Debian Weekly News - May 30th, 2006

Welcome to this year's 22nd issue of DWN, the weekly newsletter for the Debian community. Joey Hess has produced a detailed explanation and HOWTO for secure apt in Debian. Martin Michlmayr reported about this year's FOSDEM event and noted that there seems to be a six month delay before a new applicant is assigned an Application Manager which hinders the big-endian ARM port.

Creating a Debian Layout for Desktops. Luis Matos asked for a Debian theme layout to improve the user experience of the Debian desktop. The theme should include a background image, splash screens and icons. He also proposed a guided contest to be organised.

Debian IRC moving to OFTC. Steve McIntyre announced that the Debian project will move the Alias over to the Open and Free Technology Community (OFTC) network on June 4th, since many discussions have been moved to OFTC already. OFTC is also a sister organisation of Debian, as both are supported and represented by Software in the Public Interest, Inc. The Debian project has been using the Freenode IRC network for many years.

Debian Projects accepted for Summer of Code. Baruch Even reported that nine Debian projects have been accepted for Google's Summer of Code. The plan is that students who have a blog or set up one for the Summer of Code will be added to Planet Debian so everyone can follow their progress on their quest to help Debian improve.

Optimising the Boot Time. Margarita Manterola gave a talk at DebConf6 about possible improvements to the booting of Debian systems. From her conclusions and audiences remarks, she wondered if init scripts could use dash instead of bash (it saves a 10 % of boot time) and asked about the necessity of running depmod at boot-time. As a result, Marco d'Itri proposed to remove depmod from the module-init-tools init script.

Supporting Solaris/i386. Erast Benson provided a patch for dpkg to support a Solaris-based system since Sun Microsystems Inc. has opened up its kernel. In response Josselin Mouette wondered whether the legal situation of dpkg being linked with a GPL-incompatible C library has been fixed. Russ Allbery explained that the special exception of the GNU GPL that allows linking and distribution against a GPL-incompatible library only applies if the binaries are not accompanied with the operating system itself.

Debian Project at FrOSCon. Martin Zobel-Helas reported that the Debian project will be participating in the Free and Open Source Conference (FrOSCon) to be held on the 24th and 25th of June in Sankt Augustin (Germany). On the 24th there will be a Debian sub-conference. Martin is seeking speakers who want to deliver talks about Debian itself and Debian technologies in particular.

Creative Commons 3.0 License Suite Draft. Evan Prodromou announced that there is a public draft of the Creative Commons 3.0 license suite. Evan asserted that the main changes to these licenses have been to bring them in line with the DFSG and to make at least the Attribution and Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 licenses compatible with the DFSG and acceptable for Debian.

Bug Squashing Marathon. Martin Zoble-Helas announced three bug squashing parties with particular themes to be organised this fall in order to help the release of etch. In August the debian-installer shall be tested and bugs in the installation process shall be fixed. In September upgrades from pre-release etch and sarge are to be reviewed and remaining bugs shall be fixed. In October the remaining bugs in core packages shall be fixed. He is seeking hosting for at least two of these parties.

Release Goals for Etch. Andreas Barth announced changes in the release plan for etch. Approved release goals are the use of GCC 4.1, LSB 3.1 compatibility, SELinux support, pervasive IPv6 and large file support and a new Python framework. June 15th is the last chance to switch to GCC 4.1 and Python 2.4, and on July 30th the essential toolchain and the kernel are to be frozen in order to be able to release in December.

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. 10 packages were orphaned this week and require a new maintainer. This makes a total of 297 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. To find out which orphaned packages are installed on your system the wnpp-alert program from devscripts may be helpful.

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This issue of Debian Weekly News was edited by Luis Matos, Mohammed Adnène Trojette, Sebastian Feltel, Frederick Noronha and Martin 'Joey' Schulze.