Debian Weekly News - August 10th, 2004

Welcome to this year's 31st issue of DWN, the weekly newsletter for the Debian community. Erinn Clark reported that a bit of content is now on the Debian Women website. Steve Langasek reminded maintainers to rebuild their packages if they depend on libtiff since the new version has hit unstable already.

Sarge Release Update. Colin Watson reported that no base and standard packages will be able to enter sarge via unstable. He said that we need to be fixing release critical bugs as quickly as possible from now on, and that these bugs should not be staying open for longer than a week. Business card and network installation CD images of the installer have been built, and full CD sets are building. The installation manual is also refined and prepared for release.

Debian-Installer Retrospective. Joey Hess has summarised the events that have led to the current debian-installer. The saga began in 2000 in a club in New York city where he met Adam Di Carlo. He said that, luckily, this project was never about coming in on time and under budget, but about doing something "right". According to sloccount the installer contains about 51 thousand lines of code, or 12 person years, which is quite impressive.

Compatibility Problem with Bash 3.0. Blars Blarson noticed that bash 3.0, which was supposed to go into sarge has a stronger (POSIX compliant) syntax for the trap built-in command and breaks compatibility with other Bourne-compatible shells. At least cnews and sendmail are affected by this. Steve Langasek asserted that the upload is too late for sarge anyway, so the problem only needs to be fixed in unstable.

Debian-Installer Release Candidate 1. The Debian-Installer team announced the first release candidate of the Debian sarge installer. Significant improvements in this release of the installer include: support for all 11 architectures, support for installing with the 2.6 kernel, support for firewire CD drives and firewire Ethernet, translations into 40 languages, numerous bug fixes and improvements and a lot more.

Sarge Release Problems. Adrian Bunk spotted a problem in the libtiff transition for sarge. Unfortunately, a new version of libgpg-error0 was uploaded to unstable with a new shlibs file a couple of days after the version in sarge was frozen as part of the base freeze. Hence, packages not yet frozen that build against the new version won't be able to enter sarge at all. This affects GNOME, Evolution at least.

Call for Participation: Popularity Contest. Petter Reinholdtsen called for participation in the Debian popularity contest. The collected information is used as a measure to calculate the order of packages for the official Debian CDs. To make sure this order reflects our user base, it is important that as many as possible install and participate in popularity-contest.

Distributing Binary Blobs without Building. Shaun Jackman wondered if it was ok to distribute a binary file as provided by upstream instead of compiling it from the accompanied source. Roland Stigge mentioned the problems we run into if we need to patch the library (e.g. for security updates).

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.

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This issue of Debian Weekly News was edited by Andre Lehovich, Michael Banck and Martin 'Joey' Schulze.