Debian Weekly News - March 15th, 1999

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

With Slink out the door, it's time for another giddy round of development. To start things off, glibc 2.1 has been uploaded to unstable and is sure to cause lots of interesting breakage. It's already known to break prcs, rvplayer, libtricks, and many other things. Next, version 5.005 of perl will be uploaded very soon, possibly breaking some 47 module packages. In short, "unstable is called unstable for a reason" and you shouldn't upgrade to it right now unless you're willing to deal with problems.

Santiago Vila continued a discussion about how to get rid of the obsolete 'base' package. Many interesting aspects of the dpkg system were discussed, especially the way to remove this essential package without damaging your system. Of course, this has been discussed before with no resolution -- hopefully this discussion will eventually lead to some code in a package that will get rid of base at last.

Here's the start of an interesting thread about looking at the registry file from a Windows install to ease auto-detection of hardware when installing Debian. It branched out to cover other ways of doing auto-detection.

A program called "swim" was announced this week. It is a package manager like dpkg (and indeed is compatible with dpkg), but uses a binary database for speed and has other interesting features.

Here is an example of the use of the new source format for dpkg, which can support multiple patches and tarballs.

Should Debian object to companies that use "Debian" as part of their name, their domain name, or a product they sell? Wichert is asking for thoughts on this important issue we need to decide.

A new version of APT has been released. It features a new plug-in architecture, a new config file, and lots of documentation.

Those who are making their own CD's of Slink might be interested in some "simple but tasteful" CD art.

We haven't talked about the Hurd port for a while; here is a state-of-the-Hurd report.

The flame war of the week started as a discussion of ways to disassociate non-free and contrib from Debian proper. One way to do that would be to move them to a server called But as I said, a flame war followed, so read with caution.

New packages added to Debian this week include:

Followups to previous news items:

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

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