Debian Weekly News - March 8th, 1999

Welcome to Debian Weekly News, a newsletter for the Debian developer community.

Debian 2.1 is officially released, for real this time. The release went off quite smoothly, with no last minute emergencies. More information on this page. Congratulations, all.

The Debian booth at LinuxWorld expo was a great success. We talked to large numbers of people, recruited new developers, and gave away a ton of free CD's. Wichert also talked to a large number of companies who are interested in Debian; press releases will probably start appearing about the results of those talks.

The Empeg in-car mp3 player runs Debian and was at our booth at LinuxWorld. This device generated a lot of interest, including this Wired Article. Never expect the media to get things quite right: "The Empeg player is being shown at the back of the Debian booth and runs the company's distribution of Linux. " (It was front and center in the booth and of course Debian isn't a company.)

Our booth also received a coveted Slashdot LinuxWorld award for Highest Density EMF in a Booth. "I think they've got 38 computers, an empeg, and more geeks than I thought possible in a 10x10 space. Next show they'll have to build shelves and stack them."

Linux Weekly News used our booth as a place to write LWN on March 4th. Their comments on the booth: "Way back [...] was 'the ghetto,' where the likes of the Free Software Foundation, Debian, Slashdot, and others hung out. Fortunately, lots of people found their way back there; the Debian booth, for example, has been generally unapproachable. [...] the Debian folks at LinuxWorld have been great, providing a nice place for Liz to stash and recharge her laptop. It's been fun getting to meet so many of you!" Nice meeting you too..

A lot of Debian people got together for dinner on Wednesday after the expo, 22 people attended in all, even Bruce Perens was there.

If the above isn't enough information about LinuxWorld, annotated pictures of Debian people at the event are here, and there are also summaries of day 1 and day 2.

Spurred by the release date slipping last week, here are some thoughts about release management by Richard Braakman. In addition to proposing a number of changes in the way responsibilities are delegated for a new release and tasks that would need to be complete before a release could be frozen, he proposes a lengthy development time of several months and short freeze time of two to three weeks. This might be worth considering for the Potato release. Also, here is a summary by Brandon Mitchell of previous discussions on this topic.

Ian Jackson is working on dpkg again, merging in all fixes made in NMU's in the past year or so. His dpkg CVS tree is available on VA.

The debian-java mailing list is discussing a sub-policy for the Java language. The aim is to write this sub-policy (two drafts have been presented), covering the packaging of Java compilers, Java virtual machines and programs written in Java. All Java programmers or packagers are invited to join in and give advice.

Ben Collins reports that the version of PAM in potato is working correctly after fixing some 50+ bugs. The incorporation of PAM into Debian can affect many different packages (ftp, telnet, ssh, xdm, etc.) which might use this method of authentication. As a result, he has proposed a mailing list for developers whose packages might need to be integrated with PAM.

A suggestion to make the "software which should be packaged" part of the WNPP a separate entity was made recently and received positive responses. The new creation will be more like a searchable and browsable database.

PC Magazine reviewed several linux distributions including Debian. It's short, a bit harsh, but there's a lot of truth in there. Outside reviews are a great way to find the trouble spots that one may have forgotten after using a product for several years.

There has been some work on GNOME 1.0. A staging area has been set up for those that want to jump the gun and install it now.

Attention Finnish users and developers: there will be a meeting in Finland this weekend. Read the announcement (in Finnish) for more information.

The only security news this week is that another buffer overflow was fixed in super.

New packages added to Debian this week include:

Followups to previous news items:

Thanks to this week's contributors: Michael Dahlberg, Randolph Chung, Brandon Mitchell, and Stephane Bortzmeyer.

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This issue of Debian Weekly News was edited by Joey Hess.