Debian Project News - December 14th, 2011
Welcome to this year's fifteenth issue of DPN, the newsletter for the Debian community. Topics covered in this issue include:
- Volunteers needed for publicity team
- Removal of sun-java6 from the archive
- Debian SDL packaging team revival
- Bits from the DPL
- Ubuntu appreciates Debian
- India mini-DebConf, Mangalore edition
- New mirror in El Salvador
- Debexpo maintainers call for contributions
- Bug Squashing Party marathon started
- Call for talks: FOSDEM 2012
- New s390 buildd at Karlsruhe Institute of Technology
- Further interviews
- New Debian Contributors
- 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 you may have noticed, it has been quite some time since the last edition of
Debian Project News. To improve the frequency of
DPN and expand its
other activities, the Debian Publicity team is looking for new contributors.
Did you ever want to help Debian, but every piece of software you were interested
in was already packaged? You don't consider yourself a
technical person? You
have basic skills in written English? Perfect! Have you considered
the Publicity Team? If you are a Debian member, the Press team is also looking
for new contributors.
The release of Java update 29 from Oracle marks not only security updates,
but a change to the licensing, removing Debian's ability to distribute the
non-free JVM. The clause in the Java license under which we were able to
distribute Java, the DLJ,
has been removed. As a result, the sun-java6 package is no longer suitable
for the archive, and has been removed, as documented in
Debian Bug #646524. Sylvestre Ledru
that sun-java6 installs be migrated to openjdk, the open-source alternative, using the
apt-get --purge remove sun-java6-jre && apt-get install openjdk-7-jre.
Kai Wasserbäch has also been pointed out elsewhere
that this upgrade path might not be suitable for all Java programs, and special
attention should be paid to re-testing installed Java applications on OpenJDK.
The SDL packaging team has recently been seriously revived, with Dominique Dumont reorganising the team and Manuel A. Fernandez Montecelo joining the effort. Packaging is progressively moving to Git for easier collaboration, and developers maintaining SDL-related packages not in the team's repository have been invited to join, too. A lot of old bugs have already been fixed and new SDL 1.3 and sdl-perl packages have been uploaded to experimental. SDL 1.3 brings support for newer OpenGL APIs, input improvements like multi-touch, gestures and force feedback device support, better Unicode support and support for multiple windows and displays.
Stefano Zacchiroli sent his
Bits from the DPL
He reminds us that the New Maintainer Process has been renamed as
the New Member Process, and that a list of
easy hacks is
a very effective way of attracting contributors to teams.
He notes that Ubuntu plan to deprecate their package review platform
(REVU) in favour of converging on mentors.debian.net.
This will need some Debexpo changes and also
more package sponsorship by Debian members.
Stefano has approved funds for the recent DebConf
video team sprint and also hardware replacements for
lists.debian.org and ftp.debian.org,
which have now arrived and are in the process of being set up by
He reports that Fathi Boudra represented
Debian at the Software Freedom Day in Algeria.
Stefano also reported on his trademark-related activities, including a contact
point for inquiries related to the Debian trademark, seeking legal advice
on how trademark law applies to Debian packaging activities, and starting a
discussion on the relationships between the DFSG and trademark restrictions.
He is also working on a statement to make explicit the position of the Debian
Project on software patents.
have invited the Debian Project to their upcoming affiliation programme.
There is also work in progress to have the Debian Project become a member of
the forums for ISC
software that we distribute.
Stefano also mentioned his continuing work in creating a discussion forum for
companies that have a strategic interest in Debian.
As part of Ubuntu's recent Community
Appreciation Day, Michael Hall sent Debian
of appreciation, stating
Without you we wouldn't be able to make the
contributions we do. Ubuntu is great because Debian is great, and we appreciate
all of the work that goes into making it that way. Michael
be joining Canonical's Community Team, focusing on projects that are
upstream for Ubuntu.
Christian Perrier reported
on his participation in the mini-DebConf
in Mangalore, south-west India. The conference was held at Nitte MahaLinga
Adyanthaya Memorial Institute of Technology and organised by Vasudev Kamath and
a team of computer-science students from the college with support from staff,
including the college principal, Dr. S. Y. Kulakarni. Christian gave the opening
talk, introducing Debian, how to contribute, and information about Debian
internationalisation and localisation. Later Jonas Smedegaard presented a talk
about Debian Pure Blends, focusing on how distributions derived from Debian can
work inside Debian instead of outside of it. This was part of his
trip promoting Debian and
Debian Pure Blends in Asia. The talks were followed on the second day with
sessions on localisation, packaging, OpenPGP keys and contributing to Debian.
The event was publicised in one of the major newspapers in India, namely
Hindu. Events such as these are vital to local communities. The participation
international contributors in these events often brings more attention to
them and is highly appreciated by the local community.
The Debian mirrors team is happy to announce the first mirror in El Salvador, sponsored by the Ministry of Health, with the help of
René Mayorga and Carlos Juan Martín Pérez.
Salvadorian Debian users are invited to update their
/etc/apt/sources.list in order to use
To quote Carlos Juan Martín Pérez
For us, the Ministry of Health, and as
members of the Salvadorian Community of Free Software, is an honour to belong
to the great Debian family.
For other countries, the full list of mirrors
is available online.
There are still many countries lacking good connectivity to a Debian mirror;
sponsors interested in hosting are invited to contact the mirrors team.
Discussing the potential integration of packaging teams into Debexpo, the software behind the mentors.debian.net service, Arno Töll issued a call for contributions, since the current team members are busy.
Similarly to previous releases, a marathon of Bug Squashing Parties (BSPs) has been started with concurrent BSPs being held in Hildesheim, Germany and Portland, OR, USA. While the first one concentrated on fixing Release Critical bugs, the second concentrated on creating multiarch patches for different libraries.
Both BSPs were quite successful. In Hildesheim 60 Release Critical bugs were addressed and several improvements to the archive software introduced, while in Portland 14 multiarch patches were created! They also noted down how to prepare cloud instances in preparation for Bug Squashing Parties.
The next Bug Squashing Parties in Mönchengladbach, Germany (January or February) and Paris, France (17 to 19 February) are already being organised. The Debian Wiki has more information about organising a BSP, should you consider organising your own.
Wouter Verhelst sent a call for talks for the distribution developers room at the upcoming FOSDEM 2012, the Free and Open Source Software Developers' European Meeting. The FOSDEM takes place in Brussels, Belgium in early February 2012. Acceptable sessions can be any wide range of things, including talks, BoF sessions, and round tables. Two cross-distributions devrooms are intended to be for people from any participating distribution project, and may cover Debian-specific subjects, or indeed targeted at Debian developers only.
Philipp Kern announced that zemlinsky, a new Debian buildd hosted at Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, is now available to support the s390(x) ports. Thanks to this new host, s390x is progressing pretty quickly: this new fast builder is one of the reasons why the slope is so steep.
There have been
People behind Debian interviews: with
Hertzog, dpkg maintainer, book author; with
Shuttleworth, Ubuntu’s founder; and with
Zacchiroli, Debian Project Leader.
Stefano Zacchiroli was also interviewed by Karen Sandler on the FaiF oggcast, by Amber Granger during the Ubuntu Developer Summit and by Lici.it (original in Italian). In addition the NeuroDebian team were interviewed by FLOSS for Science.
Four applicants have been accepted as Debian Developers, thirteen applicants have been accepted as Debian Maintainer, and twenty-five people have started to maintain packages since the previous issue of the Debian Project News. Please welcome Nicholas Breen, Vincent Legout, Antoine Beaupré, Gergely Nagy, Wolodja Wentland, Vasudev Kamath, Matthias Klumpp, José Manuel Santamaría Lema, Floris Bruynooghe, Cédric Boutillier, Christophe Trophime, Tobias Hansen, Nicolas Dandrimont, Simone Rosetto, Jonas Genannt, Laszlo Kajan, James Page, Mikolaj Izdebski, Félix Arreola Rodríguez, Henry Velez, Gastón Ramos, Stephen M. Webb, Miguel de Val Borro, Simon Chopin, Paolo Greppi, B. Clausius, Mateusz Kijowski, José Luis Segura Lucas, Marcin Kulisz (kuLa), Teus Benschop, Ole Streicher, Paolo Rotolo, Martin Erik Werner, Raoul Gunnar Borenius, Geoffrey Thomas, Alkis Georgopoulos, Jerome Kieffer, Christopher Gervais, Håkon Nessjøen, David Stone, Nicolas Bourdaud and Mathias Ertl into our project!
According to the Bugs Search
interface of the Ultimate Debian Database, the upcoming release,
Wheezy, is currently affected by
1005 release-critical bugs. Ignoring bugs which are easily solved
or on the way to being solved, roughly speaking, about
849 release-critical bugs remain to be solved for the
release to happen.
Moritz Muehlenhoff reminded users that security
support for Debian GNU/Linux 5.0
Lenny will end on 6 February 2012.
Debian's Security Team recently released
advisories for these packages (among others):
Please read them carefully and take the proper measures.
Debian's Stable Release Team released an update announcement for the package: linux-2.6. 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.
761 packages were added to the unstable Debian archive recently. Among many others are:
- 4digits — guess-the-number game, aka Bulls and Cows
- guacamole — HTML5 web application for accessing remote desktops
- knot — authoritative domain name server
- mgen — packet generator for IP network performance tests
- minetest — InfiniMiner/Minecraft-inspired open game world
- musique — simple but sophisticated graphical music player
- pinpoint — hacker-friendly presentation program
- r8168-dkms — dkms source for the r8168 network driver
- redsocks — redirect any TCP connection to a SOCKS or HTTPS proxy server
- uhub — high performance Advanced Direct Connect p2p hub
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.
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Back issues of this newsletter are available.
This issue of Debian Project News was edited by Simon Chopin, Sam Hocevar, Simon Paillard, David Prévot, Alexander Reichle-Schmehl, Alexander Reshetov, Paul Tagliamonte, Justin B Rye and Paul Wise.