Debian Weekly News - June 3, 2003
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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 announced a new
Skolelinux CD image a while ago that fixes many bugs and uses
the debian-installer already. Mario Lang urgently needs help
fixing bugs in the speakup kernel packages, otherwise the package
has to be abandoned.
Discussion about Debian on the Mac. This Slashdot 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 Gentoo's live CD for PowerPC.
New Mailing Lists for Debian. Anand Kumria announced five new
mailing lists hosted at lists.debian.org/. The
debian-multimedia list was already covered in our last issue.
The debian-x86-64 list aims at people porting Debian to AMD's
new 64-bit architecture. The debian-ukrainian list provides a
forum for Ukrainian users. Finally, debian-l10n-polish and
debian-l10n-turkish intend to help translate Debian into Polish
Flaming with Jamie Zawinski. LiveJournal contains a report
by Jamie Zawinski, the author of the xscreensaver program, in
which he complains about Branden Robinson being a "gigantic
flaming dick". However, it is not clear to us why Jamie
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
Debian Menu System Development. Bill Allombert 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
project in Alioth. The package also supports
internationalisation. He also mentions that icons are not
required anymore to only use 24 colors documented in the menu
Quantian Scientific Computing Environment. Dirk Eddelbüttel
announced Quantian, a remastered version of Knoppix.
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.
Improved Indian Support for Debian. Jaldhar Vyas 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
Distributing Sound Files. Roberto Gordo Saez 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
chromium game he found out that it contains third party sound
files, which may originally be distributed under a different
Knoppix CD for Machine Clusters. Slashdot reported about an
effort by Wim Vandersmissen who created ClusterKnoppix. He
added support for openMosix to a regular Knoppix image. The
new CD features the openMosix terminal server, openMosix
autodiscovery, and clustermanagement tools such as openMosix
Debian on Power4 Highend Server. Florian Weps reported about
the opportunity he had to test an IBM p630 for a few weeks.
After the AIX tests were finished, he and his colleagues decided to
install Debian GNU/Linux on one partition of this machine. They
benefitted a lot from the howto by Rolf Brudeseth covering the
Debian network installation on IBM RS/6000 machines.
Conferences in Austria and Brazil. The Debian project
announced that it has been invited to participate in two
conferences that are taking place from June 5th to 7th. At the
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 International
Free Software Convention in Porto Alegre, Brazil, almost all
Brazilian Debian Developers will meet while Bdale Garbee and
Wichert Akkerman will give talks.
Debian featured in HP Whitepaper. In a 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.
Managing Package Source with Subversion? Marcelo Magellon
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 reported
about his experiences with Subversion.
Compiling 64bit Sparc Kernel. Martin Pitt would 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 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
New Tags for the Bug Tracking System. Colin Watson announced
two new tags for the Bug Tracking System. The tag lfs
refers to bugs about large file support and ipv6 refer to bugs
with support for IPv6. Guido Günther 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 objected, though.
Invariant Sections in Documentation. Richard Stallman started a
discussion that again covers problems inherited by the GNU
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.
Embedded Debian Package Management. Bruno Randolf 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
mentioned the mini policy for cross-compiling related
GNU Emacs Manual considered non-free. Jérôme Marant
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 Debian Free Software Guidelines. This is very unfortunate,
especially since it affects documentation from the Free
OpenOffice.org 1.1beta Debian Packages. The Debian
OpenOffice.org team proudly announced the availability of
preliminary packages of OpenOffice.org 1.1 beta. They are
downloadable from the debian-openoffice 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
Software Patents Meetings. Wookey forwarded an announcement
for a public meeting taking place on June 5th in Cambridge.
There is another meeting set up in Strasbourg by the 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
Debian Day at LinuxTag 2003. There will be a one day
conference dedicated to Debian people at this years'
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 Martin Schulze immediately.
Security Updates. You know the drill. Please make sure that you
update your systems if you have any of these packages
New or Noteworthy Packages. The following packages were added to
the unstable Debian archive recently or contain important
- aft -- Document preparation system for "free form".
- arson -- KDE frontend for burning CDs.
- debtags -- Enables support for package tags.
- gmp-ecm -- Factor integers using the Elliptic Curve
- gpdf -- Portable Document Format (PDF) viewer.
- kgpg -- GnuPG frontend for KDE.
- kwiki -- Quickie Wiki that's not too Tricky.
- labrea -- Sticky honeypot and IDS.
- motioneye -- PPM/JPG snapshots or MJPEG compressed video on
- mysqlcc -- The official GUI interface for MySQL.
- oooqs-kde -- OpenOffice.org QuickStarter applet for
- openexr -- Viewer and docs for the OpenEXR image
- pen -- This is pen, a load balancer for "simple" tcp based
- pyblosxom -- simple weblog ("blog") written in Python.
- sdcc-doc -- Documentation for the SDCC compiler.
- tagcolledit -- GUI editor for tagged collections.
- zopectl -- Zope instances controlling utility.
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 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.
- pente -- Five in a row game for X and the console.
- fwctl -- Configure ipchains firewall using higher level
- gnophone -- An internet telephone application.
- phonecore -- IAX software telephone framework.
- pose -- PalmOS Emulator. (Bug#195373)
- pose-skins -- Skins for the PalmOS Emulator.
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