Debian Weekly News - September 21st, 1999

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

Debconf has been released. Debconf is a configuration management tool that lets Debian packages ask questions at install time using several different interfaces. Plain text, dialog, GTK and web UI's are currently supported, as well as non-interactive installations. It will support remote databases in the future, allowing whole clusters of machines to be configured the same. Read the introduction to Debconf for more information. Quite a few people are eager to begin using it soon.

Corel has started a closed beta test of their Corel Linux distribution. Unfortunately, they did so under a very restrictive license, that violates the GPL in several respects. The good news is that Bruce Perens has already contacted Corel and we're promised that this will be fixed.

The debian-laptop list has made a proposal for making Debian more laptop friendly. The idea is to create special laptop kernels, plus a laptop meta package that pulls together everything a laptop user needs. There seems to be "no Linux distribution with a dedicated laptop support" yet, so Debian would be leading the way in this area.

Should proftpd be moved to contrib for security reasons? Many security holes have been found in it lately and it seems likely more will show up in the future, so some think it's a good idea to move it out of the main distribution. The maintainer prefers to wait and see what the situation is like when we freeze.

Joey Hess posted what he confesses is a "crazy idea": Fly all the developers into a central location and have a debian conference. Many people would like to go to such an event and think it'd be a good thing for Debian and a lot of fun. But of course, no one knows where we could find the large amount of money this would take, or what could possibly be considered a central location for such a distributed project.

Here's the Debian JP News for this week. It includes an interesting "virtual apt server" that generates packages apt requests, from a running Debian system, using dpkg-repack.

New packages in Debian this week include the following and 28 more:

Followups to last week's news:

Thanks to Randolph Chung and Katsura S. Yoshio for contributing.

To receive this newsletter weekly in your mailbox, subscribe to the debian-news mailing list.

Back issues of this newsletter are available.

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