Debian Weekly News - February 22nd, 2005

Welcome to this year's 8th issue of DWN, the weekly newsletter for the Debian community. Manoj Srivastava announced that only one week is left for nominations for the upcoming project leader elections. In order to achieve international standards recognition, the LSB has been submitted to the ISO/IEEE.

Debconf Template Translation. Christian Perrier gave an update on the status of debconf translations in Debian. Most debconf templates are now handled through po-debconf, which makes it much easier to handle translations. There are only 102 packages left which are not using this utility. He plans to start uploading non-maintainer versions of these with translation support enabled. Lucas Wall provided a status page for those packages.

Moria Author found. Robert Koeneke, the original author of Moria (a rogue-like game) contacted debian-devel and was amazed to see people were still playing the game he had started developing 20 years ago. He is now looking into re-licensing it under the GNU GPL, which would help move Moria, Angband and derivatives into the main archive.

Roles and Responsibilities of the FTPmaster Team. Matthew Garrett wrote an explanation of what the ftpmasters do, the first in a series of articles about the various teams in Debian. They manage the master archive, add and remove packages from it, and work with the release managers to ensure that files in the archive are in the correct place. The ftpmaster team wrote and maintain the scripts used to automate much of this. They only worry about the master archive, the mirror network is handled by the mirror team.

Broken Dependencies in Unstable. Dan Jacobson wondered about the broken dependencies he notices every now and then. Colin Watson answered that this is the problem that the testing distribution is intended to solve. Goswin Brederlow explained that this is caused by strictly versioned dependencies to binary-all packages.

Archive Verification for Sarge? Andreas Barth mentioned that there is a chance to get apt updated in sarge. Therefore a call for help was sent to developers who are interested in having automatic archive verification in the upcoming release. To achieve this Florian Weimer created a detailed status report.

Automatic Dependency Calculation. Joel Aelwyn proposed to implement dh_devincludes that would calculate the proper development library dependencies of a given package during the build stage. He wondered if this needs special treatment for versioned dependencies and whether other languages than C should be supported.

Dropping Architectures? In response to build failures on some architectures due to missing disk space it was quickly suggested to drop some architectures from the release. Goswin Brederlow asserted that several bugs have been found while porting which improves the software and Steve Langasek explained this in detail and asked where exactly Debian wasted time.

New mplayer for Debian. Andrea Mennucc announced that has uploaded new mplayer packages that should comply with Debian's needs. Upstream developers have resolved the remaining license issues over the last months. The support for DeCSS has also been removed from the Debian package because of legal problems.

Potential License Problem with PHP. Martin 'Joey' Schulze quoted parts of the PHP licenses and wondered if Debian was allowed to name their packages as upstream did. MJ Ray pointed out that the relevant phrase has been strengthened for PHP4 and asserted that it doesn't forbid Debian to continue naming the packages PHP. Steve Langasek, however, explained that Debian does indeed not have permissions to do so.

Debian Expos Visibility. The Debian project announced its presence at six conferences and exhibitions: CONSOL in Mexico City (February 22nd - 25th), FOSDEM in Brussels, Belgium (February 26th - 27th), Asia Open Source Software Symposium in Beijing, China (February 28th - March 4th), Chemnitzer Linux-Tage in Chemnitz, Germany (March 5th - 6th), CeBIT in Hannover, Germany (March 10th - 16th), and IT/Linux Days in Lörrach, Germany (March 11th - 14th). Several talks with Debian affiliation will be held as well.

Debian Package Status Graphs. Wouter Verhelst pondered whether to continue generating package status graphics. There's a graph for each developer email address that shows the evolution of the number of packages, bugs, and the average number of bugs per package, e.g for the QA group.

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.

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