Debian Project News - September 19th, 2011
Welcome to this year's thirteenth issue of DPN, the newsletter for the Debian community. Topics covered in this issue include:
- Debian's 18th birthday
- Bits from the DPL
- Debian Bug Squashing Party at MIT
- Squeeze backports for Xorg
- Debian feeds on Identi.ca and Twitter
- Debian in Myanmar
- Further interviews
- Other news
- New Debian Contributors
- Important Debian Security Advisories
- New and noteworthy packages
- Work-needing packages
- Want to continue reading DPN?
On August 16 the
Debian Project turned 18: for that occasion, across the world there
were various parties
organised by Debian Developers, Maintainers, Contributors and Users.
Pictures of these parties can be viewed at the Debian Birthday website, where
the project has collected 2230 thanks messages!
The Debian Project takes this opportunity to thank all its users and
contributors, and its upstream developers.
The Project has also received some birthday cakes from Polish users: thank you!
Stefano Zacchiroli sent some Bits from the DPL, reporting his activities
The first mail includes some interesting news on trademarks: a
issue with the redistribution of GNOME (according to a
strict interpretation of the GNOME trademark) was solved
partly during DebConf, with the help of Karen Sandler (Executive
Director of the GNOME foundation). With regard to the Debian
trademark, thanks to Jimmy Kaplowitz (SPI director) and Mishi
Choudhary (lawyer at SFLC) a survey of existing Debian-related
trademark was completed and the trademark on the name
DEBIAN was extended to the European Union, China and Japan.
In the second mail, Stefano writes about the services administration initiative, started by Enrico Zini, and reports on his participation at the GNU Hackers Meeting.
Asheesh Laroia blogged about the Bug
Squashing Party held at the MIT in Cambridge, USA on August 21.
The event was promoted by Geoffrey Thomas for MIT's student computing
group and went quite well: the attendees, some of them having
their first experience as Debian contributors, fixed several
release-critical bugs with the help of the present developers.
And speaking of bugs, Gregor Herrmann resumed work on the Release Critical Bugs of the Week (RCBW) initiative, launched in 2009 by Stefano Zacchiroli, which consists of fixing one Release Critical bug per day. Gregor, one of the most active developers in this initiative, observed that in this phase of the development cycle there are plenty of RC bugs, some of them really easy to fix. It's possible to use the UDD bugs page to search in the BTS for RC bugs. If fixing bugs is too much for you, you can help triaging them, as explained in the useful tutorial blogged by Raphaël Hertzog.
Cyril Brulebois announced the availability of X.Org Server backports for Squeeze. These backports are particularly useful for people who need a newer driver, while users with a perfectly working X could stay with its old version. For those interested in the backported Xorg, a documentation page is also available.
In order to highlight the work done by Debian and to improve the availability of such information, Sylvestre Ledru introduced three new feeds on identi.ca:
- Debian new packages, which shows the new packages submitted to the Debian Archive (also available on Twitter).
- Debian bugs, which provides a feed of the new bugs (also available on Twitter).
- Debian removed packages, which provides a feed of the removed packages in the archive (also available on Twitter).
Theppitak Karoonboonyanan sent a report of his visit to Yangon where he delivered some talks and tutorials on Debian packaging and mirroring. In particular, Theppitak has done the preliminary actions to realise a Debian mirror in Myanmar; sadly, due to Myanmar's internet policy, SSH connections between domestic and international sites are prohibited, so only local people will be able to maintain the mirror. Another interesting initiative was the start of packaging of resources for Myanmar languages support; in addition Thura Hlaing and Ngwe Tun started a translation process for Myanmar in Debian and in GNOME. He also reported that GNU/Linux is not popular in Myanmar due to lack of internet access, which is mostly provided by internet cafés rather than from homes.
Stefano Zacchiroli announced that Colin Watson has been appointed as the eighth member of the Debian Technical Committee. Congratulations, Colin!
Enrico Zini announced the creation of a new mailing list: debian-services-admin, aiming to create a single point of contact for issues with Debian infrastructure services. In addition, Enrico promoted a census of those services: you can consult the first results of the census on the related wiki page.
Niels Thykier sent some bits from the Lintian maintainers in order to announce changes in Lintian 2.5.2. Lintian is a useful (and widely used) tool for checking Debian packages in order to find bugs and policy violations before upload to the Debian archive. This new version includes several new features, including the ability to process related packages together, support for architecture-specific overrides, and test coverage of over 75% of tags.
22 people have started to maintain packages since the previous issue of the Debian Project News. Please welcome Thomas Bechtold, Theodore Lytras, Ivo De Decker, Tim Booth, Jessica McKellar, Gustavo Goretkin, Andrew O. Shadura, Luis Rivas Vañó, Noah Swartz, Roland Clobus, Jonathan McCrohan, Eric P. Mangold, Enrique Hernández Bello, Igor Pashev, Guido van Steen, Jean-Philippe Mengual, Sebastian Humenda, Yannick Schwartz, Ximin Luo, Haïkel Guémar, Gregory C. Sharp and Georg Koppen into our project!
Debian's Security Team recently released advisories for these packages (among others): iceape, iceweasel, icedove, apache2, ca-certificates, nss, rails, bcfg2, linux-2.6, squid3, vsftpd, ffmpeg, chromium-browser, mantis, and openssl. Please read them carefully and take the proper measures.
Debian's Stable Release Team released an update announcement for the package: pianobar. 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 stable updates
list or volatile
Lenny, the oldstable distribution) for announcements.
100 packages were added to the unstable Debian archive recently. Among many others are:
- boinc-cgi-stripchart — CGI script for plotting basic statistical graphs
- fonts-jura — monospaced, sans-serif font
- git-daemon-sysvinit — fast, scalable, distributed revision control system (git-daemon service)
- itstool — tool for translating XML documents with PO files
- jcadencii — piano roll editor for singing synthesis
- vdpauinfo — video decode and presentation API for UNIX (vdpauinfo utility)
- xpra — tool to detach and reattach running X programs
- xul-ext-cookie-monster — very easy cookies management in a whitelist-based way
- xul-ext-status4evar — status bar widgets and progress indicators
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.
To receive this newsletter bi-weekly in your mailbox, subscribe to the debian-news mailing list.
Back issues of this newsletter are available.
This issue of Debian Project News was edited by Francesca Ciceri, Fernando C. Estrada, Sylvestre Ledru, Alexander Reichle-Schmehl, Alexander Reshetov and Justin B Rye.