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Debian Project News – October 4th, 2010

Welcome to this year’s thirteenth issue of DPN, the newsletter for the Debian community. Topics covered in this issue include: * Constantly Usable Testing (CUT) update * Bits from the FTP Team * Report about this year’s “Google Summer of Code” * Bits from the Publicity Team * … and much more.

An update on Constantly Usable Testing (CUT)

Raphaël Hertzog wrote a detailed article on the recent activity
surrounding the Constantly Usable Testing (CUT) proposal [1]. CUT would
be a Debian distribution based on testing, but with significant
differences that make it more usable, i.e. more polished and stable. In
the article he talks about the potential value of a “rolling” release and
how it might work.

1 :

A quote from the article: “The global proposal is certainly appealing:
it would address the concerns of obsolescence of Debian’s stable release
by making intermediary releases. Anyone needing something more recent for
hardware support can start by installing a CUT and follow the subsequent
releases until the next stable version. And users who always want the
latest version of all software could use rolling after having installed a

CUT seems to represent an innovative evolution of Debian distributions.
While it holds much promise, it is a lot of work especially since there
is already so much work getting a stable release actually released. There
always seems to be a tension between having a rock solid stable release,
which many people rely on Debian to provide, and a developer’s toolkit
with cutting edge programming languages and libraries. Perhaps CUT can
address this.

Please see also the current discussion on the CUT team mailing list [2].

2 :

Bits from the FTPMasters

The FTP Team met two weekends ago in Fulda, Germany. While there appeared
to be a shortage of baklava, there was no shortage of Debian related work
and discussion. Jörg Jaspert in the meeting minutes made a call for
volunteers. Being an FTPMaster is a hard job and one that many people
inside and outside of Debian take for granted. Thanks very much for the
hard work, FTPMasters.

He also announced that “starting with “Squeeze” , the volatile suite
will be integrated into the mirror tree. This
weekend we enabled squeeze-volatile on ftp-master and setup the needed
scripts so that the volatile team can fill it with packages whenever
needed. Please note that the general handling of volatile starting with
“Squeeze” is now different to the way volatile worked in the past. All
packages now have to pass “stable” ‘sproposed-updates queue before going
into volatile.”

Jörg went on to discuss a number of important topics – his mail is quite
detailed and has lots of valuable information [3] – including the
discussion of using a version control system to “push” entire
repositories to theftp-master host.

3 :

Report about this year’s “Google Summer of Code”

Obey Arthur Liu wrote a report about Debian’s participation in this
year’s [4] “Google Summer of Code” , where Google pays students to work
on and with specific FLOSS projects. Debian was accepted as a mentoring
organisation for the fifth time in a row. Again it was a great success
with eight students completing their projects successfully. He also
quoted some of the students’ project reports.

4 :

The projects ranged from “Hurd port and de-Linux-isation of
Debian-Installer” through “debbugs bug reporting and manipulation API”
and “Aptitude Qt” up to “Debian-Installer on Neo FreeRunner and handheld
devices” . You can find more details inthe Debian wiki [5].

5 :

Bits from the Publicity Team

Debian’s Publicity Team posted some bits [6] informing Debian Developers,
Contributors and the Community how best to make contact with them and
especially how to help. Helping the team may range from assisting with
the Debian Project News (you do want to continue reading it, don’t you?),
proposing “dents” for Debian’s account [7], or being
available for a This Week in Debian [8] podcast.

6 :
7 :
8 :

Other news

Joey Hess was quite pleased to see some of his tools being referenced in
a recent movie [9].

9 :

Russell Coker created a package repository for packages fixing SELinux
related bugs [10] for Debian “Squeeze”.

10 :

The PA-RISC (aka [11] “hppa”) architecture has been dropped as a release
architecture [12] for Debian 6.0 “Squeeze”. It will still be available
in Debian’s “unstable” suite.

11 :
12 :

Thomas Lange announced [13] the FAI project (Fully Automated Install) has
received its own domain name at [14] and all services
(wiki, repositories) have been migrated to use the new domain.

13 :
14 :

Release Assistant Mehdi Dogguy announced the agenda of the past weekend
meeting of the Release Team [15]. One point on their agenda: “Check the
state of Squeeze”.

15 :

Continuing his blogs about how the annual Debian Conference is organised,
Richards Darst recently covered the topics The DebConf travel sponsorship
process [16] and How DebCamp relates to DebConf [17]. Joey Hess gave some
historical background in his DebCamp origin story [18].

16 :
17 :
18 :

Luca Bruno posted a report from the Debian/Ubuntu Community Conference,
ITA 2010 [19]. As this was the first Italian event organised by both
communities, he highlights: “This new kind of collaboration between our
communities was found to be really positive and more events have already
been drafted for the next year, including a translation sprint and a
contributors meeting.”

19 :

Holger Levsen announced the availability of the first release candidate
of an updated Debian Edu Lenny [20] version. One of the most important
features is an update of the installer based upon the debian-installer
used in Debian 5.0.6 “Lenny” adding newer hardware support.

20 :

New Debian Contributors

3 people started to maintain packages [21] since the previous issue of
the Debian Project News. Please welcome Dimitrios Eftaxiopoulos,
Pierre-Louis Bonicoli, and Hector Romojaro into our project!

21 :

Release-critical bugs statistics for the upcoming release

According to the Bugs Search interface of the Ultimate Debian Database
[22], the upcoming release, Debian 6.0 “Squeeze”, is currently affected
by 301 release-critical bugs. Ignoring bugs which are easily solved or on
the way to being solved, roughly speaking, about 177 release-critical
bugs remain to be solved for the release to happen.

22 :

There are also more detailed statistics [23] as well as some hints on how
to interpret [24] these numbers.

23 :
24 :

These statistics have recently been moved to a new data source, and are
not comparable with the statistics of the last issue. Please read
Alexander’s blog [25] for more details.

25 :

Important Debian Security Advisories

Debian’s Security Team recently released advisories for these packages
(among others): git-core [26], moodle [27]. Please read them carefully
and take the proper measures.

26 :
27 :

Please note that these are a selection of the more important security
advisories of the last 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 [28] for announcements.

28 :

New and noteworthy packages

The following packages were added to the unstable Debian archive recently
(among others [29]):

29 :

* dkopp — full and incremental backup to DVD [30]
* input-pad — on-screen input pad to send characters with mouse [31]
* live-manual-html — Debian Live – documentation (HTML) [32]
* live-manual-pdf — Debian Live – documentation (PDF) [33]
* postgresql-9.0 — object-relational SQL database, version 9.0 server [34]

Please note that due to the freeze of the upcoming Debian 6.0 [35]
“Squeeze” acceptance of new packages has almost ceased.

30 :
31 :
32 :
33 :
34 :
35 :

Work-needing packages

Currently 492 packages are orphaned and 129 packages are up for adoption.
Please take a look at the recent [36] reports [37] to see if there are
packages you are interested in or view the complete list of packages
which need your help [38].

36 :
37 :
38 :

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 contributing page [39] to find out how to help. We’re
looking forward to receiving your mail at [40].

39 :
40 :

This issue of Debian Project News was edited by Jeremiah C. Foster and
Alexander Reichle-Schmehl [41].

41 :

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