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
Debian Project News
Debian Project News – October 20th, 2008
Welcome to this year's 12th issue of DPN, the newsletter for the Debian
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 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.
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 Intent To Package “moonlight”, an open source
implementation of a patented proprietary product, caused some
discussion regarding software patents. Packaging such software and
distributing it via our mirror network could be a legal risk for Debian
and its mirrors.
Paul Wise argued that problems caused by patented software are already
addressed by unofficial archives like debian-multimedia.org and
debian-unofficial.org. Reinhard Tartler pointed out some flaws
with these archives and 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.
Statistics about packages.debian.org usage
Since packages.debian.org has been moved to a new host sponsored by
1&1, Jörg Jaspert took the opportunity to 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.
Unofficial bug tracker and delayed queue
The unofficial tracker for Release Critical bugs now 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).
In related news, Alexander Reichle-Schmehl used this tool to publish
some detailed and categorized numbers about the release
Bits from the Eee PC team
Ben Armstrong delivered a 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.
Policy for backporting KDE features
Sune Vuorela 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.
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 asks developers to add their debian.net
subdomains to a wiki page.
Report from Skolelinux/Debian-edu gathering
Sune Vuorela 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.
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 debian publicity mailing list.
Systems Expo 2008
From Tuesday 21 October to Friday 24 October, the Debian Project will
participate at the 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 events page for further details.
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 events page for
Since the previous issue of the Debian Project News, 7 applicants have
been accepted as Debian Developers, and 3 as 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!
Important Debian Security Advisories
Debian's Security Team recently released advisories for these packages
(among others): iceweasel, openldap, ruby1.8, ruby1.9,
linux-2.6.18 and libxml2. Please read them carefully and take
the proper measures.
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 security mailing list for announcements.
New and noteworthy packages
The following packages were added to the unstable Debian archive
recently (among others):
* antlr3-gcj — language tool for constructing recognizers,
compilers etc (native code)
* hotssh — graphical interface to secure shell
* iceweasel-l10n-bn-in — Bengali language package for Iceweasel
* iceweasel-l10n-gl — Galician language package for Iceweasel
* iceweasel-l10n-hi — Hindi language package for Iceweasel
* iceweasel-l10n-is — Icelandic language package for Iceweasel
* iceweasel-l10n-kn — Kannada language package for Iceweasel
* iceweasel-l10n-mr — Marathi language package for Iceweasel
* iceweasel-l10n-te — Telugu language package for Iceweasel
* iceweasel-l10n-th — Thai language package for Iceweasel
* python-renderpm — python low level render interface
* xen-linux-system-2.6.26-1-xen-686 — XEN system with Linux
2.6.26 image on i686
* zshdb — debugger for Z-Shell scripts
Debian Package of the Day featured the packages memstat (a tool to
identify what is using up virtual memory) and smartmontools (a set
of tools to monitor the health of your hard disks).
Currently 441 packages are orphaned and 124 packages are up for
adoption. Please take a look at the recent reports to see if
there are packages you are interested in or view the complete list of
packages which need your help.
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This issue of Debian Project News was edited by Meike Reichle and