Welcome to Debian Weekly News, a newsletter for the Debian
Linux 2.4.0 is out, and Debian has suddenly received a lot of
2.4 compatibility testing. Unstable supports the new kernel without
many difficulties. The main source of problems is devfs, and a
number of bug reports have been filed on packages that need devfs
support. Testing and stable don't quite support the new kernel
The first Debian conference (a followup to last year's zeroth
conference), is in the planning stage. More information about the
conference is on its web page, and this mail from Thierry
Laronde. It will be held from July 4th to 9th in Bordeaux,
Watch out for the Debian tar SNAFU. The -I switch in Debian's
tar program makes it use bzip2 for compression. However, in
unstable the -j switch should be used instead, and -I has an
altogether different meaning. So a command such as "tar cIf ..."
might compress the file with bzip2, or it might create an
uncompressed archive with no error message, depending on the
version of tar that is used. Tar's NEWS file explains why this
change was made -- compatibility with Solaris's tar. A fix is
planned: Tar's maintainer came up with a transition plan that
will make tar output an error message when -I is used, and tar's
author has accepted the plan.
Lilo is also rather broken in unstable this week. Lilo's new
maintainer made some large changes to the way it is configured,
unfortunately the result is that the new package replaces
/etc/lilo.conf with an automatically generated and often broken
file. The maintainer is working to fix the this and related
problems, but new bug reports (and flames) keep rolling in, so it
might we a while until he has all the kinks worked out.
What's appropriate content for Debian changelogs? Since bug
reports can be automatically closed by changelog entries, there
have been some clear instances of abuse of this feature, and other
cases that are more borderline. One such case is using the
changelog to close a bug report when no changes were actually made
to the package, as was done in this glibc changelog. Whether
that is ok is debatable, and it was. One thing the discussion
made clear is that thanks to automated bug closing and
apt-listchanges, an increasing number of people are reading
Debian changelogs. Write them with that in mind.
Warning: source-only uploads no longer work now that Debian
uses package pools. It might get fixed later but for now its
broken, so "Ob!Nike: Just don't do it."
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