Debian Project News - September 19th, 2011

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

Debian's 18th birthday

On August 16 the Debian Project turned 18: for that occasion, across the world there were various parties organised by Debian Developers, Maintainers, Contributors and Users. Pictures of these parties can be viewed at the Debian Birthday website, where the project has collected 2230 thanks messages! The Debian Project takes this opportunity to thank all its users and contributors, and its upstream developers.
The Project has also received some birthday cakes from Polish users: thank you!

Bits from the DPL

Stefano Zacchiroli sent some Bits from the DPL, reporting his activities for July and August. The first mail includes some interesting news on trademarks: a potential issue with the redistribution of GNOME (according to a strict interpretation of the GNOME trademark) was solved partly during DebConf, with the help of Karen Sandler (Executive Director of the GNOME foundation). With regard to the Debian trademark, thanks to Jimmy Kaplowitz (SPI director) and Mishi Choudhary (lawyer at SFLC) a survey of existing Debian-related trademark was completed and the trademark on the name DEBIAN was extended to the European Union, China and Japan.
In the second mail, Stefano writes about the services administration initiative, started by Enrico Zini, and reports on his participation at the GNU Hackers Meeting.

Debian Bug Squashing Party at MIT

Asheesh Laroia blogged about the Bug Squashing Party held at the MIT in Cambridge, USA on August 21. The event was promoted by Geoffrey Thomas for MIT's student computing group and went quite well: the attendees, some of them having their first experience as Debian contributors, fixed several release-critical bugs with the help of the present developers.
And speaking of bugs, Gregor Herrmann resumed work on the Release Critical Bugs of the Week (RCBW) initiative, launched in 2009 by Stefano Zacchiroli, which consists of fixing one Release Critical bug per day. Gregor, one of the most active developers in this initiative, observed that in this phase of the development cycle there are plenty of RC bugs, some of them really easy to fix. It's possible to use the UDD bugs page to search in the BTS for RC bugs. If fixing bugs is too much for you, you can help triaging them, as explained in the useful tutorial blogged by Raphaël Hertzog.

Squeeze backports for Xorg

Cyril Brulebois announced the availability of X.Org Server backports for Squeeze. These backports are particularly useful for people who need a newer driver, while users with a perfectly working X could stay with its old version. For those interested in the backported Xorg, a documentation page is also available.

Debian feeds on and Twitter

In order to highlight the work done by Debian and to improve the availability of such information, Sylvestre Ledru introduced three new feeds on

Debian in Myanmar

Theppitak Karoonboonyanan sent a report of his visit to Yangon where he delivered some talks and tutorials on Debian packaging and mirroring. In particular, Theppitak has done the preliminary actions to realise a Debian mirror in Myanmar; sadly, due to Myanmar's internet policy, SSH connections between domestic and international sites are prohibited, so only local people will be able to maintain the mirror. Another interesting initiative was the start of packaging of resources for Myanmar languages support; in addition Thura Hlaing and Ngwe Tun started a translation process for Myanmar in Debian and in GNOME. He also reported that GNU/Linux is not popular in Myanmar due to lack of internet access, which is mostly provided by internet cafés rather than from homes.

Further interviews

There have been two People behind Debian interviews: with Peter Palfrader, Debian System Administrator; and with Enrico Zini, member of the New Maintainer Frontdesk.

Other news

Stefano Zacchiroli announced that Colin Watson has been appointed as the eighth member of the Debian Technical Committee. Congratulations, Colin!

Enrico Zini announced the creation of a new mailing list: debian-services-admin, aiming to create a single point of contact for issues with Debian infrastructure services. In addition, Enrico promoted a census of those services: you can consult the first results of the census on the related wiki page.

Fernando C. Estrada announced the launch of the spam cleaning effort on Spanish language lists. For more information, you can visit the relevant wiki page.

Niels Thykier sent some bits from the Lintian maintainers in order to announce changes in Lintian 2.5.2. Lintian is a useful (and widely used) tool for checking Debian packages in order to find bugs and policy violations before upload to the Debian archive. This new version includes several new features, including the ability to process related packages together, support for architecture-specific overrides, and test coverage of over 75% of tags.

New Debian Contributors

22 people have started to maintain packages since the previous issue of the Debian Project News. Please welcome Thomas Bechtold, Theodore Lytras, Ivo De Decker, Tim Booth, Jessica McKellar, Gustavo Goretkin, Andrew O. Shadura, Luis Rivas Vañó, Noah Swartz, Roland Clobus, Jonathan McCrohan, Eric P. Mangold, Enrique Hernández Bello, Igor Pashev, Guido van Steen, Jean-Philippe Mengual, Sebastian Humenda, Yannick Schwartz, Ximin Luo, Haïkel Guémar, Gregory C. Sharp and Georg Koppen into our project!

Important Debian Security Advisories

Debian's Security Team recently released advisories for these packages (among others): iceape, iceweasel, icedove, apache2, ca-certificates, nss, rails, bcfg2, linux-2.6, squid3, vsftpd, ffmpeg, chromium-browser, mantis, and openssl. Please read them carefully and take the proper measures.

Debian's Backports Team released advisories for these packages: icedove, nss, and apache2. Please read them carefully and take the proper measures.

Debian's Stable Release Team released an update announcement for the package: pianobar. 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 stable updates list or volatile list, for Lenny, the oldstable distribution) for announcements.

New and noteworthy packages

100 packages were added to the unstable Debian archive recently. Among many others are:

Work-needing packages

Currently 252 packages are orphaned and 126 packages are up for adoption: please visit the complete list of packages which need your help.

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This issue of Debian Project News was edited by Francesca Ciceri, Fernando C. Estrada, Sylvestre Ledru, Alexander Reichle-Schmehl, Alexander Reshetov and Justin B Rye.