The latest news from the maillists has arrived – this week with the value of Debian, old documenatation and UK society.
Debian Weekly News
Debian Weekly News – September 13th, 2005
Welcome to this year's 37th issue of DWN, the weekly newsletter for
the Debian community. Wouter Verhelst noticed that the bug
tracking system has gotten a new layout and even uses cascading style
sheets like the main website. In an article Ian Murdock
suggested Debian to concentrate on a tight release cycle and
keeping the growing family of Debian derivatives united.
Debian UK Society. In March Steve McIntyre announced plans to
found the Debian UK Society. There have been some resentments
against it and against selling items at exhibitions, though,
leading to a large discussion. Branden Robinson already worked on
a revocable trademark license grant for Debian's name and logos usable
by any local charitable affiliates.
Value of Debian GNU/Linux. The paper Measuring Libre Software
studying the size of the source packages in Debian 3.1 calculates the
size of sarge (close to 230 million lines of source code), the use of
the various programming languages in which the software has been
written, and the size of the packages included in the distribution. It
also estimates cost to create something on the scale of Debian from
scratch with a classical and well-known cost method (COCOMO) to be
over 8 billion US dollar.
Supporting Testing Security. Joey Hess announced the beginning of
full security support for Debian's testing distribution. The Debian
testing security team has spent the past year building the team and
creating infrastructure. Advisories for security fixes will only be
announced for updates that are made available through the new
repository and don't reach testing through normal propagation from
Team Maintenance. Wolfgang Borgert proposed as a conclusion of
many discussions at DebConf5 to maintain all packages by teams and
start projects at Alioth. John Goerzen liked the idea but
suggested to move towards a more BSD approach, where any developer
can commit changes to any package.
Old Documentation Links. Joey Hess identified 497 packages that
still contain code in their postinst script to create links in
/usr/doc/ which should have been a bug since 2002. Recompiling most of
them with a current version of debhelper will remove that code.
Henning Makholm added that several of these packages have been
orphaned without changing their maintainer field to the QA team.
Planet Debian via Mailing List? Christoph Berg requested a
mailing list to distribute the aggregated content of Planet
Debian. Providing that service would recognise the relevance of Planet
Debian to the Debian culture. Tollef Fog Heen, however, didn't
want his feed to end up in a public mail archive somewhere.
Executable Example Files. Jörg Sommer proposed an example file to
be executable. Clint Adams argued that the file must reside in
/usr/bin to be executable. Marcelo Magallon suggested to write a
wrapper script that will execute the example instead.
Debian Package Sponsor Platform. Neil McGovern announced
sponsors.debian.net that intends to help prospective Debian
developers to find a sponsor for the packages they maintain. The site
supports automatic updates of intent-to-package bugs when the package
has been uploaded and notification of maintainers when a package has
Beta Version Package Versioning. Lars Bahner noticed that the
final version of a package is considered a lower version number than
the beta version and wondered how to cope with it. Robert Collins
suggested to use the low-priority tilde delimiter in such cases,
although for the current version this is too late already and it
is also not yet available.
Source-only Package Uploads. Sven Luther suggested all packages to
be built by the buildd network. Wouter Verhelst reported that many
developers would not even test their packages when source-only uploads
were permitted. Henrique Holschuh had the idea to work around this
by throwing away the maintainer-supplied packages and letting a buildd
compile them again.
Usertags for Bug Reports. Anthony Towns announced the availability
of user tags for the bug tracking system and explained uses
and ways to display bugs according to the supplied tags. Marc
Brockschmidt added such tags in order to be able to track QA
related bugs easier.
Security Updates. You know the drill. Please make sure that you update
your systems if you have any of these packages installed.
* DSA 802: cvs — Insecure temporary files.
* DSA 803: apache — HTTP request smuggling.
* DSA 804: kdelibs — Backup file information leak.
* DSA 805: apache2 — Several vulnerabilities
* DSA 806: gcvs — Insecure temporary files.
* DSA 807: libapache-mod-ssl — ACL restriction bypass.
* DSA 808: tdiary — Cross Site Request Forgery.
* DSA 809: squid — Several vulnerabilities.
* DSA 810: mozilla — Several vulnerabilities.
New or Noteworthy Packages. The following packages were added to the
unstable Debian archive recently or contain important updates.
* baz-load-dirs — Import upstream archives into baz.
* conky — Highly configurable system monitor for X based on
* dealer — Bridge hand generator.
* easyh10 — Utility to manage the iRiver H10 music player.
* enca — Extremely naive charset analyser.
* kdebluetooth — KDE Bluetooth Framework.
* lmms — Linux Multimedia Studio.
* numactl — NUMA scheduling and memory placement tool.
* ocaml-mode — Major mode for editing Objective Caml in Emacs.
* pida — Python Integrated Development Application, a Python
* pycocuma — Pythonic contact and customer management.
* qalculate-kde — Powerful and easy to use desktop calculator -
* qobex — Swiss army knife for the OBject EXchange (obex)
* srcinst — Build and install Debian packages completely from
* tart — Versatile and feature-rich email signature generator.
* zope2.8 — Open Source Web Application Server.
Orphaned Packages. 5 packages were orphaned this week and require a
new maintainer. This makes a total of 184 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.
* doc-debian-ko — Debian FAQ and other documents to Korean.
* ipkungfu — Iptables-based Linux firewall. (Bug#327437)
* irmp3 — Multimedia Audio Jukebox application.
* rhdb-admin — Graphical tool to administer PostgreSQL/RHDB
* windowlab — Small and simple Amiga-like window manager.
Removed Packages. 17 packages have been removed from the Debian
archive during the past week:
* xfree86 — XFree86 X server.
Bug#326839: Request of maintainer, superseded by xorg-x11
* ggz-* — GGZ Gaming Zone (12 packages).
Bug#279787 et al.: Request of QA, orphaned, out of date
* amd — Dummy package for am-utils.
Bug#308718: Request of QA: obsolete dummy package
* aspseek — Advanced Internet search engine (backend programs).
Bug#321328: Request of QA, RC bugs, licensing issues, dead
* kernel-patch-2.4-kgdb — GDB debugging for the kernel.
Bug#323441: Request of QA, orphaned; RC bugs; out of date
* sattrack — Satellite tracker and prediction.
Bug#325363: Request of maintainer, non-free, better
alternatives exist (mtrack/ktrack/…)
Want to continue reading DWN? Please help us create this newsletter.
We still need more volunteer writers who watch the Debian community
and report about what is going on. Please see the contributing
page to find out how to help. We're looking forward to receiving your
mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.