Debian Weekly News - September 24th, 2002
Welcome to this year's 37th issue of DWN, the weekly newsletter for the Debian community. The Commission on Intellectual Property Rights released a document that suggests governments and donor organisations in developing countries could review their software procurement policies with a view to giving greater consideration to low cost business software products, including generic and open-source products that are widely available.
Bits from the DPL. The Debian Project Leader (DPL) sent his notes again. Bdale Garbee talks about various conferences he was invited to give a talk or hold a workshop, most of them were related to Debian. Later this month, he will attend the HPWorld convention in Los Angeles and then spend two weekends in a row at AMSAT satellite design meetings in Orlando, Florida, and in Marburg, Germany.
Debian Cluster serves as Research Tool. It was reported that a cluster computer consisting of 512 nodes has been set up at the Syddansk Universitet (University of Southern Denmark). Researchers will use the cluster to map the pig genome and to do research related to quantum chemistry, solid state physics, and cellular biology.
Debian Meeting in the UK. Over the weekend of August 31st Debian developers from across the country (and the continent) flocked to Cambridge for the annual festivities of drinking beer, barbecuing and generally geeky chat. Steve McIntyre kindly hosted 25 Debian people and their demands for net connections. A big thanks should go out to Steve and everyone who helped out. Photos of the occasion were taken by Mark Baker and Martin Michlmayr.
Bits from the Release Manager. In addition to the bits from the DPL (see above) Anthony Towns reported the reasons the next Debian release (codename: sarge) will rock for sure. He mentions all great additions that we can expect, like OpenOffice, SE Linux, support for *BSD, Hurd and more architectures as well as internationalised dist-upgrades. Very few improvements are currently included however the rest will be included at a later date.
Help for Website Translations. Gerfried Fuchs reported the status of some translations of www.debian.org. According to the statistics and the corresponding translation coordinator(s) Esperanto, Greek, Finnish and Russian, could use some help. If you are interested and would like to help to make the website more useful for the people in your country who can't read English fluently, please contact one of your translation coordinators.
Updating the Release Notes. Robert Bradford is seeking updates for the Release Notes. Three areas where corrections would be beneficial are upgrade instruction improvements, last minute changes to the document and general bugfixing. Documenting noteworthy changes in the Release Notes is also important. These could include different behaviour of some packages as well as non-critical but potentially important bugs in packages that won't be updated in the point-releases.
GNOME Transition in Progress. Last week we reported that the GNOME 2 transition and the associated discussion had unfortunately stagnated. This resulted in a new (and perhaps an old) discussion on the subject. While some of the old conflicts remain, hopefully everyone can work towards the common goal of adding GNOME 2 to the Debian archive. Regardless of our internal problems GNOME 2.0.2 was released.
Debconf with Charset Encoding Support. Joey Hess announced that Debconf 1.2.0 has experimental support for encoded character sets. He will try to use UTF-8 encoding for everything in the templates files that are shipped with packages. However if that should not prove to be practical for some languages, it supports other encodings as well. If you are using a different character set, debconf will convert it to the preferred encoding.
Choosing the Internet Superserver. Marco d'Itri restarted
the discussion on how to support more than only the regular
program and configuration file, which is done through the
update-inetd program from
netbase. Anthony Towns
explained that the plan hasn't changed and
netbase needs to be
removed so we can avoid requiring inetd on all systems.
update-inetd needs to be rewritten and it's syntax changed to
solve a whole bunch of old outstanding bugs. He explained
his plan in detail and attached preliminary code. Andrew
Suffield also provided preliminary code.
Same Package - Two Names. Wichert Akkerman discovered
that the Debian archive contains two packages with similar names and
Timshel Knoll, the maintainer of
that the package he maintains uses a library for manipulating ReiserFS
partitions. This differs from the upstream source but the library is also
used by GNU parted.
SE Linux for Woody. Russell Coker announced
that Brian May has taken over woody back-ports of the SE Linux code, so Russell
can now concentrate on code and packages for sarge. In his unofficial
repository he hosts patched packages for system utilities like
ssh that will work fine
with SE Linux but can't be uploaded into the Debian archive.
Security Updates. You know the drill. Please make sure that you update your systems if you have any of these packages installed.
- PHP -- Several vulnerabilities.
New or Noteworthy Packages. The following packages were added to the Debian archive recently or contain important updates.
- anubis -- Processor for outgoing mail.
- bochsbios -- BIOS for the Bochs emulator.
- cccc -- C and C++ Code Counter, a software metrics tool.
- cl-lml -- Lisp Markup Language.
- cvsd -- Chroot wrapper to run `cvs pserver' more securely.
- daemon -- turns other processes into daemons.
- dash -- The Debian Almquist Shell.
- dumpasn1 -- ASN.1 object dump program.
- fetchyahoo -- Retrieve mail from Yahoo!'s webmail service.
- fonty-rg -- Set of fonts for the Linux console.
- galeon -- Fast Web Browser for the GNOME Desktop Environment.
- masqdialer -- Remote control for shared dialup links.
- memtester -- A utility for testing the memory subsystem.
- mergeant -- GNOME Database admin tool GUI for GNOME 2.
- mozilla-browser -- Sophisticated graphical World-Wide-Web browser.
- pbuilder-uml -- user-mode-linux version of pbuilder.
- snowdrop -- Plain text watermarking and watermark recovery.
- sterilize -- Secure (supposedly) file wipe utility.
- tcpreen -- Simple TCP re-engineering tool.
- vtk -- Visualization Toolkit - A high level 3D visualization library.
Orphaned Packages. 16 packages were orphaned this week and require a new maintainer. This makes a total of 123 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.
- aria -- Tool to download files from the Internet via HTTP or FTP. (Bug#162054)
- check -- A unit test framework for C. (Bug#162082)
- efax -- Programs to send and receive fax messages. (Bug#162056)
- efax-gtk -- A GTK front-end for the efax package. (Bug#162064)
- euler -- An interactive mathematical program. (Bug#162057)
- figurine -- An X11 vector graphics drawing program. (Bug#162058)
- fpm -- Password Manager. (Bug#160916)
- gcdb -- MySQL/PHP billing system. (Bug#161707)
- ggradebook -- A Gradebook to help teachers manage student grades. (Bug#162059)
- gphone -- X/GTK-based internet telephone. (Bug#161708)
- larswm -- Lars Window Manager with tiled windows. (Bug#161892)
- ncftp -- A user-friendly and well-featured FTP client. (Bug#162062)
- py-xmlrpc -- Implementation of the XML-RPC protocol for Python. (Bug#161224)
- qcl -- A language for quantum computers. (Bug#162060)
- wayv -- Experimental hand writing/gesture recognition program. (Bug#162061)
- xeuklides -- A program to create euclidean geometry figures. (Bug#162063)
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This issue of Debian Weekly News was edited by Martin 'Joey' Schulze.