The 38th edition of DWN is here: Volunteer Participation in Debian, removing non-free Documentation, honouring the Release Team Work and much more.
Debian Weekly News
Debian Weekly News – September 20th, 2005
Welcome to this year's 38th issue of DWN, the weekly newsletter for
the Debian community. David Moreno Garza reported that he has
closed 729 work-needing and prospective packages bugs which were
more than 600 days old with no hope of progress. Branden Robinson
posted his ideas and thoughts about managing Debian's trademark
with special attention to the DCC Alliance. The m68k port is
in danger of being ignored by the testing propagation due to
internal compiler errors and a huge backlog of packages.
Volunteer Participation in Debian. A talk about the evolution of
volunteer participation in Debian was held at the International
Conference on Open Source Systems. It presents a quantitative research
of data of major Debian releases over the last 7 years, as a case
study of volunteer participation in Free Software projects. The
conclusion is that developers tend to maintain more packages and stay
active for a long period of time.
Removing non-free Documentation. Frank Lichtenheld announced how
the release team will deal with non-free documentation for the etch
release. The status of packages with such files will be tracked
with the new usertags feature of the bug tracking system. He
advised the maintainers to talk to their upstream authors and document
the decisions in bug reports.
Honouring the Release Team Work. Barry Hawkins looked at how much
effort it takes to fix bugs, resolve issues and maintain the software
at work with six developers and 18 dependencies to third party
libraries. In comparison with the 10,000 source packages in Debian and
the coordination and effort required to get a release done the more he
is in awe of the Debian release team.
Debian-Women Software Freedom Day Activities. On the occasion of this
year's Software Freedom Day the Debian-Women project was
running several activities in order to appeal to all levels of
experience: A new IRC channel, #debian-women-new, was opened for until
then inactive people who would like to get involved with the
Debian-Women project. For more experienced members there was a “help
day” on the usual #debian-women channel. Erinn Clark installed a local
BTS, dak and buildd for people to try out and practice with. Last but
not least a Bug Squashing Party was organised by Hanna Wallach at
#debian-bugs. All three events were well received and many women used
the opportunity to catch up on the Debian-Women project and general
Parallelised Boot Sequence. Petter Reinholdtsen restarted the
discussion about executing init scripts in parallel and provided a
simple patch against rc that will simply execute all scripts with the
same priority in parallel. Based on the LSB he provided an
example for a dependency block in init scripts that could be parsed by
future startup programs.
Improving Init Scripts. Marc Chantreux proposed to write init
scripts more efficiently, i.e. by using features the shell and the
used utilities provide. Miquel van Smoorenburg pointed out that
only POSIX features should be used. David Weinehall added that
busybox does not implement all GNU extensions.
Closing Bug Reports. Grzegorz Bizon wondered what the preferred
way to close bug reports is. Blars Blarson explained that the bug
will be automatically closed by the upload when it is mentioned in the
changelog. If it is fixed some other way, or the change has already
been uploaded, the nnn-done address with a version pseudo-header needs
to be used.
New Maintainer Front Desk Report. Marc Brockschmidt reported about
significant changes in the new maintainer process. Contributing to
Debian is now a requirement and lack of it will cause the application
to be removed. The web interface that supports UTF-8 now has also been
moved to a new host and to HTTPS so that secure connections are
Restricting the GNU GPL. Harri Järvi noticed that the license of
linuxsampler restricts the GNU GPL and explicitly
prohibits commercial use. Justin Pryzby wondered if it
wouldn't have to be removed since it is linked against a free
Accidental Distributed Denial of Service Attack. On Monday a
distributed denial of service attack was initiated by the security
team. They have installed 1.7 GB of packages with the latest
xfree86 update. Due to the large number of users and the size of
XFree86 packages, this caused a constant 97 MBit/s output-rate on the
security host. There are ongoing discussions on how to avoid this in
Publically exposing the Developer Location? Robert Lemmen proposed
to make public the location of all developers. Ben Armstrong noted
that developers have already access to this information, and added
that he would not be happy if the location would be exposed together
with his name. Wolfgang Borgert suggested to use a new field
Security Updates. You know the drill. Please make sure that you update
your systems if you have any of these packages installed.
* DSA 811: common-lisp-controller — Arbitrary code injection.
* DSA 812: turqstat — Buffer overflow.
* DSA 813: centericq — Several vulnerabilities.
* DSA 814: lm-sensors — Insecure temporary file.
* DSA 815: kdebase — Local root vulnerability.
* DSA 816: xfree86 — Arbitrary code execution.
New or Noteworthy Packages. The following packages were added to the
unstable Debian archive recently or contain important updates.
* bandwidthd — Tracks usage of TCP/IP and builds HTML files
* cedilla — Best-effort Unicode text printer.
* eiciel — Graphical editor for POSIX ACLs.
* exiv2 — EXIF/IPTC metadata manipulation tool.
* hsetroot — Tool for compose root-pixmaps for X11.
* hula — Integrated mail & calendar system with simple
* kkbswitch — Keyboard layout indicator for KDE.
* klibido — Usenet binary grabber for KDE.
* knowledgetree — Web-based Knowledge Management.
* osgcal — Cal3d to OpenSceneGraph adapter development
* pugs — Perl 6 Implementation.
* rkhunter — Rootkit, backdoor, sniffer and exploit scanner.
* sigscheme — Scheme Interpreter.
* taskjuggler — Project management application.
* wcalc — Flexible command-line scientific calculator.
* xoo — Graphical wrapper around Xnest.
* xorsa — Tool for Celestial Mechanics investigations.
* zope3 — Open Source Web Application Server.
Orphaned Packages. 4 packages were orphaned this week and require a
new maintainer. This makes a total of 195 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.
* irmp3 — A Multimedia Audio Jukebox application.
* rhdb-admin — Graphical tool to administer PostgreSQL/RHDB
* zorroutils — Zorro bus utilities for Amigas running 2.1 and
later kernels. (Bug#328650)
Removed Packages. 38 packages have been removed from the Debian
archive during the past week:
* diskless — Generate NFS file structure for diskless boot.
Bug#107808: Request of QA, buggy, unmaintained, better
alternative available (lessdisks)
* chos — Easy Boot loader with a Boot-Menu
Bug#263868: Request of QA, rc-bugs, alternatives exist like
* fenris — Program execution path analysis tool
Bug#322601: Request of QA, has never been part of a stable
release, rc bug, dead upstream
* libyaml-ruby — YAML for Ruby 1.6
Bug#323772: Request of maintainer, functionality now provided
by ruby1.8 and ruby-defaults
* aeromail — Web-based e-mail client
Bug#326164: Request of QA, orphaned, rc-buggy with no activity
* gswitchit — Keyboard layout switcher
Bug#326215: Request of maintainer, superseded by
* thoughttracker — Nonhierarchical, hyperlinked knowledge base
Bug#327149: Request of Maintainer, dead upstream, better
* konq-speaker — Text-to-speech plugins for Konqueror and Kate
Bug#327156: Request of maintainer, dead upstream, no longer
needed, kdeaccessibility has alternative
* netjuke — Web-Based Audio Streaming Jukebox
Bug#327678: Request of QA, orphaned, dead upstream
* akregator — RSS feed aggregator for KDE
Bug#327879: Request of maintainer, superseded by kdepim and
* tutos — Ultimate Team Organisation Software
Bug#321647: Request of maintainer, outdated, security issues,
superseded by tutos2
* jftw — Joel's File Tree Walk library
Bug#326702: Request of maintainer, obsolete, hardly used
* gxedit — GTK-based pop-up command to get user input
Bug#286959: Request of maintainer, buggy, hardly used, plenty
* zope-popyda — Database Adapter connecting Zope and PostgreSQL
Bug#327626: Request of maintainer, old, rc-buggy and
superseded by python-psycopg / sql-relay
* icukrell — GKrellm plugin which shows the status of GnomeICU
Bug#327650: Request of maintainer, old, rc-buggy
* dedit — Editor Tool with Japanese extension for beginners
Bug#327662: Request of maintainer, old, rc-buggy and
* matchbox-nest — Graphical wrapper around xnest
Bug#328068: Request of maintainer, renamed to xoo
* grunch — Merge partial scans into a larger image
Bug#327636: Request of maintainer, has never been part of a
stable release, rc-buggy
* gnuradio — Software Defined Radio
Bug#328127: Request of maintainer, superseded by
* howl — Tools for use with Howl (mDNSPublish and mDNSBrowse)
Bug#302462: Request of maintainer, license issues (APSL 2.0)
* kcdlabel — CD cover creator for KDE
Bug#328144: Request of maintainer, dead upstream, superseded
* daapd — Serves music files using the Apple DAA protocol
Bug#294934: Request of maintainer, Buggy, serious design
* slpim — Personal Information Manager for the console
Bug#328536: Request of maintainer, outdated, no users
* npadmin — Query information from SNMP featured printer
Bug#328593: Request of maintainer, very old, obsolete
* oaklisp — Object-oriented dialect of Scheme.
Bug#328597: Request of maintainer, very old, obsolete
* zope2.6-verbosesecurity — Helps to explain the reason for denied
Bug#328617: Request of maintainer, obsolete; only works with
to-be-removed zope2.6; superseded by zope-verbosesecurity
* tclexpat — Tcl interface to expat XML parser.
Bug#328653: Request of maintainer, very old, obsolete
* umsdos — Utilities for controlling a umsdos filesystem
Bug#328656: Request of maintainer, old, unused, broken
* gopherweblink — Generate web link files for gopher servers
Bug#328693: Request of maintainer, only useful with no longer
* cfe — Console Font Editor
Bug#328801: Request of maintainer, old, unused
* vmnet — Simple virtual networking program
Bug#328813: Request of maintainer, old, superseded
* vgagamespack — SVGAlib games ConnectN, Othello, and Mines
Bug#328816: Request of maintainer, old, unused, superseded
* bloksi — Sliding-blocks puzzle (glotski written in perl)
Bug#328817: Request of maintainer, old, alternatives
* pcrd — PCR-1000 Control Daemon / Command Line Interface
Bug#328818: Request of QA, old, superseded by icomlib
* math3d — Spatial geometry math C++ runtime library
Bug#328819: Request of maintainer, old, unused
* regex — GNU regular expression library, run time libraries.
Bug#328839: Request of maintainer, old, broken, unused
* libhs — HighScore Library (run-time library)
Bug#328860: Request of maintainer, unused
* gidic — Simple GTK Dictionary
Bug#328862: Request of maintainer, old, unused, gtk1.2
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