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Debian Project News – May 17th 2011

Welcome to this year’s eighth issue of DPN, the newsletter for the
Debian community. Topics covered in this issue include:

* DebConf10 Final Report is out
* DNS security extensions now available for Debian’s zone entries
* “Build it” event report
* Debian group reaches 10,000
* Removal ofalpha and hppa ports from
* Why attend DebConf
* Making “testing” user-oriented
* Further interviews
* Other news
* New Debian Contributors
* Important Debian Security Advisories
* New and noteworthy packages
* Work-needing packages
* Want to continue reading DPN?

DebConf10 Final Report is out

The DebConf organization team released the final report of the 2010
Debian Conference, which was held in New York City, USA, at Columbia
University. According to the DebConf blog entry [1], “It’s a 46-page
document which gives the reader an idea about the conference as a whole.
It includes descriptions of talks, DebCamp and Debian Day activities,
personal impressions, attendee and budgeting numbers, the work of
various teams, social events, funny pictures and so on.” There are two
PDF versions of the final report available, which can be downloaded
fromthe DebConf Media website [2].

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DNS security extensions now available for Debian’s zone entries

The Debian Project’s [3] and domains are now
secured by the DNS Security Extensions (DNSSEC). “This enables users
with security aware DNS resolvers to securely retrieve information from
the domain name system”.

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“Build it” event report

Margarita Manterola sent a report [4] of the [5] “Build it” event
organized by the Debian Women project in collaboration with the Open
Hatch project and held on the #debian-women IRC channel on Saturday May
7. Both the sessions -scheduled at 11:00 UTC and 22:00 UTC to fit
different timezones – went very well with an audience of at least ten to
fifteen attendees. A log is available [6] for those who couldn’t be
present at the event, as well as a Building Tutorial [7] based on the
log and already translated into Spanish – volunteers welcome for further

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Debian group reaches 10,000

As noted by Kipngetich Ibrahim Ngeno, the Debian group on [8]
has reached 10,000 members [9]. Beside the Debian group, founded on
January 2009, there is also an official Debian account [10] (from which
various news items and announcements are broadcast) and some accounts
[11] and groups [12] for specific teams.

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The latest official Debian team account is the Debian Women
account [13].

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Removal of alpha and hppa ports from

Jörg Jaspert announced the removal of the [14]alpha and hppa ports from Users of either of these two architectures should
ensure that their sources.list entries point to the new location of
alpha [15] and hppa [16] ports, except for “Lenny” users, since these
architectures will still be officially supported until its End Of Life.

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Why attend DebConf

Stefano Zacchiroli wrote an interesting post about DebConf11 [17] that
explains why it is a truly FOSS event: there is no “event organizer”
company behind DebConf – all the work is done by volunteers (the DebConf
Team). Also, a major part of the value of DebConf itself derives from
the program which is created by all DebConf participants by submitting
proposals for talks, BoFs, contests, and so on. To quote Stefano: “Are
you going to DebConf and willing to attend a conference with a great
program? Great, then start submitting a great event yourself!”.

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In addition, this year the Debian Project is inviting newbies and
non-regular attendees to come to DebConf [18]. For these two categories
of participants an extra travel fund will be available. Any Debian
Developer or Maintainer who has never been to DebConf, or who last
participated in 2007 or before, can apply for this special funding. To
put forward your request, or to recommend other members of the Project,
send an email to the DebConf Newbies Team [19] before June 18, including
an estimate of travel costs, where you are leaving from, the amount you
will not be able to fund yourself, and the dates of arrival and leaving.
If you plan to participate in DebConf, don’t forget to register via the
DebConf registration system [20].

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Making “testing” user-oriented

After the CUT proposal [21], a new word popped up in the discussion
aiming to make “testing” user-oriented: rolling [22]. Even though some
people objected [23] or even laughed [24] at first, others tried to
gather the main ideas [25] and began to propose serious mechanisms for
implementing them [26]. The various proposals are still up for
discussion. One of the main interesting goals would be to provide more
up to date software to our users, allowing them to provide earlier
feedback before “stable” is released; and one of the biggest perceived
risks is that developers may lose focus on the “stable” release itself.
There actually could be some solutions to provide “rolling” as a
pseudo-suite, avoiding disruption to the release process and allowing
developers to bypass the “testing” migration process to provide fixes in
“rolling” directly.

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Further interviews

Since the last issue of the Debian Project News, a new issue of the
[27] “This week in Debian” podcast has been published: with Phillip
Newborough [28], from the CrunchBang distribution.

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There has also been one further “People behind Debian” interview:
withSteve Langasek [29], release wizard and member of the technical

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Other news

Ana Guerrero mentioned that Qt3 is looking for new maintainers [30].
You’re invited to step up to adopt it [31] or help to figure out what to
do with packages depending on Qt3 [32].

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Fernando González de Requena Redondo, who has spent the last two years
carrying out an ethnographic survey of Debian [33], presented a master
thesis on the subject: “The spaces of community: a preliminary
ethnographic study on the Debian Project” . Hismore than 150-page report
[34] (in Spanish) is available from the institutional repository of the

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Florian Weimer noted that people no longer use corporate accounts to
send mails to the Debian project mailing list [35], as they did in the
past, wondering if it results from corporate pressure or mailing list
policy. Russ Allbery replied that it is probably a matter of the ease of
getting a personal mailbox [36] and of the increased awareness –
compared to ten years ago – of on-line identity. Tony Travis added that
he prefers to use a private email address to have the freedom to express
opinions [37] which could be in conflict with “corporate” policy.

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Martin Zobel-Helas wondered if Debian should implement RFC4941 as
default for the next stable release, [38] “Wheezy”. RFC4941 [39]
describes an extension to IPv6 stateless address autoconfiguration for
interfaces whose interface identifier is derived from an IEEE
identifier; without this, IPv6 configured via router advertisement uses
the hardware address of the Ethernet card to determine the IPv6 address,
raising privacy issues as users could be tracked via their devices.

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New Debian Contributors

7 applicants have been accepted [40] as Debian Maintainers and 11 people
have started to maintain packages [41] since the previous issue of the
Debian Project News. Please welcome Liang Guo, Nicolas Boulenguez,
Nicolas Lopez de Lerma Aymerich, Olivier Sallou, Sven Eckelmann, Thomas
Krennwallner, YunQiang Su, Alexander Holupirek, Vsevolod Velichko,
Emilien Klein, Ming-Ting Yao Wei, Tobias Hansen, Torquil Macdonald
Sørensen, Madhu Donepudi, Stephan Gerhard, Stefan Tomanek, Vladimir
Kotov and Tobias Winchen into our project!

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Important Debian Security Advisories

Debian’s Security Team recently released advisories for these packages
(among others): otrs2 [42], exim4 [43], postfix [44], zodb [45], icedove
[46], exim4 [47], and apr [48]. Please read them carefully and take the
proper measures.

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Debian’s Backports Team released advisories for these packages:
iceweasel [49] and exim4 [50] (twice [51]). Please read them carefully
and take the proper measures.

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Debian’s Stable Release Team released advisories for these packages:
clive [52] and pianobar [53]. Please read them carefully and take the
proper measures.

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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 [54] (and the separate backports
list [55], and stable updates list [56] or volatile list [57], for
“Lenny”, the oldstable distribution) for announcements.

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New and noteworthy packages

270 packages were added to the unstable Debian archive recently. Among
many others [58] are:

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* collabtive — web-based project management software [59]
* crtmpserver — high performance RTMP/RTSP streaming server [60]
* edisplay — fast image manipulation programs (image viewer) [61]
* exabgp — BGP route injector [62]
* fonts-horai-umefont — Japanese TrueType font, Ume-font [63]
* fonts-pagul — TrueType font for the Sourashtra language [64]
* fonts-yozvox-yozfont — Japanese proportional handwriting OpenType font [65]
* fookebox — web-based jukebox frontend to MPD [66]
* goldencheetah — set of analysis tools for cycling performance [67]
* jsonbot — framework for building bots for IRC, XMPP and the web [68]
* kate-syntax-go — syntax files to highlight Go in Kate [69]
* mangler — Ventrilo compatible client for Linux [70]
* nautilus-image-manipulator — resize and send images from Nautilus [71]
* nwchem — high-performance computational chemistry software [72]
* paprass — manager of electronic documents [73]
* pcsxr — Sony PlayStation emulator [74]
* vim-syntax-go — syntax files to highlight Go in Vim [75]
* wavesurfer — sound manipulation program [76]
* xnbd-client — network block device client with support for live migration [77]
* xnbd-server — network block device server with support for live migration [78]

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Work-needing packages

Currently 301 packages are orphaned [79] and 145 packages are up for
adoption [80]: please visit the complete list of packages which need
your help [81].

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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 [82] to find out how to help. We’re
looking forward to receiving your mail at [83].

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This issue of Debian Project News was edited by Tiago Bortoletto Vaz,
Mark Caglienzi, Francesca Ciceri, Jeremiah C. Foster, David Prévot,
Alexander Reichle-Schmehl, Alexander Reshetov and Justin B. Rye [84].

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