Debian Weekly News - August 27th, 2002
Aug 28, 2002, 07:00 (0 Talkback[s])
Debian Weekly News
Debian Weekly News - August 27th, 2002
Welcome to this year's 33rd issue of DWN, the weekly newsletter for
the Debian community. Many developers still seem to be enjoying their
holidays so the lists are quite silent, compared to other times of the
year. After large numbers complaints that were posted on
debian-project, Slashdot and Debian Planet, Rob Levin, head
of the network in question, finally announced that global notices
for fundraising will stop.
Reviving a Constitutional Amendment. In December 2000, Raul Miller
proposed a General Resolution (GR) to fix the voting process as
defined in the constitution. The GR was withdrawn until a
committee assigned to study the problem returned with a
recommendation. The Debian Project Secretary, Manoj Srivastava,
recently revived the discussion.
OpenLDAP and TLS/SSL. Torsten Landschoff was pondering whether he
should enable SSL support in OpenLDAP. This, however, results in a
priority problem since libldap2 uses a higher priority in the Debian
archive than libssl0.9.6. Hence, either of these packages need to have
their priority changed. Creating two packages is not really an option
since the number of -ssl packages should be fewer now that crypto is
permitted to go into the main archive.
On the new GCC 3.2. Gerhard Tonn started rebuilding all packages that
depend on C++ on S/390. The results are not looking very good,
since more than a third of all affected packages failed to build
at all. However, several packages failed to build due to problems not
directly connected to GCC 3.2. Gerhard agreed to write bug reports
for build problems that are not GCC 3.2 specific.
Python 2.2 as the default Version? Matthias Klose proposed to
change the default Python version in Debian unstable to Version 2.2.
When preparing packages for multiple versions of Python, Matthias asks
maintainers to drop python1.5 support and consider providing support
for the experimental python2.3 packages.
Dock Apps packaging. Josselin Mouette finally proposed how to
package WindowMaker dock apps for Debian. Basically, dock apps from
the same category will be included in one package. The proposed
packages include many dock apps which are already in the archive.
Supporting Gnome 2. There are ongoing discussions that
deal with the process of adding Gnome 2 to the Debian archive. It
is not yet decided whether there will be both Gnome 1 and Gnome 2 in
Debian, since both possibilities are problematic. It's been said that
some applications won't start with Gnome 2, and supporting both
versions will create new integrity and namespace problems. Ian Jackson
eventually proposed a resolution.
New Sun Documentation License. Peter Novodvorsky wondered whether
this license, which is going to be used for OpenOffice.Org
documentation, is compliant with the DFSG (Debian Free Software
Guidelines). This actually seems to be the case. However, Branden
Robinson pointed out that it could be argued that the license de
facto imposes further restrictions by the choice of law clause and an
increasingly hostile situation against Free Software in the U.S.A.
Are Word Lists Copyrightable? Bas Zoetekouw was seeking advice for
packaging a dutch aspell dictionary, which itself lacks a license, but
seems to be based upon a package which is licensed under the GNU
General Public License, even though it uses a non-free word list.
Richard Stallman agreed that word lists seem to be copyrightable.
Getting Rid of non-free Packers. Juhapekka Tolvanen wondered why
Debian still ships non-free packers. Different packers than the
commonly used gzip or bzip2 are required to uncompress archives like
arj, rar, lha, zoo or ace. They are especially useful when somebody
would like to listen to music modules made under other operating
systems or when virus scanners are required to examine many compressed
formats, too. Juhapekka investigated the situation and found, that
there are some free alternatives which only need to be packaged, or be
ported, or completed. For packers with license or patent issues it
would be necessary to contact the authors and ask for DFSG compliant
The debian-installer Runs Again. Tollef Fog Heen released another
status report on the debian-installer effort. The most important
news is that cdebconf has been fixed and now works like a charm. The
second most important piece of news is that support for multiple
architectures has begun, since Colin Walters is working on the PowerPC
port and Wartan Hachaturow is working on the Alpha port. Currently, it
is questionable, though, if a reduced libc will be possible.
First Bug Squashing Party. Raphaël Hertzog announced the first bug
squashing party for the sarge distribution. It will take place during
the upcoming weekend, from August 30th to September 2nd. Raphaël
explains that the number of release critical bugs in sarge is
already too high for a release and we aim to a short release cycle.
Security Updates. You know the drill. Please make sure that you update
your systems if you have any of these packages installed.
* kdelibs -- Privacy escalation with Konqueror.
* epic-script-light -- Arbitrary script execution.
* irssi-text -- Denial of service.
* Gaim -- Arbitrary program execution.
New or Noteworthy Packages. The following packages were added to the
Debian archive recently or contain important updates.
* evilwm -- A minimalist window manager for X11.
* hebcal -- A Perpetual Jewish Calendar.
* ilohamail -- Light weight yet full featured multilingual
web-based IMAP client.
* imagefs -- Creates a virtual FAT12 file system in a single
* libphp-adodb -- The 'adodb' database abstraction layer for
* securecgi -- Wrapper for secure executing of CGI programs.
Orphaned Packages. There are no new orphaned packages last week or the
LDAP gateway to the bug tracking system is currently out of order.
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 email@example.com.