Debian Weekly News - March 27th, 2002

Welcome to this year's thirteenth issue of DWN, the weekly newsletter for the Debian community.

Daemon Outages During Upgrade. Adrian Bridgett reported a drawback of Debian, in his eyes. Before an upgrade daemons will be stopped, then the package gets upgraded, and finally they are restarted. On fast machines you won't notice the outage normally, but on slow machines there's a certain amount time where the daemon in question is not running. Adam Heath explained that daemons have to be stopped before an upgrade, since start-stop-daemon checks the binary on the disk.

Packages Still Located in Potato. Otto Wyss published a list of packages whose files still reside in the potato directory of the Debian archive. Before releasing Woody, somebody probably needs to check if they are suitable for release and request their removal if not. Some packages may not even be required anymore.

Crypto Software in the Main Archive. Anthony Towns finally announced that cryptographic software is permitted to be uploaded to the main archive of Debian. Some time ago (January 2000?) the US government decided that cryptographic software was actually already available outside the US and that it wouldn't matter too much if the controls were relaxed. A specialized group, consisting of Debian developers and lawyers, have prepared legal advice for this. Please see Anthony's article for details.

Preparing Another Stable Revision. In another quixotic attempt, Joey is working on an update to the stable Debian version (alias 2.2). The list of packages contains no less than 24 security uploads and seven important updates currently. The plan is to get this revision out at the beginning of April. People should comment to Joey directly if they disagree.

New IceWM Maintainer Required. Jérôme Marant told us that the IceWM package does not have any active upstream developers anymore. What a pity for such a nice window-manager. Since the Debian maintainer for IceWM doesn't want to become the upstream maintainer new people are required to keep this piece of software alive. It's been added to the list of unmaintained free software.

Project Leader Election. The Debian Project Secretary started the first call for votes for the Debian project leader election 2002. Votes must be received by 23:59:59 UTC on April 16th, 2002. Manoj Srivastava rewrote the voting machinery which works a little bit differently to before. Apparently, there were some problems encountered, which have now been resolved.

New Boot-Floppies 3.0.21. The boot-floppies team has released a new set of Woody boot-floppies. Robert Bihlmeyer submitted a success report afterwards. This set of boot-floppies is not available for alpha, arm, s390 and sparc yet. Porters need to take care of these architectures.

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

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

Orphaned Packages. 4 packages were orphaned this week and require a new maintainer. This makes a total of 97 orphaned packages. Many thanks to the previous maintainers 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 is happening in the Debian community. We are always looking for any interesting stories to add, especially new items by volunteer writers, and topics we tend to miss. 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.