Debian Weekly News - September 24th, 2002
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Debian Weekly News
Debian Weekly News - September 24th, 2002
Welcome to this year's 37th issue of DWN, the weekly newsletter for
the Debian community. The Commission on Intellectual Property
Rights released a document that mentions governments and donor
organisations in developing countries could review their software
procurement policies with a view to giving greater consideration to
low cost business software products, including generic and open-source
products that are widely available.
Bits from the DPL. The Debian Project Leader (DPL) sent his notes
again. Bdale Garbee talks about various conferences he was invited to
give a talk or hold a workshop, most of them had to do with Debian.
Later this month, he will attend the HPWorld convention in Los Angeles
and then spend two weekends in a row at AMSAT satellite design
meetings in Orlando, Florida, and in Marburg, Germany.
Debian Cluster serves as Research Tool. It was reported that a
cluster computer consisting of 512 nodes has been set up at
Syddansk Universitet (University of Southern Denmark). Researchers
will use the cluster to map the pig genome and to do research related
to quantum chemistry, solid state physics, and cellular biology.
Debian Meeting in the UK. Over the weekend of August 31st Debian
developers from across the country (and the continent) flocked to
Cambridge for the annual festivities of drinking beer, barbecuing and
generally geeky chat. Steve McIntyre kindly hosted 25 Debian people
and their demands for net connections. A big thanks should go out to
Steve and everyone who helped out. Photos of the occasion were taken
by Mark Baker and Martin Michlmayr.
Bits from the Release Manager. In addition to the bits from the DPL
(see above) Anthony Towns reported about reasons the next Debian
release (codename: sarge) will rock for sure. He mentions all great
additions that we can expect, like OpenOffice, SE Linux, support for
*BSD, Hurd and more architectures as well as internationalised
dist-upgrades. Only very few improvements are included already, but
the others are likely to be included later.
Help for Website Translations. Gerfried Fuchs reported about the
status of some translations of www.debian.org/. According to the
statistics and the corresponding translation coordinator(s)
Esperanto, Greek, Finnish and Russian, could use some
help. If you are interested and would like to help to make the website
more useful for the people in your country who can't read english
fluently, please contact one of your translation coordinators.
Updating the Release Notes. Robert Bradford is seeking updates for
the Release Notes. Three areas where corrections would be
beneficial are upgrade instruction improvements, last minute changes
to the document and general bugfixing. Documenting noteworthy changes
in the Release Notes is also important. These could include
different behaviour of some packages as well as non-critical but
potentially important bugs in packages that won't be updated in the
GNOME Transition in Progress. Last week we reported that the GNOME
2 transition and the associated discussion had unfortunately
stagnated. This resulted in a new (and perhaps an old)
discussion on the subject. While some of the old conflicts remain,
hopefully everyone can work towards the common goal of adding GNOME 2
to the Debian archive. Regardless of our internal problems GNOME
2.0.2 was released.
Debconf with Charset Encoding Support. Joey Hess announced that
Debconf 1.2.0 has experimental support for encoded character sets. He
will try to use UTF-8 encoding for everything in the templates files
shipped with packages. However if that should not prove to be
practical for some languages, it supports other encodings as well. If
you are using a different character set, debconf will convert it to
the preferred encoding.
Choosing the Internet Superserver. Marco d'Itri restarted the
discussion on how to support more than only the regular inetd program
and configuration file, which is done through the update-inetd program
from netbase. Anthony Towns explained that the plan hasn't changed and
netbase needs to be removed so we can avoid requiring inetd on all
systems. update-inetd needs to be rewritten and it's syntax changed to
solve a whole bunch of old outstanding bugs. He explained his plan
in detail and attached preliminary code. Andrew Suffield also
provided preliminary code.
Same Package - Two Names. Wichert Akkerman discovered that the
Debian archive contains two packages with similar names and
descriptions: progsreiserfs and reiserfsprogs. Timshel Knoll, the
maintainer of reiserfsprogs explained that the package he
maintains uses a library for manipulating ReiserFS partitions. This
differs from the upstream source but the library is also used by GNU
SE Linux for Woody. Russell Coker announced that Brian May has
taken over woody back-ports of the SE Linux code, so Russel can
concentrate on code and packages for sarge now. In his unofficial
repository he hosts patched packages for system utilities like dpkg,
login and ssh that will work fine with SE Linux but can't be uploaded
into the Debian archive.
Security Updates. You know the drill. Please make sure that you update
your systems if you have any of these packages installed.
* PHP -- Several vulnerabilities.
New or Noteworthy Packages. The following packages were added to the
Debian archive recently or contain important updates.
* anubis -- Processor for outgoing mail.
* bochsbios -- BIOS for the Bochs emulator.
* cccc -- C and C++ Code Counter, a software metrics tool.
* cl-lml -- Lisp Markup Language.
* cvsd -- Chroot wrapper to run `cvs pserver' more securely.
* daemon -- turns other processes into daemons.
* dash -- The Debian Almquist Shell.
* dumpasn1 -- ASN.1 object dump program.
* fetchyahoo -- Retrieve mail from Yahoo!'s webmail service.
* fonty-rg -- Set of fonts for the Linux console.
* galeon -- Fast Web Browser for the GNOME Desktop Environment.
* masqdialer -- Remote control for shared dialup links.
* memtester -- A utility for testing the memory subsystem.
* mergeant -- GNOME Database admin tool GUI for GNOME 2.
* mozilla-browser -- Sophisticated graphical World-Wide-Web
* pbuilder-uml -- user-mode-linux version of pbuilder.
* snowdrop -- Plain text watermarking and watermark recovery.
* sterilize -- Secure (supposedly) file wipe utility.
* tcpreen -- Simple TCP re-engineering tool.
* vtk -- Visualization Toolkit - A high level 3D visualization
Orphaned Packages. 16 packages were orphaned this week and require a
new maintainer. This makes a total of 123 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.
* aria -- Tool to download files from the Internet via HTTP or
* check -- A unit test framework for C. (Bug#162082)
* efax -- Programs to send and receive fax messages.
* efax-gtk -- A GTK front-end for the efax package.
* euler -- An interactive mathematical program. (Bug#162057)
* figurine -- An X11 vector graphics drawing program.
* fpm -- Password Manager. (Bug#160916)
* gcdb -- MySQL/PHP billing system. (Bug#161707)
* ggradebook -- A Gradebook to help teachers manage student
* gphone -- X/GTK-based internet telephone.. (Bug#161708)
* larswm -- Lars Window Manager with tiled windows.
* ncftp -- A user-friendly and well-featured FTP client.
* py-xmlrpc -- Implementation of the XML-RPC protocol for
* qcl -- A language for quantum computers. (Bug#162060)
* wayv -- Experimental hand writing/gesture recognition program.
* xeuklides -- A program to create euclidean geometry figures.
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