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Debian Weekly News
Debian Weekly News – August 2nd, 2005
Welcome to this year's 31st issue of DWN, the weekly newsletter for
the Debian community. Geert Stappers noted that the twelfth
birthday of the Debian project will take place this month. Simon
Wright reported that the Debian swirl is shipped as standard
brush in a proprietary commercial drawing program.
Reviewing Package Descriptions. Wolfgang Borgert asked whether it
was appropriate for package descriptions to include technical and
extraneous details. While both sides were argued for, Lars Wirzenius
noted that many package descriptions contain other errors, and
suggested that a group should wade through the descriptions and
improve them. Clément Stenac followed up with a Wiki page
documenting procedures and calling for volunteers.
Services back up! Ryan Murray announced that the temporary
migration of two important Debian machines to HP has been completed
successfully and their services have been restored. All hosting offers
received will now be evaluated in order to decide on a more permanent
home for the two machines. The ftp-master service has been moved to
spohr and developers can upload packages again.
Popularity Contest. Petter Reinholdtsen asked users to participate
in the popularity contest by installing the popularity-contest
package and saying “yes” to participation. The results are used to
produce Debian CDs and map the usage of packages and architecture
distribution. Erik Schanze suggested that reports be zipped in
order to ease the stress on low-bandwidth machines. Petter
responded that reports sent using HTTP already implement this, and
that e-mail compression is being worked on.
Debian Accessibility Call for Help. Mario Lang called for help
with the maintenance of accessibility related packages in Debian. He
is searching co-maintainers for the emacspeak and
kernel-patch-speakup packages. He is also looking for developers
to help with specific tasks like developing a framework for building
drivers for proprietary software speech synthesisers, researching the
status of gnopernicus with respect to Java based applications and
OpenOffice.org, and providing an accessibility initrd for the
Debian Installer CDs.
Next Generation Init Scripts. Henrique de Moraes Holschuh
announced a new project on Alioth to foster the
development, reference implementation and deployment of new init
script engines. All maintainers of init script subsystem packages and
init replacements are invited to participate as well as
representatives from derivated distributions that have an interest on
the topic. This project intends to continue the work started
during DebConf2, and rehashed during DebConf5.
Full Debian ARM for under $200. Peter Korsgaard announced a
howto about installing Debian on a Linksys NSLU2. The NSLU2 is
a cheap consumer device containing a 266 MHz ARM processor, Ethernet,
USB 2.0, 8 MB flash and 32 MB SDRAM. The installation includes
adjusting the endianness of the machine and the kernel and using
the Debian installer image for LART machines. Attaching a USB hard
disk makes it a nice server.
Report Mail as Spam. From now on there is another possibility for the
normal user to help the Debian project. A button has been added to all
mail pages of the mailing list archive to report this mail as
spam. Everybody who finds a spam message can click on the button to
report it back to the listserver. This will help to improve the spam
filter and to clean up the mailing lists from unwanted messages.
Alioth Documentation. Raphaël Hertzog started to write some
documentation on Alioth since its users often ask for
documentation and noticed the lack of it. Users are invited to
contribute to this piece of documentation. He pointed to the source of
the modified version of Gforge and invited people to contribute
Linux Trademark Issues. Bruce Perens wrote that the UserLinux
project has been approached by the Linux Mark Institute and that
their license doesn't seem to be compatible with Debian. Stephen
Frost, however, pondered whether Debian's use wouldn't fall under
the descriptive use since it refers to Linux as the kernel. Bruce'
main concern is that the license doesn't serve the community and
its efforts but only commercial entities.
Patent Infringements. Daniel James reported that XMMS contains
a library that implements a patent-encumbered algorithm that requires
a license. Steve Langasek answered that Debian includes this
library because its patents are not actively enforced.
Skills and Rights of a Debian Developer. Bartosz Fenski pondered
whether Debian should split duties and rights instead of requiring
every registered developer to be a package maintainer, especially if
they only want to work on documentation and translations. Maybe a good
approach would be to better integrate people who are not packaging
software and hence don't require upload permission.
Debian at the ApacheCon Europe 2005. Meike Reichle wrote a report
about the Debian presence at this year's ApacheCon Europe that was
held in Stuttgart, Germany. She had also taken the liberty to
reproduce the long lost Mike poster. Most attendees of this
conference were professionals who have known Debian already but the
need for sarge DVDs was still high.
Security Updates. You know the drill. Please make sure that you update
your systems if you have any of these packages installed.
* DSA 767: ekg — Arbitrary code execution.
* DSA 768: phpbb2 — Cross-site scripting.
* DSA 769: gaim — Denial of service.
* DSA 770: gopher — Insecure temporary file creation.
* DSA 771: pdns — Denial of service.
New or Noteworthy Packages. The following packages were added to the
unstable Debian archive recently or contain important updates.
* baobab — Graphical tool to analyse directory trees.
* bcron — Bruce's cron system (programs).
* bum — Tool to manage bootup scripts.
* gobby — Collaborative text editor.
* hsffig — Haskell Binding Auto-Generation Utility.
* httperf — HTTP server performance tester.
* hyperestraier — Full-text search system for communities.
* iaxcomm — Portable IAX(2) protocol telephony client.
* mipe — Tools to store PCR-derived data.
* mysql-server-5.0 — MySQL database server binaries Version
* ocfs2-tools — Tools for managing OCFS2 cluster filesystems.
* php-pear — PEAR – PHP Extension and Application Repository.
* php5 — Server-side, HTML-embedded scripting language
* pilrcui — Graphical viewer for PalmOS resource files.
* pioneers-ai — Pioneers computer player – a game for GNOME.
Orphaned Packages. 1 package was orphaned this week and requires a new
maintainer. This makes a total of 153 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.
* falconseye — Data files for Falcon's Eye. (Bug#320075)
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