Welcome to this year's 6th issue of DPN, the newsletter for the Debian
community. Some of the topics covered in this issue: DebianDay 2008, DPL-initiated teams survey finished, Bits from the testing security team
… and much more.
Debian Project News
Debian Project News – July 7th, 2008
Welcome to this year's 6th issue of DPN, the newsletter for the Debian
Some of the topics covered in this issue:
* DebianDay 2008
* DPL-initiated teams survey finished
* Bits from the testing security team
* … and much more.
Debian Day 2008 around the Globe
16 August 2008 will mark the 15th birthday of the Debian project since
its first announcement by founder Ian Murdock on
comp.os.linux.development on 16 August 1993. A coordination page for
local Debian User Groups organizing and announcing birthday events is
already available at the Debian Wiki.
DPL-initiated teams survey finished
Debian Project Leader Steve McIntyre has published the summary of
the results of his teams survey. The survey yielded 116 replies, which
covered a total of 77 teams. The overall result of the survey is that
the vast majority of the respondents are very happy working within
their respective teams, and most think that their teams are working
well. Concerning negative aspects of their team work the respondents
mainly named personal lack of time, the need for more team members, and
a lack of communication between teams.
Steve McIntyre further noticed that many of Debian's longest-standing
developers are very overworked but most are still happy about their
Debian work. Considering individual teams the Perl team turned out to
be the one with the most positive feedback, while i18n and l10n teams
tend to be rather informally organized, but are still working well. The
porter teams are especially short of manpower and are urgently looking
for skilled people.
Bits from the Testing Security Team
Nico Golde sent bits from the testing security team. He summarized
the security status of the current testing branch “Lenny” as very good
and also added that even if it may appear to be so, the testing
security team does not support the unstable branch “Sid”. He also
invited volunteers to join the team, especially to offer support for
Lenny's kernel packages which are currently unsupported.
In related news, Enrico Zini announced that a set of
security-related tags are now acquired automatically from the security
team, making it easy to spot non-supported packages.
New members for two core teams
Christoph Berg announced that Wouter Verhelst and Michael Koch have
been added to the New Maintainer Front Desk, while Joerg Jaspert
announced that Mark Hymers has been added as new FTP Assistant.
Desktop environments and menu policy
Daniel Dickinson initiated a discussion about the behavior of the
three major desktop environments (KDE, GNOME and Xfce) regarding their
application menu. They, as well as other desktop environments, use
.desktop files supplied by applications to create their menu, while the
Debian policy only requires .menu files to be supplied by Debian
packages. While some people judged the .menu files to be obsoleted by
.desktop files, Bernhard Link and others pointed out some
disadvantages. In the end Russ Allbery proposed to start by
extending the existing freedesktop.org standard for desktop files to
fit Debian's needs before changing the policy.
Call for talks: DebianDay Argentinia
The organizers of this year's DebianDay, a general information event
taking place during the annual Debian Conference, are still
searching for talks. This year's DebianDay will take place on 18
August 2008 in Buenos Aires. Attendees of this year's Debian
Conference, who'll be staying in Argentina a few more days after the
conference, are invited to give a talk on Debian related topics: e.g.,
Debian in Latin America, Internationalization in Debian, How to help
Debian, Debian Live, Making a Debian derivative distribution, Packaging
for Debian or other general Debian topics.
Ideas for improved diversions and alternatives handling
Goswin von Brederlow proposed some changes regarding the Debian
package management system's handling of diversions and alternatives.
Steve Langasek found some flaws in the initial proposal, which proposed
adding new control files to the packages. However, the general
consensus seems to be that declaring diversions explicitly is superior
to the current approach of handling diversions as alternatives in the
maintainer scripts of packages.
dpkg triggers and user experience
Franklin Piat voiced his concern that users might take the recent
introduction of dpkg triggers (which are a mechanism for registering
required actions such as man page database updates) as something
negative. User's might just notice that something called “triggers” is
now additionally called after packages have already been installed,
without noticing that the triggers do actually save computing time
during a package's installation. Charles Plessy argued that the
problem might be solved by changing the text displayed to the user to
something more transparent.
Meike Reichle and Alexander Schmehl married
After getting to know each other three years ago through their
Debian work Debian Developers Meike Reichle and Alexander Schmehl were
married on Saturday, 28 June 2008, at Lake Constance in Germany.
Thsi marks the first time two Debian Developers were joined in
marriage. Several other DDs, one of whom served as the groom's best
man, were present to celebrate with Meike's and Alexander's friends and
families. As a wedding gift they presented a cookbook including the
favourite recipes of many members of the Debian community. Version 1.1
of the book is already in the works, hopefully with a clarified license
and maybe also incorporating changes required by FTBFS bugs if any are
filed by the newlyweds in time. The Debian project's congratulations go
out to the happy couple, and we hope this may be the start of a very
joyful time in both their lives.
The 9th issue of the miscellaneous news for developers has been
released and covers the following topics: advice on quilt usage and
compatibility with new source format; update-grub's switch to using
UUIDs by default, the wxwidgets2.8 upload to unstable; and a volunteers
needed to handle the updating of the of release notes.
Dann Frazier asked for reviews of the release notes of the upcoming
release of Debian GNU/Linux 4.0r4. Since this point release will
optionally support newer versions of the Linux Kernel, additional care
is needed for them.
Johannes Wiedersich wondered what to do with bug reports closed by
spam e-mails. Lars Wirzenius pointed out, that spam mails should be
reported (e.g., via the web interface) so they can be removed, and the
bugs should be reopened (and unarchived if necessary) using the mail
Important Debian Security Advisories
Debian's Security Team released among others advisories for the
packages dbus, wordpress and pcre3. Please read them
carefully and take the proper measures.
Please note that those are only the most important security advisories
of the last two weeks. If you would like to kept up to date about the
security advisories released by the Debian Security Team, please
subscribe to our mailing list for security announcements.
Currently 497 packages are orphaned and 110 packages are up for
adoption. Please take a look at the recent reports if there are
packages you are interested in or view the complete archive of packages
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This issue of Debian Project News was edited by Raphael Hertzog,
Sebastian, Justin Rye, Jon Evans, Andre Felipe Machado, Wouter
Verhelst, Meike Reichle and Alexander Reichle-Schmehl.