and OpenSUSE were replaced by a placeholder announcing the
merging of all these distributions into one new one.
In the posting, Gerfried said that the initial idea was to simply do a sort of
exchange of homepages between participants.
Then the thing happened which
the Free Software community is so well known for: additional ideas came in,
two people independently addressed me whether it wouldn't be better that
instead of a circle replacement of the frontpage, why not display the same
page on all of them. And one of them added that a corresponding news item
might make sense. said Gerfried. Another example of new ideas coming
up during the whole Canterbury Project was the introduction of the cant package manager (see also
blog for details).
Gerfried revealed also the reason behind the name
Canterbury: it was
adopted when Alexander Reichle-Schmehl noticed that, according to the
the earliest recorded association between April 1 and foolishness
can be found in Chaucer's Canterbury Tales (1392).
As a final note, Gerfried added that even if the all-in-one distribution was only
a joke, the cross-distro collaboration was real and exciting, and thanked all
the participants for their efforts.
Andreas Tille sent a report
from the Med@Tel conference held in Luxembourg and dedicated to medicine
informatics. This year, Andreas delivered a talk titled
Free/Libre Open Source Software in Health Care (FLOSS-HC): Communities,
Collaboration, Development Issues, Technology Transfer, based on a
paper written by the Debian Med team. As Andreas reported, the talk was well
received and the main impression is that the Debian Med Blend itself is
considered as a really helpful and needed thing. It also seems that
Debian Med and other important — and very useful — Blends are little known
by the wider public.
For this reason, Andreas proposed to use microblogging to better promote the existence of
Debian Med and — in the following thread — many
other ways to improve the visibility of Debian Blends.
Since the last issue of the Debian Project News,
two new issues of the
This week in
Debian podcast have been published: with Jonathan
Nadeau, about current Debian news; and with Roberto
Sanchez, who gave a talk at the Northeast GNU/Linux Fest.
Steve McIntyre made available online a new cdimage search tool that
has knowledge of just about all the Debian CDs and DVDs produced by
Debian since the Woody release, covering all the official releases
(both older archived releases and the current
and the current sets of daily and weekly testing builds.
Stefano Zacchiroli has just been reelected as Debian Project Leader, supported by 98% of valid voters. Congratulations, and keep up the good work!
Guido Günther sent some bits
from the fourth Debian Groupware Meeting, held
at the Linux Hotel in Essen, Germany. During the weekend the group has fixed
various issues (mostly related to gnome-shell in iceowl), and has been able to push
new versions of icedove and iceowl to
unstable and to resurrect the
iceowl-l10n language packs. Some work was also done on Citadel, Z-Push and
Raj Mathur sent a report
about a large Debian installation in India: the installation involved
about 2,500 desktops and 40 servers, on which were installed
Wheezy. The installation was done in six different locations in India for a large call-out
business headquartered in Noida, Uttar Pradesh. Well done!
Raphaël Hertzog blogged about his
Seven applicants have been accepted as Debian Maintainers since the previous issue of the Debian Project News. Please welcome Pau Garcia i Quiles, Andrew O. Shadoura, Ignace Mouzannar, Hans-Christoph Steiner, Timo Juhani Lindfors, Jaromir Mikes, and Asias He into our project!
Debian's Security Team recently released advisories for these packages (among others): gdm3, mahara, tomcat5.5, bind9, tgt, tiff, vlc, tmux, x11-xserver-utils, ikiwiki, gitolite, isc-dhcp, dhcp3, and vlc. 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 (and the separate backports
list, and stable updates
list or volatile
Lenny, the oldstable distribution) for announcements.
1244 packages were added to the unstable Debian archive recently. Among many others are:
- 4store — RDF database storage and query engine
- biogenesis — artificial life program that simulates evolution of organisms
- brewtarget — GUI beer brewing software
- clam-networkeditor — prototyping tool for CLAM
- cliquer — clique searching program
- commit-patch — utility to commit fine grained patches to source code control repositories
- cpan-listchanges — package change history notification tool
- cpanminus — script to get, unpack, build and install modules from CPAN
- ctioga2 — polymorphic plotting program
- daisy-player — player for DAISY Digital Talking Books
- darnwdl — WDL document format viewer
- downtimed — monitor of downtime, shutdown, and crashes
- facturlinex2 — ERP/CRM for small and medium businesses
- fadecut — toolset to rip audiostreams, cut, fade in/out and tag the resulting audiofiles
- fcitx-config-gtk — graphic fcitx configuration tool
- florence — extensible and scalable virtual keyboard for GNOME
- gaduhistory — EKG history viewer
- gem2deb — Debian Ruby packaging suite
- get-flash-videos — program to download Flash videos
- haci — web based IP(v6) address and network administration tool
- hydra — very fast network login cracker
- ipxe — PXE boot firmware
- jstest-gtk — joystick testing and configuration tool
- laditools — set of tools to control and monitor LADI (JACK+LASH) system
- logtop — real time log line rate analyzer
- npm — package manager for node.js
- openafs-fuse — AFS distributed file system experimental FUSE client
- oxref — cross reference utility
- photofilmstrip — slide show creator with Ken Burns effect
- pnp4nagios — Nagios addon to create graphs from performance data
- psensor — display graphs for monitoring hardware temperature
- qmail — secure, reliable, efficient, simple message transfer agent
- scolasync — graphic tool to copy data to or from a set of USB storage media
- scute — OpenPGP smartcard plugin for Mozilla Network Security Services
- ssl-cert-check — proactively handling X.509 certificate expiration
- sslstrip — SSL/TLS man-in-the-middle attack tool
- starman — high-performance preforking PSGI/Plack web server
- synapse — semantic file launcher
- twms — tiny web map service
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This issue of Debian Project News was edited by Justin B. Rye, Jeremiah C. Foster, Francesca Ciceri, David Prévot and Alexander Reichle-Schmehl.