Debian Project News - November 22nd, 2010

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

State of Debian 6.0 Squeeze

Release Manager Neil McGovern gave an update for the upcoming Debian 6.0 Squeeze stable release. As Squeeze is almost in its final form he calls for upgrade and installation tests (see also the separate announcement for that). He also notes that even (experienced) users who have no systems available for installation or upgrade tests can help by triaging installation reports and upgrade reports, or propose text for the release notes.

Highlights from the Debian linux-2.6 Meeting

A report from Maximilian Attems on the Debian kernel group's meeting at the Paris mini-Debconf in October was sent to the Debian kernel mailing list. Among the things they discussed was the move to Git as a source code management tool, allowing the kernel group to not have to update infrastructure in separate branches as we have to do now.
The report also mentions the reduction of Linux kernel patches for Wheezy: Several patches got pushed or landed since 2.6.32, thus state is in general good. Much more (e.g. about different patches for virtualisation, the need for automated tests, and Linux Security Modules) can be read in the original email.

New default artwork for Debian Squeeze

Yves-Alexis Perez announced the results of the Debian Squeeze Artwork contest: the winner is the theme Space Fun by Valessio Brito. Congratulations!
The new theme has been added to the desktop-base package, and is already available in Debian's development branch Sid.

Debian Women IRC Training Sessions

The Debian Women project launched a new initiative to encourage more people, and specifically women, to contribute to Debian while introducing them to different aspects of the Debian Project: IRC Training Sessions. The first session took place last Thursday, and was visited by many interested people. Longtime Debian contributor Lars Wirzenius gave an introduction to Debian packaging and was available for all kinds of questions. The training session is also available as a tutorial on the Debian wiki.
More training sessions with topics like Bug Tracking System usage, Using Git, and Python libraries and application packaging (and many other interesting topics) are already planned in the Debian wiki.

Bits from the DPL

Debian Project Leader Stefano Zacchiroli sent another bits from the DPL report. He mentions events he has attended (see for example his separate short report about the Ubuntu Developer Summit) and the Debian Sprint program, making it easier for Debian Contributors to meet for developer gatherings. Last but not least he also asks for midterm feedback about his work as DPL.

Bits from the Debian Multimedia Maintainers

Alessio Treglia sent some bits from the Debian Multimedia Maintainers. While also giving a small introduction to this team, he concentrates on multimedia related features for consumers as well as producers in the upcoming Debian 6.0 Squeeze. Some of the highlights for consumers are a non-crippled version of ffmpeg and the introduction of a mencoder package. He also gave an overview of multimedia production related platforms, technologies and end user applications.

Interview with Debian Developer Joey Hess

Raphaël Hertzog published an interview with long-time Debian Developer Joey Hess, who's already well known to Debian Developers for his work on debconf, the configuration system for Debian packages, debhelper, a collection of helper scripts to ease package creation, or the debian-installer (d-i for short). When he was asked about his biggest achievement, he answered: But while it might sound corny, I am more proud of the accumulation of all the smaller things done in the context of Debian. Joey Hess, who by the way also once laid the base for this newsletter, also gives some insights about his plans for Debian Wheezy, what person he most admires, and whether he regrets having written most of his applications in Perl.

Revival of the m68k port?

Although Debian supported the Motorola 680x0 processors from Debian 2.0 Hamm, support for that architecture was dropped with Debian 4.0 Etch for various reasons. One of the main factors was limited support of the C library and other parts of the toolchain. However, Thorsten Glaser recently started to work on these issues. He has already made some progress and reports having been able to compile 84 core source packages for a first sort of re-bootstrapping.

Other news

Luca Bruno reported on the Italian l10n community. While he confesses that the Italian language team has failed at attracting new members, he also reported about quite successful online sprints which took place recently.

Cyril Brulebois from the X Strike Force gave a report about the state of X in experimental and also elaborated on dependency handling of X related packages. Julien Viard de Galbert, who recently joined the X Strike Force, blogged about his experiences joining the team. His conclusion? Working on X isn't that hard!

Petter Reinholdtsen noticed someone creating a three dimensional Debian swirl with a 3d printer.

In a recent poll by the German Pro-Linux Webzine, Debian was named as the most important Linux distribution by 47% of the participants.

New Debian Contributors

7 applicants have been accepted as Debian Developers, 5 applicants have been accepted as Debian Maintainers, and 28 people started to maintain packages since the previous issue of the Debian Project News. Please welcome Luis Uribe, Julián Moreno Patiño, Julien Viard de Galbert, Jeremie Corbier, Muammar El Khatib, Julien Valroff, Heiko Stuebner, Niels Thykier, David Bremner, John Sullivan, Bernhard Reiter, Lisandro Damián Nicanor Pérez Meyer, LIU Qi Makoto Yamashita, Hubert Pham, Mathias Behrle, Andrew Ross, Sascha Girrulat, Barry Warsaw, Michael Tokarev, Pekko Metsä, Estêvão Samuel Procópio, Roman Haefeli, Massimo Manghi, Ishan Bansal, William Grzybowski, Daniele Tricoli, David Steele, Mackenzie Morgan, Fernando Tarlá Cardoso Lemos, Xiangfu Liu, Sten Spans, David Banks, Stéphan Gorget, Arnout Engelen, Samuel Ribeiro da Costa Vale, Rosea Grammostola, Daniel Echeverry, Davi Leal, and Williams Orellana into our project!

Release-critical bugs statistics for the upcoming release

According to the Bugs Search interface of the Ultimate Debian Database, the upcoming release, Debian 6.0 Squeeze, is currently affected by 200 release-critical bugs. Ignoring bugs which are easily solved or on the way to being solved, roughly speaking, about 123 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 interpret these numbers.

Important Debian Security Advisories

Debian's Security Team recently released an advisory for this package (among others): pidgin (updated advisory). Please read it carefully and take the proper measures.

Debian's Backports Team released advisories for these packages: iceweasel, nss. Please read them carefully and take the proper measures.

Debian's Volatile Team released an update announcement for the package: tzdata. Please read it 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 (and the separate backports list and volatile list) for announcements.

New and noteworthy packages

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

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This issue of Debian Project News was edited by Jeremiah C. Foster and Alexander Reichle-Schmehl.