Debian Weekly News - December 24th, 2002
Dec 29, 2002, 23:00 (1 Talkback[s])
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Debian Weekly News
Debian Weekly News - December 24th, 2002
Welcome to this year's 50th issue of DWN, the weekly newsletter for
the Debian community. If you are living in Australia and want to know
more about IPv6, you may be interested in an IPv6 Mini-Conf prior
to the Linux Conference Australia. Unfortunately, it takes place
at the same time as the Debian Mini-Conf. The German
debianforum also has had its first anniversary. We wish everybody
who celebrates Christmas a Merry Christmas and enjoyable holidays.
Mono for Debian? The most recent Mono Weekly News reported that
Alp Toker released Platano, the very first Mono based media
player. Mono is the free implementation of the .NET framework.
He also packaged GNOME# capable packages and created an archive
for both sid and woody for easy use via apt-get.
Debian Documentation in GFDD. Gaetano Paolone announced the
'stable' launch of the GNUtemberg! Free Documentation Database
(GFDD). The GFDD is a free database for free documentation, providing
services such as indexing, translation management, information on
official publishing, document ratings, statistics and search. The
database currently contains 18 English documents and 4 Italian
documents that cover the Debian system.
SSH for Hurd. Philip Charles discovered that Hurd does not provide
/dev/urandom. Unfortunately, ssh requires its randomness for key
creation. Because of this, the newest Hurd CD contains an ssh
package but doesn't install it by default. Simon Law pointed out
that a random translator can be attached to the device.
Debian GNU/Linux for Tech Writers. In the article Painless
Linux, which is aimed at technical writers, Bruce Byfield explains
GNU/Linux and the benefits of using it. Several applications are
listed that technical people would probably like to use. Debian
GNU/Linux is among the distributions he proposes.
Colin Walters talks about the Desktop. DesktopLinux.com featured
an interview with Colin Walters, who founded the Debian on the
Desktop subproject in October. Colin explains the philosophy behind
the project, talks about the new debian-installer and says why he
thinks that parts of the Debian infrastructure should move towards
Updated Statistics about Debian on the Desktop. On the same subject,
DWN has been regularly reporting details of an ongoing survey
about which GNU/Linux distribution users prefer for desktop computing.
We are pleased to announce that Debian is now placed first with 22 %
of the vote, marginally ahead of Mandrake (21.7 %). Around 2700 more
votes were registered since November, totalling over 8900 responses.
IEEE Introduction to Debian GNU/Linux. The Consultants Network of the
San Diego section of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic
Engineers (IEEE) announced that they will be hosting a one-evening
introduction to Debian GNU/Linux. The goal is to help attendees
understand the installation process and basic administration. The
session will be helt on Monday January 13th at the Sizzler in San
Diego. The speaker will be Alex Perry, a system administrator and
senior member of the IEEE and the Consultants Network in San Diego.
Building Small CD Images. Santiago Garcia Mantinan advised that he
has developed a patch for debian-cd to enable building small CD
images. The patch allows images to be produced with just the
debian-installer and documentation (45MB) or in addition the necessary
files for a minimal install (83MB). Santiago wondered which of these
two images should be built officially. Tollef Fog Heen thought
both could be built but Jason Andrade pointed out that too many
different CD images makes life difficult for mirrors and also confuse
Complete Network Installation. Cassandra Lynette Brockett advised
that she is modifying one of the root.bin files from woody to allow
complete network booting and installation without the need for a disk
or CD in the target machine. She has already got this working on
the i386 architecture and is continuing to work on documentation.
However, after little response from the mailing list, she wonders
if anybody is interested.
Cooperation with Debian based Distributions? Javier Fernández-Sanguino
Peña wondered if GNU/Linux distributions which are based on Debian
were being as cooperative as they could be. While distributions like
Progeny contribute back into the Debian core, work from other
distributions tends not to be integrated into Debian. Javi is trying
to work with Linex (Spanish only) to contribute improvements back
to Debian but wonders how other Debian based distributions can be
encouraged to be more cooperative.
Search Engine Back Online. Craig Small announced that the Debian
web search engine is back online. Dual byte languages have some
support, but still don't work as well as they should and translators
should check whether their translations are up-to-date. Nevertheless,
Craig believes that a pretty-good search engine is better than none.
Library Versioning. Rob Browning wondered which version the soname
of a library should contain if the same source is used as before but
linked against a new major version of another library. If the soname
version is incremented the library may be incompatible with other
vendors' libraries. But if not, it will render packages unusable that
depend on it and weren't rebuilt. Junichi Uekawa explains his
soname management and adds that unstable will be broken unless
a coordinated upload with rebuild packages of all packages that depend
on this library is performed. Later Rob added his proposed
Watching Debian in GNOME Panel. Daniel Burrows announced a preview
version of apt-watch, a panel applet for GNOME 2 that checks for
upgrades. He won't be able to work on it for a while but concluded
with a list of unfinished parts. Emile van Bergen added that icons
should not be flashing since that would add too much pressure to
update the system and distract people from other work, however, that
may be a good idea for systems running stable.
Default Wallpaper. Stefan Schwandter wondered how to set a default
background image for most desktop environments and window-managers.
Colin Walters replied that this requires GNOME 2.2 at least and he
has already spent time on implementing this in the desktop-base
Security Updates. You know the drill. Please make sure that you update
your systems if you have any of these packages installed.
* libpng -- Buffer overflow.
* kdenetwork -- Buffer overflows.
* Cyrus Imapd -- Buffer overflow.
* fetchmail -- Buffer overflow.
New or Noteworthy Packages. The following packages were added to the
unstable Debian archive recently or contain important updates.
* adzapper -- squid_redirect advertisement zapper.
* caudium-perl -- Perl script support for Caudium.
* cryptplug -- Collection of plugins to crytographic engines.
* dovecot -- A secure IMAP server that supports mbox and maildir
* grunt -- Secure remote execution via UUCP or e-mail using GPG.
* honeyd -- Small daemon that creates virtual hosts simulating
their services and behaviour.
* iacd -- IRC Server.
* irpas -- Internetwork Routing Protocol Attack Suite.
* ospics -- Some images of operating system logos/mascots.
* plone -- A zope/cmf-based content management system.
* pv -- Terminal-based tool for monitoring the progress of data
through a pipeline.
* spamprobe -- C++ Bayesian spam filter.
* tkabber -- Tcl/Tk based Jabber client.
Orphaned Packages. 21 packages were orphaned this week and require a
new maintainer. This makes a total of 156 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.
* countrycodes -- ISO 3166 country code finder. (Bug#174111)
* gdkxft -- Transparently add anti-aliased font support to
* grpn -- GTK+ reverse polish notation calculator.
* hdf5 -- Hierarchical Data Format 5. (Bug#174114)
* hindent -- Reformats HTML code. (Bug#174116)
* hsftp -- FTP emulator which uses ssh as end-to-end transport.
* knapster2 -- KDE2 Napster client. (Bug#174113)
* libdsp -- Digital signal processing routines (C++).
* linuxinfo -- Displays extended system information.
* longrun -- Transmeta(TM) Crusoe(TM) LongRun(TM) utility.
* manpages-nl -- Dutch manpages. (Bug#174178)
* mmucl -- Mark's MUd CLient. (Bug#174117)
* noteedit -- KDE Music Note Editor. (Bug#174119)
* sciplot -- Widget for scientific plotting. (Bug#174123)
* simh-rsts-images -- RSTS/E V7.0-07 images for simh.
* simh-unix-images -- UNIX V images for simh emulator.
* snes9express -- GTK+ front-end for snes9x. (Bug#174126)
* steghide -- Steganography tool. (Bug#174125)
* tcp4u -- The tcp4u portable networking API. (Bug#174120)
* traceroute-nanog -- NANOG traceroute. (Bug#174121)
* tse3 -- Portable sequencer engine in C++. (Bug#174124)
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