Debian Weekly News - November 26th, 2002
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Debian Weekly News
Debian Weekly News - November 26th, 2002
Welcome to this year's 46th issue of DWN, the weekly newsletter for
the Debian community. Is Free Software suited for governmental use?
Can it replace the systems currently used? To examine this, Japan will
study the possibility of using open-source software such as Linux
at the government level.
Debian User Worldmap. Gürkan Sengün started to create a world map
of Debian users, similar to the one of Debian developers. Within only
two days he received about 150 coordinates and there should be about
1000 by the release of DWN. The world map is available in three sizes,
768x384, 2000x1000 and 4000x1000. If you want to be added, please send
in your coordinates to email@example.com.
Debian Server burnt down. Wichert Akkerman reported that a fire
started in the computing facilities of Twente University.
According to the fire department, everything in the building and the
entire building was burnt to the ground. The Debian server "satie"
that served as security and non-US archive was hosted there. Two days
later, the Security Team reported that the security service was
successfully reinstalled on another server. The nm and qa
hosts had their home on satie as well and were also reinstalled on
klecker. It has finally been confirmed that the fire was a result
Debian losing Users to Gentoo? Andrew Lau was disturbed by the
raising interest in Gentoo Linux and asked what Debian could learn
from Gentoo. Branden Robinson pointed out that Debian already has
learnt from it and mentioned apt-src. Roberto Suarez Soto,
however, added that several users do not only consider technical
issues when chosing their operating system.
Debian-Installer Status Update. Tollef Fog Heen provided an update
on the new installer for sarge. Michael Cardenas also announced a new
homepage for it. The x86 and S/390 ports are progressing nicely as
is i18n. Work has started on the IA64 port, while the Alpha-Axp and
PowerPC ports are stalled. A lot of work still needs to be done to get
a beta version out by New Year's Eve. If you'd like to help please see
the getting started notes and the todo list.
Debian at LWE in Frankfurt. Michael Banck wrote a report about the
Debian presence at Linux World Expo and Conference in Frankfurt,
Germany, back in October 2002. The Debian project got a sponsored
booth in the .org pavillon at the opposite site to the entrance.
Debian people from Germany managed to use a video projector for
real-time demonstrations at the booth.
Applications and Nominations for the SPI Board. Bdale Garbee
advised that Software in the Public Interest, Inc. (SPI) would
like to expand its board of directors. SPI is a non-profit
organization which was founded to help organizations develop and
distribute open hardware and software. It provides a legal and
financial existence for Debian and other projects. SPI Vice-President
Martin "Joey" Schulze is seeking applications and nominations for
Board membership and a special "Assistant" position who would help in
maintaining the Corporation, running meetings and so on. On Sunday,
though, he stepped down.
Ceasing Dependencies to xlib6g*. Daniel Schepler announced that he
would like to file bugs against any source or binary package which
still depends on the obsolete xlib6g* packages. These bugs will be of
normal severity for now, but will be raised to serious severity (for
source packages) or grave severity (for binary packages) once Branden
Robinson pulls the trigger to finally remove the xlib6g* packages.
APT Manual Pages. Susan Kleinmann described how aspects of the
current (0.5.4) apt_preferences manual page are difficult to
understand. Susan provided a commentary on the first paragraph of the
manual page to show how the documentation could be improved. She
pointed out that since APT is so central to the effective use of
Debian, the APT related manual pages should be easy to understand.
Susan would like to submit a revision of the APT preferences man page
but is hoping those with more familiarity with its workings could help
Synchronizing apt-get update and dselect update. A bug report
against APT was opened, suggesting that the 'apt-get update' command
should also update the dselect database (if it exists). This would
avoid the need for a separate 'update' run under dselect. Joey Hess
thought the best implementation would be a Post-Update hook in
apt.conf, which would probably also have other uses.
License change for Defsystem3. Earlier this year, Kevin Rosenberg
announced his intention to package defsystem3 separately from the
Common Lisp Controller package. This brought to light some
aspects of the defsystem3 license that breached the Debian Free
Software Guidelines (DFSG). After discussion with the authors of
defsystem3, Kevin has advised that the license will be amended.
Branden Robinson agreed that the new license complies with the
Interview with Klaus Knopper. Ladislav Bodnar interviewed Klaus
Knopper about his Knoppix bootable-CD project. Klaus suggests
using a Knoppix CD to test for hardware compatibility the next time
you go shopping for a computer and explains how hardware detection is
implemented in Knoppix. Some user groups and institutions have created
language-specific editions (Japanese, Spanish) or are simply using the
hardware detection as a platform for their own projects.
Dependency on new GNU LibC. Mike Fedyk wondered Why new packages
in sid depend on the new libc6 from unstable. He noted that to install
an updated package from unstable a new libc6 package creeped in. Jason
Gunthorpe investigated the current situation and found out
packages depend on several different versions of libc6. Adam Heath
added that the glibc maintainers routinely pull code from CVS.
Release Files in Package Repositories. Karl Hegbloom requested
that custom package repositories include a Release file,
especially if they are located on people.debian.org/. This would enable
the users to make use of APT preferences to pin certain packages
to certain versions.
Linux Kernel Licenses. Giacomo Catenazzi did a complete check of
Linux kernel licenses. He put the result up in a FAQ like document and
found a total of 18 different licenses (including "none"). Most of
them are free and compliant with both the DFSG and the GNU General
Security Updates. You know the drill. Please make sure that you update
your systems if you have any of these packages installed.
* Samba -- Buffer overflow.
New or Noteworthy Packages. The following packages were added to the
unstable Debian archive recently or contain important updates.
* apotheke -- CVS view for Nautilus.
* bopm -- Blitzed Open Proxy Monitor.
* durep -- Create disk usage reports.
* edbrowse -- A /bin/ed-alike webbrowser written in Perl.
* eep24c -- Read and write eeprom 24Cxxx devices.
* free-java-sdk -- Complete Java SDK environment consisting of
free Java tools.
* gofish -- A simple Gopher server.
* hotway -- POP3 to Hotmail (HTTPmail) gateway.
* idesk -- Display program shortcuts as icons on desktop.
* klipsi -- Remote cut & paste for Psion PDA.
* kpsion -- Backup and Restore of a Psion PDA.
* ldapdns -- DNS server that pulls data from an LDAP directory.
* ledstats -- Show CPU usage on a LED device plugged on parallel
* lesstif2 -- OSF/Motif 2.1 implementation released under LGPL.
* luola -- Multiplayer cave-flying game.
* meld -- Graphical tool to diff and merge files.
* midge -- A text to MIDI program.
* nsd -- Authoritative name domain server.
* ogmtools -- Tools for manipulating Ogg multimedia streams.
* plptools -- Access a Psion PDA over a serial link.
* straw -- A GNOME RSS (weblog) aggregator.
* vserver -- Virtual private servers and context switching.
* zorp -- An advanced protocol analyzing firewall.
Orphaned Packages. 4 packages were orphaned this week and require a
new maintainer. This makes a total of 135 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.
* gmail -- GNOME mail client using SQL-based vfolders.
* leakbug -- GNUpdate leakbug tracer library. (Bug#170291)
* libcomprex -- GNUpdate Multi-purpose compression library.
* libgnurdf -- Library for parsing and processing RDF files.
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