Debian Weekly News - December 31st, 2002
Jan 06, 2003, 01:00 (0 Talkback[s])
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Debian Weekly News
Debian Weekly News - December 31st, 2002
Welcome to this year's 51st issue of DWN, the weekly newsletter for
the Debian community. Many of you will probably be celebrating New
Year's Eve, whilst doing so take a moment to reflect on the past year:
What needs to be done in the Free Software community? Where would be
able to participate actively?
51 Issues of DWN produced. You are currently reading the 51st issue,
which means that this is also the 51st week of gathering information
on interesting activities of the Debian Project, writing items,
proofreading and translation. Even though the English version is
prepared only by a small group of people including one main editor,
many more people are involved before you can read the issue. Each
issue is sent to proofreaders, and translators also improve it. Each
issue is also translated into several other languages simultaneously.
Thanks to Contributors and Translators. A big thanks go to Andre
Lehovich and Matt Black who have contributed several items as well as
the many more people who contributed items less frequently. Many
thanks to Rob Bradford, Andreas Schuldei and Thomas Bliesener who
proofread the issues. Thanks also go to David Martínez Moreno,
Frédéric Bothamy, Gustavo Noronha Silva, Ignacio García, Lukasz
Jachowicz, Miquel Vidal, Nobuhiro Imai, Oohara Yuuma, Peter Karlsson,
Pierre Machard and Thomas Bliesener who are translating all issues
into Catalan, French, German, Japanese, Polish, Portuguese, Spanish
2002 GNU/Linux Timeline. End of the year is the time people take a
rest and reflect on what has happened in the ending year. Our
collegues from Linux Weekly News prepared the 2002 GNU/Linux
Timeline. Even though the economy was difficult worldwide, Free
Software continues to develop and gain strength. The timeline is split
up by months, as usual.
New Boot-Floppies for Woody. Eduard Bloch volunteered to
coordinate the next release of Debian's boot-floppies. The next
update to Debian 3.0 is planned for about two months after r1, so
there are at least one and a half months left. The new boot-floppies
will fix known outstanding problems in some architectures and include
a more recent kernel.
Donations Sought. At the end of this year, several non-profit
organizations that support Free Software are seeking donations. For US
residents these donations are tax-deductible. Over two thirds of the
Free Software Foundation (FSF) budget comes from individual
donors. The FSF recently launched their associate membership
program. The GNOME Foundation hopes to provide travel grants to
some developers attending the annual GUADEC conference. Software
in the Public Interest (SPI) accepts donations for the Debian
Automatically Testing Users Existence. Matt Hope noticed that a
few packages check /etc/passwd to discover whether a user exists. He
thought that this could be a problem in systems that use alternate
authentication schemes such as NIS or LDAP. Matt Zimmerman advised
him to file bug reports against those packages and ask their
respective maintainers to use getent instead.
GTK+ 2.2 for Debian. Akira Tagoh reported that the GTK+ team has
released version 2.2 of the Gimp Toolkit family libraries (GTK+).
The libraries are compatible with version 2.0 but trigger a problem in
libgnomeui. Hence GNOME 2 won't work with GTK 2.2 but GNOME 2.1
requires it. Therefore Akira intends to upload new packages to
More Alpha and Sparc Users soon? Jaldhar Vyas informed us that Red
Hat stopped official support for all its releases for the Alpha
and Sparc architectures. Debian, however, still supports these
architectures among others and users enjoy the vast breadth of Free
Software, bug fixes, and timely security updates.
KDE 3.0.5a Packages for Woody. Ralf Nolden announced that he
uploaded Debian packages for KDE 3.0.5a to the KDE masterserver. This
upload includes the latest security updates for KDE. The archive can
be accessed via apt-get from download.us.kde.org/. Packages for
KDevelop 2.1.4 were also uploaded the next day.
Embedding Debian GNU/Linux in a 32 MB CompactFlash. Bao C. Ha
describes the techniques he used to reduce a Debian installation
to less than 32 MB. Bao started with debootstrap which created a
121 MB bootable Debian filesystem with VPN/firewall/router
functionality. By removing documentation and compressing the root
filesystem using the cloop kernel module, he was able to reduce the
size to 27.6 MB. The resulting image is designed for the
OpenBrick, a small hardware platform optimized for Open
Source/Free Software solutions. However, the video card requires a
non-free binary only XFree86 release.
Debian 3.0r1 Update CD Images. Steve McIntyre announced that he
has created a set of update CD images that contain new and updated
packages from 3.0r1. The images were originally made as two full CDs
containing all 11 supported architectures, but upon feedback from
Jason Andrade, Steve created separate CDs for each architecture.
Although this will take up more disk space, it should be easier for
users and also save bandwidth. The files will be downloadable from
regular locations when the server is up again, which will take a
couple of days.
Removing Detritus from /etc. Joey Hess investigated his /etc
directory and noticed a lot of cruft left over by package removals
that haven't cleaned up properly: dangling symlinks, abandonded
directories and so on. He came up with the idea of a special Debian
package that checks for any bits of detritus left over by other
packages in its own postrm script, and cleans it up.
Rebuilding all Debian Packages. Junichi Uekawa reported about
another pbuilder run. Trying to recompile all source packages took
from December 9th to 24th on his machine. Only 529 packages failed to
build from source, leaving over 6000 packages that built successfully.
Gerhard Tonn also tried to recompile all C++ packages with GCC 3.2
prior to it being introduced as the standard compiler.
Security Updates. You know the drill. Please make sure that you update
your systems if you have any of these packages installed.
* typespeed -- Buffer overflow.
* Bugzilla -- Cross site scripting.
* dhcpcd -- Remote command execution.
New or Noteworthy Packages. The following packages were added to the
unstable Debian archive recently or contain important updates.
* autossh -- Automatically restart SSH sessions and tunnels.
* culmus -- Type1 Hebrew Fonts for X11.
* dpatch -- Used for development of dpatch based source
* grdesktop -- GTK+ 2 frontend for the rdesktop client.
* hsftp -- FTP emulator which uses ssh as end-to-end transport.
* illuminator1 -- Illuminator Distributed Visualization Library.
* mnemo -- Notes and Memo Application.
* nag -- Multiuser Task List Manager.
* obexftp -- File Transfer to Flex.Memory on Siemens GSM
* penggy -- Allows you to connect to AOL via modem or TCP/IP.
* tclxml -- Tcl library for XML parsing.
Orphaned Packages. 12 packages were orphaned this week and require a
new maintainer. This makes a total of 165 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.
* addressbook -- Personal address manager. (Bug#174699)
* autolog -- Terminates connections for idle users.
* btoa -- Convert binary to ascii and vice versa.
* calctool -- An X window version of the popular Open Look
* cle -- Wrap any command-line driven tool with readline.
* koth -- King of the Hill. (Bug#174548)
* lgrind -- A pretty printer for various programming languages.
* man2html -- Turns a web-browser and an httpd-server into a man
* mathwar -- A flash card game designed to teach maths.
* sted2 -- Fast, functional MIDI sequencer. (Bug#174596)
* translate-docformat -- Any-to-any document translation system.
* xinvaders -- Space Invaders game for X. (Bug#174347)
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