Debian Weekly News - October 8th, 2002
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Debian Weekly News
Debian Weekly News - October 8th, 2002
Welcome to this year's 39th issue of DWN, the weekly newsletter for
the Debian community. This week we are pleased to include two items by
both Matt Black and Richard Wale. Now that the Free Standards Group
has released specification of Linux Standard Base 1.2 (LSB), it is
seeking items missing from it, which probably also affects Debian.
OpenSSL with CPU Optimisation. Christoph Martin announced that he
has uploaded new packages for the OpenSSL library. The new version
exploits the ability of the shared library loader to include special
directories depending on the CPU architecture. Optimisation is
currently available for i486, i586, i686, sparc-v8, sparc-v9,
alpha-ev4 and alpha-ev5. For details see the file README.optimizations
Problematic BitKeeper License. Branden Robinson pointed out that
some of us may be exposed to tort claims from BitMover, Inc., the
company that produces BitKeeper, the software that is the primary
source management tool for the Linux kernel. Your license to use
BitKeeper free of charge is revoked if you or your employer develop,
produce, sell, or resell a source management tool. Debian distributes
rcs, cvs, subversion and arch at least and this seems to be a
different case. Ben Collins however, who works on both the Linux
kernel and the subversion project, got his license to use BitKeeper
free of charge revoked. Ulrich Drepper experienced similar
problems. This has also been brought up on Slashdot and
discussed on debian-devel.
LWN subscription for the Debian Project? A while ago Linux Weekly
News (LWN) experienced financial trouble and identified it by
started a subscription service that has to be paid for. Branden
Robinson asked LWN whether they would be interested in donating an
LWN subscription to the Debian Project, since Debian generates a fair
share of news for LWN to cover. Henrique de Moraes Holschuh to acquire
such a license, instead, to support LWN.
KDE 3 heats up. This week the KDE Project released KDE 3.1 beta2.
The goal of the release is to provide new features as well as to solve
several known problems. Packages for woody are available for
Debian users who don't want to wait for official Debian packages.
David Pastern gave advice on installing KDE3 as well.
Cryptography in South Africa. Luca Geyer brought up efforts by the
South African government to regulate the distribution of "cryptography
products". The law will require providers of "cryptography
products" to register their details with, and pay a fee to, the
government. This will at least cause a problem with Debian mirrors in
XFree86 4.2.1 in unstable. After a lot of testing and preparation,
Branden and his colleagues from the X Strike Force (XSF) have
finally unleashed XFree86 4.2.1 to the incoming directory. Many
thanks to Branden and the XSF for all their hard work in making this a
GNOME 2 Transition. Colin Walters announced to the
debian-gtk-gnome list that he had started to maintain a web
page about using GNOME 2 for woody, sarge and sid during the
transition progresses. This page lists the available scenarios and
Incompatible new Bogofilter Package. Clint Adams sent a warning to
users of bogofilter. The package uses a new database format and
doesn't convert files automatically. His mail contains upgrade
instructions for users who would like to keep their spam databases
with the new version. Alternatively, you could just wipe out the old
files and start building them again with the new version.
Debian "removed" archive? Drew Scott Daniels tried to setup an
archive of removed Debian packages at SourceForge. This issue has
been discussed several times, since orphaned packages that nobody
would like to maintain are likely to be silently removed. However,
Sourceforge explained that their mission is the development of Open
Source Applications and not hosting a pure content repository.
Debian Mini-Conf at LCA2003. Jonathan Oxer sent in a reminder for
the Debian Mini-Conference which is to be hosted at the upcoming
Linux Conference Australia. Jonathan still needs more people
willing to do presentations. He already received 39 registrations for
the Mini-conference so far.
Perl Transition not Migrating. Some people may have already noticed
that the new Perl 5.8 does not migrate into testing. This is due to
several packages still depending on the older version of Perl, as Joey
Hess pointed out. Funnily, the Python transition contributes to
this problem since PostgreSQL is out of date on most architectures due
to a Python error.
Debian FreeBSD Update. Nathan Hawkins sent in an updated status
report for the Debian port to FreeBSD. Basically, he has been busy
working on glibc and has been contributing patches to the package. He
also has some of the essential BSD utilities building under glibc and
will continue to work on the rest. Mostly this involves working on the
system headers that glibc didn't include. Later he reported that
glibc is working well except for DNS resolution. Also X is building
nearly everything except the server, which helps a lot already.
BTS supports MIME. Colin Watson announced that a new version of
the mail bot for the Debian Bug Tracking System (BTS) has been
installed. This version adds MIME support for initial incoming bug
reports. This means that you can now safely submit bug reports with
attachments without having to wait for the bug number to come back,
GPG-sign bug submissions and control messages, and so on.
W3C Patent Policy. Bruce Perens reports that after a year of
argument and see-sawing the Patent Board of the World Wide Web
Consortium (W3C) recommends a royalty-free patent policy. Bruce was
invited to join W3C's patent policy board, representing Software
in the Public Interest, and was later joined in this by Eben Moglen,
for the Free Software Foundation, and Larry Rosen, for the
Open Source Initiative.
Debian Project at UK Linux Expo. There will be a Debian booth at the
upcoming UK Linux Expo in London this Wednesday and Thursday (9th
and 10th of October). Registration is required, but there are no
entrance fees. People from Debian will sell woody CDs at the
exhibition and Debian will be demonstrated running on various
architectures (maybe even including NetBSD).
Security Updates. You know the drill. Please make sure that you update
your systems if you have any of these packages installed.
* ht://Check -- Cross site scripting.
* Tomcat4 -- Source code disclosure.
* fetchmail -- Buffer overflows.
* tkmail -- Insecure temporary files.
New or Noteworthy Packages. The following packages were added to the
Debian archive recently or contain important updates.
* apg -- Automated Password Generator - Standalone version.
* atitvout -- ATI TV Out Support Program.
* colloquy -- Powerful NILEX-like internet talker server.
* debian-goodies -- Small toolbox-style utilities for Debian
* exiftags -- Utility to read Exif tags from a digital camera
* fragroute -- Test a NIDS by attempting to evade using
* ggzd -- GGZ Gaming Zone Main Server.
* gloo -- Two-way pipes and serial/network to STDIO pipes.
* imapfilter -- Filter mail in your IMAP account.
* kobodeluxe -- Space Battle Game.
* lbt -- Converter of LTL formulas to Buechi automata.
* lemon -- The Lemon Parser Generator.
* mcplay -- C-clone of the program 'cplay', frontend of many
* outguess -- Universal Steganographic Tool.
* phpwiki -- An informal collaborative website manager.
* postman -- High performace web based IMAP and NNTP client.
* quelcom -- Command line editing tools for MP3 and WAV files.
* rioutil -- Talk to USB based Diamond MM products.
* rpld -- RPL/RIPL remote boot daemon.
* sablevm -- Free implementation of Java Virtual Machine (JVM)
* screentest -- Utility to test the quality of CRT screens.
* stegdetect -- Detect and extract steganography messages inside
* texpower -- Macros for creating professional presentations
* xsteg -- Graphical frontend to stegdetect.
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