Debian Weekly News – July 6th, 1999

Linux Today editor: This is a reprint. The original is located

Welcome to Debian Weekly News, a newsletter for
the Debian developer community.

Perl 5.005 is here. To handle the transition to
this new version,
perl is now a versioned package
— perl 5.004 can be installed
alongside the newer version during the transition. All packages
that currently depend on perl need to be changed to depend on
perl5, and anyone who maintains such a package has been sent a
notice about this (here’s a
). There is also a new perl
which packages should follow. However, until all
packages that depend on perl are updated,
unstable is in an inconsistent state
and should only be
followed by the very brave.

With the new policy requiring the use of the FHS, the question
of how to move from /usr/doc to /usr/share/doc has
come up (again). Simply symlinking the two isn’t good enough,
because dpkg won’t deal with it well.
One idea
that has come up a few times is to make
/usr/doc/package be a link to

A new mailing list named debian-release has
, for coordination between people involved in release
management. “The debian-release mailing list is an *action*
” — it’s not meant for general discussion. Speaking of
releases, the release-critical bug
is being posted again each week. The latest version lists
a whopping 222 release critical bugs. Also,
Richard Braakman posted about his
plans for release management
. Some of the packages with release
critical bugs will soon be marked for removal.

Jason Gunthorpe
a “Negative Summary of the Split Proposal“.
This is an excellent summary of arguments against the
proposed move of non-free and contrib
. His larger aim,
besides defeating the proposal, is to make these summaries, both
pro and con, a regular part of the voting process. The split
proposal hasn’t gone to vote yet, but we do have one vote in
progress: The logo swap vote closes on July 7th. If you haven’t
voted yet, get a ballot

There was an
long argument
between Per Abrahamsen and others about
Debian developers’ relationships with upstream
. Per thinks that developers often act as
middlemen” who get in the way more often than not between
users and authors. He also dislikes the debian-specific
modifications made to XEmacs. Of course, many developers disagreed
and gave counterexamples of good relationships with upstream. Adam
Di Carlo posted an
excellent list
of things Debian developers should do to ensure
such good relations with their packages’ authors.

Here is a summary of what’s
happening on the Debian-JP project

New packages added this week include the
following and 31 more:

  • clanbomber:
    Bomberman like game
  • debauch:
    A malloc debugger
  • diskless:
    Generate NFS file structure for diskless boot.
  • gphoto:
    Universal application for digital cameras
  • pingus:
    Free Lemmings(tm) clone
  • vivid:
    A Teeny Tiny Text Editor
  • wipe:
    Secure file deletion

  • xanim-modules
    :Installer for xanim binary-only modules

Thanks to Christian Meder and Katsura S. Yoshio for contributing.

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Debian Weekly News is edited by Joey Hess.

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Last Modified: Wed, Jul 7 04:01:01 UTC 1999
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