Debian Weekly News - April 3rd, 2002
Apr 04, 2002, 05:00 (0 Talkback[s])
Debian Weekly News
Debian Weekly News - April 3rd, 2002
Welcome to this year's fourteenth issue of DWN, the weekly newsletter
for the Debian community. Since Monday was April 1st, here's Debian's
this year's April fools prank, which was a lot funnier than last
year's joke. By the way, here are the pranks from
Slashdot and Dutch Qt bigots. CPAN announced their shift
towards Java and freashmeat.net turned green/white on black.
Debian's Problems, Debian's Future. Eduard Bloch sent a report
listing some of Debian's problems. Eduard believes that it is time to
point out some bad trends in Debian, which have to be terminated, or
otherwise the whole system is going to collapse, sooner or later. Some
people have agreed to postpone such discussions after the Woody
Debian Apache 2.0.34. Thom May announced the availability of
Debian packages for Apache 2.0.32, which are already superseded by
pacakges for version 2.0.34. Since this is Apache2 they are not yet
included in the Debian archive. You are, however, free to fetch
packages from Thom's web page. Please don't use the Bug
Tracking System but send comments to
LDAP Backend for Debconf. Matthew Palmer made an initial release
of debconf-ldap, an LDAP backend for debconf. It allows you to store
cluster-wide configuration in a central repository, and even store
machine-specific configuration in a separate repository. You can
download Matthew's packages from here. He's looking for comments,
please send them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Debian Jr. Quick Guide. Derek Neighbors and Ben Armstrong wrote the
Debian Jr. Quick Guide which aims at those who would like to guide
children using Debian Jr., particularly those who are new to it and
are planning to install it. Parts of the document are useful for the
system administrator as well. Please send comments to Ben
Academic Papers in Debian. C.M. Connelly did some research on
packages containing academic papers as part of their documentation.
Her feeling is that as historical and frozen documents describing some
early state or underlayment of the software, and not day-to-day
documentation shouldn't be worried about. She raises the question if
the inclusion in the source package is sufficient to assume that its
distribution is legal under the terms of the copyright of the entire
Debian to Join OASIS. Mark Johnson initiated an effort for the
Debian Project to join OASIS (Organization for the Advancement of
Structured Information Standards). Quickly he was able to raise enough
funds to make Debian join the group as the first GNU/Linux
distribution. OASIS is an international consortium that creates
interoperable industry specifications based on public standards such
as XML, SGML and DocBook, which are integrable parts of the
Debian SGML infrastructure.
Dropping non-free SSH. Aaron Ucko believes that there is no good
reason anymore to keep ssh-nonfree around. For a while the advantage
over OpenSSH was support for Kerberos, which is already included in
OpenSSH as well. Since nobody objected, Aaron later released a
transition proposal to implement a smooth transition for our
teTeX License Survey. C.M. Connelly has been checking the licenses
of about three hundred documentation files included with Debian's
teTeX packages to verify that these files may be distributed with
Debian. She found that about thirty files either cannot be
distributed at all or are not free. In many cases, the documentation
files did not contain specific licensing information, so the licensing
information for the entire package or font distribution applies to the
documentation as well. Upstream was informed so these issues may be
resolved sooner or later.
Update on the Project Leader Election. It is amusing that the voting
system is rewritten during the vote, but things seem to work out well.
Manoj Srivastava reports that the scripts that are required to
process the vote are mostly done, and that automated acks and naks
are sent out. He also released a statement that covers
accountability of the secret ballot. Each voter will receive a secret
token, which was introduced by Anthony Towns. With this method the
secret ballot can be verified from public ballot results. Here are
Compiler Cache for Buildds? Paul Russell wondered if it would be a
good idea to install Andrew Tridgell's Compiler Cache on the buildd
machines. In theory this sounds like a good idea, however the cache
would have to be several Gigabytes large, since there are 5,000 source
packages. Even if the binary package is only a few MB's large, glibc
source takes about 600 MB and XFree86 even takes 1.6 GB. A cache
should at least cover these large and timeconsuming packages, which
have to be rebuilt every once in a while.
New Installer for Debian? The Linux User Magazine from Germany started
an effort to create a new installer for Debian. They believe that
the current installer is the most complicated one among all GNU/Linux
distributions but that the packaging system rocks. Hence, they would
like to create an easy installation system targeting at newbie users.
Interested parties should send feedback and check the new
installer which has been postponed until Woody is released.
New Stable Revision Released. Joey finally released another
revision (r6) of Debian GNU/Linux 2.2 (codename `potato'). This
revision adds no less than 23 more security updates to the stable
distribution of Debian, covering packages like analog, glibc, gnujsp,
gzip, listar, mod_ssl, ncurses, php, sudo, uucp and xchat. A few
important corrections were added as well, which cover packages like
dump, man2html, nfs, samba and squid. See the preparation page for
Security Updates. You know the drill. Please make sure that you update
your systems if you have this packages installed.
* analog -- Cross-site scripting.
New or Noteworthy Packages. The following packages were added to the
Debian archive recently or contain important updates.
* album -- HTML photo album generator with theme support.
* amap -- Network protocol probing tool.
* beecrypt2 -- An open source C library of cryptographic
* corkscrew -- Tunnel TCP connections through HTTP proxies.
* crystalspace -- Multiplatform 3D Game Development Kit.
* gpa -- The GNU Privacy Assistant.
* keynote -- Decentralized Trust-Management system.
* kuvert -- A wrapper that encrypts or signs outgoing mail.
* melon -- Mail notifier with configurable icons, xbiff replacement.
* ndiff -- Compare two nmap scans.
* nvtv -- Tool to control the TV chips on NVidia cards under Linux.
* nwatch -- Network service detector.
* pnscan -- Multi threaded port scanner.
* popcheck -- Small tool to view and delete messages on a pop3-server.
* rain -- Packet builder for testing IP protocols implementations.
* shorewall -- Shoreline Firewall.
* tomcat4 -- Java Servlet 2.3 engine with JSP 1.2 support.
Orphaned Packages. 6 packages were orphaned this week and require a
new maintainer. This makes a total of 115 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.
* emacs-dl-canna -- Canna DL module for emacs20-dl. (Bug#140997)
* emacs-dl-wnn -- Wnn DL module for emacs20-dl. (Bug#140998)
* emacs20-dl -- The GNU Emacs editor. (Bug#141006)
* kdebase-crypto -- KDE crypto control module. (Bug#140614)
* kdelibs-crypto -- KDE core crypto libraries. (Bug#140616)
* penguineyes -- A GTK version of xeyes. (Bug#140865)
Got News? Please inform us about everything that is happening in the
Debian community. We are always looking for any interesting stories to
add, especially new items by volunteer writers, and topics we tend to
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