Debian Weekly News - March 14th, 2006

Welcome to this year's 11th issue of DWN, the weekly newsletter for the Debian community. Raphaƫl Hertzog started to write down the design of a collaborative maintenance infrastructure and created a mailing list for further discussions.

Debian QA Meeting in Extremadura. Martin Michlmayr called for participation at the Debian Quality Assurance meeting in December in Extremadura, Spain. It is intended to help coordinate the QA work in Debian and is limited to 20 people. The Region of Extremadura will kindly cover travel expenses for attendants from Europe.

Debian Backup Server. Joey Schulze announced a dedicated backup server for important Debian resources excluding the buildd systems. The backup of a resource consists of 10 to 100 versions. Since a history of changes is maintained on the backup machine Debian administration can roll back a resource to an older version and also extract differences between past versions on demand.

Updates from the Debian Kernel Team. Bastian Blank reported about the work of the Debian kernel team. The most visible change is the move from kernel-image- packages to linux-image- packages. There has also been excitement about a new x86 SMP patch, which would allow a reduction in the current number of flavours. They are also working on adding VServer, Xen and UML flavours to linux-2.6.

Martin 'Joey' Schulze steps down as Stable Release Manager. After continuous discrepancies with the ftpmasters, Martin 'Joey' Schulze has now resigned from his position as Stable Release Manager. He has held that position since 2001 and it will now be taken over by Andreas Barth and Martin Zobel-Helas.

Results of the General Resolution about the GFDL. Manoj Srivastava announced that the Debian project has decided that works licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License (GFDL) without unmodifiable sections are free. 369 Debian developers took part in this general resolution, 428 ballots have been received in total.

The Role of the Project Leader. Martin Michlmayr reflected on the role of the leader of the Debian project (DPL). He basically states that the DPL can't solve all problems and that an often called strong leader won't be followed either. Instead of asking the DPL what they'll do to solve the problems he suggested the developers to ask themselves what they could do to improve the situation.

Influencing Haskell Development. Isaac Jones asked the Debian community to look at Haskell98 and some of the "research" extensions and give upstream developers some input about what would make Haskell more attractive. He is trying to make Haskell more suitable for practical applications and reported on efforts to develop CPAN-like and apt-get-like systems for it.

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. 4 packages were orphaned this week and require a new maintainer. This makes a total of 234 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. 27 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 Meike Reichle and Martin 'Joey' Schulze.