Debian Weekly News - July 6th, 1999

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

Perl 5.005 is here. To handle the transition to this new version, perl is now a versioned package -- perl 5.004 can be installed alongside the newer version during the transition. All packages that currently depend on perl need to be changed to depend on perl5, and anyone who maintains such a package has been sent a notice about this (here's a sample). There is also a new perl policy which packages should follow. However, until all packages that depend on perl are updated, unstable is in an inconsistent state and should only be followed by the very brave.

With the new policy requiring the use of the FHS, the question of how to move from /usr/doc to /usr/share/doc has come up (again). Simply symlinking the two isn't good enough, because dpkg won't deal with it well. One idea that has come up a few times is to make /usr/doc/package be a link to /usr/share/doc/package.

A new mailing list named debian-release has been created, for coordination between people involved in release management. "The debian-release mailing list is an *action* list." -- it's not meant for general discussion. Speaking of releases, the release-critical bug list is being posted again each week. The latest version lists a whopping 222 release critical bugs. Also, Richard Braakman posted about his plans for release management. Some of the packages with release critical bugs will soon be marked for removal.

Jason Gunthorpe posted a "Negative Summary of the Split Proposal". This is an excellent summary of arguments against the proposed move of non-free and contrib. His larger aim, besides defeating the proposal, is to make these summaries, both pro and con, a regular part of the voting process. The split proposal hasn't gone to vote yet, but we do have one vote in progress: The logo swap vote closes on July 7th. If you haven't voted yet, get a ballot here.

There was an long argument between Per Abrahamsen and others about Debian developers' relationships with upstream authors. Per thinks that developers often act as "middlemen" who get in the way more often than not between users and authors. He also dislikes the debian-specific modifications made to XEmacs. Of course, many developers disagreed and gave counterexamples of good relationships with upstream. Adam Di Carlo posted an excellent list of things Debian developers should do to ensure such good relations with their packages' authors.

Here is a summary of what's happening on the Debian-JP project.

New packages added this week include the following and 31 more:

Thanks to Christian Meder and Katsura S. Yoshio for contributing.

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