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Debian Weekly News 20/2006

This weeks DWN contains items on Web-Interface for Preseeding, Multiarch Status Update and License Problems with teTeX and a whole lot more. This issue of Debian Weekly News was edited by Sebastian Feltel, Mohammed Adnène Trojette and Martin 'Joey' Schulze.
Debian Weekly News
Debian Weekly News – May 16th, 2006

Welcome to this year's 20th issue of DWN, the weekly newsletter for
the Debian community. In an [1]interview, Anthony Towns stated that
the immediate plan is to organise the ideas he had during project
leader campaigning and that the people who volunteered to help don't
go away without some good ideas about extra things they can do.


Web-Interface for Preseeding. A new [2]website developed by open
source enthusiasts based on code released by Hewlett Packard allows
users to point and click through a few simple screens to generate a
small (less than 30 MB) installation image. When booted, it will
install an operating system via the network according to the user's
specifications. Debian, Ubuntu and KUbuntu are all supported on x86
and x86_64 platforms, as well as several other distributions.


Multiarch Status Update. Matt Taggart [3]pointed out a [4]report by
Canonical Ltd. and HP which investigates potential implementation
strategies of multiarch in Debian. Scott James Remnant [5]prepared a
[6]specification for the changes needed in [7]dpkg. Multiarch will
allow Debian many improvements like a better support for systems that
can run multiple binary targets, like i386 on amd64, or i386 on ia64.


Incremental Package Information Updates. Bartosz Fenski [8]reported
that the new version 0.6.44 of [9]apt has been [10]uploaded to the
[11]unstable distribution which supports incremental updates of the
packages database. With this version of apt the amount of data that
has to be downloaded has drastically decreased from four or five
megabytes down to a few hundred kilobytes by every run of “apt-get


Project Leader Assistant Bits. Steve McIntyre [12]reported about the
issues he has been working on after the [13]election. This includes
Debian's participation in Google's [14]Summer of Code, for which
Debian has received about 80 applications. He also mentioned the
pushed move of to [15]OFTC and that a new graphical
installer is coming along rapidly.


Testing-Security Archive moved. Neil McGovern [16]announced that the
testing-security archive has been moved to [17]
Users should adjust their sources.list lines if they run testing and
want to use this archive. The testing-security team will release
advisories before fixed packages have built for all supported
architectures. Missing builds will become available as they complete.


Moving to GCC 4.1? Martin Michlmayr [18]reported that the release team
would consider GCC 4.1 for the etch release if most of the release
critical bugs that are currently open due to a stricter compiler were
fixed. GCC 4.1 is considered superior to 4.0, in general and
particularly on [19]HPPA and [20]m68k. Therefore he started to
[21]coordinate non-maintainer uploads of the remaining buggy packages
and will rebuild the entire archive on several architectures.


License Problems with teTeX. Frank Küster [22]reported that he has
found a considerable number of files with unclear licenses in the
teTeX distribution, shared among teTeX and TeXlive. The problems will
most probably not be resolved before the release of [23]etch. Steve
Langasek [24]acknowledged to give the unchecked parts of the package
the benefit of the doubt and keep them in the distribution.


Switching to GCJ 4.1. Michael Koch [25]announced that the Debian Java
Team plans to switch the default version of gcj/gij to point to the
version 4.1. Most packages should only require a simple rebuild.
Packages building a native JNI library will need some manual action,


Packaging non-free Documentation. Jérôme Marant [26]wondered how
maintainers deal with original source packages that contain
documentation released under the [27]GNU FDL when they would like to
package the documentation for non-free. Manoj Srivastava [28]reported
that he has created two distinct source packages containing either the
code or the non-free documentation. The non-free source package
[29]needs to be renamed.


Maintaining patch-based Source Packages. Joey Schulze [30]asked
maintainers of patch-based build systems to use a sane name for
patches so that new ones can easily be added at the end of the pile
especially when they are applied in lexicographic and not sorted by an
index file. This will help prevent kludges when preparing security


Seventh annual Debian Conference. The Debian Project is currently
holding its annual [31]Conference at Oaxtepec, Mexico. About 400
developers, translators and people interested in the project have been
participating in more than 50 [32]talks and BoFs. You may follow the
Conference in the organising team's [33]blog. Live streams of the
[34]talks and the [35]hacklab are also available. In addition to that
Alexander Schmehl [36]announced the creation of two IRC channels so
the audience can ask questions about the talks.


Security Updates. You know the drill. Please make sure that you update
your systems if you have any of these packages installed.

* DSA 1055: [37]mozilla-firefox — Arbitrary code execution.
* DSA 1056: [38]webcalendar — Information leak.
* DSA 1057: [39]phpldapadmin — Cross-site scripting.


Orphaned Packages. 4 packages were orphaned this week and require a
new maintainer. This makes a total of 302 orphaned packages. Many
thanks to the previous maintainers who contributed to the Free
Software community. Please see the [40]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.


* [41]bcm5700-source — Module source for Broadcom's bcm5700
Ethernet driver. ([42]Bug#366806)
* [43]directvnc — VNC client using the framebuffer as display.
* [45]qla2x00 — Source for the qla2x00 driver for kernel version
2.4. ([46]Bug#366743)
* [47]request-tracker3.4 — Extensible trouble-ticket tracking
system. ([48]Bug#366551)


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 [49]contributing
page to find out how to help. We're looking forward to receiving your
mail at [50]


This issue of Debian Weekly News was edited by Sebastian Feltel,
Mohammed Adnène Trojette and Martin 'Joey' Schulze.

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