Debian Weekly News - January 9th, 2002

Welcome to the second issue of Debian Weekly News, the weekly newsletter for the Debian community.

New "Debian on CD" Web Pages. A new set of web pages about Debian on CD-ROMs was added to They finally replace the old pages on, which were often criticised by visitors of the website. Apart from an extended FAQ, the new pages offer direct download links for CD images, a list of CD vendors and artwork to use for your home-made CD covers. Additionally, they provide information about jigdo ("Jigsaw Download"), the new distribution scheme for downloading CD images from any normal Debian mirror.

KDE temporarily handed over. Last week, Ivan E. More II, our well-known and fearless KDE maintainer orphaned most of the KDE and Qt packages he maintained. He feels that he can no longer afford enough time to work on these packages properly, deal with real life and the unique stress that is caused by being a Debian Developer. Thanks for your good work Ivan. Chris Cheney and Daniel Stone took over most of his packages, so KDE and Qt are maintained again. They are trying to resolve current problems with libpng2/3, so please bear with them.

Commenting on Debian Development. Adrian Bunk wrote a long mail in which he talks about several issues with Debian that have arisen as a result of our development process. Adrian complains about maintainers who have become difficult to deal with and the project's inability to force a maintainer to do certain requested tasks because of their volunteer status, the sheer amount of more than 8000 binary packages, the number of more than 900 maintainers, our release process, the development process (which is also known as "bazaar of small cathedrals") and the number of release critical bugs. Fabian Fagerholm added: "Where before we had chaos and charismatic people hacking away into the night, we now have people striving for orderly development of mature systems."

Restructuring Debian Quality Assurance. The Debian QA team (Quality Assurance) is discussing improvements and new structures for their work. Adrian Bunk for example talks about forming teams and tasks for QA such as fixing release critical (RC) bugs, discovering packages that cannot be installed, problems with testing and determining maintainers that are missing in action (MIA). Raphaƫl Hertzog announced a new service for people who would like to help with package maintenance by subscribing to a packages' bug reports. Additionally, the QA team already prepared lists of RC bugs with priority base and standard.

New Debian-Med Project. Andreas Tille felt he had to start a new project in this new year. Debian-Med is an internal project in Debian (like Debian Jr.) that supports tasks of people in medical care. Debian-Med will have two main components: Support for general practice and laboratory research. Andreas is looking for other people to help him in packaging, maintaining and documenting.

Helping With Unfixable Bugs. Colin Watson extracted a list of bug reports that have tag 'help' set. The maintainer obviously asked for help fixing these bugs. If you're looking for some good challenging bugs to attack, these might be worthwhile targets. Send information or patches as appropriate.

Acronyms and Technical Words cause Trouble. In translation of documentation, Debian related IRC channels and mailing lists, many translators, users and developers still get stuck with some acronyms, technical words and jargon. These terms are difficult to translate and partially difficult to understand if one doesn't grok their meaning yet. For example, neither "debless" (seems to be "disable")" nor "cruft" (is meant to be "garbage") in the powerpc part of boot-floppies documentation exists in an English dictionary. MIA (Missing In Action, see above), IMHO, OTOH etc. are greek to some newbie users and developers.

Debian 2.2r5. Martin 'Joey' Schulze is preparing the fifth point release of Potato. It includes numerous bug fixes and renders some previously uninstallable packages installable. Most of the bug fixes are security related, so be sure to upgrade once the new point release hits the mirrors. DWN will of course announce it once 2.2r5 is out.

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

Security Updates. You know the drill, make sure you update your systems if you have one of these packages installed.

Orphaned Packages. This is a new section. Let's find out if we can provide weekly updates or not. Many packages were orphaned last week. However many of them were taken over by a new maintainer already. Please see the WNPP pages for the full list.

Got news? Please inform us if you do. We are always looking for more interesting content to add, especially new items by voluntary writers.

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