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Debian Project News – September 19th, 2011

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

* Debian’s 18th birthday
* Bits from the DPL
* Debian Bug Squashing Party at MIT
* Squeeze backports for Xorg
* Debian feeds on and Twitter
* Debian in Myanmar
* Further interviews
* Other news
* New Debian Contributors
* Important Debian Security Advisories
* New and noteworthy packages
* Work-needing packages
* Want to continue reading DPN?

Debian’s 18th birthday

On August 16 the Debian Project turned 18 [1]: for that occasion, across
the world there were various parties [2] organised by Debian Developers,
Maintainers, Contributors and Users. Pictures of these parties can be
viewed at the Debian Birthday website [3], where the project has
collected 2230 thanks messages! The Debian Project takes this opportunity
to thank all its users and contributors, and its upstream developers.

The Project has also received some birthday cakes [4] from Polish users:
thank you!

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Bits from the DPL

Stefano Zacchiroli sent some Bits from the DPL, reporting his activities
for July [5] and August [6]. The first mail includes some interesting
news on trademarks: a potential issue with the redistribution of GNOME
[7] (according to a strict interpretation of the GNOME trademark) was
solved [8] partly during DebConf, with the help of Karen Sandler
(Executive Director of the GNOME foundation). With regard to the Debian
trademark, thanks to Jimmy Kaplowitz (SPI director) and Mishi Choudhary
(lawyer at SFLC) a survey of existing Debian-related trademark was
completed and the trademark on the name “DEBIAN” was extended to the
European Union, China and Japan. In the second mail, Stefano writes about
the services administration initiative, started by Enrico Zini [9], and
reports on his participation at the GNU Hackers Meeting.

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Debian Bug Squashing Party at MIT

Asheesh Laroia blogged about the Bug Squashing Party held at the MIT in
Cambridge, USA [10] on August 21. The event was promoted by Geoffrey
Thomas for MIT’s student computing group and went quite well: the
attendees, some of them having their first experience as Debian
contributors, fixed several release-critical bugs with the help of the
present developers.

And speaking of bugs, Gregor Herrmann resumed work on the Release
Critical Bugs of the Week (RCBW) initiative [11], launched in 2009 by
Stefano Zacchiroli, which consists of fixing one Release Critical bug per
day. Gregor, one of the most active developers in this initiative,
observed that in this phase of the development cycle there are plenty of
RC bugs, some of them really easy to fix [12]. It’s possible to use the
UDD bugs page [13] to search in the BTS for RC bugs. If fixing bugs is
too much for you, you can help triaging them, as explained in the useful
tutorial [14] blogged by Raphaël Hertzog.

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Squeeze backports for Xorg

Cyril Brulebois announced the availability of X.Org Server backports for
Squeeze [15]. These backports are particularly useful for people who need
a newer driver, while users with a perfectly working X could stay with
its old version. For those interested in the backported Xorg, a
documentation page [16] is also available.

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Debian feeds on and Twitter

In order to highlight the work done by Debian and to improve the
availability of such information, Sylvestre Ledru introduced three new
feeds on [17]:

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* Debian new packages [18], which shows the new packages submitted to the
Debian Archive (also available on Twitter [19]).
* Debian bugs [20], which provides a feed of the new bugs (also available on
Twitter [21]).
* Debian removed packages [22], which provides a feed of the removed packages
in the archive (also available on Twitter [23]).

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Debian in Myanmar

Theppitak Karoonboonyanan sent a report of his visit to Yangon [24] where
he delivered some talks and tutorials on Debian packaging and mirroring.
In particular, Theppitak has done the preliminary actions to realise a
Debian mirror in Myanmar; sadly, due to Myanmar’s internet policy, SSH
connections between domestic and international sites are prohibited, so
only local people will be able to maintain the mirror. Another
interesting initiative was the start of packaging of resources for
Myanmar languages support; in addition Thura Hlaing and Ngwe Tun started
a translation process for Myanmar in Debian and in GNOME. He also
reported that GNU/Linux is not popular in Myanmar due to lack of internet
access, which is mostly provided by internet cafés rather than from

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Further interviews

There have been two “People behind Debian” interviews: with Peter
Palfrader [25], Debian System Administrator; and with Enrico Zini [26],
member of the New Maintainer Frontdesk.

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Other news

Stefano Zacchiroli announced that Colin Watson has been appointed as the
eighth member of the Debian Technical Committee [27]. Congratulations,

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Enrico Zini announced the creation of a new mailing list [28]:
debian-services-admin [29], aiming to create a single point of contact
for issues with Debian infrastructure services. In addition, Enrico
promoted a census of those services: you can consult the first results of
the census on the related wiki page [30].

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Fernando C. Estrada announced the launch of the spam cleaning effort [31]
on Spanish language lists. For more information, you can visit the
relevant wiki page [32].

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Niels Thykier sent some bits from the Lintian maintainers [33] in order
to announce changes in Lintian 2.5.2. Lintian [34] is a useful (and
widely used) tool for checking Debian packages in order to find bugs and
policy violations before upload to the Debian archive. This new version
includes several new features, including the ability to process related
packages together, support for architecture-specific overrides, and test
coverage of over 75% of tags.

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New Debian Contributors

22 people have started to maintain packages [35] since the previous issue
of the Debian Project News. Please welcome Thomas Bechtold, Theodore
Lytras, Ivo De Decker, Tim Booth, Jessica McKellar, Gustavo Goretkin,
Andrew O. Shadura, Luis Rivas Vañó, Noah Swartz, Roland Clobus, Jonathan
McCrohan, Eric P. Mangold, Enrique Hernández Bello, Igor Pashev, Guido
van Steen, Jean-Philippe Mengual, Sebastian Humenda, Yannick Schwartz,
Ximin Luo, Haïkel Guémar, Gregory C. Sharp and Georg Koppen into our

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Important Debian Security Advisories

Debian’s Security Team recently released advisories for these packages
(among others): iceape [36], iceweasel [37], icedove [38], apache2 [39],
ca-certificates [40], nss [41], rails [42], bcfg2 [43], linux-2.6 [44],
squid3 [45], vsftpd [46], ffmpeg [47], chromium-browser [48], mantis
[49], and openssl [50]. Please read them carefully and take the proper

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Debian’s Backports Team released advisories for these packages: icedove
[51], nss [52], and apache2 [53]. Please read them carefully and take
the proper measures.

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Debian’s Stable Release Team released an update announcement for the
package: pianobar [54]. Please read it carefully and take the proper

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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 [55] (and the separate backports
list [56], and stable updates list [57] or volatile list [58], for
“Lenny” , the oldstable distribution) for announcements.

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New and noteworthy packages

100 packages were added to the unstable Debian archive recently. Among
many others [59] are:

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* boinc-cgi-stripchart — CGI script for plotting basic statistical graphs [60]
* fonts-jura — monospaced, sans-serif font [61]
* git-daemon-sysvinit — fast, scalable, distributed revision control system (git-daemon service) [62]
* itstool — tool for translating XML documents with PO files [63]
* jcadencii — piano roll editor for singing synthesis [64]
* vdpauinfo — video decode and presentation API for UNIX (vdpauinfo utility) [65]
* xpra — tool to detach and reattach running X programs [66]
* xul-ext-cookie-monster — very easy cookies management in a whitelist-based way [67]
* xul-ext-status4evar — status bar widgets and progress indicators [68]

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Work-needing packages

Currently 252 packages are orphaned [69] and 126 packages are up for
adoption [70]: please visit the complete list of packages which need your
help [71].

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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 [72] to find out how to help. We’re
looking forward to receiving your mail at [73].

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This issue of Debian Project News was edited by Francesca Ciceri,
Fernando C. Estrada, Sylvestre Ledru, Alexander Reichle-Schmehl,
Alexander Reshetov and Justin B Rye [74].

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