Debian Weekly News - April 10th, 2002
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Debian Weekly News
Debian Weekly News - April 10th, 2002
Welcome to this year's fifteenth issue of DWN, the weekly newsletter
for the Debian community. This was an impressive week, not only a
preliminary schedule for this year's Debian Conference was released
and developers are making plans for attending, but also Anthony Towns
released a promising woody status report. The current Project Leader
Election is in full swing until next Tuesday. The next issue of DWN
will probably be able to name the next Project Leader.
Local init.d Files. Karsten Self proposed that the use of system
local init.d scripts be added to the Debian policy document. Scripts
that are named local-foo should be considered local and sacrosanct by
the system, where -foo could have any arbitrary value, including null
(for the single instance of a local script). The short version for
this request would be that no Debian package should ever use an
initscript ID prefixed by local.
Final Boot-Floppies 3.0.22 for Woody. David Kimdon announced that
he finalized new boot-floppies and uploaded packages for the i386
architecture. Adam Di Carlo later alarmed porters to hurry up or
some architectures will have to stay with an older version. Despite
showstopper bugs, this will be the version of boot-floppies Woody will
be released with. All architectures that will be released with Woody
are finally in sync with this version.
Cyrus IMAPd 2.1.3 in Unstable. Henrique de Moraes Holschuh
informed us about new Cyrus packages that have been uploaded into
the unstable distribution. Henrique feels that they are not mature
enough for the next stable release of Debian. Hence, he is trying to
keep them out of the testing distribution in order to keep them out of
the next stable distribution.
Annoying BTS Ack Mails. Daniel Jacobowitz recently complained
about storms of "Information received" acknowledgement mails sent by
Bug Tracking System (BTS). For instance, this could cause annoying
circumstances for users and third-party bug tracking systems. This was
prompted by the GCC GNATS system, which has dozens of reports created
by these ACKs. The BTS maintainers are currently working on a
Problems with ioctls Affecting XFree86. Jack Howarth pointed out
that the current version of XFree86 doesn't build on all
architectures. This is due to a problem or misunderstanding
between kernel headers, glibc headers and XFree86 source, as Branden
Robinson explained it, and it seems non-trivial to work around
Schedule for Debian Conference 2. Joe Drew released a
preliminary schedule for the upcoming Debian Conference 2,
which will be held from July 5th - 7th at York University in Toronto,
Canada. A registration page is up as well, ironically, it is
powered by a non-free Microsoft-IIS/4.0 like Joey pointed out.
Woody Release on May 1st. Anthony Towns is becoming increasingly
confident in woody's release readiness and has therefore scheduled it
for May 1st. However, as always, it'll be released when it is ready:
if we find out that the software is not ready by April 30th, it won't
be released. Together with this announcement, he mentioned another set
of 53 packages, which have been removed from the testing distribution
due to bugs and other issues.
Woody Release Notes. With the release of Woody closer than ever, there
is an urgent need for updated release notes. Rob Bradford still
has to address several issues in the current version and is
seeking your assistance. Please get in touch with him at
firstname.lastname@example.org if you can help with the release notes.
GNU FDL a non-free License? Several people are discussing
whether the GNU Free Documentation License (GFDL) is a free
license or not. If the GFDL is indeed considered a non-free license,
this would render almost all KDE and many other well known
packages non-free since they use the GNU FDL for the documentation.
Additionally, here's an old thread from debian-legal, which may
shed some light on the issue.
New Developers Reference Uploaded. Adam Di Carlo uploaded an updated
developers-reference 2.11. It contains important updates for
crypto-in-main and closes a number of bugs. He also stated
publically that anyone who wishes to join in on the maintenance of the
developers-reference can and should put themselves forward. Simply get
in touch with him.
Debian rules! The Sucks-Rules-O-Meter technique tries to make
tongue-in-cheek testimonies about the popularity of software. The
frequency of combined terms in the WWW like "foo sucks" and "foo
rules" is analyzed and plotted from the results of a search engine.
Statistics of operating systems show as expected a strongly
positive deflection for free systems like GNU/Linux and FreeBSD. The
investigation about the popularity of GNU/Linux distributions even
points out the highest sympathy value for Debian with a large distance
Removing Orphaned Packages. Martin Michlmayr noticed that there
are a couple of orphaned packages in testing that were never part of a
stable release. Since these packages are currently not maintained, the
question arises whether Woody should be released without them. Some of
them are required since other packages depend on them. However, quite
a few could easily be removed from testing. His mail, of course,
included such a list.
Python Module for Debconf. Josselin Mouette was tired of shell
programming and created a Python module for debconf. Interested
people can get it from here. However, as long as Python is not
essential, people will have to to install Python first, in order to be
able to install other packages. The module may be included in the
regular debconf package after Woody has been released.
Updated FAI Package Available. Thomas Lange just recently released
a new version of FAI (which stands for Fully Automatic Installation).
FAI 2.3 is tested with Debian 3.0 alias Woody. Many improvements are
included in this version, however, the documentation is not yet up to
date. If you are using this package and have some spare cycles to
donate, Thomas would probably be happy about assistance.
New or Noteworthy Packages. The following packages were recently added
to the Debian archive.
* 6tunnel -- TCP proxy for non-IPv6 applications.
* airsnort -- WLAN sniffer.
* bochs-x -- Bochs binary with X interface.
* ccache -- Compiler results cacher, for fast recompiles.
* dietlibc -- Lightweight C library for embedded applications.
* dvdplusrw -- DVD+RW tools.
* fai -- Fully Automatic Installation.
* ickle -- An ICQ2000 client for GTK+.
* mlglade -- a glade to OCaml compiler.
* pixelize -- Create an image consisting of many small images.
* scons -- A replacement for Make.
* teapop -- Powerful and flexible RFC-compliant POP3 server.
* tuxpuck -- "Shufflepuck Cafe" Clone.
* xmms-infopipe -- General plugin for XMMS, reports real-time
information to a pipe.
Orphaned Packages. 6 packages were orphaned this week and require a
new maintainer. This makes a total of 120 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.
* elm-me+ -- elm mail reader. (Bug#141971)
* gnome-chess -- GNOME Chess. (Bug#141103)
* ibm-jdk1.1-installer -- An Installer for the IBM Java
Developer Kit. (Bug#141521)
* nase-a60 -- An Algol-60 interpreter. (Bug#141181)
* quickppp -- PPP Config tool. (Bug#141226)
* xchain -- A strategy game for 2-4 players. (Bug#141807)
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
miss. We're looking forward to receiving your mail at