Debian Weekly News - March 29th, 1999
Welcome to Debian Weekly News, a newsletter for the Debian developer community. The next edition of this newsletter may be a few days late; I will be away from the computer next weekend.
Packages of the current Mozilla snapshot are now available. Be warned that it's got lots of debugging information in it and is quite slow. But in other respects it's a very good preview of the new Mozilla/Gecko. And it uses gtk!
It turns out that when Debian 2.1 was released, a proper press release wasn't sent out along with it, because no-one had written one up. Perhaps part of the problem is that though we all know that 2.1 is a great new release of Debian representing some 7 months of work, we find it difficult to articulate what's new and good in 2.1 (except of course for apt). This week a press release, in German, was sent out rather precipitously by Martin "Joey" Schulze. An English translation is now available. Another interesting development is a press release written by Adam Di Carlo and focusing on Debian's "integrated sgml environment". This and the English translation of Joey's press release have yet to be distributed.
Martin Schulze is also "trying to revive Debian QA", and has posted a call for volunteers. He also posted a proposal to debian-policy to let the QA group work on packages that have not been formally orphaned.
Some discussion of anacron's usefulness and its problems segued into talk about Debian's support for laptops in general when Adam Di Carlo proposed a laptop meta-package.
"1. Stupid Users are Bad. 2. Stupid Users are Bad for Debian. therefore: 3. Stupid Users should be ignored.". This is a beginning of an essay posted to the list this week and it sounds like a prime candidate for sparking a flame war. Instead, it started a reasoned discussion about user friendliness and Debian.
Strictly speaking, this isn't news, since it has been around for a while, but it deserves wider exposure. A mini-HOWTO on converting a Red Hat system to Debian, in-place, without a reboot!
New packages added to Debian this week include:
- abiword: A WYSIWYG word processor based on GTK
- cccd: A small GTK CD player program
- fbtv: A Video4linux viewer using the kernel framebuffer
- gq: A GTK-enabled LDAP client
- hatman: A customizable high resolution Pacman clone
- radio: Listen to the radio available on certain v4l cards.
- streamer: A video capture program for bt848 and video4linux
- Kachina Technologies has put up 2 UltraSPARC systems running Debian and will provide any interested Debian developers with accounts on them.
- Adam Heath would like to change the time master sends out its "mirror pulse", to reduce traffic through Novare's ISP at peak times of day. Adam's initial email about this was high-handed in tone and drew some criticizm. It's worth reading his annotated clarification of what he's asking for, if only for all the interesting details about Debian's mirror system discussed therein. Any actual rescheduling of the mirror pulse will only happen after talk with the server admins.
- You can see the effect of the timing of the mirror pulse - mrtg graphs of bandwidth, cpu usage, and web page hits are available for master and va.
Thanks to Randolph Chung who has been contributing the new packages section for a while. I need more help. If you would like to contribute to this newsletter, please read this page.
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This issue of Debian Weekly News was edited by Joey Hess.