Debian Project News - July 26th, 2010

Welcome to this year's eighth issue of DPN, the newsletter for the Debian community. Topics covered in this issue include:

Debian Day in New York coming up

The organisers of the DebConf10, the upcoming annual Debian Developer conference, announced that there will again be a Debian Day for everybody interested in free software. It will be on the 1st of August at the Columbia University in New York City. During this event, there will be a full day of talks on several subjects such as free software in government, design and free software, free software advocacy as well as string of talks about the Debian project and operating system. Debian Day is free of charge, but a registration via e-mail is required to ease the organisation of that event. More information is available on

Mini Debian conference in India

Kartik Mistry announced a mini Debian Conference in India. It will take place on 7th and 8th of August in Pune. Topics on the agenda range from an introduction of the univeral operating system to a discussion about Debian community activities. A bug squashing party is planed as well. More details are available in the Debian wiki.

Debian Installer beta1 coming up

Christian Perrier reported about the status of the upcoming beta1 of the Debian Installer for Squeeze. This version has been translated into 65 languages, work for additional languages is already on the way. Christian also gave some tips on how this beta may already be tested, although the packages haven't completely migrated to Debian Squeeze, yet.

This week in Debian podcast?

Debian Project Leader Stefano Zacchiroli was contacted by Jonathan Nadeau, who produces several podcast for the wider free software community, about creating a podcast about Debian. This weekly podcast should interview someone, who refers about a Debian related topic. As Stefano emphasizes: Any Debian-related topic is a good candidate: a team, an initiative, a general discussion about a relevant project aspect, etc. You don't even need any particular upfront preparation, as it'll be interview-like. Coordination for that has already been started on a wiki page.

How to make Debian more attractive for Users?

Petter Reinholdtsen noticed that the number of submissions to Debian's Popularity Contest (popcon for short) is decreasing since some weeks. Popcon is a system which anonymously sends a list of installed software packages to Debian, which allows Debian to prioritise their work (e.g. ordering of packages on installation media). Currently popcon isn't activated by default, so it was discussed, if this should be done, and if there was a way to do that in way not affect users privacy. Soon the discussion turned into the topic on how to make Debian more attractive to users.

Some of the ideas raised (beside others) where:

Other news

Raphaël Hertzog noted that the upcoming version of dpkg — the core package maintenance tool — won't depend on perl anymore thus making dpkg even more suitable for embedded systems.

Giuseppe Iuculano pointed some differences between Debian's chromium-browser packages and google-chrome out.

The responsibilities of Debian's package maintainers, Debian's porters and Debian's buildd administrators (who take care of systems automatically building packages for specific architectures) has been discussed on the general Debian project mailing list.

New Developers and Maintainers

One applicant has been accepted as Debian Maintainer since the previous issue of the Debian Project News. Please welcome Antoine Beaupré into our project!

Release-critical bugs statistics for the upcoming release

According to the unofficial release-citical bug counter, the upcoming release, Debian 6.0 Squeeze, is currently affected by 348 release-critical bugs. Ignoring bugs which are easily solved or on the way of being solved, roughly speaking, about 152 release critical bugs remain to be solved for the release to happen.

There are also more detailed statistics as well as some hints on how to interprete these numbers.

Important Debian Security Advisories

Debian's Security Team recently released advisories for these packages (among others): python-cjson, znc, freetype, libmikmod, libpng, mlmmj, and ncompress. Please read them carefully and take the proper measures.

Please note that these are a selection of the more important security advisories of the last weeks. If you need to be kept up to date about security advisories released by the Debian Security Team, please subscribe to the security mailing list for announcements.

New and noteworthy packages

The following packages were added to the unstable Debian archive recently (among others):

Work-needing packages

Currently 608 packages are orphaned and 143 packages are up for adoption. Please take a look at the recent reports to see if there are packages you are interested in or view the complete list of packages which need your help.

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This issue of Debian Project News was edited by Alexander Reichle-Schmehl.