Debian Project News - April 14th, 2014
Welcome to this year's seventh issue of DPN, the newsletter for the Debian community. Topics covered in this issue include:
- Results of the DPL elections
- Debsources stats: Historical overview of Debian source code
- Reports from Mini-DebConf Barcelona
- CAcert removed from Debian
- Discussion of a fully functional RTC/VoIP client for
- Other news
- Upcoming events
- New Debian Contributors
- Important Debian Security Advisories
- New and noteworthy packages
- Work-needing packages
- Want to continue reading DPN?
has just been
by the Debian Developers as the Debian Project Leader.
It has been a pleasure and a honor to serve as the Debian Project Leader
for the past year. I am very thankful for having been given the opportunity
to continue for a second term, and I hope that I will be meeting the
project's expectations during the coming year, Lucas said.
His opponent in these elections, Neil McGovern,
[...] would like to congratulate Lucas for winning the election, and hope
that Debian continues to go from strength to strength.
More information about the result is available in the
Debian Project Leader Elections 2014 page.
The new term for the project leader will start on April 17 2014 and expire on
April 17 2015.
Stefano Zacchiroli wrote on
his blog about the
that he has been working on recently, announcing that they now draw on an
increased statistical basis, including all historical Debian releases since
which was released in 1998. As for the usefulness of such
a laborious documenting task, Stefano points out that it allows us
to appreciate macro-level evolution trends in
Free Software, over a period of more than 15 years, through
the eyes of a distro that sits at the nice intersection of
the eldest, largest, and most reputed distros. By
combining information stored in the
and the debsources database,
the debsources statistics provide some relevant information
about Debian's evolution, such as (for example) overviews in
table and graphical form of the amount of source code
written in the different programming languages used over
the years, thus contributing significantly to what Stefano
long-time preservation of digital information in
general, and for the perennity of access to Free Software
in the specific case of Debian.
According to the official stats,
the Barcelona Mini-DebConf held last March was a great success, especially in
terms of participation by women: of the 160 attendees, 36% were women.
Tássia Camões Araújo, member of the organisation
as we didn’t collect gender information at the registration,
it is hard to make a clear comparison with previous DebConfs. Since 2007, the
rate of non-male participants ranged from 13% to 17%. For this Mini-DebConf,
the orga team did the gender identification per name and found a non-male rate
of 36%. Again, since the methods were not the same we cannot safely compare,
but still, I think it’s worth it to make this info public.
Various attendees wrote
reports and the
videos of the talks
are already available.
Unlike all other certificate authorities, CAcert is a community-driven certificate authority providing SSL/TLS certificates free of charge. Not only because of that way of functioning, similar to Debian's approach, Debian has been shipping the CAcert root certificate since 2005, even after CAcert had withdrawn its request to be included in Mozilla's trusted certificate store back in 2007, due to an ongoing internal audit. Discussion of whether to continue distributing CAcert's root certificate in Debian's trusted certificate store arose in response to a bug filed in July 2013 advocating its removal. After months of debate on the pros and cons it was on March 13 that Michael Shuler, the maintainer of the ca-certificates package, finally made public the decision to no longer ship the CAcert root certificate with Debian. For a detailed summary of the discussion please refer to the LWN article on the subject.
Based on the
made by Empathy's package maintainer, Simon Vittie,
that Empathy has an Instant Messaging background rather
than being very suited for voice and video, Daniel Pocock
has kicked off a discussion on his
about the convenience of choosing a new WebRTC-compliant
RTC/VoIP client for Debian 8
Arguing that any suitable client will need to support
the open WebRTC standard that has been embedded in
all Firefox/Iceweasel and Chromium/Chrome browsers
for more than a year now, Daniel gives a detailed comparison of
Empathy and Jitsi, concluding that in his view, the latter would be
the best choice for
Tails is a Debian-derivative live system aiming at preserving the privacy and anonymity of its users by making use by default of the TOR network and cryptographic tools. There is currently a fundraising campaign for Tails and other related free software projects, so they can stay ahead of the security curve.
Exactly 16 years after the first announcement, the APT development team announced the release of version 1.0 of APT, the high level package management tool. This release now provides a /usr/bin/apt binary, intended as an end user interface.
the creation of the Debian OTR team,
maintaining various packages related to
messaging which provides encryption, authentication, deniability and
Perfect Forward Secrecy. The team welcomes any contribution, from bug reporting
and triaging, to bugfixing, packaging and backporting.
Francesca Ciceri sent some bits from the DebConf Subtitle Team. The team now provides subtitles for 10 talks from DebConf 13. Now that the videos of the Barcelona Mini-DebConf are available, the team is calling for volunteers to help subbing them. Contributions to the team are now registered in the Debian Contributors list.
There is one upcoming Debian-related event:
- 25-27 April, Salzburg, Austria — Debian Bug Squashing Party in the offices of conova communications GmbH
You can find more information about Debian-related events and talks on the events section of the Debian web site, or subscribe to one of our events mailing lists for different regions: Europe, Netherlands, Hispanic America, North America.
Do you want to organise a Debian booth or a Debian install party? Are you aware of other upcoming Debian-related events? Have you delivered a Debian talk that you want to link on our talks page? Send an email to the Debian Events Team.
10 people have started to maintain packages since the previous issue of the Debian Project News. Please welcome Denis Laxalde, Sean Davis, Helge Deller, Christoph Ender, Oliver Lindemann, Guilhem Moulin, Barry Warsaw, Matt Fischer, Steve Capper, and Matthew Pideil into our project!
Debian's Security Team recently released advisories for these packages (among others): libspring-java, mediawiki, a2ps, openswan, openssh, prosody and lua-expat, openssl, tomcat7, imagemagick, openafs, and jbigkit. 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) for announcements.
230 packages were added to the unstable Debian archive recently. Among many others are:
- birdfont — font editor that lets you create outline vector graphics and export fonts
- blockfinder — tool to enumerate network information for countries
- debci — continuous integration system for Debian
- mate-session-manager — MATE Session Manager
- palo — Linux boot loader for HP PA-RISC
- wavtool-pl — tool to concatenate wav files
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Back issues of this newsletter are available.
This issue of Debian Project News was edited by Laura Arjona, Stephan Beck, Cédric Boutillier, Jean-Pierre Giraud, Justin B Rye and Paul Wise.