From: Martin Schulze
To: Debian News Channel
Subject: Debian Weekly News - October 23rd, 2001
Date: 23 Oct 2001 20:09:27 +0200
Debian Weekly News
Debian Weekly News - October 23rd, 2001
No Progeny Debian Anymore? In a recent announcement Progeny Linux
Systems publically stated that they ceased development on their
Progeny Debian product. The primary motivation for this decision is
Progeny's desire for proper convergence with Debian. It has been said
that Progeny Debian was an amazing product, with a modern installer
and hardware detection. It was a boxed product, meant as base for NOW
(Network of Workstations), which was already buried earlier this year.
For all users of Progeny Debian, a migration path to Debian Woody will
Updated Debian Installation Documents? The Debian Installation
Manual has been translated into 11 languages. However, while
documentation is a difficult issue for programmers, translation of
documents is even more difficult. Many translations are not up-to-date
anymore, and even the original may lack important information. If you
would like to help, please check out the current version and
provide patches to the debian-boot list.
Xmodmap On X Session Startup Deprecated. Branden Robinson informed
us that the automatic usage of xmodmap on X session startup is now
deprecated. The main reason for this is that unpredictable things can
happen if both the system and the user are using Xmodmap files, and
sometimes the user doesn't even have to have one for the keyboard to
get screwed up by unintended side effects. Please read Branden's mail
if you are running testing or unstable.
Small Problem with XFree86 4.1.0-7. Branden also told us about a
problem with a very obvious effect in packages for XFree86 4.1.0-7.
The bug consists of erroneous quoting of a shell variable in the file
/etc/X11/Xsession.d/99xfree86-common_start. This problem was
reported shortly after 4.1.0-7 was released on the debian-devel
and debian-x mailing lists. There is no need to tell him nor to file
more bugs. Latest News: Version 4.1.0-8 has already been uploaded.
Release Notes. The next version of Debian GNU/Linux will be 3.0 (sorry
folks, but the Hurd doesn't seem to be ready for release yet). Rob
Bradford is preparing Release Notes for Woody already. As you can
see only the structure is in place, the purpose of this draft is to
discuss exactly what we want to mention in the release notes. Any
ideas for structure/content would be much appreciated. Joey Hess came
up with an impressive list of news items for woody. Please provide
ideas and content to Robster.
MPEG Player Running In A Text-Console. Uwe Herrman sent an Intend
to Package (ITP) for an MPEG player which is running in a
text-console. The program uses aalib for displaying the videos. A
thread on the debian-devel mailing list started discussing the
usefulness of such a program. However, usefulness of software is not a
requirement for it to be packaged. There are certain reasons for
people preferring this player in favour of one running under X: no
working X, no desire switching to X, demoing on an exhibition etc. If
it was really useless, it wouldn't be written.
Boot-Floppies 3.0.16. Adam di Carlo sent in a note about
preparation of new boot-floppies. Version 3.0.15 has some flaws which
prevents building on the sparc architecture. New boot-floppies should
be built upon a Linux kernel which has recent security issues fixed.
Unfortunately, this implies the need for new pcmcia-modules-* packages
as well. Even if modules should be binary-compatible between
kernel-subreleases, packages dependencies prevent their installation.
Appointing the Debian Security Secretary. The Debian Security Team
appointed Matt Zimmerman and Noah Meyerhans as Security
Secretaries. They hope to be able to provide an even better service to
the users in reacting to security problems. Adding more people to the
team who will be able to check security problems and review code
should improve Debian Security significantly.
Talking about Non-Free Software. Last week there was a report that RMS
was asking that the GNOME Summary not include mentions of non-free
software. Since DWN, like the GNOME Summary, reports on a project that
is primarily devoted to Free Software, we thought we'd explain our
policy in this area. Generally, we try to promote Free Software and
non-free software doesn't get a lot of coverage in DWN. However, there
are still some important non-free packages for Debian, and from time
to time we'll have some coverage of them. That doesn't mean that we're
promoting non-free software, simply that we have to recognize that
we're not 100% of the way there yet and we'd be doing a disservice to
our readers by pretending that non-free software simply doesn't exist.
We also recognize that many Debian users are new to Linux, and may not
understand or care about the political issues behind software
licensing. We feel that our time is best spent clarifying those issues
and trying to help users understand why the political issues behind
software licensing are important, rather than just ignoring non-free
software. While we respect all of the work that RMS has done, and it's
a lot, we don't think that refusing to talk about non-free software is
Orphaned Packages List. Colin Watson opened the discussion of
starting a mailing list for tracking orphaned packages to take some of
the noise off of the Debian Quality Assurance mailing list.
NewbieDoc Report. It's been a little while since we had a report from
the NewbieDoc folks, here's the latest from Will Trillich. With school
in session, the NewbieDoc project has taken a back seat. Many members
have their noses stuck into various textbooks in preparation for
upcoming exams. But Jesse Goerz, NewbieDocMeister Extraordinaire, has
been working hard to implement some internationalization layers. If
your browser requests Español, you should see Español, right? Soon,
we'll be able to say "NewbieDoc isn't just in English, not any more!"
Go, Jesse, go!
New and Updated Packages. We've got one real big package for all you
* Emacs 21 is finally out! The new feature list is
mind-boggling, check out the press release and bask in all the
* linux-internals-guide -- The Linux Kernel 2.4 Internals Guide.
* survex -- Cave surveying and mapping software.
* idle-python -- A Python IDE written in Tkinter.
* autoinstall-i386 -- Progeny's auto-install system.
* moosic -- A client-server combo for setting up playlists with
MP3, Ogg, MIDI, MOD and WAV files.
Security Announcements. There are several security announcements to
pass on this week. You know the drill, if you use any of the affected
packages be sure to update them.
* htdig -- Unauthorized gathering of data.
* w3m -- Buffer overflow.
* xvt -- Buffer overflow.
* procmail -- Insecure signal handling.
* gftp -- Displays password in plain text in log window.
* nvi -- Format string vulnerability.
Have a great week! That's all for this week. Be sure to send
questions, comments or newstips to email@example.com.
The NewbieDoc Project needs your brain! NewbieDoc isn't the only
Debian sub-project. We'd love to feature write-ups from other groups.
Send those reports to firstname.lastname@example.org!