Debian Weekly News - December 13th, 2005

Welcome to this year's 50th issue of DWN, the weekly newsletter for the Debian community. Wouter Verhelst called for talks for the developer's room at the upcoming FOSDEM conference. Nathanael Nerode reported that the C++ transitions are processing well and that he doesn't expect new problems with it.

Interview with Branden Robinson. TuxJournal delivered an interview with Branden that talks a bit about his background and the advantages of the Debian distribution. His primary focus as Debian Project Leader has been to try to resolve some long-standing infrastructural issues that have been frustrating our developers and users.

Joining Skolelinux Forces. Steffen Joeris proposed using as a debian-edu community base featuring a Planet RSS feed aggregator as well as email addresses and web space for project members. This should not only strengthen the debian-edu community but also facilitate coordination and cooperation between the different local teams.

Debian stabilising the Linux Landscape. Tom Adelstein explained how he switched from several other distributions to Debian GNU/Linux and why it serves him best. The Debian project tends to attract members with a higher level of technical expertise and a strong commitment to the Free Software Foundation. According to Netcraft, Debian is currently the fastest growing GNU/Linux distribution for web servers, with more than 1.2 million active sites in December.

DCC Common Core 3.0 released. The DCC Alliance announced the release of DCC 3.0. This is an LSB 3.0 compliant base set of packages based on and compatible with Debian sarge. DCC 3.0 contains 237 packages of which 200 are binary packages taken from Debian sarge and 32 are a backports from etch. The remaining 5 packages provide LSB 3.0 compliance in such a way that the default application environment is 100 % compatible with standard Debian sarge.

New Features on Ingo Jürgensmann announced the inclusion of armeb, hurd-i386, kfreebsd-i386 and m32r on Other features include estimations of package building times on various architectures, more statistics, links to package information and bugs, and an overview about currently built packages for those buildd that support this site.

Mixing different Upstream Packages. Jay Berkenbilt pondered the inclusion of third party programs from different upstream developers in a Debian package and was soliciting input. Mark Brown replied with details about the procedure with NIS packages. Nathanael Nerode added that the inclusion depends on the size of the new program and its prospective use.

Splitting Packages. Bill Allombert asked developers who split their packages into a normal and a data package to obey to a number of rules that will help Debian keep the archive sober. These include a naming scheme, keeping program data in the normal package, the use of symbolic links and actually moving the shared data into the data package.

Configuration Handling. Frank Küster wondered how to treat the large number of potential configuration files of the TeX system best in Debian packages. He proposed to use a new directory for local files that should be preferred. Bill Allombert replied with details on how the menu package handles its configuration.

GPLv3 Development Process. Francesco Poli reported that the Free Software Foundation has recently disclosed details about the drafting process that will be adopted for the upcoming version 3 of the GNU GPL. The final text is scheduled to be released between September 2006 and March 2007 with at least two draft versions to be released in January and June 2006.

Debian Task Descriptions. Andreas Schuldei called for volunteers to document descriptions of various tasks within the Debian project. The goal of these descriptions is to separate names and persons from tasks that should lead to more objective discussion in the future.

GameBoy Emulators. Robert Millan wondered whether GameBoy emulators that are released under the GNU GPL should be placed in main or contrib since they require potentially non-free games. However, gngb is in main while gnuboy is in contrib. Andrew Suffield added that there is a thriving community of developers of free gameboy games.

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. 2 packages were orphaned this week and require a new maintainer. This makes a total of 190 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.

Want to continue reading DWN? Please help us create this newsletter. We still need more volunteer writers who watch the Debian community and report about what is going on. Please see the contributing page to find out how to help. We're looking forward to receiving your mail at

To receive this newsletter weekly in your mailbox, subscribe to the debian-news mailing list.

Back issues of this newsletter are available.

This issue of Debian Weekly News was edited by Meike Reichle, Alex Owen and Martin 'Joey' Schulze.