Debian Weekly News - July 5th, 2005

Welcome to this year's 27th issue of DWN, the weekly newsletter for the Debian community. David Nusinow announced Debian packages for X.Org that he also planned to upload into unstable. Norbert Tretkowski has built backports for sarge. Rajiv Battula has published a small review of Debian GNU/Linux 3.1 in which he demonstrates how simple installing Debian has become.

Release Team Meeting. Andreas Barth sent in the minutes of the release team meeting last week. During the meeting they discussed issues learned from releasing sarge, list release goals for etch and proposed a timeline. Potential release blockers are the toolchain transition, the introduction of X.Org, freeing documentation, the archive split, the addition of amd64 and securing apt.

Ongoing Installer Development. Joey Hess reported about his ongoing effort to keep the debian-installer working after the release. The worst breakage so far has been in debootstrap and the Slang 2 transition seems to cause new problems as well. He also referred to the first CD images for etch, which don't work, though.

Request for Packaging? Lars Wirzenius wondered if RFP (request for packaging) bugs are still useful since there are about thousand of them. He mentioned freshmeat and gnomefiles as sites where to look for new stuff to package. As the average age of such requests is about 200 days, Lars proposed a 365 day maximum age for RFP bugs.

Structured Program Output. Olaf van der Spek wondered if there were plans to add means to emit structured output for several command line utilities. He noticed that some fields of the output get truncated if the corresponding values are too wide. Gabor Gombas explained that those programs are intended to be parsed by humans and that there are certain other means for programs to gain comprehensible information.

Ongoing Firefox Trademark Problems. Eric Dorland reported about the trademark policy that is not compatible with adding random patches to Debian packages of Firefox and Thunderbird without infringing their upstream trademarks. In the long discussion Florian Weimer added that for PHP and Apache Debian has simply ignored their trademark policy and considered the software sufficiently free.

GLADE Transition. Martin Michlmayr proposed to move from libglade1 to libglade2 since it has been orphaned two years ago. Matthew Garrett added that this would require a transition from GTK1 to GTK2 for all affected packages. Steve Langasek explained that several packages that use the old library represent libraries for GNOME 1 that don't have an equivalent for GNOME 2.

Dealing with offensive Material. Ralf Hildebrandt wondered how to deal with potentially offensive content in a screensaver. Lars Wirzenius suggested not to install a screensaver that does more than blank the screen. Alexander Schmehl contributed a piece of the Fedora patch that removes potentially offending words.

Tilde in Package Versions. Paul Hampson asked if the tilde symbol may be used in package version now that sarge has been released. Steve Langasek explained that the required changes have not yet been made to the archive suite (DAK) to make this possible for etch. Adam Heath added that DAK uses the symbol as separator internally.

Sixth annual Debian Conference. The Debian project announced the sixth annual Debian conference which will be held at the Computer Science department of the Helsinki University of Technology in Espoo, Finland from July 9th to July 17th 2005. On the first day, several developers will talks aiming at the general public.

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. 7 packages were orphaned this week and require a new maintainer. This makes a total of 222 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.

Removed Packages. 29 packages have been removed from the Debian archive during the past few weeks:

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This issue of Debian Weekly News was edited by Martin 'Joey' Schulze.