Debian Weekly News - June 8th, 2004

Welcome to this year's 23rd issue of DWN, the weekly newsletter for the Debian community.

Debian Library Packaging Guide. Junichi Uekawa announced an updated Debian library packaging guide. He has added an example on making versioned symbols for shared libraries. This update is done in response to Steve Langasek's presentation at Debian Conference. Stephen Frost provided additional information.

Canonical List of Contributors. Scott Dier pondered how Debian should acknowledge its contributors since this was discussed during Debian Conference. He suggested to compile a list of contributors, consisting of Debian developers, people who provided patches, ideas and translated strings, people and organisation that sponsored conferences or hardware. Rob Taylor suggested to have a policy on mentioning people in changelog files who contributed patches.

Managing Packages with GNU Arch. Jérôme Marant is interested in managing his packages with GNU arch and how to maintain the package repository. At least two approaches and maintenance utilities exist to accomplish these.

Naming the AMD64 Architecture in Debian. The architecture formerly known as amd64 has officially been named x86-64 by dpkg developers. Scott James Remnant pointed out that other vendors don't name it amd64 and that this is not the official GNU name for the architecture either. This causes problems for both preliminary Debian ports, though. Steven Frost pointed out that the decision about the arch-names is not of the authority of the dpkg team and that the patch was backed out for now.

Debianplaza Portal growing. Some Debian users across Europe started a Debian portal for Debian users who use our favorite distribution as a hobby. Debianplaza is a friendly community site which aims at starters as well as home users who like to know a little more about Debian. The increasing member list indicates there's still a need for information in plain English. The site provides a forum, news and information.

Free Java on more Platforms. A user asked why the current SableVM (1.1.5) packages are uninstallable in unstable. SableVM maintainer Grzegorz Prokopski explained that the debs of class libraries for this version got stuck for a few days in the NEW queue and pointed to a temporary unofficial repository. He also mentioned that this version is able to run Ant 1.6.

Debian Firebird Maintainers Group. Grzegorz Prokopski announced an effort to build a maintainer group for Firebird packages for Debian. He asserted that he cannot maintain the packages anymore but can help others to maintain them.

Packaging Binary and Library. Tommaso Moroni wondered how to best package dact since it provides an executable program and a library. Andrew Suffield asserted that anything that goes in /usr/lib directly must be in a package on its own since soname changes would cause breakages otherwise.

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 unstable 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 166 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.

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This issue of Debian Weekly News was edited by Mark van Deursen, Grzegorz Prokopski and Martin 'Joey' Schulze.