The first DWN is here, with news about Reducing the Archive Size, Debian Packages via BitTorrent, Report from FOSS + much more.
Debian Weekly News
Debian Weekly News – January 3rd, 2006
Welcome to this year's 1st issue of DWN, the weekly newsletter for the
Debian community. Mohammed Adnène Trojette summarised all major Debian
events in 2005 in the timeline for 2005. Philip Charles
reported that he has uploaded the latest CD images for Debian
GNU/Hurd. Manoj Srivastava announced that the debian-private list
is only private for three years after the general resolution on the
declassification procedure has passed.
Reducing the Archive Size. Gürkan Sengün summarised the effect of
different compression algorithms on the total size of the archive.
Raphaël Hertzog noticed that the support of 7-zip archives in
dpkg is evaluated in order to reduce Debian's archive overall
size. Steinar H. Gunderson added that CPU power is also a major
point to take in account.
Debian Packages via BitTorrent. George Danchev mentioned
apt-torrent in order to download packages upon an upgrade in
parallel. The packages is composed of an apt proxy and a BitTorrent
package fetcher, i.e. a seeder and a tracker. It run as a system
Report from FOSS.IN 2005. Kartik Mistry reported about this year's
FOSS.IN conference that was formerly known as Linux Bangalore
and where two Debian related talks were held. Jaldhar Vyas also
reported about meetings with other Indian Debian developers he met
during the conference.
Archive Architecture Qualification. Anthony Towns started that
decision process about the architectures that should be handled by the
official Debian archive. The main limitation on accepting new
architectures is their space requirement on the servers. Architectures
will need to demonstrate that the effort to support them isn't a
complete waste of time. Strategies for non-release architectures are
also needed so that they could do snapshot releases.
Promoting VIM as default. Joey Hess proposed to use a special
vim package as default vi. Its maintainer has managed to create a
vim-tiny package that is only marginally larger than nvi,
which is the standard vi included in the base system. Some default
settings are not appreciated, though.
/var/run versus /run. Thomas Hood wondered whether the Debian
system should use /var/run or /run. Anthony Towns summarised the
arguments pro and contra certain directories and concluded that each
of the solutions has a degree of ugliness.
Thoughts on the Quality of Debian. Lars Wirzenius thought about
ways to make Debian better from a technical point of view. He
summarised several areas where the quality of the Debian distribution
is improved, including using tools with higher levels of abstraction,
reporting and fixing bugs, bug squashing parties, automated testing
and quality assurance.
Using a moving License. Florent Bayle wondered how to treat a
package whose license links to a web page instead of including it.
This license could be altered after the package has been included in
Debian. Decklin Foster explained that Debian may redistribute it
under the license which it has received and that the license text must
be distributed along with the software.
General Resolution: GNU Free Documentation License. Anthony Towns
proposed an official statement with regards to the GNU Free
Documentation License. It's been six months after the editorial
changes of the social contract that forbid non-free documentation
to be distributed with Debian.
New or Noteworthy Packages. The following packages were added to the
unstable Debian archive recently or contain important updates.
* aspectc++ — Aspect-oriented programming extension for C++.
* boost-build — Build system.
* bzrtools — Collection of tools for bzr.
* cdrbq — Graphical CD burning frontend.
* conspy — Remote control of Linux virtual consoles.
* cvsnt — Better CVS.
* eclipse-cdt — C/C++ Development Tools for Eclipse.
* freeloader — GNOME download manager supporting torrents.
* gcx — Astronomical image processing and photometry GTK+
* gdebi — Simple tool to install deb files.
* gifsicle — Tool for manipulating GIF images.
* gnome-sudoku — Game for the popular Japanese sudoku logic
* granule — Flashcard program for learning new words.
* grsync — GTK+ frontend for rsync.
* kmess — Instant messenger to use MSN on KDE.
* knetdockapp — Network activity monitor applet for KDE.
* leo — English-German dictionary using dict.leo.org.
* linhdd — GTK frontend for cfdisk/df/hdparm/mkfs.
* link-grammar — Carnegie Mellon University's link grammar
parser for English.
* ndoc — Code documentation generator for .NET.
* pessulus — Lockdown editor for GNOME.
* postfix-smtpguard — Smtpguard policy service daemon for
* procinfo — Displays system information from /proc.
* qliss3d — Demonstration tool for Lissajous physiques.
* runit-services — UNIX init scheme with service supervision
* smart-notifier — Graphical hard disk health status notifier.
* sobby — Dedicated server for collaborative editing.
* sudo-ldap — Provide limited super user privileges to specific
* sysprof — System-wide Linux profiler.
* tofrodos — Converts DOS <-> Unix text files, alias tofromdos.
* uim-el — Emacs frontend for uim.
* vamps — Tool to recompress and modify the structure of a DVD.
* yample — Yet Another Mail Processing Language.
Orphaned Packages. 1 package was orphaned this week and requires a new
maintainer. This makes a total of 171 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.
* psh — Interactive shell with the power of perl.
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