Debian Weekly News - July 20th, 2004

Welcome to this year's 28th issue of DWN, the weekly newsletter for the Debian community. The University of Zaragoza in Spain plans to distribute 50,000 copies of their distribution which is based on Debian GNU/Linux and utilises the GNOME desktop. NewsForge took a look at the upcoming release of Linux Standard Base 2.0.

General Resolution to force AMD64 into Sarge? Josselin Mouette proposed a general resolution to force the pure AMD64 port into the release of sarge and its immediate inclusion into the unstable distribution. It's not clear to everybody on the list, though, that this is the right way to get this port accepted into Debian nor help with the release of sarge etc.

Debian is increasing its Market Share. Netcraft is reporting that Debian shows market share gains among GNU/Linux distributions while Gentoo currently has the fastest percentage growth rate. Debian GNU/Linux is now running on more than 1 million web-facing hostnames, showing particular strength among French service providers Gandi (72 thousand hostnames) and Proxad (58.8 thousand).

Incorporating upstream CVS Fixes. Tommaso Moroni wondered how he is supposed to incorporate a bugfix in the package which upstream has corrected only in CVS. Matthew Palmer explained that unless the bugfix is very large and invasive, the best way is to pick the changes out of CVS and apply them to the Debian package. Robert Collins added that cscvs can help identify changesets with CVS.

Library Version Naming. Roland Stigge reported that he is struggling with the upstream convention of incorporating the package version into the library name (soname) and wanted to know how to proceed. Daniel Kobras suggested to get versioning sanitized upstream and pointed to the library packaging guide.

GNUstep Policy Violation. Dan Weber reported that many packages associated with GNUstep are in violation with the Filesystem Hierarchy Standard since they install binaries, documentation, etc in /usr/lib/GNUstep. Sebastian Ley explained that the OpenStep directory layout is not compliant with the FHS layout, although they share similar design principles. Andreas Barth suggested dealing with it after the release of sarge.

GNU Compiler Collection 3.4 in unstable. Matthias Klose announced his plan to upload gcc-3.4 packages to unstable. For some architectures the binary interface has been changed, so compiled code must not be mixed with compiled code from older versions of G++.

Installing apt-listchanges as Default. Joey Hess wondered why apt-listchanges is still not installed on default. Matt Zimmerman was concerned that the priorities of apt-listchanges' dependencies would have to be raised. David Weinehall explained that only the priorities of ucf and python-apt would need to be bumped to standard.

New License for POSIX Manpages. Andre Lehovich reported that the upstream maintainer for manpages has received permission from IEEE to include text from the POSIX documentation in Linux manual pages and wondered if the new license is compatible with the Debian Free Software Guidelines (DFSG). Nathanael Nerode believes that the license is not free enough and Andrew Suffield is undecided.

Free Software Printing Summit. Roger Leigh sent in a report from the Free Software Printing Summit that was held during this year's LSM in Bordeaux where he was representing both Gimp-Print and Debian. An interesting discussion addressed multilingual PPD files. Another discussion included colour management for unprintable colours.

Listmaster Bits and Bytes. Pascal Hakim sent in new bits from the listmasters. He explained how crossassassin and the new white-list works. He anticipated that the new list server which is currently in preparation will allow us to run more stringent anti-spam checks. He also reported about new and modified mailing lists.

New Package Status Summaries. Ian Lynagh announced a new package build status page and another package status page. The first one contains links to logs from failed build attempts and provides a summary of package build attempts.

Status Update for GNOME in Sarge. Jordi Mallach reported that all critical bits of GNOME are in sarge now, but there are still some packages like gnome-panel that still need to transition. All of the remaining stuff is waiting on gst-plugins0.8, which should be ready for testing but which depends on the new version of libxml2, that isn't being built on hppa due to a binutils/gcc/whatever bug.

Packaging Hardware Emulators. Dan Korostelev wondered why visualboyadvance, a Game Boy Advance emulator, is only in contrib in testing since it is free itself and only depends on free libraries. There are also free (as in freedom) ROM files for it available on the Internet, but not in Debian. Branden Robinson cited the requirements for packages in main. In sid, however, this package is already in main.

Dealing with different Freenesses. Zenaan Harkness noticed that there are different definitions of free, at least "FSF-free" and "DFSG-free". He wondered what would it take to provide to the user the option to choose between these definitions when it comes to packages they wish to install. Michael Poole explained that there are two significant and unavoidable costs to provide this feature: The infrastructure support for it and the policy work for it.

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. 9 packages were orphaned this week and require a new maintainer. This makes a total of 169 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 Martin 'Joey' Schulze.