Debian Weekly News - June 18th, 2002
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Debian Weekly News
Debian Weekly News - June 18th, 2002
Welcome to this year's twentythird issue of DWN, the weekly newsletter
for the Debian community. We're sorry that you've had to survive two
weeks without an issue of Debian Weekly News, but since Joey is the
only main editor, and was unavailable for a while, it had to be
postponed. From now on DWN will be released on Tuesday (probably a
little bit earlier than today), so LWN will get a chance to refer
to a current version in their weekly report.
New Security Build Infrastructure. Anthony Towns reported about how
security updates will be handled in the future. The security archive
will be converted to make use of katie, the general archive janitor,
and packages will be rebuild by buildd's just as if they were normal
packages. The mail contains detailed instructions.
Release Status Update. Anthony Towns sent an update for the Woody
release. He emphasizes that we're not entirely done developing Woody.
Anthony also encourages developers to poke around at Woody and fix the
remaining severe problems. He asks if there are any major issues that
desperately need to be addressed before we release?
Unofficial Woody MiniCD Images. Chris Lawrence reported that he
updated the LordSutch.com MiniCD images for alpha, i386, m68k, and
PowerPC to the current state of Woody. The main change is the upgrade
of dpkg and the addition of ipppd for the benefit of ISDN users. The
images are small enough to burn to a 8 cm (3 inch) CD-R/RW, and
contain enough packages to install a functional version of Debian
Woody without going to the net.
Gibraltar Firewall. Joey reported about the Gibraltar project
that aims to produce a Debian GNU/Linux-based router and firewall
package, which will be bootable directly from a CD-ROM. Their lead
developer, Rene Mayrhofer, is a Debian guy, and the source code for
this project is available for download.
Debian in your Home Stereo Component? It's been said on
linuxdevices.com that SONICblue's Rio Central is derived from that
of the Rio (formerly empeg) car player, which was developed from
an early version of the Debian/ARM port using a StrongARM SA1110
system-on-chip processor. Rio Central is a high-fidelity home stereo
component that stores up to 650 CDs on its built-in hard drive.
SONICblue describes the Rio Central as being "As simple to use as a CD
player, but as smart as a PC".
Debian at Berliner Linux Infotage? In September another GNU/Linux show
is arranged in Berlin, Germany. It is planned to have talks about
GNU/Linux in governmental agencies, in the network and at the desktop
scheduled during Berliner Linux Infotage. Interested people should
check the Call for Papers (even though the submission period is
over) and get in touch with the organisers.
Debian at Linux.conf.au 2003? James Bromberger informed us about
Linux.conf.au 2003, which will take place at the University of
Western Australia in Perth from January 22nd to 25th. The Call for
Papers is still running, so you can submit abstracts for talks
covering Debian. If you would like to run a BoF session instead,
please also get in touch with the organisers. There is also a good
chance that there will be another Debian mini-conf run on the 20th and
21st of January 2003.
Debian Developer Survey. Matt McClanahan asked for a minute of
time from Debian package maintainers to help collecting some
information. The survey is anonymous and basically asks demographic
information that will be used in class to look for correlations. Matt
plans to publish the results later.
Debian project at LinuxTag 2002. The Debian project participated in
this year's LinuxTag show. We were lucky to maintain a large booth
and used a beamer as eye catcher to attract visitors, which worked
well. The booth staff gave away free Woody CDs, sold mugs and
t-shirts and organized a one-day conference for Debian people. Jon
Åslund released a diary together with some pictures. During
the show, Joey was invited as Debian representative in an online
discussion about the UnitedLinux effort.
Debian at Linux@work Roadshow. The Debian project has been invited to
participate at this year's Linux@work shows. The show travels
around and stops in important European cities. This exhibition and
conference is dedicated entirely to business people who do or do not
plan to use GNU/Linux. Some special solutions will be shown as well as
general efforts. Andreas Schmehl wrote a report for the Frankfurt
show, Wouter Verhelst wrote one for the Brussels event and
Federico Di Gregorio sent in a report about the Milano show.
CPU optimized Debian builds? Every once in a while, the question
pops up why Debian does not support pentium-optimised or
athlon-optimised binaries for that particular processor. However, as
Michael Stone points out nobody did some research to back up
the idea of things running significantly faster. Daniel Burrows also
noted that we don't provide an optimised glibc due to unforseen
bugs with its optimisation.
Best Packaging Practices, Act II. Raphaël Hertzog announced that
he has an initial list of Best Packaging Practices, which he would
like to document within the developers' reference. He created
empty sections in the CVS version and is looking for volunteers to
write the texts of those.
Whishlist for after Woody. Erich Schubert started a discussion
about things that he (and others) would like to see supported by the
next release, i.e. after Woody. The compiled list is stored here
and contains quite a lot of items, such as package tags, support for
UTF-8, a modified release proposal, the Hurd and IPv6 among others.
New Dictionaries Policy Proposal. Agustín Martín Domingo announced
a proposal for the "Debian Spelling Dictionaries and Tools Policy", as
well as the new dictionaries-common package, which will provide the
infrastructure to implement it. This is an announcement for all
interested users and developers. The proposed system deals with ispell
dictionaries and wordlist packages. Comments should be sent to
UKUUG Linux Developer Conference 2002. Robert McQueen informed us
about the upcoming UKUUG Linux Developers' Conference 2002 which
will take place in Bristol between Thursday the 4th and Sunday the 7th
of July, and features a range of interesting talks from a big number
of well-known free software and open source personalities. The Debian
project will be present with a booth within the ".ORG" stand.
Uninstallable Packages in Woody. Santiago Vila reported about
packages in the Woody distribution which are currently not installable
due to one or another bug. It is, however, not unlikely that some of
these problems were inherited from the Potato release long ago and
haven't been fixed yet. For those, who would like to fix such
problems, there are lists of unmet dependencies in Woody and
Sid as well as Santiago's pages and the QA system.
Woody Release Announcement. Joey Hess sent in a last call for
comments for the upcoming release announcement. If you feel that
something is missing or a paragraph is misleading, please get in touch
with Joey Hess directly.
The Automake Saga... Joseph Carter took the opportunity and released a
detailed description of the current situation with regard to
automake and autoconf. Because of incompatibilities in automake 1.5
the version for Woody has been reverted to version 1.4 so configure
scripts for source packages in that distribution won't break. Joseph
proposes to drop automake 1.5 in favour of version 1.6 since they are
compatible at least.
Developer's Guide to Security Updates. Wichert Akkerman, member of the
security team of Debian, released a document that describes how
the new security infrastructure ought to work. If a maintainer needs
to upload a security fix for a released distribution, the upload needs
to be made to security.debian.org/ directly (and not to the main
archive) or via the security team as before.
Debian on the Sharp Zaurus. Matt Zimmerman recently had the good
fortune of having one of these delightful little toys come into
his possession. Matt is interested in creating a full-featured Debian
environment for the Zaurus, with all the trimmings (including package
management with dpkg and apt). Philip Blundell pointed to the GPE
effort which also uses Debian as base distribution apparently.
Design of an apt-src Program. Joey Hess started to design a tool
that intends to eliminate the need for binary source packages (like
tetex-src) and to support build dependencies for source packages. It
will need something like a status file to list installed source trees
together with their location and version. The tools should work for
any user and not only the superuser.
SE Linux Play Machine. Russell Coker announced that he set up a
machine running SE Linux (with security enhancements) and a known root
password. SE Linux uses capabilities and special security levels. As a
result, you can't damage the system as root. If you ever wanted to
know how SE Linux feels, just try it out.
Security Updates. You know the drill. Please make sure that you update
your systems if you have any of these packages installed.
* UUCP -- String truncation problem.
* ethereal -- Memory allocation error.
New or Noteworthy Packages. The following packages were added to the
Debian archive recently or contain important updates.
* atapci -- Displays /proc/ide/ chipset specific information.
* automake1.6 -- A tool for generating GNU Standards-compliant
* cpcieject -- Userspace daemon for cpcieject kernel driver.
* david -- A C/C++ code editor for GNOME.
* fags -- AudioGalaxy client for Unices.
* gael -- Gnome application for electrical circuits.
* generator -- Genesis emulator.
* gg-kde -- An instant messenger compatible with Gadu Gadu - KDE
* glade-2 -- GTK+ 2 User Interface Builder.
* gnomemeeting2 -- H323 Compatible Netmeeting clone for the
* gnump3d -- A streaming server for MP3 and OGG files.
* gshield -- Firewall script based on iptables.
* hearse -- Exchange Nethack bones files with other users.
* linda -- Debian package checker, not unlike lintian.
* mklibs -- Shared library reduction script.
* moobot -- A modular IRC bot written in Python.
* openh323gk -- H.323 gatekeeper.
* pinball -- The Emilia Pinball Emulator.
* python-jabber -- Python library for the Jabber instant
* qemacs -- Small emacs clone editor with docbook editing
* restartd -- Process checker and/or restarter.
* rosegarden4 -- Music Editor and MIDI/Audio Sequencer.
* simpleproxy -- Simple TCP socket proxy.
* sjeng -- A chess program that plays many variants.
* unlambda -- Tiny functional programming language using
* vimacs -- Emacs emulation for Vim.
* wmget -- Background download manager in a Window Maker dock
* xdfssrv -- Network server for XDFS (xdelta2) volumes.
* xmlto -- XML-to-any converter.
* zec -- Z-Shell Empire client.
Orphaned Packages. Two packages were orphaned this week and require a
new maintainer. This makes a total of 78 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.
* gravitywars -- Clone of Gravity Force, for SVGA.
* w-bassman -- An alternative "w" command. (Bug#149934)
Seen something interesting? Please drop us a note whenever you see
something noteworthy that you think is appropriate for inclusion in
DWN. We don't see everything, unfortunately, and this month will be a
busy one for us. Of course, we are also thankful for completely
written items from volunteer writers. We're looking forward to
receiving your mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.