Debian Weekly News - November 18, 2003
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Debian Weekly News
Debian Weekly News - November 18th, 2003
Welcome to this year's 46th issue of DWN, the weekly newsletter
for the Debian community. Daniel Silverstone announced a Debian
Christmas or rather a Santa Claus meeting on December 6th in
Cambridge. The World Wide Web Consortium has released the
Portable Network Graphics (PNG) specification as a W3C
recommendation, which has also become an international ISO
Getting GNU/Linux on the Desktop. At the recent Desktop Linux
Conference Bruce Perens suggested that in order to get GNU/Linux on
to the enterprise desktop, the community should base their
efforts on one single distribution, namely on Debian. Bruce went
on to say that enterprises will be willing to pay companies to
engineer versions of GNU/Linux to suit their needs, but that the
base distribution should remain free.
Installing Debian on a Lindows MobilePC. Steve Hastings
explained in Linux Journal how he got Debian GNU/Linux properly
running on a Lindows MobilePC, which is a USB- and
network-bootable notebook and comes with LindowsOS 3.0
pre-installed. Basically he inspected the list of installed
packages and exchanged the packages.
Debian Package Caching. Jonathan Oxer wrote about caching
Debian packages in order to save bandwidth when updating or
installing multiple Debian machines. The apt-cacher utility was
originally written by Nick Andrew to maintain two Debian systems
over a slow modem connection. It runs as CGI program and only needs
to be set up on one machine.
New Child: South African Impi Linux. The new Debian spin-off
Impi Linux was announced recently. It is mainly based
on Debian with components borrowed from Knoppix and is
currently aimed at providing an office desktop, but there are plans
to create a server version as well. By releasing a South African
Linux operating system, the creators are demonstrating that
Africans can be self determined in the digital world.
Cafepress Shops with Debian Merchandise. Javier
FernÃ¡ndez-Sanguino PeÃ±a noticed
that several shops were set up at Cafepress that help selling
Debian merchandise articles. He was worried to see so many shops
related to Debian and wondered which of them really endorse the
Debian project. Some say they do, but do they really provide back a
percentage of their sales as some claim?
Debian Installer Review. Jonathan Oxer wrote an encouraging
review about the beta version of the next generation Debian
installer. This is how Debian is constructing the future of what is
known to be it's Achilles heel. The article explains why having a
graphical installer is not a priority and reports how it now
auto-detects hardware, and how the module selection stage has been
streamlined. This was previously one of the more confusing parts of
the installation for newbies.
Progress towards Debian 3.1. Adrian Bunk summarised some
personal observations and opinions regarding the progress towards
the next Debian release. His impression is that many Debian
developers don't use Debian 3.0, and hence don't know how outdated
it is. He reported that during the last few months, the number of
release-critical bugs in packages in unstable was constantly at the
700 bugs mark and has come to the conclusion that one cannot freeze
testing at any time.
Debian Installation over DSL? Goswin Brederlow and Marco d'Itri
discussed whether it would be possible for the debian-installer
to support a network installation over DSL. One problem is that USB
modems require a lot of firmware packages and not all of them can
be provided by Debian. They could be put on a business card sized
CD, though. A configuration frontend would still be required. Any
Does Debian promote non-free Software? Mathieu Roy noticed
that upon installation of GIMP 1.2 a message is displayed
suggesting the installation of gimp1.2-nonfree. Tollef Fog Heen
explained that Suggests are technically ok but Recommends and
Depends aren't. However, non-free software is still mentioned,
which is one of Richard Stallmans complaints about Debian.
Debian Installer Template Polishing. Christian Perrier
reported that the polishing of all user interaction screens
by the Debian installer team is mostly finished. The purpose of
this work is getting a simple setup process, even for Unix
newcomers - a recent review mentioned the complexity of some
screens and the use of too technical or too "internal" jargon. This
work also includes full proofreading of original English screens as
well as much work by all translation teams.
New major dpatch Version. Gergely Nagy announced a new major
version of dpatch, patch maintenance system for Debian source
packages, which was uploaded into experimental. The tool has been
rewritten, but from the users perspective it should be fully
backwards compatible. The new version is more flexible towards
different trees and selectively applied patches.
SPI Board Elections Debate Transcript. A transcript of the
debate between the candidates for the three vacant positions on the
Board of Software in the Public Interest, Inc. (SPI), which was
held over Internet Relay Chat, is now available. The candidates
answered several questions about their plans for the board and
SPI's past and future. Voting runs through Thursday 20 November
2003 (i.e. ends midnight, Friday morning UTC) and is open to all
contributing members, including those who join this week.
Security Updates. You know the drill. Please make sure that you
update your systems if you have any of these packages
- hylafax -- Remote root exploit.
- minimalist -- Remote command execution.
New or Noteworthy Packages. The following packages were added to
the unstable Debian archive recently or contain important
- br2684ctl -- Utility for configuring RFC 2684
- dmidecode -- Dump Desktop Management Interface data.
- docbook-slides -- XML Slides DTD and XSL Stylesheets.
- freeguide -- Displays TV listings.
- gnubiff -- Mail notification program for GNOME.
- hawxy -- Script that makes PHP-enabled webservers to HAWHAW
- openrpg -- Client/server application to play RPG over the
- rmail -- UUCP remote mail handler.
- rtfm -- RT FAQ Manager.
- slune -- 3D racing and car-crashing game.
- songwrite -- Guitar tablature editor and player.
- sound-icons -- Sounds for speech enabled applications.
- speech-dispatcher -- Common interface to speech
- sysfsutils -- Utilities for querying sysfs.
Orphaned Packages. 2 packages were orphaned this week and
require a new maintainer. This makes a total of 185 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.
- cryptoapi-core-source -- CryptoAPI core kernel module.
- cryptoloop-source -- CryptoAPI's Cryptoloop Module.
Want to continue reading DWN? Please help us create this
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