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Debian Weekly News - November 8th, 2001

Nov 08, 2001, 00:45 (5 Talkback[s])

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From:   Martin Schulze 
To:     Debian News Channel 
Subject:        Debian Weekly News - November 8th, 2001
Date:   08 Nov 2001 00:16:27 +0100      
Debian Weekly News
Debian Weekly News - November 8th, 2001

Debian 2.2r4 Released! The [1]announcement went out on monday, Debian
2.2r4 is out. This release is part of the Potato series containing
additional security fixes and bugfixes. If you're running stable, you
probably want to upgrade now. See the announcement for more info. Phil
Hands [2]created cd-images for this release already.

Continuing The Freeze Process. Anthony Towns sent in a [3]report
telling us that the project finally obtained the legal advice it
needed to go about putting crypto in main. Since this was the last
piece which stalled the freeze process, there is progress now. This
means that no new packages will be be added to base. This especially
requires maintainers of base packages to avoid fiddling with their
dependencies, or compiling against new libraries. Additionally, base
packages should not be bumping shlibs versions from this point, under
any circumstances.

Recognizing IRC Channels. Raphael Hertzog proposed a [4]General
Resolution targetting [5]IRC as a Debian communication channel as a
result of recent events on a famous developer channel. He proposes
that all #debian-* channels be open to anybody interested with the
exception of #debian-private for which the same policy applies as for
the private mailing list. However, Peter Makholm raised the
[6]question if Debian as an open project really can accept more
closed forums?

Serious Bug in gnome-pilot. There is a [7]problem with the backup
conduit in gnome-pilot 0.1.62 that can cause a crash requiring a hard
reset (and loss of all data) on at least some Palm devices. The same
bug also renders all Palm device backups created by it completely
useless. These backups will, in all likelihood, crash the device if
restored to it. The author recommends that everyone cease using 0.1.62
immediately. New packages for 0.1.63 have been uploaded already.

Default Mail Transport Agent (MTA). Tollef Fog Heen [8]investigated
the current situation with dependencies to MTAs now that Exim is the
default MTA on a freshly installed Debian system. This revealed
several different dependencies instead of just exim |
mail-transport-agent, which are parsed by our package tools as "use
exim as preference over other packages that provide
mail-transport-agent, however they are fine as well".

Upgrade for two Important Machines. Adam Heath [9]announced a
maintenance hour for the machines master and murphy, which perform
important functions for the project. Brainfood has replaced 64MB of
RAM with 512MB on our poor list server, which helps a lot for this
loaded machine. The other machine was taken back to its co-location.
Thanks [10]Brainfood, this is really appreciated.

Policy Proposal for javadoc. Guillaume Rousse has a [11]proposal for
the placement of javadoc-generated documentation under
/usr/share/apidoc. This might be of interest to any Java developers
out there.

Misuse of Debconf Notes. Joey Hess [12]feels that both of the recently
added pcmcia-cs debconf notes (about 2.4 kernels and network up
ordering) are a misuse of the note datatype, which, as he states in
the debconf tutorial, is for "something important, that the user
really should see." Joey's main concern is that debconf notes are
being vastly overused, and that this will probably result in a Debian
installation which is so cluttered with low-value notes that the
important stuff is easily missed.

ReiserFS On SRM-Alpha Drives. James Freels converted all of his Ext2
filesystems to ReiserFS filesystems on his Alpha machine. He has
written [13]notes to himself on how to setup the boot process for a
Debian/Alpha computer using the SRM console. Some of it may also be
helpful for other architectures.

Debian And /usr Mounted read-only. Anthony Towns recently posted a
[14]report about a Debian system which has /usr mounted read-only.
During package installation it will be remounted read-write, which apt
is configured to do. However, there is still a problem with used files
that were replaced during installation. In such a case the filesystem
can't be umounted again. Anthony attached two scripts which ought to
take care of this.

Bug-Squashing Party #6. Colin Watson [15]announced that the sixth
Debian Bug-Squashing Party for woody will take place on the second
weekend of November: Friday 9th to Sunday 11th. The goal is to fix
release-critical bugs, especially those filed against base and
standard/task packages. As usual, the party will by co-ordinated in
the #debian-bugs IRC channel on the OpenProjects Network (IRC server

New and Updated Packages.
 * [16]berlin-server -- A network-transparent windowing system not
   based on X.
 * [17]gcvs -- A Gtk frontend for CVS.
 * [18]kernel-image-2.2.20 -- Linux kernel image for 2.2.20. Many
    other 2.2.20 images are available for this new release, as well as
    header files.
 * [19]kfocus -- Personal project management program for KDE.
 * [20]plex86 -- Plex86 is a free software virtual machine for
   running multiple operating systems. Plex86 is still in
   development, but may be of interest to developers who want to help
   create a free virtual machine for Linux. It is, however, already
   possible to run [21]several instances of Linux on one machine.
 * [22]scribus -- A desktop publishing program.

Keep us Informed! If you've got a comment, suggestion or newstip for
us, send it to [23] There's a lot going on in the wide
world of Debian -- we don't want to miss any of it!


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