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Debian Project News – October 20th, 2008

Some of the topics covered in this issue include: Bits from the Debian CD team, Debian, software patents and archive layout, Statistics about packages.debian.org usage and much, much more
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Debian Project News
http://www.debian.org/News/project/2008/13/
Debian Project News – October 20th, 2008
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Welcome to this year's 12th issue of DPN, the newsletter for the Debian
community.
Some of the topics covered in this issue include:
* Bits from the Debian CD team
* Debian, software patents and archive layout
* Statistics about packages.debian.org usage

Bits from the Debian CD team

Steve McIntyre posted some [1]bits from the Debian CD team. With the
upcoming release of Debian GNU/Linux 5.0 “Lenny”, Blu-ray Disc images
will be available as well as CD and DVD images. For the first time in
several years, users should be able to fit all of the packages for one
architecture on a single disc. But due to the increased size of the
Debian archive and considerations of storage and network bandwidth
(especially on our mirrors) only a limited number of versions of each
image will be available for direct download on our mirrors.

1: http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel-announce/2008/10/msg00003.html

All images will be available via Jigdo (a tool which creates images by
downloading individual .deb files and assembling them into one .iso
file), and most images for the popular architectures will be available
as torrents, too.

He also gave some figures about the total numbers of images that need
to be created for Lenny. Summarized over all architectures it comes to
414 CD images, 64 DVD images, and 13 Blu-ray Disc images.

Debian, software patents and archive layout

A recently announced [2]Intent To Package “moonlight”, an open source
implementation of a patented proprietary product, caused some
[3]discussion regarding software patents. Packaging such software and
distributing it via our mirror network could be a legal risk for Debian
and its mirrors.

2: http://bugs.debian.org/501190
3: http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel/2008/10/msg00063.html

Paul Wise argued that problems caused by patented software are already
addressed by unofficial archives like [4]debian-multimedia.org and
[5]debian-unofficial.org. Reinhard Tartler [6]pointed out some flaws
with these archives and [7]proposed introducing a new section
alongside main, contrib and non-free, with policy adapted accordingly.
His proposal, however, was criticised, too. for example the regression
of the section main not beeing “self contained” any more.

4: http://www.debian-multimedia.org
5: http://www.debian-unofficial.org
6: http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel/2008/10/msg00152.html
7: http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel/2008/10/msg00127.html

Statistics about packages.debian.org usage

Since [8]packages.debian.org has been moved to a new host sponsored by
[9]1&1, Jörg Jaspert took the opportunity to [10]publish some data
about the usage of this service. Since the start of this year,
packages.debian.org has already seen 5,777,672 unique visitors
downloading the page 122,314,763 times (both numbers excluding bots,
such as crawlers for search engines). Nearly half of the visitors went
directly to packages.debian.org, while less than a quarter came by way
of a search engine.

8: http://packages.debian.org/
9: http://www.1und1.info/
10: http://blog.ganneff.de/blog/2008/10/19/packagesdebianorg-1.html

Unofficial bug tracker and delayed queue

The [11]unofficial tracker for Release Critical bugs now [12]incorporates
bugs fixed by uploads to the so-called delayed queue. This makes it
easier to track bugs needing to be worked on. The delayed queue is used
for package uploads not carried out by the regular maintainer of the
package (so-called NMUs).

11: http://bts.turmzimmer.net
12: http://blogs.turmzimmer.net/2008/10/14#lenny-4

In related news, Alexander Reichle-Schmehl used this tool to publish
some [13]detailed and [14]categorized [15]numbers about the release
critical bugs.

13: http://blog.schmehl.info/Debian/releasing-lenny-2
14: http://blog.schmehl.info/Debian/releasing-lenny-3
15: http://blog.schmehl.info/Debian/releasing-lenny-4

Bits from the Eee PC team

Ben Armstrong delivered a [16]report on the status of the port of
Debian for the Eee PC netbooks. A recent upload of the Linux kernel
fixed some thermal problems and solved issues with ACPI. Also, the
ath5k driver included with the Linux kernel 2.6.27 supports the
wireless adaptors of the 701, 900, 900A and 1000HD models, which
previously required a non-free driver.

16: http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel-announce/2008/10/msg00002.html

Policy for backporting KDE features

Sune Vuorela [17]wondered how to deal with features introduced in
recent versions of the desktop environment KDE. Other distributions
often seem to backport new features to older versions they ship in
their releases. He lists some pros and cons, and wonders whether Debian
should do likewise.

17: http://pusling.com/blog/?p=89

Listing of debian.net domains

Nico Golde reported that he has removed his list of debian.net
subdomains (which can be registered by any Debian Developer) due to
privacy issues. He [18]asks developers to add their debian.net
subdomains to a [19]wiki page.

18: http://nion.modprobe.de/blog/archives/655-debian.net-domain-page-no-longer-available.html
19: http://wiki.debian.org/DebianNetDomains

Report from Skolelinux/Debian-edu gathering

Sune Vuorela [20]reported on the recent gathering of
Skolelinux/Debian-Edu developers. He spent some time working on
educational videos and KDE related education packages as well as GNASH,
a free software flash player.

20: http://pusling.com/blog/?p=88

Slogan for “Lenny”

The Debian Art team is seeking a slogan for the next stable release,
Debian GNU/Linux 5.0 “Lenny”. The discussion, as well as a poll, can be
found in the archives of the [21]debian publicity mailing list.

21: http://lists.debian.org/debian-publicity/2008/10/msg00037.html

Systems Expo 2008

From Tuesday 21 October to Friday 24 October, the Debian Project will
participate at the [22]Systems expo 2008 in Munich, Germany. The Debian
booth will be located in Area B2, Booth 315 along with other FLOSS
projects. Please see the [23]events page for further details.

22: http://www.systems.de/link/en/19137019/
23: http://www.debian.org/events/2008/1021-systems

Technical Dutch Open Source Event 2008

From Saturday 25 October to Sunday 26 October, the Debian Project will
participate with a booth at the Technical Dutch Open Source Event
(T-DOSE) in Eindhoven, Netherlands. Please see the [24]events page for
further details.

24: http://www.debian.org/events/2008/1025-t-dose

New Developers

Since the previous issue of the Debian Project News, 7 applicants have
been accepted as [25]Debian Developers, and 3 as [26]Debian
Maintainers. Please welcome Adam Barratt, Julian Andres Klode, Jonny
Lamb, Joachim Reichel, Bradley Smith, Behan Webster and Y Giridhar
Appaji Nag as well as Emmanuel Bouthenot, Samuel Thibaul and David
Paleino to our project!

25: http://lists.debian.org/debian-newmaint/2008/10/msg00026.html
26: http://lists.debian.org/debian-project/2008/10/msg00040.html

Important Debian Security Advisories

Debian's Security Team recently released advisories for these packages
(among others): [27]iceweasel, [28]openldap, [29]ruby1.8, [30]ruby1.9,
[31]linux-2.6.18 and [32]libxml2. Please read them carefully and take
the proper measures.

27: http://www.debian.org/security/2008/dsa-1649
28: http://www.debian.org/security/2008/dsa-1650
29: http://www.debian.org/security/2008/dsa-1651
30: http://www.debian.org/security/2008/dsa-1652
31: http://www.debian.org/security/2008/dsa-1653
32: http://www.debian.org/security/2008/dsa-1655

Please note that these are a selection of the more important security
advisories of the last two weeks. If you need to be kept up to date
about security advisories released by the Debian Security Team, please
subscribe to the [33]security mailing list for announcements.

33: http://lists.debian.org/debian-security-announce/

New and noteworthy packages

The following packages were added to the unstable Debian archive
recently ([34]among others):

* [35]antlr3-gcj — language tool for constructing recognizers,
compilers etc (native code)
* [36]hotssh — graphical interface to secure shell
* [37]iceweasel-l10n-bn-in — Bengali language package for Iceweasel
* [38]iceweasel-l10n-gl — Galician language package for Iceweasel
* [39]iceweasel-l10n-hi — Hindi language package for Iceweasel
* [40]iceweasel-l10n-is — Icelandic language package for Iceweasel
* [41]iceweasel-l10n-kn — Kannada language package for Iceweasel
* [42]iceweasel-l10n-mr — Marathi language package for Iceweasel
* [43]iceweasel-l10n-te — Telugu language package for Iceweasel
* [44]iceweasel-l10n-th — Thai language package for Iceweasel
* [45]python-renderpm — python low level render interface
* [46]xen-linux-system-2.6.26-1-xen-686 — XEN system with Linux
2.6.26 image on i686
* [47]zshdb — debugger for Z-Shell scripts

34: http://packages.debian.org/unstable/main/newpkg
35: http://packages.debian.org/unstable/main/antlr3-gcj
36: http://packages.debian.org/unstable/main/hotssh
37: http://packages.debian.org/unstable/main/iceweasel-l10n-bn-in
38: http://packages.debian.org/unstable/main/iceweasel-l10n-gl
39: http://packages.debian.org/unstable/main/iceweasel-l10n-hi
40: http://packages.debian.org/unstable/main/iceweasel-l10n-is
41: http://packages.debian.org/unstable/main/iceweasel-l10n-kn
42: http://packages.debian.org/unstable/main/iceweasel-l10n-mr
43: http://packages.debian.org/unstable/main/iceweasel-l10n-te
44: http://packages.debian.org/unstable/main/iceweasel-l10n-th
45: http://packages.debian.org/unstable/main/python-renderpm
46: http://packages.debian.org/unstable/main/xen-linux-system-2.6.26-1-xen-686
47: http://packages.debian.org/unstable/main/zshdb

Debian Package of the Day featured the packages [48]memstat (a tool to
identify what is using up virtual memory) and [49]smartmontools (a set
of tools to monitor the health of your hard disks).

48: http://debaday.debian.net/2008/10/19/memstat-identify-what-is-using-up-virtual-memory/
49: http://debaday.debian.net/2008/10/12/smartmontools-control-the-health-of-your-hard-disk/

Work-needing packages

Currently 441 packages are orphaned and 124 packages are up for
adoption. Please take a look at the [50]recent [51]reports to see if
there are packages you are interested in or view the complete list of
[52]packages which need your help.

50: http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel/2008/10/msg00217.html
51: http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel/2008/10/msg00339.html
52: http://www.debian.org/devel/wnpp/help_requested

Want to continue reading DPN?

Please help us create this newsletter. We still need more volunteer
writers to watch the Debian community and report about what is going
on. Please see the [53]contributing page to find out how to help. We're
looking forward to receiving your mail at
[54]debian-publicity@lists.debian.org.

53: http://wiki.debian.org/ProjectNews/HowToContribute
54: mailto:debian-publicity@lists.debian.org

This issue of Debian Project News was edited by Meike Reichle and
Alexander Reichle-Schmehl.

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