This week contains New Version Naming for Pre-Releases, Status of the Python Transition, Project Leader Report and much more
Debian Weekly News
Debian Weekly News – August 15th, 2006
Welcome to this year's 33rd issue of DWN, the weekly newsletter for
the Debian community. Debian turns 13 this week, so make sure you find
a party nearby. With enough time compose a melody before the new
release Julien Danjou published his etch song. David Sugar
wondered if the Free Software community should learn to write more
buggy code and invent reasons to reboot the system all the time after
a change has been made in order to be more attractive for the desktop.
Distribution-wide Tracker Tool. Arnaud Fontaine reported about the
status of Wotomae, the distribution-wide tracker tool. The DWTT is
a tool to easily track changes affecting packages, like a library
transition, a switch of the default Python version or a policy change.
It is written during Google's Summer of Code. A demo website is
also available with most of the features up for testing.
New Version Naming for Pre-Releases. Martin F. Krafft announced
that the archive software finally supports the use of the tilde ('~')
in version numbers. This special character is intended to be used to
denote pre-releases of software. It is sorted before the zero-length
string, so that version 1.0~rc4-1 will be superseded by the final
version 1.0-1. The build daemon software can't cope with this new
character yet, though.
Release Update: First Packages frozen. Andreas Barth announced
that the essential toolchain has been frozen. He is also seeking
input for the release notes and asks library maintainers to talk to
the release team before uploading new packages that may require other
packages to be rebuilt. They are still seeing many uncoordinated
uploads to unstable.
Status of the Python Transition. Matthias Klose reported that the
default version of Python will soon be changed to version 2.4. He
reported that 90 % of the first batch of bug reports are solved and
that another batch has been filed against all remaining packages that
contain private Python modules, which mostly need to be byte-compiled
again. The preliminary documentation explains the scripts running
during this change.
Debian turns 13. On August 16th, 1993 Ian Murdock announced a new
type of distribution and listed the goals he wanted to achieve. 13
years later the Debian community will celebrate this birthday
around the world. A lot has happened since Ian's first mail: The
project is lead by its ninth leader and more than a thousand
developers are registered to work voluntarily on one of the largest
distributions of Free Software.
Project Leader Report. Anthony Towns published a new report in
which he resumes the past. Steve McIntyre has been added to the leader
alias and helps managing the project. He reported about two women who
became developers recently, thanked the organisers of this year's
Debian conference, explained delays for the next stable update,
and reported on a meeting with the Australian Attorney-General's
department regarding the drafting of changes to the Australian
Debian-Installer Etch Beta 3 Released. Frans Pop announced the
release of the third beta release of the installer for Debian
GNU/Linux etch. It is the first release to install the AMD64
architecture from official Debian mirrors and to use and install the
2.6.16 kernel. 2.6 is now the default kernel for the Sparc,
MIPS, little endian MIPS and S/390 architectures.
Installation CDs, other media and detailed errata are available.
All changes are documented in the development version of the
Security Updates. You know the drill. Please make sure that you update
your systems if you have any of these packages installed.
* DSA 1146: krb5 — Privilege escalation.
* DSA 1147: drupal — Cross-site scripting.
* DSA 1148: gallery — Several vulnerabilities.
* DSA 1149: ncompress — Potential code execution.
* DSA 1150: shadow — Privilege escalation.
* DSA 1151: heartbeat — Denial of service.
New or Noteworthy Packages. The following packages were added to the
unstable Debian archive recently or contain important updates.
* biosquid — Utilities for biological sequence analysis.
* cdrskin — Burns preformatted data to CD-R or CD-RW via
* ceferino — Action game similar to Super Pang.
* dmenu — Dynamic menu.
* elfutils — Collection of utilities to handle ELF objects.
* foff — X/GTK+ FTP client – Free Open FTP Face.
* kerry — Beagle desktop search daemon frontend for KDE.
* komparator — Directories comparator for KDE.
* ksystemlog — System log viewer tool for KDE.
* omins — Collection of LADSPA plugins aimed at modular
* oxine — Xine OSD (on screen display) GUI.
* pymsnt — MSN transport for Jabber.
* rest2web — Web site builder using ReStructured Text as basic
* rocklight — Xmms visualisation plugin for Thinklights on IBM
* ser — Sip Express Router, very fast and configurable SIP
* serendipity — Weblog manager with extensive theming and
* svn-autoreleasedeb — Automatically release/upload Debian
packages from SVN.
* ttf-sil-charis — Smart Unicode font family for Roman or
Cyrillic-based writing systems.
* ttf-sil-doulos — Smart Unicode font for Latin and Cyrillic
* unsermake — Tool for generating Makefiles, a replacement for
* w3c-linkchecker — W3C Link Checker.
Orphaned Packages. 13 packages were orphaned this week and require a
new maintainer. This makes a total of 338 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. To find out which orphaned packages are
installed on your system the wnpp-alert program from devscripts may be
* blogtk — GTK weblogging client. (Bug#382797)
* classworlds — Java ClassLoader Framework. (Bug#382813)
* cvsps — Tool to generate CVS patch set information.
* d4x — Graphical download manager. (Bug#382732)
* forrest — XML based documentation framework. (Bug#382814)
* gnome-extra-icons — Optional GNOME icons. (Bug#382810)
* groovy — Agile dynamic language for the Java Virtual Machine.
* jswat — JPDA Java debugger. (Bug#382816)
* jswat2 — JPDA Java debugger. (Bug#382817)
* libproc-process-perl — Perl library for accessing process
table information. (Bug#382811)
* mined — Powerful text editor with extensive Unicode and CJK
* mockobjects — Framework for developing and using mock
* xearth — Shows a rotating earth on your X root window.
Removed Packages. 15 packages have been removed from the Debian
archive during the past week:
* libjpeg-mmx — Development files for the IJG JPEG library with MMX
Bug#158474: Request of QA, RC-buggy, security-buggy, orphaned,
* uncc — C decompiler for i386
Bug#314672: Request of QA, orphaned, unusable
* acidlab — Analysis Console for Intrusion Databases
Bug#319389: Request of maintainer, superseded by acidbase
* xcircuit — Draw circuit schematics or almost anything
Bug#323678: Request of QA, orphaned, RC-buggy
* swt-pocketpc — Standard Widget Toolkit for PocketPC JAR library
Bug#324778: Request of QA: orphaned, out of date, non-free,
* nsmon — Intranet/Internet server checker
Bug#327623: Request of QA, orphaned, no upstream, better
* qglviewer — Qt/OpenGL-based viewing widget
Bug#348793: Request of QA: orphaned, upstream gone, out of
* psys — P-system emulation libraries for Chipmunk tools
Bug#354496: Request of QA, orphaned, unused
* zope-zshell — Command line interface to Zope
Bug#361018: Request of QA, orphaned, not packaged for current
* eroaster — GNOME CD burning frontend
Bug#364280: Request of QA, orphaned, RC-buggy
* rfb — VNC Server for X11 – exports current display
Bug#364347: Request of QA, orphaned, no upstream, alternatives
* ri — Emacs interface for ri1.6
Bug#367006: Request of maintainer, ruby1.6 removal, RC-buggy
* animal — AN IMAging Library written in C
Bug#369209: Request of QA, obsolete, orphaned, alternatives
* yank — Yet another note keeper
Bug#374129: Request of QA, unmaintained, buggy, old, has
* ruby1.6 — Curses interface for Ruby 1.6.x
Bug#378111: Request of maintainer, obsolete
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This issue of Debian Weekly News was edited by Mohammed Adnène
Trojette and Martin 'Joey' Schulze.