Debian Weekly News - March 8th, 2005

Welcome to this year's 10th issue of DWN, the weekly newsletter for the Debian community. Several developers use the campaigning period of this year's project leader election intensely on the debian-vote list and ask the candidates to clarify their position. John Goerzen announced that SPI can now accept donations by check from Canada.

Debian Project Leader Election. Anthony Towns, Jonathan Walther, Branden Robinson and Angus Lees have also nominated themselves for the upcoming project leader election, so that the developers can choose among six candidates. The campaigning period will last until March 21st. Helen Faulkner and Martin F. Krafft will conduct an IRC debate on March 19th and called for suggestions for questions to be put to the candidates.

The Debian Release Family. Jason Perlow explained that Debian is not only one distribution but a family of derived distributions. He emphasised that one should not have to install Debian on the same system twice or more often. He continued to introduce several distributions that are derived from pure Debian.

Better Asian Support. Two Asian companies announced to jointly develop a universal Debian GNU/Linux infrastructure and actively promote the adoption of Debian-based systems in both the Japan and China markets. "In Asia, especially in Japan and China, Open Source is getting huge publicity and is now well-received," said Tetsuya Ueda, President and CEO of VA Linux in Tokyo. Osamu Aoki (青木 修) added that there are currently not enough Asian developers to develop Asian support for the various tools and systems.

Release Team Meeting. Steve Langasek reported that developers affiliated with the release process have had a meeting in Vancouver, thankfully sponsored by NUUGF. They discussed the needs to get sarge out the door, and began preparations for a timely release of etch.

Debian Project Leader Team. Jeroen van Wolffelaar announced the project Scud that consists of a number of developers who intend to support the new project leader after the election. The idea is to lead the Debian project with better decisions than a single individual could do. Due to the diversity of the team, but at the same time, the commitment to cooperate and discuss possible ways of achieving something in a constructive manner they believe to be able to lead Debian well.

APT Migration Status Report. Florian Weimer sent in the first status report covering the migration of APT 0.6 into sarge which lists showstoppers and tasks. He also asked for volunteers to install the new version, recompile their favourite frontend and report success and problems. Recompilation is required due to a change in the exported binary interface.

Automatic Changelog Generation with Subversion. Torsten Landschoff wondered if there was a tool that could automatically update the debian/changelog file when a change is made to the Subversion repository. Joey Hess provided a script that will use parts of the changelog file for the log message.

Handling Buildd Problems. Thomas Bushnell started a discussion about build problems with the buildd network with regards to the new XFree86 package. While on one architecture the problem is just missing disk space, the problem on other architectures is more difficult. Steve Langasek asked the developers to send a mail to the buildd admin and the release team in such cases.

Proper Encoding in Manual Pages. Eric Lavarde noticed that single quotes and hyphens in manual pages don't always look like they should. In a response, Clint Adams explained which characters to use for a hyphen and for a minus sign. Additionally, Adeodato Simó pointed out a workaround described in the groff package.

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. 25 packages were orphaned this week and require a new maintainer. This makes a total of 225 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.