Debian Weekly News - October 3rd, 2000

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

It should be safe to use unstable again. With this upload of glibc, the change that caused most of the problems was reverted. The db2 libraries will remain in Debian's glibc for the time being to provide backwards compatibility. Ben Collins explains: "I don't have time to list everything it fixes, but I can tell you that it fixes EVERY issue that EVERYONE was having."

Discussion this week focused on the bug tracking system, especially the (ab)use of bug severities. It started off with this post from Anthony Towns, who is not the first to notice that far too many bug reports seem to be flagged important. Anthony wondered if changing the definition of important bugs could help with this problem. The ensuing discussion revealed some disquieting things. There is a growing perception among both users and developers that normal severity bugs are often ignored, and an inflated severity is needed to ensure a bug gets attention. As Sean Perry put it, "short of lighting a fire under someone, some bugs are simply ignored." One way to combat this perception, be it true or false, is to become more active in fixing as many bugs as possible. Anthony proposed that "maybe we should have some bugsquash months instead of just bugsquash weekends" and wondered if we could make it a release goal to ship with only 8000 open bugs. Even users can help; it's now easy to look up all the bugs you have submitted. (There is even a search form on the web site.) When Roland Rosenfeld did that, he said he was "shocked how many of them were still open. Some of them were already fixed in the packages, but the maintainer had forgotten to close the bug reports. Some trivial to fix bugs weren't attac(k)ed for months or years " Every bug reporter can take a look at the bugs they've filed, close any that have accidentally been fixed but not closed, and perhaps send the maintainer a gentle reminder to do something about the rest. The problems discussed in this thread can't be solved easily, only a great deal of hard work can make all bugs be dealt with promptly.

Tuxtops is offering Debian pre-loaded on their laptops. The press release says it is "specially tuned for laptops" and mentions some installation improvements. According to their Quickstart Guide, it is based on woody.

New packages in Debian this week include the following, and 31 more:

Kernel Cousin Debian #4 is out and covers many threads from the past few weeks that were not mentioned in DWN. If you think this issue of DWN is too short, give it a read.

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