Debian Weekly News - December 27th, 2001

Merry Christmas everybody. We hope that those of you who are celebrating Christmas are enjoying some nice days. Take a rest from your regular life, think about the past year and think about what you can do to improve Free Software and Debian in particular. We're back being your servant, though only providing a small issue this time.

An Interactive Christmas Tree? Those of you who are slightly bored by a regular Christmas tree may be interested in this. You may have read about it on other e-zines already, though. At the Worcester Polytechnic Institute some students have crossed a Christmas tree with a GNU/Linux box. The result is, an interactive Christmas tree.

Timeline for 2001. Even though this is not directly related to Debian, it may be of interest for many of our readers. The team from Linux Weekly News (LWN) prepared an alpha version of the 2001 Linux Timeline which is the fourth in the series. Therein you'll find a month-by-month recap of the major Linux and free software events from this year.

Localizing Debian. Michael Bramer reported about another attempt he made, to make public use of translated packages descriptions, that he maintains. He copied the interface of to the DDTP server in order to provide a multilingual package search facility. Currently only German and Brazilian Portuguese are supported, but more languages will follow as soon as more descriptions are translated to these languages. Michael would like the official server to support this. Help is appreciated.

Debian GNU/Linux 2.2r5 Ante Portas? Joey is working on a new revision of Debian GNU/Linux 2.2 also known as “stable”. His plan is to get this revision out within the first week of January 2002. There are still some recompiles required, though, in order to get new versions in the stable release synced with all architectures.

Debian Losing Quality. Brian Wolfe posted a lengthy rant about Debian. What he says is valid and describes a somewhat critical problem in Debian. While the number of packages and maintainer are increasing steadily there are a lot of packages that weren't touched for a while, or whose upstream has abandoned them apparently. Old and buggy packages shed a bad light on the Debian distribution. Brian asks the Debian project to find a way to warn the user if a package is abandoned upstream and that its bugs aren't likely to get fixed if the maintainer is unwilling/able to fix it.

Boot-Floppies 3.0.18 are Available. Adam Di Carlo reported that new boot floppies were uploaded for five architectures and ten languages through the language chooser, though not all languages are available for all flavours. It's been said that modconf lacks certain translations, so help is appreciated. If you have comments, suggestions, etc, please send them to

New or Noteworthy Packages. The following new or updated packages were added to the Debian archive during the last seven days.

Got News? Keep us informed! We don't want to miss it. Be sure to send us feedback and tips about new or old packages. We wish you a happy new year.

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This issue of Debian Weekly News was edited by Joe 'Zonker' Brockmeier and Martin 'Joey' Schulze.