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Misc development news (#5)

These news items covers Debian Documentation Project switched to SVN, Machine-interpretable debian/copyright, WNPP status changes sent to PTS subscribers and more.
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Debian Documentation Project switched to SVN

The Debian Documentation Project converted its CVS repository to
Subversion[1]. All documentation contributors should continue their work
in the new SVN repository hosted on

* Authenticated checkout: svn co svn+ssh:// manuals
* Anonymous checkout: svn co svn:// manuals

— Raphael Hertzog


Machine-interpretable debian/copyright

In august 2007, Sam Hocevar proposed to make debian/copyright

“It is one of the most important files in Debian packaging, yet its
format is vague and varies tremendously across packages, making it
difficult to automatically parse. The diversity of free software licences
means that Debian does not only need to care about the freeness of a
given work, but also its licence's compatibility with the other parts of
Debian it uses.”

Some packages have adopted this new format in the last months. See the
CopyrightFormat Debian wiki page[2] for the current status
of the proposal.

— Joost van Baal


WNPP status changes sent to PTS subscribers

There's now a script that monitors the list of orphaned packages, and
sends information about status changes to people subscribed to that
package on the Packages Tracking System (“summary” keyword). Another good
reason to subscribe to packages you care about.

— Lucas Nussbaum

New method for device probing in grub-install / update-grub

Latest grub packages (GRUB Legacy) in experimental (version 0.97-33) use
a new mechanism for device probing that doesn't require parsing
/etc/fstab or /etc/mtab. It is backported from GRUB 2 by using grub-probe
(an utility that traverses /dev and finds matching devices for a given
file/directory), and tested/known to work on simple setups. In the end,
this will provide more robustness for device probing in grub-install and
update-grub (which used to be a common source of problems), but it is yet
to be widely tested (specially in strange setups). Some testing would be
welcome before it is uploaded to sid.

— Robert Millan

Policy checker linda removed from testing/unstable

linda, the Debian package checker not unlike lintian, has been removed
from unstable. linda was created as a python rewrite of lintian,
overcoming many of its design limitations. As lintian was better known
and has seen quite a few changes fixing most of the design problems, the
overhead of keeping two policy checkers was now deemed to be unnecessary
and linda has been removed.

— Marc Brockschmidt

– Raphaël Hertzog Le best-seller français mis à jour pour Debian Etch :

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