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Debian Weekly News 26/2006

This weeks edition is here, containing issues such as Priorities of Alternatives, Improving Debian's Publicity and Tracking Critical Bugs
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Debian Weekly News
http://www.debian.org/News/weekly/2006/26/
Debian Weekly News – June 27th, 2006
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Welcome to this year's 26th issue of DWN, the weekly newsletter for
the Debian community. Alan Baghumian [1]announced a [2]new version
of [3]Parsix a special Debian-based live and installation CD with
Persian support. Joey Schulze [4]reported that an [5]RSS feed for
the [6]weekly news is generated automatically, including translations
for the current issue.

1. http://lists.parsix.org/?0::737
2. http://lists.parsix.org/?0::803
3. http://www.parsix.org/
4. http://lists.debian.org/debian-www/2006/06/msg00238.html
5. http://www.debian.org/News/weekly/dwn.en.rdf
6. http://www.debian.org/News/weekly/

Debian Query Language. Berke Durak from the French National
[7]Institute for Research in Computer Science and Control is
[8]seeking feedback and ideas for defining a query language that
would be useful to maintainers, power-users and researchers. They have
already developed a [9]dependency checker based on boolean form.
Tools for handling the Debian meta data with its evolution in time are
also being implemented.

7. http://www.inria.fr/
8. http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel/2006/05/msg01912.html
9. http://bugs.debian.org/365087

Date of last Modification. Kai Hendry [10]noted that policy's date
[11]field is poorly implemented on /var/lib/dpkg/available. Relying
instead on the changelog date for package activity can sometimes be
incorrect as some developers may not update the date on their final
change [12]accordingly. Joey Hess stepped in and [13]recommended the
use of dch -r to update the changelog timestamp when continuing work
on packages.

10. http://lists.debian.org/debian-policy/2006/06/msg00070.html
11. http://www.debian.org/doc/debian-policy/ch-controlfields.html#s-f-Date
12. http://lists.debian.org/debian-policy/2006/06/msg00033.html
13. http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel/2006/06/msg00529.html

Priorities of Alternatives. Wouter Verhelst [14]wondered why the
package maintainers are allowed to chose the priority for
alternatives. Naturally they are biased, as demonstrated with mcedit
becoming the default for /usr/bin/editor. Using [15]popularity contest
instead would ensure that the applications which most people prefer
would be the default.

14. http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel/2006/05/msg02136.html
15. http://popcon.debian.org/

Improving Debian's Publicity. Raphaël Hertzog [16]announced the
creation of the [17]debian-publicity mailing list. It aims at helping
the press team by preparing and suggesting announcements and reviving
the [18]press clipping section of the project's website. It can also
be a place to help Debian developers in drafting announcements
intended for the [19]debian-news mailing-list. This initiative is one
of the conclusions of the [20]Representing Debian meeting held at this
year's Debian [21]conference. Assistance by non-technical people would
be greatly appreciated.

16. http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel-announce/2006/06/msg00005.html
17. http://lists.debian.org/debian-publicity/
18. http://www.debian.org/News/press/
19. http://lists.debian.org/debian-news/
20. https://debconf6.debconf.org/comas/general/proposals/66
21. http://www.debian.org/events/2006/0514-debconf

Tracking Critical Bugs. Andreas Barth [22]announced some enhancements
in his bts2ldap interface for [23]tracking critical issues in Debian
packages. The interface now takes into account the version of the
package a bug appeared or was resolved in. Steinar H. Gunderson then
[24]made many suggestions to improve tracking the resolution state of
bugs in the Debian [25]Bug Tracking System, for example by making the
official release-critical bug [26]graph use the versioning
information.

22. http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel-announce/2006/06/msg00011.html
23. http://bts.turmzimmer.net/
24. http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel/2006/06/msg00869.html
25. http://bugs.debian.org/
26. http://bugs.debian.org/release-critical

Separating shared Libraries and Executables. Goswin von Brederlow
[27]noted that [28]policy demands that run-time support programs using
a shared library must not be put in the shared library package. This
would prevent the installation of more than one version of the shared
library. Goswin [29]added that it would also complicate a conversion
to [30]multiarch.

27. http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel/2006/05/msg02166.html
28. http://www.debian.org/doc/debian-policy/ch-sharedlibs#s-sharedlibs-runtime-progs
29. http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel/2006/05/msg02429.html
30. http://multiarch.alioth.debian.org/multiarch-hp-report.pdf

Debian in Cuba. David Moreno Garza [31]reported that he has been
invited to go to Cuba to support some of Cuban Free Software
initiatives, which some of them are Debian-based. Walter Landry
[32]explained that it used to be illegal under US law to export crypto
to any country, which has been relaxed though, but does not include
Cuba. According to Walter, some types of communication are allowed,
but some are not and even using the mailing list infrastructure may be
a problem for Debian.

31. http://lists.debian.org/debian-legal/2006/06/msg00268.html
32. http://lists.debian.org/debian-legal/2006/06/msg00274.html

Automatic Loading of Kernel Modules. Jim Popovitch [33]noticed that
the default installation of Debian loads many more kernel modules than
he needs and wondered how to prevent this. Robert Sanchez
[34]explained that the systems probably have some auto-detection
running which automatically load modules for the hardware they have
discovered.

33. http://lists.debian.org/debian-isp/2006/06/msg00109.html
34. http://lists.debian.org/debian-isp/2006/06/msg00116.html

Stopping Daemons upon Removal. Michael Prokop [35]wondered about
maintainer scripts that fail when they can't stop the daemon process
they try to. Henrique de Moraes Holschuh [36]added that stop targets
are to exit with a zero exit code 0 if the service is already stopped.
Bert Schubert [37]explained that the proper solution for chroot
environments is to add a policy-rc.d script and gave an example.

35. http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel/2006/05/msg02437.html
36. http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel/2006/05/msg02470.html
37. http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel/2006/05/msg02483.html

Private List Messages sent to Google Mail. Ian Jackson [38]noted that
the current privacy and processing policies of Google Mail are not
compatible with Debian's policy for its private list. In his opinion
Google should not get a copy of debian-private, even if the only
current output is aggregate keyword hit reports.

38. http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel/2006/05/msg02531.html

TrueCrypt Licensing. Karl Goetz [39]wondered if the [40]license of the
popular multi-platform disc encryption software [41]TrueCrypt is free
enough to allow distributing it with Debian. Michael Poole
[42]answered that the license isn't free at all because there are a
lot of unclear and unprecise paragraphs which makes it impossible to
distribute TrueCrypt within Debian.

39. http://lists.debian.org/debian-legal/2006/06/msg00294.html
40. http://www.truecrypt.org/license.php
41. http://www.truecrypt.org/
42. http://lists.debian.org/debian-legal/2006/06/msg00295.html

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

* DSA 1101: [43]courier — Denial of service.
* DSA 1102: [44]pinball — Privilege escalation.
* DSA 1103: [45]Linux 2.6.8 — Several vulnerabilities.

43. http://www.debian.org/security/2006/dsa-1101
44. http://www.debian.org/security/2006/dsa-1102
45. http://www.debian.org/security/2006/dsa-1103

New or Noteworthy Packages. The following packages were added to the
unstable Debian archive [46]recently or contain important updates.

46. http://packages.debian.org/unstable/newpkg_main

* [47]ajaxterm — Web based terminal written in Python.
* [48]bfilter — Simple web filtering proxy.
* [49]bmagic — C++ template library for efficient platform
independent bitsets.
* [50]bootsplash — Enables a graphical boot screen.
* [51]chalow — Weblog tool that converts ChangeLog to HTML.
* [52]cmus — Lightweight ncurses audio player.
* [53]edos-debcheck — Checks whether dependencies of Debian
packages can be satisfied.
* [54]edos-rpmcheck — Checks whether dependencies of Red Hat
packages can be satisfied.
* [55]ferret — CASE tool for edit data models.
* [56]gsambad — GTK+ configuration tool for samba.
* [57]hamradiomenus — Hamradio menus for GNOME and KDE.
* [58]klone — Web application development framework.
* [59]kmplayer — Media player for KDE.
* [60]lzma — Default and general compression method of 7z format in
7-Zip program.
* [61]magpierss — Provides an XML-based (expat) RSS parser in PHP.
* [62]mock — Build RPM packages inside a chroot.
* [63]open21xx — Tool suite for Analog Devices ADSP 21xx family
DSPs.
* [64]overgod — Bi-directional scrolling arcade game.
* [65]parprouted — Transparent IP (Layer 3) proxy ARP bridging
tool.
* [66]pympd — Frontend for mpd in the style of rhythmbox and
itunes.
* [67]rhinote — Virtual sticky-notes for your desktop.
* [68]s48-refman — Unofficial reference manual for Scheme48.
* [69]sks-ecc — Cryptographic tool based on ECC.
* [70]smcroute — Static multicast router daemon.
* [71]texmaker — Free LaTeX editor.
* [72]ttf-nafees — Nafees free OpenType Urdu fonts.

47. http://packages.debian.org/unstable/web/ajaxterm
48. http://packages.debian.org/unstable/net/bfilter
49. http://packages.debian.org/unstable/libdevel/bmagic
50. http://packages.debian.org/unstable/graphics/bootsplash
51. http://packages.debian.org/unstable/web/chalow
52. http://packages.debian.org/unstable/sound/cmus
53. http://packages.debian.org/unstable/devel/edos-debcheck
54. http://packages.debian.org/unstable/devel/edos-rpmcheck
55. http://packages.debian.org/unstable/misc/ferret
56. http://packages.debian.org/unstable/admin/gsambad
57. http://packages.debian.org/unstable/hamradio/hamradiomenus
58. http://packages.debian.org/unstable/web/klone
59. http://packages.debian.org/unstable/kde/kmplayer
60. http://packages.debian.org/unstable/utils/lzma
61. http://packages.debian.org/unstable/web/magpierss
62. http://packages.debian.org/unstable/devel/mock
63. http://packages.debian.org/unstable/electronics/open21xx
64. http://packages.debian.org/unstable/games/overgod
65. http://packages.debian.org/unstable/net/parprouted
66. http://packages.debian.org/unstable/sound/pympd
67. http://packages.debian.org/unstable/x11/rhinote
68. http://packages.debian.org/unstable/doc/s48-refman
69. http://packages.debian.org/unstable/utils/sks-ecc
70. http://packages.debian.org/unstable/net/smcroute
71. http://packages.debian.org/unstable/tex/texmaker
72. http://packages.debian.org/unstable/x11/ttf-nafees

Orphaned Packages. 4 packages were orphaned this week and require a
new maintainer. This makes a total of 311 orphaned packages. Many
thanks to the previous maintainers who contributed to the Free
Software community. Please see the [73]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. To find out which orphaned packages are
installed on your system the wnpp-alert program from devscripts may be
helpful.

73. http://www.debian.org/devel/wnpp/

* [74]drupal — Fully-featured content management/discussion engine.
([75]Bug#375496)
* [76]htdig — WWW search system for an intranet or small Internet.
([77]Bug#374643)
* [78]mmix — Assembler and Simulator sources for Knuth's MMIX.
([79]Bug#374646)
* [80]qcad — Professional CAD System. ([81]Bug#374954)

74. http://packages.debian.org/unstable/web/drupal
75. http://bugs.debian.org/375496
76. http://packages.debian.org/unstable/web/htdig
77. http://bugs.debian.org/374643
78. http://packages.debian.org/unstable/devel/mmix-src
79. http://bugs.debian.org/374646
80. http://packages.debian.org/unstable/graphics/qcad
81. http://bugs.debian.org/374954

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 [82]contributing
page to find out how to help. We're looking forward to receiving your
mail at [83]dwn@debian.org.

82. http://www.debian.org/News/weekly/contributing
83. mailto:dwn@debian.org

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

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