Debian Weekly News - December 10th, 2002
Dec 15, 2002, 19:00 (0 Talkback[s])
Re-Imagining Linux Platforms to Meet the Needs of Cloud Service Providers
Debian Weekly News
Debian Weekly News - December 10th, 2002
Welcome to this year's 48th issue of DWN, the weekly newsletter for
the Debian community. Some confusion was caused by a wildcard dns
record in the .org.com domain. A sleep-deprived James Treacy proudly
announced the birth of his two daughters, Jacqueline and Claire.
People told him that he should get his life back in about 20 years.
Changing the Bug Submitter Address. Colin Watson announced that
the bug tracking system supports a new command to change the bug
submitter address. The old method, closing the bug and reopening it
with a different submitter address, is now deprecated. Instead there
is now a submitter command that can also use the address from the
From: or Reply-To: header. The address previously recorded as the
submitter will be notified of the change.
Additional TuxRacer Courses. Andreas Tille reported that he has
uploaded Debian packages of additional TuxRacer courses. The
packages do not yet meet the Debian quality requirements regarding the
necessary documentation but they work. Unfortunately, the license for
many of them is not clear and the author is not traced upstream.
Writing Packages Descriptions. Colin Walters reported that the
package descriptions are a very important product of this project.
They're going to be one of the first things people see when they use
Debian, and their quality directly reflects on the quality of Debian.
He finally sat down and committed his thoughts on description
writing in a semi-coherent form.
Xconfigurator for Debian? Amir Bukhari reported that he intends to
port Xconfigurator from Red Hat to Debian, if that will help Debian to
provide an easier X configuration. However, the new Debian
installation process will make heavy use of debconf. Plugging in a
totally different kind of configuration tool might not be feasible.
But without trying we can't know.
Scripts for Building CD Images. Martin Sjögren advised that he has
made available the scripts he uses for building CD images based on
the new debian-installer. Martin's README explains all the steps
involved in putting together a small CD image. This should help
testing the debian-installer, which still needs a lot of work.
Building CD Images without Contrib. Tollef Fog Heen wrote a patch
against the debian-cd package to allow building a CD image without
including the contrib archive. Raphaël Hertzog agreed that this
was a good idea, as long as inclusion of contrib remained the default.
At first he thought it might be an idea to remove contrib
automatically if non-free was removed, however, it was pointed out
that packages such as OpenOffice.org are in contrib but do not depend
on non-free parts.
Create your first Debian Package. Clemens Lee announced that a new
Mini-HOWTO entitled "How to Create Your First Debian Package".
This document describes how to create a Debian package for
installation on one's own computer, rather than for inclusion into the
official Debian archives. The Debian New Maintainers' Guide
describes the official process.
Enforcing Software Licenses. Lawrence Rosen, general counsel for the
Open Source Initiative, wrote an article about the
enforceability of software licenses. In particular, he discusses the
issue of proving that somebody assented to be bound by the terms of a
contract so that those terms will be enforced by a court. Authors who
wish to be able to enforce license terms against users of their source
code or compiled programs may find this interesting.
Scripts for Creating private Debian Package Pools. Brian May
advised that he has prepared a set of scripts that can be used
to facilitate the creation of a private Debian archive. The scripts
allow one to create and maintain multiple distributions, architectures
First Alpha Release of the debian-installer. Tollef Fog Heen
announced the first alpha release for the new Debian
installer. The release is only available for i386 and supports both
net-based and CD-ROM-based installations. The installation currently
only supports a line-based configuration since frontends using S-Lang
or GTK are not yet ready. If you try the installer and discover
problems, please file a bug against the pseudo-package
"installation-reports" using this template.
KDE 3.1 delayed for Security. For those who waited for KDE 3.1, its
release manager Dirk Mueller reported that it has been delayed
until next year. The KDE team was informed about security problems
and would rather audit their code than release a vulnerable version.
We appreciate their effort.
FSF on W3C's proposed patent policy. The Free Software Foundation
(FSF) has examined the World Wide Web Consortium's (W3C)
proposed patent policy and found it wanting. The proposed policy
allows for a "field of use" restriction which is incompatible with the
GNU General Public License. The comments archive shows few
comments from Debian developers and users. W3C is accepting comments
from the public until 31st December, 2002, at
First Update for Debian GNU/Linux 3.0. The first update for the
current stable distribution, which was released in July, is still in
preparation. The stable release manager sent an updated report
about the current status of the preparations. The update will
mostly consist of security updates but also include updates to
packages that got lost during the freeze of woody and fix some broken
Security Updates. You know the drill. Please make sure that you update
your systems if you have any of these packages installed.
* smb2www -- Arbitrary command execution.
* kdelibs -- Arbitrary command execution.
New or Noteworthy Packages. The following packages were added to the
unstable Debian archive recently or contain important updates.
* awesfx -- Various utility programs for controlling the
* ccdoc -- Generates web documentation from C++ programs.
* cdw -- A console tool for burning CD's.
* cwwm -- A minimalist window manager for X11.
* feta -- Simpler interface to APT, dpkg, and other package
* fontconfig -- Generic font configuration library.
* httrack -- Offline browser: copy websites to your computer.
* phpix -- A PHP-based web photo album.
* pornview -- Image and movie viewer/manager.
* pure-ftpd -- Fast, production-quality standards-conformant FTP
* tlpr -- Trivial LPR client.
* udpcast -- Multicast file transfer tool.
* webcheck -- WWW site link checker.
* xstow -- An extended replacement of GNU Stow written in C++.
Orphaned Packages. 3 packages were orphaned this week and require a
new maintainer. This makes a total of 130 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.
* ecartis -- Fast, Flexible Mailing List Manager.
* newsclipper -- Create HTML with dynamic information from the
* xkbsel -- Tool for defining, selecting, and indicating XKB
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