Debian Weekly News - August 9th, 2005

Welcome to this year's 32nd issue of DWN, the weekly newsletter for the Debian community. Andreas Barth reported that etch has almost 800 release-critical bugs due to small glitches in connection with the new compiler and asked maintainers to fix their bugs soon.

Risk of a Package Upload. Loïc Minier requested a tool that is able to display the risk of an upload at build time. This would help when transitions are in place or when a lot other packages wait for a fulfilled dependency in order to enter testing, where a new upload would cause the quarantine to be reset and may cause more problems than it solves.

GNUstep, FHS and Debian. Eric Heintzmann wondered how to continue maintaining GNUstep in Debian since its directory layout is not compatible with the Filesystem Hierarchy Standard (FHS) and upstream developers don't want to change the layout. He had to admit that he's not able to make GNUstep FHS compliant without breaking it.

Debian Core Consortium. Florian Weimer wondered how the Debian Core Consortium was related to the Debian project. Ian Murdock explained that it won't be called that way and refers to a group of companies and non-profit organisations that build Debian derivatives. The goal is to build a common core that is 100 % Debian.

MySQL Transition Plan. Christian Hammers proposed to use version 4.1 as default and drop version 4.0, since version 5.0 has been uploaded into experimental. This would require 75 packages to be rebuilt as libmysqlclient12 would disappear from the archive. Andreas Barth appreciated to reduce the number of MySQL-packages in Debian, but adding more transitions at the moment would call for trouble.

GNOME Transition. Andreas Barth reported that a reasonable part of the Debian archive requires GNOME 2.10 in etch before these packages can enter etch themselves. Maintainers should not upload new versions of such packages so the quarantine won't be reset. Nathanael Nerode, however, asserted that the GNOME won't happen for quite a while since it needs to wait for the X.Org transition.

Debian Science Group. Helen Faulkner announced the creation of the debian-science mailing list. It is aimed to encourage discussions about how best to use Debian as an operating system for scientific research and how to improve Debian by making it more useful to scientists and people working in related fields. It should also provide an address for scientists where they can ask questions about Debian or software in Debian and get useful answers.

X Strike Force moving forward. David Nusinow reported about the release of X.Org 6.9. He has ported all but one patch from the Debian package for version 6.8 to the new version, which only took about half a week due to the new quilt-based patch system. He's going to begin work on 7.0 as soon as 6.9 hits experimental.

Mass Installation in Vienna. The Vienna city council reported about the city of Vienna providing a customised version of Debian with KDE ("Wienux") for the 18,000 desktop computers of the city. It is up to the individual workers, though, to choose if they prefer a KDE Desktop or something else. The officials expect only a few hundred GNU/Linux machines in the first year, but have found out that more than 4 thousand computers could run the free operating system.

Debian mourns the loss of Jens Schmalzing. Jens (also known as jensen) died on July 30th in a tragic accident at his workplace in Munich, Germany. He was involved in Debian as a maintainer and supporter of the PowerPC port. As a member of the kernel team he was instrumental in taking the PowerPC kernel package to version 2.6. He left behind a wife and three children. The contribution of Jens will be continued by other developers.

Improving the BTS Interface. Margarita Manterola proposed to have a friendlier interface to the bug tracking system (BTS) that allows for bugs to be sorted on the programming language of the code and the difficulty of solving them. She also explained why automatically using the debtags information is not sufficient.

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. 32 packages were orphaned this week and require a new maintainer. This makes a total of 189 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. 24 packages have been removed from the Debian archive during the past week:

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