Debian Weekly News - January 7, 2003
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Debian Weekly News
Debian Weekly News - January 7th, 2003
Welcome to this year's first issue of DWN, the weekly newsletter for
the for the Debian community.
Improving Events Visibility. A call for more active participation
and preparation for Events with Debian involvement was sent out. The
Debian project maintains several web pages dedicated to the events
Debian attends. These pages usually contain a small general paragraph
describing the event and a longer paragraph about the Debian
participation. Only for some events there are summary reports
available. Hopefully, more will be written for upcoming events.
Additionally Peter Karlsson implemented ICS files (Internet
Calendar entries) for all future events in 2003. Infodrom
currently lists some of the major GNU/Linux events coming up this
RSS Feed of New Debian Packages. Joe Nahmias informed us that Andrew
Cosgriff created an RSS feed of new Debian packages, which is
based on Randolph Chung's new packages from the last 7 days. This
is also the source for the New and Noteworthy Packages section in DWN
by the way.
New Debian Business Cards. Jean-Michel Kelbert informed us that he
placed a new flashy business card online. Martin Wuertele
added an updated version of the traditional business card. The
new versions were later added to the other business cards.
Perl Package requires Python. Kenneth Pronovici maintains a
package for Debian that builds a perl library. It sounds a little
bit strange, but upstream added a new component that was written in
Python rather than in Perl. Wouter Verhelst and Matt Zimmerman advised
him to split the source package into several binary packages, to keep
the Perl library and add a new Python package.
Debian Conference 3. Tollef Fog Heen announced that there will be
a Debian conference in Europe, more exactly in Oslo, Norway. The
University of Oslo has kindly enough offered to host it. A few days
before the conference rooms and network connectivity will be
available, so people will have time to sit around, discuss, hack,
barbecue, go picnicking and have fun. If you are interested in
talking at Debconf or have an idea for a talk which you'd like to
hear, please drop Tollef a mail.
Egrep moved from /bin to /usr/bin. Jan Niehusmann questioned if
the recent move of egrep from /bin to /usr/bin was a good idea. It
causes problems for packages with hard-coded paths to egrep, such as
logcheck. Hwei Sheng Teoh wondered whether he should file bugs
against packages that have hard-coded the path or reverse the change.
Matt Zimmerman thought bugs should be filed, but Adam Heath
thought egrep should be moved back to /bin. Stephen Frost
suggested the proper solution would be to make egrep, fgrep and
grep all the same binary. This would solve the problem and satisfy any
programs that need egrep or fgrep before /usr is mounted.
Setting up Debian Package Repositories. Aaron Isotton announced
that he has written a Debian Repository Howto. The document
explains what a Debian package repository is, how it is designed, how
it can be set up and used.
DEC Word List removed from Aspell Dictionary. Kevin Atkinson
announced that the DEC Word List has now been removed from the
aspell English dictionary due to the questionable license and because
removing it will not seriously decrease the quality. This addresses
licensing issues concerning the word list that were discussed last
Debian Privacy Notice? Raphaël Hertzog wondered whether Debian
should have a privacy notice displayed on the website. Currently,
there is no statement assuring people that the mailing list subscriber
databases are kept private and are not sold to marketers or anything
like that. Santiago Vila considered this a good idea, but figured
Debian should do more to fight spam on the lists as a more urgent
POSIX compliant su. Greg Stark noticed that setting the variable
POSIXLY_CORRECT to 1 causes some programs and installation scripts to
fail due to unexpectedly getting standards compliant behaviour instead
of whatever the GNU programs usually do. This is mostly caused by
su used in init scripts where start-stop-daemon should be used.
Moving Menu Files. Bill Allombert noted that the menu system
requires menu files to be in /usr/lib/menu for historical reasons.
However, for FHS (File Hierarchy Standard) compliance they should
be moved to /usr/share/menu. He suggested to upload a new menu package
that supports menu files in both directories. Richard Braakman
added that menu files are rather small and they could be copied
into both locations for a while.
Changelog files in UTF-8. Colin Walters proposed an addition to
the policy saying that the entire changelog file must be encoded in
the UTF-8 encoding of Unicode. Right now, people are putting
whatever random characters they feel like in Debian changelogs.
Radovan Garabik added that such a proposal has been made at least
twice in the past and was seconded already.
User Configuration Files. Jamin Collins suggested to move user
configuration files below ~/.etc so they don't clutter the home
directory anymore. This was also discussed on the FHS list. Colin
Watson explained that this would contradict with what the vast
majority of the upstream software we package does, and what that same
software will do if people compile it for themselves. Lars Wirzenius
would rather use a time machine to fix this in the 1970s, since
it's too late now.
LyX moved to main. LyX, an almost WYSIWYG-frontend for LaTeX that
runs under the X Window System, has finally been uploaded into the
main archive. This was only possible after the formerly non-free
Xforms GUI toolkit changed its license to the GNU Lesser
General Public License, its 1.0-final version got released and
uploaded to main in mid-December.
C++ Transition to GCC 3.2 ready. Ryan Murray announced that the
C++ transition plan for GCC 3.2 is ready to be implemented.
Because GCC 3.2 changed the C++ ABI, you can't mix a C++ library
compiled with GCC 3.2 and a C++ application compiled with an earlier
version, or vice versa. We're going to rebuild all C++ packages with
the gcc-3.2 ABI, except for libqt2, which will be staying with the ABI
it currently has for compatibility with woody and third party binaries
built with libqt2. libqt3 will use the new ABI.
Security Updates. You know the drill. Please make sure that you update
your systems if you have any of these packages installed.
* Squirrelmail -- Cross site scripting.
* mhonarc -- Cross site scripting.
* xpdf -- Arbitrary command execution.
New or Noteworthy Packages. The following packages were added to the
unstable Debian archive recently or contain important updates.
* cu -- Call up another system.
* dv-utils -- Convert DV-encoded videos between various formats.
Orphaned Packages. 4 packages were orphaned this week and require a
new maintainer. This makes a total of 163 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.
* blackened -- A feature rich ircII based IRC client.
* calc -- An advanced calculator and mathematical tool for
* mowitz -- The "More Widgets" library. (Bug#175539)
* sabre -- Fighter plane simulator. (Bug#175226)
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