Debian Weekly News - March 6th, 2002

Welcome to this year's tenth issue of DWN, the weekly newsletter for the Debian community. We're very excited to report about the most weird way to create GUI applications: using PHP. See below. Our Danish readers may be interested in this Debian guide, which is a much more in-depth supplement to the official installation manual.

DebConf 2 in Toronto. Finally, Joe Drew announced that the second Debian Conference will take place from Friday, July 5, to Sunday, July 7 in Toronto, Ontario in Canada. That's the weekend after the Ottawa Linux Symposium so people can attend both events. People who wish to give a presentation or a talk should contact Joe Drew as soon as possible.

Campaigning Period for Leader Election. Manoj Srivastava, with the Project Secretary Honorary Hat on, reported the end of the nomination period, with three candidates standing forth to be counted: Bdale Garbee, Raphaƫl Hertzog and Branden Robinson. The platforms from these candidates are online now. The three week campaign period is now kicking off. Watch the debian-vote list. Many questions and statements from the candidates are posted there. Noteworthy is the following list of questions to the candidates by Anthony Towns that, as a side effect, demonstrates the limits of being a Debian Project Leader.

Writing GUI Applications with PHP. Too often PHP is thought of as only an HTML-embedded web scripting language. However, it is also a full-featured general purpose language that can be used for much more. One of the goals behind the PHP-GTK project was to prove that PHP can be used to write client-side GUI applications. This project doesn't allow you to create web applications with GTK but standalone GUI applications and start them with php4 -q hello.php as if you were using Perl/Gtk, Python/Gtk or similar.

Woody Release Status. Anthony Towns released another status report about the Woody release. The release critical (RC) bug list is down to 200 and another set of packages was removed from Woody. For people who want to help with RC bugs, there are two different RC bug lists: the traditional one and the one that gives an indication of how buggy the versions of the packages in testing are. People interested in making sure packages they're interested in don't get thrown out are encouraged to peruse both lists if they have spare time.

GNU/Linux Web Browser Review. Recently, Rob Valliere reviewed web browsers available on GNU/Linux distributions including Debian GNU/Linux. A lot of significant development effort has been made to Galeon, Mozilla and Konqueror for the past few months. The browsers that impressed him most are Galeon 1.0.3, Mozilla 0.9.8 and Opera 6.0 TP3 (which is not available in Debian GNU/Linux since it is non-free).

Gnome-Print Caused Trouble in Sid. Gnome packages didn't work as well as they should recently, due to problems with Gnome core packages. Because of a dependency issue affecting libgnomeprint* packages, most of the core Gnome packages were removed. It seems that there were circular dependencies on gnome-print, which were resolved later.

Woody Release Notes. Robert Bradford is working on new release notes for the Woody release. He gathers help from people for details with regard to porting Debian to non-ia32 platforms, split and renamed packages and general problems and fixes. As an example, here are release notes about XFree86 for Woody. If you can help Robert, please drop him a line at

New or Noteworthy Packages. The following packages were added to the Debian archive recently.

Security Updates. You know the drill. Please make sure that you update your systems if you have any of these packages installed.

Orphaned Packages. 4 packages were orphaned this week and require a new maintainer. This makes a total of 108 orphaned packages. Many thanks to the previous maintainer who contributed to the Free Software community. Please see the WNPP pages for the full list, and please add a note to the bug report and retitle it to ITA: if you plan to take over a package.

Got News? Please inform us about everything that's going on in the Debian community. We are always looking for any interesting stories to add, especially new items by volunteer writers. We're looking forward to receiving your mail at

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This issue of Debian Weekly News was edited by Yooseong Yang and Martin 'Joey' Schulze.