Debian Weekly News - July 6th, 2004

Welcome to this year's 26th issue of DWN, the weekly newsletter for the Debian community. The online-forum debianHELP is carrying an online Debian Trivia Quiz for you to see if you can put yourself into the hall of fame. In retrospect of this year's Debian conference Joey Hess complained about being not very productive at conferences and high expectations that also block productivity and socialising.

Quantian released. Dirk Eddelbuettel announced a new release of Quantian, a re-mastered version of Knoppix for use by applied or theoretical workers in quantitative or data-driven fields. This version is intended for DVDs and no longer fits on a CD-ROM. Users without a DVD can use their hard disk to boot the ISO image.

GNOME 2.6 moves into testing. The latest version of GNOME has started to propagate into Testing (Sarge), less than a month after the release managers gave permission for GNOME 2.6 to migrate from experimental to unstable. Jordi Mallach provided temporary workarounds for several packaging bugs.

Future of Debian X11 Packages. Fabio Massimo Di Nitto, the current Debian X11 release manager, inquired about which direction these packages should go. Because of a licensing change Debian can no longer use XFree86 as upstream. Keith Packard suggested moving away from a monolithic source package and switching to as the new upstream. Daniel Stone described several of the options.

Mozilla Public License 1.1. MJ Ray posted an update about the Mozilla license 1.1, claiming that there is no consensus about all MPL-covered works and they should be checked individually, as before. The discussion continues and more information are sought, in particular about the US venue choice.

Preparing for Debian-Installer TC2. Joey Hess posted an update on the important and unresolved issues remaining in debian-installer testing. He has tried to track release critical issues, and get the fixes into testing. His plan is to wait for the libdebian-installer and busybox fixes to reach testing and then do another official debian-installer images build on the autobuilders. That build will then be blessed as Test Candidate 2, and there will be another round of testing to see if it is finally in a releasable state.

Debian GNU/kFreeBSD live CD. Robert Millan created a GNU/kFreeBSD live CD. A new installation guide is also available. This ISO image contains a basic rescue system with GNU/kFreeBSD. It is usable for simple tasks and for just testing, but doesn't setup writable filesystems for you or has development tools installed.

Debian-Women List operational. Pascal Hakim announced that the debian-women list has now been created. It is an un-moderated mailing list for Debian users and developers who wish to involve more women in the Debian project. It is for discussion and sharing of ideas as well as project collaboration.

Dropping Freeswan for Openswan. Rene Mayrhofer discussed his current difficulties with freeswan. He noted that the list of bugs on the freeswan packages is too long and although it is improved over a year ago he is unable to fix all possible combinations of freeswan and kernels. Rene's preferred option for dealing with the situation is to remove freeswan in favour of openswan.

Removal of outdated Translations. Javier Fernández-Sanguino Peña discovered that translations are removed from the website after six months of not being updated. He thought that since some version changes in the English wml files are merely cosmetic, the translations may not need updating. He asked that only translations that are way too outdated be removed (more than 5 versions behind). Peter Karlsson did not agree there was a problem. He thought six months without any reaction from the translation team qualified as way too outdated.

Fingerprint of the Archive Signing Key. Martin F. Krafft noted that as APT 0.6 will check for package signatures, the archive signing key will become more relevant to Debian users. However, he could not find a place on the web page from which the key is linked, nor information on how to get it or how to verify it. He proposed having a web page explaining the key and its trust basis, and also publishing the key's fingerprint. As Frank Lichtenheld pointed out the key is indeed linked from the web pages, though not very visible.

State of Sarge Debian-Installer: Broken. Joey Hess looked at sarge's debian-installer and concluded that it is broken. He sees many instances of changes that break dependencies. He thought it's likely that sid's d-i now has less bugs than sarge's and that sid is diverging too far from sarge for it to be easy to keep maintaining sarge. He may throw away the plan of incremental copying of binary packages into sarge, and revert to taking a snapshot, hoping that it mostly works and copying everything to sarge in one go for a release.

Debian used in German Agencies. The German agency for security in the information technology (BSI) released (German only) the so called "agency-desktop" ERPOSS which was developed in collaboration with credativ GmbH and uses Debian GNU/Linux, KDE 3.2, a preconfigured and activated personal firewall and among other software the mail client KMail with integrated virus and spam protection. BSI offers a live CD and an installation CD.

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.

Debian Packages introduced last Week. Every day, a different Debian package is featured from the testing distribution. If you know about an obscure package you think others should also know about, send it to Andrew Sweger. Debian package a day introduced the following packages last week.

Orphaned Packages. 3 packages were orphaned this week and require a new maintainer. This makes a total of 171 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 Andre Lehovich, MJ Ray, Gürkan Sengün, Matt Black and Martin 'Joey' Schulze.