Linux Today: Linux News On Internet Time.

Debian Weekly News - June 3, 2003

Jun 04, 2003, 07:00 (0 Talkback[s])

Debian Weekly News
Debian Weekly News - June 3rd, 2003

Welcome to this year's 22nd issue of DWN, the weekly newsletter for the Debian community. Petter Reinholdtsen [1]announced a new Skolelinux CD [2]image a while ago that fixes many bugs and uses the debian-installer already. Mario Lang urgently needs [3]help fixing bugs in the speakup kernel packages, otherwise the package has to be abandoned.

1. http://lists.debian.org/debian-edu-0305/msg00000.html
2. ftp://developer.skolelinux.no/skolelinux-cd/
3. http://lists.debian.org/debian-accessibility-0305/msg00015.html

Discussion about Debian on the Mac. This Slashdot [4]posting complains about the difficulty of installing Debian on an iBook and says: "Knoppix has certainly made it easier to put Debian on x86 machines, but does such a thing exist for Macs?" In the discussion, some readers argued that installing Debian is not that difficult (possibly even easier on a Mac) and that package management is more important, given that you only want to install once. Others mentioned [5]Gentoo's live [6]CD for PowerPC.

4. http://apple.slashdot.org/apple/03/05/25/2217237.shtml?tid=106&tid=185
5. http://gentoo.org/
6. http://distro.ibiblio.org/pub/linux/distributions/gentoo/releases/1.4_rc4/ppc/livecd/allstages/

New Mailing Lists for Debian. Anand Kumria [7]announced five new mailing lists hosted at [8]lists.debian.org/. The [9]debian-multimedia list was already covered in our last issue. The [10]debian-x86-64 list aims at people porting Debian to AMD's new 64-bit architecture. The [11]debian-ukrainian list provides a forum for Ukrainian users. Finally, [12]debian-l10n-polish and [13]debian-l10n-turkish intend to help translate Debian into Polish and Turkish.

7. http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel-announce-0305/msg00015.html
8. http://lists.debian.org/
9. http://lists.debian.org/debian-multimedia/
10. http://lists.debian.org/debian-x86-64/
11. http://lists.debian.org/debian-ukrainian/
12. http://lists.debian.org/debian-l10n-polish/
13. http://lists.debian.org/debian-l10n-turkish/

Flaming with Jamie Zawinski. LiveJournal contains a [14]report by Jamie Zawinski, the author of the [15]xscreensaver program, in which he complains about Branden Robinson [16]being a "gigantic flaming dick". However, it is not clear to us why Jamie [17]considered the answer to be a flame. Branden was demonstratively objective in his reply. Jamie was confused by a string in the changelog of an unofficial Debian package of XFree86, that he found on the Internet, which contained the name of his program.

14. http://www.livejournal.com/users/jwz/204780.html
15. http://packages.debian.org/xscreensaver
16. http://lists.debian.org/debian-x-0305/msg00252.html
17. http://lists.debian.org/debian-x-0305/msg00264.html

Debian Menu System Development. Bill Allombert [18]announced that the menu system is actively maintained again. Bill and Morten Brix Pedersen fixed more than 80 bugs in the package and created a [19]project in Alioth. The package also [20]supports internationalisation. He also [21]mentions that icons are not required anymore to only use 24 colors documented in the menu package.

18. http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel-announce-0305/msg00016.html
19. http://alioth.debian.org/projects/menu/
20. http://lists.debian.org/debian-i18n-0304/msg00008.html
21. http://lists.debian.org/debian-policy-0305/msg00051.html

Quantian Scientific Computing Environment. Dirk Eddelbüttel [22]announced [23]Quantian, a remastered version of [24]Knoppix. [25]Quantian differs from Knoppix by adding a set of programs of interest to applied or theoretical workers in quantitative or data-driven fields. It still retains all of Knoppix' impressive features in terms of automatic configuration of virtually all available hardware features. If there is sufficient interest, this project may become a Debian subproject.

22. http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel-0305/msg02037.html
23. http://dirk.eddelbuettel.com/quantian.html
24. http://www.knopper.net/knoppix/
25. http://software.biostat.washington.edu/edd/quantian/

Improved Indian Support for Debian. Jaldhar Vyas [26]wondered if there is any interest in a sub-project for increasing the support for Indian languages within Debian. Both GNOME and KDE contain viable support already. His goals would be to package Indian support software or write it as necessary, help with i18n and l10n for existing software and advocate the use of Debian in the Indian community.

26. http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel-0305/msg01859.html

Distributing Sound Files. Roberto Gordo Saez [27]wondered if he is permitted to use the sounds of a package that is distributed considerably free in a different project. After looking at the [28]chromium game he found out that it contains third party sound files, which may originally be distributed under a different [29]license.

27. http://lists.debian.org/debian-legal-0305/msg00544.html
28. http://packages.debian.org/chromium
29. http://www.findsounds.com/cpolicy.html

Knoppix CD for Machine Clusters. Slashdot [30]reported about an effort by Wim Vandersmissen who created [31]ClusterKnoppix. He added support for [32]openMosix to a regular [33]Knoppix image. The new CD features the openMosix terminal server, openMosix autodiscovery, and clustermanagement tools such as openMosix userland.

30. http://slashdot.org/articles/03/05/29/1336229.shtml 31. http://bofh.be/clusterknoppix/
32. http://openmosix.sourceforge.net/
33. http://www.knopper.net/knoppix/

Debian on Power4 Highend Server. Florian Weps [34]reported about the opportunity he had to test an [35]IBM p630 for a few weeks. After the AIX tests were finished, he and his colleagues decided to [36]install Debian GNU/Linux on one partition of this machine. They benefitted a lot from the [37]howto by Rolf Brudeseth covering the Debian network installation on IBM RS/6000 machines.

34. http://lists.debian.org/debian-powerpc-0305/msg00542.html
35. http://www.ibm.com/servers/eserver/au/pseries/630/
36. http://people.debian.org/~fmw/p630-LPAR-Debian-en.txt
37. http://lists.debian.org/debian-powerpc-0207/msg00858.html

Conferences in Austria and Brazil. The Debian project [38]announced that it has been invited to participate in two conferences that are taking place from June 5th to 7th. At the [39]LinuxWochen in Vienna, Austria, Debian will be present with a booth staffed by Gerfried Fuchs who will also give a talk about Debian and organize a keysigning party. At the [40]International Free Software Convention in Porto Alegre, Brazil, almost all Brazilian Debian Developers will meet while Bdale Garbee and Wichert Akkerman will give talks.

38. http://www.debian.org/News/2003/20030531
39. http://www.debian.org/events/2003/0605-linuxwochen
40. http://www.debian.org/events/2003/0605-softwarelivre

Debian featured in HP Whitepaper. In a [41]whitepaper from HP that covers Open Source for web services development Debian is prominently mentioned. The document emphasises its vendor-neutralness, the strict open-source-only policy, its vigorous quality program, that avoids the types of issues that have recently plagued certain commercial distributions, and more. Finally, Debian has a very easy to use interface for installing and updating software packages.

41. http://devresource.hp.com/drc/technical_white_papers/wsopensrc.pdf

Managing Package Source with Subversion? Marcelo Magellon [42]wondered if and how to maintain the source of Debian packages with Subversion. Most notably, he's interested in a way to convert an existing CVS repository to Subversion. Joey Hess answered that he uses a set of handmade scripts for maintenance and [43]reported about his experiences with Subversion.

42. http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel-0305/msg02056.html
43. http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel-0305/msg02121.html

Compiling 64bit Sparc Kernel. Martin Pitt would [44]like to compile a late 2.5 kernel for sparc64 which runs a 64bit kernel but a 32bit userland. Therefore he needs a cross-compiler and egcs64 seems to old for him. Ben Collins [45]explained that it will build the kernel, and after a bug is fixed the kernel will even run. He also mentioned that gcc-3.3 will compile 64bit kernels, but they do not boot.

44. http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel-0305/msg02059.html
45. http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel-0305/msg02072.html

New Tags for the Bug Tracking System. Colin Watson [46]announced two new tags for the [47]Bug Tracking System. The tag [48]lfs refers to bugs about large file support and [49]ipv6 refer to bugs with support for IPv6. Guido Günther [50]added that if these things get tags it would make a lot of sense to add architecture tags as well in order to classify problems on certain architectures. James Troup [51]objected, though.

46. http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel-0305/msg02174.html
47. http://www.debian.org/Bugs/
48. http://bugs.debian.org/tag:lfs
49. http://bugs.debian.org/tag:ipv6
50. http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel-0305/msg02192.html
51. http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel-0306/msg00023.html

Invariant Sections in Documentation. Richard Stallman started a [52]discussion that again covers problems inherited by the GNU [53]Free Documentation License (GFDL) if a document includes invariant sections which renders the document non-free according to Debian's interpretation. It seems that the GFDL is a dangerous license which does not always imply free documentation.

52. http://lists.debian.org/debian-legal-0305/msg00545.html
53. http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html

Embedded Debian Package Management. Bruno Randolf [54]would like to use the Debian package management system for an embedded distribution on a MIPS platform. Therefore he has investigated several projects and found out that there seems to be quite a lot approaches and ideas, but only little coordination. Wookey also [55]mentioned the [56]mini policy for cross-compiling related packages.

54. http://lists.debian.org/debian-embedded-0305/msg00004.html
55. http://lists.debian.org/debian-embedded-0305/msg00006.html
56. http://sprite.fr.eu.org/cross-packages-mini-policy.txt

GNU Emacs Manual considered non-free. Jérôme Marant [57]reported that the GNU Emacs Manual will have to be moved to non-free, due to invariant sections and the use of the GNU FDL. Invariant sections don't allow modifications which are required by the [58]Debian Free Software Guidelines. This is very unfortunate, especially since it affects documentation from the [59]Free Software Foundation.

57. http://lists.debian.org/debian-emacsen-0305/msg00033.html
58. http://www.debian.org/social_contract#guidelines
59. http://www.fsf.org/

OpenOffice.org 1.1beta Debian Packages. The Debian OpenOffice.org team proudly [60]announced the availability of preliminary packages of [61]OpenOffice.org 1.1 beta. They are downloadable from the debian-openoffice [62]mirrors, in section 'unstable'. These packages are not yet polished with all features from the 1.0.x packages, but the majority of the functionality is in place.

60. http://lists.debian.org/debian-openoffice-0305/msg00166.html
61. http://www.openoffice.org/dev_docs/source/1.1beta/
62. http://www.linux-debian.de/openoffice/mirrors.html

Software Patents Meetings. Wookey [63]forwarded an announcement for a public [64]meeting taking place on June 5th in Cambridge. There is another meeting set up in [65]Strasbourg by the [66]FFII on June 7th where developers will be able to talk to politicians. The EU software and gene patent debates have shown a frightening willingness of Europe's legislators to ignore all informed discussions, including EU-sponsored studies, and to restrict the creative freedom if its citizens without a twinkling of the eye.

63. http://www.chiark.greenend.org.uk/pipermail/debian-uk/2003-June/001481.html
64. http://www.tangledtime.com/patents.htm
65. http://swpat.ffii.org/termine/2003/europarl/07/
66. http://swpat.ffii.org/

Debian Day at LinuxTag 2003. There will be a one day [67]conference dedicated to Debian people at this years' [68]LinuxTag in Karlsruhe, targeting advanced users and developers. It will take place on Friday, June 11th, and last for the entire day. The project is still looking for speakers and topics. If you would like to give a talk at this Debian conference, please get in touch with [69]Martin Schulze immediately.

67. http://www.infodrom.org/Debian/events/LinuxTag2003/day.html
68. http://www.debian.org/events/2003/0710-linuxtag
69. mailto:joey@debian.org

Security Updates. You know the drill. Please make sure that you update your systems if you have any of these packages installed.

New or Noteworthy Packages. The following packages were added to the unstable Debian archive recently or contain important updates.

  • [71]aft -- Document preparation system for "free form".
  • [72]arson -- KDE frontend for burning CDs.
  • [73]debtags -- Enables support for package tags.
  • [74]gmp-ecm -- Factor integers using the Elliptic Curve Method.
  • [75]gpdf -- Portable Document Format (PDF) viewer.
  • [76]kgpg -- GnuPG frontend for KDE.
  • [77]kwiki -- Quickie Wiki that's not too Tricky.
  • [78]labrea -- Sticky honeypot and IDS.
  • [79]motioneye -- PPM/JPG snapshots or MJPEG compressed video on Vaio Laptops.
  • [80]mysqlcc -- The official GUI interface for MySQL.
  • [81]oooqs-kde -- OpenOffice.org QuickStarter applet for KDE.
  • [82]openexr -- Viewer and docs for the OpenEXR image format.
  • [83]pen -- This is pen, a load balancer for "simple" tcp based protocols such.
  • [84]pyblosxom -- simple weblog ("blog") written in Python.
  • [85]sdcc-doc -- Documentation for the SDCC compiler.
  • [86]tagcolledit -- GUI editor for tagged collections.
  • [87]zopectl -- Zope instances controlling utility.
71. http://packages.debian.org/unstable/text/aft.html
72. http://packages.debian.org/unstable/otherosfs/arson.html
73. http://packages.debian.org/unstable/admin/debtags.html
74. http://packages.debian.org/unstable/math/gmp-ecm.html
75. http://packages.debian.org/unstable/text/gpdf.html
76. http://packages.debian.org/unstable/kde/kgpg.html
77. http://packages.debian.org/unstable/web/kwiki.html
78. http://packages.debian.org/unstable/net/labrea.html
79. http://packages.debian.org/unstable/graphics/motioneye.html
80. http://packages.debian.org/unstable/misc/mysqlcc.html
81. http://packages.debian.org/unstable/utils/oooqs-kde.html
82. http://packages.debian.org/unstable/graphics/openexr.html
83. http://packages.debian.org/unstable/net/pen.html
84. http://packages.debian.org/unstable/web/pyblosxom.html
85. http://packages.debian.org/unstable/electronics/sdcc-doc.html
86. http://packages.debian.org/unstable/misc/tagcolledit.html
87. http://packages.debian.org/unstable/admin/zopectl.html

Orphaned Packages. 6 packages were orphaned this week and require a new maintainer. This makes a total of 189 orphaned packages. Many thanks to the previous maintainers who contributed to the Free Software community. Please see the [88]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.

88. http://www.debian.org/devel/wnpp/

  • [89]pente -- Five in a row game for X and the console. ([90]Bug#195686)
  • [91]fwctl -- Configure ipchains firewall using higher level abstraction. ([92]Bug#195177)
  • [93]gnophone -- An internet telephone application. ([94]Bug#195601)
  • [95]phonecore -- IAX software telephone framework. ([96]Bug#195602)
  • [97]pose -- PalmOS Emulator. ([98]Bug#195373)
  • [99]pose-skins -- Skins for the PalmOS Emulator. ([100]Bug#195374)
89. http://packages.debian.org/unstable/games/pente.html
90. http://bugs.debian.org/195686
91. http://packages.debian.org/unstable/net/fwctl.html
92. http://bugs.debian.org/195177
93. http://packages.debian.org/unstable/sound/gnophone.html
94. http://bugs.debian.org/195601
95. http://packages.debian.org/unstable/libs/libphonecore1.html
96. http://bugs.debian.org/195602
97. http://packages.debian.org/unstable/otherosfs/pose.html
98. http://bugs.debian.org/195373
99. http://packages.debian.org/unstable/otherosfs/pose-skins.html
100. http://bugs.debian.org/195374

Want to continue reading DWN? Please help us create this newsletter. We still need more volunteer writers who investigate the Debian community and report about events in the community. Please see the [101]contributing page to find out how to help. We're looking forward to receiving your mail at [102]dwn@debian.org.

101. http://www.debian.org/News/weekly/contributing
102. mailto:dwn@debian.org

Related Stories: