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Debian Weekly News – September 19th, 2000

Date: Mon, 18 Sep 2000 22:48:57 -0700
From: Joey Hess [email protected]
To: [email protected]
Subject: Debian Weekly News – September 19th, 2000


Debian Weekly News
http://www.debian.org/News/weekly/current/issue/ 
Debian Weekly News - September 19th, 2000

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

[1]Work is underway on designing a replacement for Debian’s
aging installer. The replacement aims to address many problems of
the current installer: It will be modular so it is easier to
maintain and extend, and the user interface will be modular as
well, opening the possibility of an X based install. Other concerns
include hardware auto-detection, automated “kick-start” style
installs, and support for the Hurd. This and much more is under
discussion in a [2]long thread on the debian-boot mailing list. The
plan is to have the new installer ready for the release of
woody.

An important [3]new set of features have been checked into apt’s
development cvs branch. They allow apt to “pin” packages at a
particular version or Debian release, so they will not be upgraded
even if apt sees that newer versions are available. This makes it
possible to add both stable and unstable to sources.list, configure
apt to only use stable by default, and override apt at the command
line as needed to easily download packages from unstable. Other
uses include downgrading, and controlling how apt uses third party
repositories such as Helix GNOME, and other things we are only
[4]beginning to think of. Jason Gunthorpe adds, “Sadly, I don’t
have a complete set of docs for this function yet, and I’m not
finished my major source-incompatible changes to the library so
this code isn’t going into unstable for a good while yet.”

Security fixes for Debian 2.1 will end on September 30th. The
security team [5]announced that “Debian is phasing out support for
Debian 2.1”. Moreover, only very important fixes will be backported
to slink before the 30th, and they will only be built for the i386
and m68k platforms. They recommend that “sparc and alpha users
should upgrade to Debian 2.2 (potato) immediately”, and that’s good
advice for users of any architecture who care about security. The
security team is, however, still open to [6]feedback about this .
There were no security fixes this week.

The [7]Kernel Cousin Debian is a new Debian news source that was
[8]first published on September 7th. [9]Kernel Cousins provide
detailed summaries of mailing list traffic in a variety of
projects, now including the debian-devel mailing list (the
[10]Kernel Cousin Debian Hurd has summarized debian-hurd for some
time now). The new Kernel Cousin Debian goes into more detail and
covers more threads than does Debian Weekly News — while Debian
Weekly News attempts to cover more mailing lists and other news
sources, and provide a more condensed summary than does the Kernel
Cousin. We hope they both prove to be valuable resources, and
welcome the new Kernel Cousin Debian — DWN will probably borrow
some material from it in the future.

The Kernel Cousin Debian for [11]September 14th covers several
threads from the past couple of weeks including discussions about
whether debhelper should be build-essential, changing a system’s
default shell, and why an old version of pine with a free license
isn’t in Debian yet. They are also looking for more
contributors.

Graphing the Debian web of trust. It’s been a few years since
the Debian keyring was last graphed. Now [12]new graphs of the
debian gpg keyring have been produced. The graph of the gpg keyring
has some interesting properties — the gpg keyring revolves around
DPL Wichert Akkerman. And since each key signing happens at a real
life meeting between two developers, this is a great way to get a
feel for how often we meet in real life.

Lots of KDE applications continue to be added to Debian this week,
including the following and [13]83 other packages:
  * [14]kchart: KDE Office Suite - KChart
  * [15]kdepim-common: Personal Information Management for KDE
    ([16]dev)
  * [17]killustrator: KDE Office Suite - KIllustrator
  * [18]koffice-common: KDE Office Suite ([19]dev, [20]libs)
  * [21]kpresenter: KDE Office Suite - KPresenter
  * [22]kspread: KDE Office Suite - KSpread
  * [23]kword: KDE Office Suite - KWord
  * [24]qt-designer: QT GUI Designer
  * [25]task-kdegames: KDE games collection

Finally, a quick editorial. Though it’s not directly related to
Debian, [26]this Freshmeat article is an interesting read. In it, a
developer of the Conectiva distribution talks about making rpm
suitable for use with apt. It seems Conectiva has modified apt to
work with rpm’s, but making full use of apt makes demands of
packages that rpm’s cannot easily meet. “Just like a painter who
paints the floor of a room and gets trapped in a corner, certain
features in RPM seem to have been designed to make integration with
APT impossible” The problems Conectiva is running into involve
things like rpm’s handing of conffiles, the lack of interactive
maintainer scripts, and the tendency of rpm’s not to restart
daemons on upgrade — issues that are partly technical, but mainly
matters of policy. This is perhaps the best answer to the age old
question, “which is better, rpm or deb?”: Neither. Policy is what
really matters, and Debian has a large lead over every other
distribution in terms of having a formalized, well-developed, and
consistently applied [27]package policy. Let’s make sure we
maintain that lead.


References
1. http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel-0009/msg01072.html

2. http://lists.debian.org/debian-boot-0009/msg00132.html

3. http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel-0009/msg01219.html

4. http://www.debian.org/News/weekly/current/issue/mail#1

5.
http://lists.debian.org/debian-security-announce-00/msg00041.html

6. [email protected]

7. http://kt.linuxcare.com/debian/

8. http://kt.linuxcare.com/debian/dd20000907_1.epl

9. http://kt.linuxcare.com/index.epl

10. http://kt.linuxcare.com/debian-hurd/index.epl

11. http://kt.linuxcare.com/debian/dd20000914_2.epl

12. http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel-0009/msg01039.html

13. http://auric.debian.org/~tausq/newpkgs-20000918.html

14. http://www.debian.org/Packages/unstable/x11/kchart.html

15. http://www.debian.org/Packages/unstable/x11/kdepim-common.html

16. http://www.debian.org/Packages/unstable/devel/kdepim-dev.html

17. http://www.debian.org/Packages/unstable/x11/killustrator.html

18. http://www.debian.org/Packages/unstable/x11/koffice-common.html

19. http://www.debian.org/Packages/unstable/devel/koffice-dev.html

20. http://www.debian.org/Packages/unstable/libs/koffice-libs.html

21. http://www.debian.org/Packages/unstable/x11/kpresenter.html

22. http://www.debian.org/Packages/unstable/x11/kspread.html

23. http://www.debian.org/Packages/unstable/x11/kword.html

24. http://www.debian.org/Packages/unstable/devel/qt-designer.html

25. http://www.debian.org/Packages/unstable/games/task-kdegames.html

26. http://freshmeat.net/news/2000/09/16/969163199.html

27. http://www.debian.org/doc/debian-policy/


see shy jo