Debian Weekly News - August 20th, 2002
Aug 21, 2002, 06:00 (0 Talkback[s])
Debian Weekly News
Debian Weekly News - August 20th, 2002
Welcome to this year's 32nd issue of DWN, the weekly newsletter for
the Debian community. The FLOSS (see below) survey is finished and the
results were posted. The most interesting bit is the number of Debian
users among the participants, however, since we pointed out that
survey, we may have contributed a little bit to the trend...
Interview with Mr. Tux Paint In this interview with Bill Kendrick
of New Breed Software, Bill explains that he decided to write Tux
Paint because a friend of him who uses Debian Jr. with his children
noticed we were lacking a paint program for children. Before Bill
wrote it, there was nothing like Tux Paint, designed specifically for
children with sounds, fun to use "magic" tools, and a simple user
interface in our distribution. The closest thing to it was The Gimp,
and that is a program event adults have trouble using. Debian Jr. now
has not only packaged Tux Paint, but keeps tabs closely on new
releases, communicating regularly with Bill about development of new
features, and helping him to shake out the bugs.
Where should Debian People IRC? Since about 1996, the Debian project
used IRC servers of Open Projects Network for real-time communication.
Josip Rodin points out that the founder of this network has
started soliciting donations for the use of the network, in a highly
questionable way. OFTC (Open and Free Technology Community) was
suggested as an alternative network, which is an affiliated
project of Software in the Public Interest that supports Debian
already. Rob Levin tried to explain why spamming users with
requests to donate is done.
Free/Libre and Open Source Software report. In a former issue we
mentioned that the European Commission was accomplishing a survey
about Free Software developers. The recently published final report
reveals much data concerning the age, social status, motivation etc.
of the corresponding developers. The question about their favorite
distribution/operating system answered 1069 from 2228 developers
(48 %) with "Debian" followed by "Red Hat" (14 %) and "Mandrake"
(10 %). The complete report is available here.
Problems implied by GCC 3.2. Debian will sooner or later switch to
using version 3.2 of GCC for all architectures. However, the binary
interface for C++ programs has changed again. The main point of
the GCC 3.2 release is to have a relatively stable and common C++
binary interface for GNU/Linux and BSD usage. Unfortunately this means
that GCC 3.2 is incompatible with GCC 3.0 and GCC 3.1 releases.
Matthew Wilcox is working on an update plan already and Luca
Barbieri released his thoughts as well.
Free Dustismo Font. Dustin Norlander, a font designer who contacted us
before for help him with licensing a free font, created a first
font package. The font is in Unicode encoding but does not yet
contain all special characters for commonly used non-english
languages. However, Dustin is seeking feedback so you may want to
contact him directly.
Multilingual Security Lists? Joey wondered if multilingual
security-announce lists would help our users more than they could
damage. His main concern is that, being a volunteer organization, the
Debian project cannot guarantee that a translated advisory will be
posted immediately after the original advisory was released. If users
don't notice the original advisory, they may not be aware of a
publically known vulnerability in their systems, and hence vulnerable
for a longer time than is healthy. On the other hand, translations are
available in several languages on www.debian.org after the
advisory has been released. Oohara Yuuma explains how security
advisories are handled for Japanese users.
Security Updates. You know the drill. Please make sure that you update
your systems if you have any of these packages installed.
* Mantis -- Cross site code execution and privilege escalation.
* fam -- Privilege escalation.
New or Noteworthy Packages. The following packages were added to the
Debian archive recently or contain important updates.
* 3ddesktop -- "Three-dimensional" desktop switcher.
* diasce -- A C/C++ code editor for GNOME.
* galan -- A modular, gtk-based synthesiser, drum-machine,
sequencer, and effects-unit.
* mboxcheck -- MBOX scan utility.
* mydns -- DNS server using MySQL for data storage.
* reaim -- Enable AIM and MSN file transfer on Linux iptables
Orphaned Packages. 4 packages were orphaned this week and require a
new maintainer. This makes a total of 103 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.
* fdflush -- A disk-flushing program. (Bug#156798)
* ipmi-ctl -- IPMI (Intelligent Platform Management Interface)
support tools (Bug#156801)
* kvdr -- DVB (digital TV) Video Disk Recorder for KDE.
* vcdimager -- A VideoCD (VCD) image mastering and ripping tool.
Seen something interesting? Please drop us a note whenever you see
something noteworthy that you think is appropriate for inclusion in
DWN. We don't notice everything, unfortunately. Of course, we are also
thankful for completely written items from volunteer writers. Please
see the contributing page. We're looking forward to receiving your
mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.