Debian Weekly News - February 1st, 2000

Welcome to Debian Weekly News, a newsletter for the Debian developer community. This is a combined two week edition.

Project Leader elections start soon. Nominations for Project Leader were open for quite a while before anyone dared to volunteer for the job, but 4 candidates eventually stepped forward: Ben Collins, Joel Klecker, Matthew Vernon, and current DPL Wichert Akkerman. The candidates will probably debate on IRC sometime next week.

We will soon enter the first test cycle for potato. In preparation for that, Richard Braakman removed 42 packages from potato that have release critical bugs and are not terribly important to Debian as a whole. Richard also listed the 5 packages the "most likely to delay the release" -- packages that have release critical bugs but cannot just be removed. Unsurprisingly, these actions prompted a good deal of work, and some griping about the packages that were removed.

A new version of the boot floppies has been released. New features include DHCP support, network installs via the HTTP protocol, a "compact" kernel flavor that requires fewer disks to install, and a new simplified package selection that uses task packages and avoids dselect entirely. This release of boot floppies was done "specifically to enable a release/test cycle", so if you're able, test it and send in bug reports.

According to The Register, Transmeta's "Mobile Linux" is based on the Debian distribution. Mobile Linux is shipped with Transmeta's TM3120 chip. Transmeta has not yet confirmed this.

Believe it or not, another KDE licensing discussion has erupted on debian-devel. It started with a simple question: Why is KDE not in Debian? Haven't the license issues been dealt with by the new Open Source Qt, and other changes? Well according to Joseph Carter, there are still problems. KDE is mostly licensed under the GPL, which is still not compatible with the QPL, unless the author gives explicit permission for his GPL'd code to be linked with Qt. For large parts of KDE, of course, that should be no problem -- people affiliated with the KDE project wrote it and should be able to give this permission. But, there are still parts of KDE such as kghostview which are copyright by others. In any case, such permission has never been given, and so Debian continues to be unable to distribute KDE. Raul Miller summed it up: "If the KDE folks would make a reasonably solid statement of permission, we could probably distribute most of KDE. In the mean time, we wait."

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