Welcome to this year’s seventh issue of DPN, the newsletter for the Debian
community. Topics covered in this issue include: * Bits from Debian Med team * Debian joins the OSI * Report from DSA Team sprint * “Fascinating”: a Debian based tricorder * So long, and thanks for all the news * Interviews * Other news * New Debian Contributors * Release-Critical bugs statistics for the upcoming release * Important Debian Security Advisories * New and noteworthy packages * Work-needing packages * Want to continue reading DPN?
Bits from Debian Med team
Andreas Tille sent some bits from the Debian Med team , where he
talked about recent initiatives of the team including the  “Debian Med
Bug Squashing Advent Calendar 2011” and the  “Mentoring of the Month”
(MoM) project. Andreas also reminded us that in January the Debian Med
project reached 10: in ten years, Debian Med has grown from a one man
project to a “strong team maintaining a set of over 200 highly
specialised packages with a high quality standard”, as Andreas said in
arelated blogpost . The Debian Med project not only provides and
maintains specialised packages for biology and medicine, but is — like
other Debian Blends — “a nice entry point for people to join Debian
because newcomers can identify themselves with a known topic (the scope
of the Blend — in this case medicine and bioinformatics) first and learn
Debian rules in a team with common interest”, added Andreas in the mail.
This idea was confirmed by the results of asurvey focused on why Debian
Med team members became Debian Developers .
Debian joins the OSI
The Debian project announced that it is joining the  “Open Source Initiative
(OSI)” as an affiliate. The OSI was founded in 1998 with the aim of
explaining, advocating, and protecting the term “open source”.
For many years now, the OSI has helped the “Open Source”
trademark gain recognition, particularly in the corporate world.
Report from DSA Team sprint
Luca Filipozzi wrote a report from the Debian System Administrators (
“DSA”) team’s sprint held over the weekend of 16-18 March in Oslo, Norway. During
the meeting the team discussed a long-term plan for Debian’s infrastructure,
reviewing the machines currently administrated, and formulating procedures
regarding account and group management. One of the main points discussed at the
meeting was the necessity to renew the set of machines — which are now old
and long out of warranty — and how to do it. While in the past Debian’s
hardware requirements were met by donations of new and used hardware from
individuals and organizations, this is no longer true. The team elaborated a
“Five Year Plan” for a hardware refresh cycle to avoid to having machines more
than five years old. “A clear outcome of our work on the Five Year Plan is an
understanding that hardware has now become one of the biggest expense
categories for Debian”, said Luca. Various machines are also needed in order
to support the whole set of architectures for which Debian is shipped. For more
information on how to donate equipment to the Debian Project, please contact
thehardware donations team .
The DSA sprint was made possible by donations  to Debian and by Varnish
Software who hosted it and provided food and drink. Thank you!
“Fascinating”: a Debian based tricorder
Peter Jansen, a cognitive science researcher, brought to life Spock’s tricorder
 from the popular Star Trek television series. Peter, in fact, developed a
handheld device able — thanks to its embedded sensors — to measure various
environmental parameters (link temperature, humidity, magnetic fields, etc.).
The device runs Debian GNU/Linux on an ARM920T-based Atmel microcontroller: the
hardware specifications and schematics, and the software are licensed
respectively under TAPR non-commercial and GPL 3 and are available on the
project website .
So long, and thanks for all the news
The year was 2006. The place: Oaxtepec, Mexico. The event: DebConf6. This is
how the Publicity team was born , during a BoF titled “Representing Debian”.
And among others there were two Debian contributors (who later became
Debian Developers), Alexander Schmehl and Meike Reichle. If you are a
regular reader of Debian Project News, or a contributor to the Publicity
Team, you’ll surely recognize their names: they worked every day for the
last six years to bring us news about the Debian world and to announce
important changes inside the project. Alexander and Meike have now
decided to step down from the Press and Publicity team  and start
another, different adventure . The Publicity Team would like to thank
them for their tireless effort, their creativity and their inspiring
So long, and thanks for all the news!
Raphaël Hertzog published a “People behind Debian” interview with Jörg
Jaspert  (FTPmaster, Debian Account Manager, and more), while Petter
Reinholdtsen interviewed John Ingleby  for his “Debian Edu interviews”
In addition, Chris Woolfrey interviewed Guido Günther . Zlatan Todorić
interviewed Joey Hess  about his participation at DebConf11, held last
August in Banja Luka.
Stefan Fritsch posted some bits from the Apache Maintainers  announcing
some changes — a new set of packaging guidelines, a recent major Apache HTTPD
upgrade, and an upcoming package transition.
Axel Beckert recently wrote about the (perhaps temporary) disappearance of
aptitude-gtk . The new team is currently focusing on the internal code and
the native ncurses user interface, but anyone who wants to contribute to the
GUI is welcome to join the Aptitude team .
Kurt Roeckx announced that the DPL candidates’ rebuttals have been published
 and are now available as part of their platforms , and also sent out
the call for votes . Voting closes on Saturday 14 April.
Stefano Zacchiroli announced that the LDAP dnsZoneEntry attribute for
*.debian.net domains will be made publicly accessible in two weeks . The
intention is to provide an easier way to view the data, which is currently only
available via a DNS query.
Jan Hauke Rahm wrote a report from the Front Desk and DAM sprint  that was
recently held in Mönchengladbach, Germany. During the meeting, the members of
both teams worked on the  “New Members” web interface, as well as on
long-outstanding cases of NM applicants. The meeting turned out to be a great
chance to discuss face-to-face and in person delicate cases and to work on the
pending requests. Both teams would like to thank Credativ who hosted the
New Debian Contributors
Eleven applicants have been accepted  as Debian Developers, six applicants
have been  accepted  as Debian Maintainers, and six people have started
to maintain packages  since the previous issue of the Debian Project News.
Please welcome Arno Töll, Mathieu Malaterre, Johann Felix Soden, Roland
Dreier, Dmitrijs Ledkovs, Ana Carolina Comandulli, Michael Gilbert, Carl
Chenet, Mònica Ramírez Arceda, Michael Stapelberg, Alessandro Ghedini, David
Steele, Khalid El Fathi, Rodolfo García Peñas, Dmitry Smirnov, Sven Joachim,
Simon Josefsson, Guo Yixuan, Emile Joubert, Jonathan Steinert, Benjamin J.
Scott, Melissa Draper and Lennart Weller into our project!
Release-Critical bugs statistics for the upcoming release
According to the Bugs Search interface of the Ultimate Debian Database ,
the upcoming release, Debian “Wheezy” , is currently affected by 742
Release-Critical bugs. Ignoring bugs which are easily solved or on the way to
being solved, roughly speaking, about 536 Release-Critical bugs remain to be
solved for the release to happen.
There are also some hints on how to interpret  these numbers.
Important Debian Security Advisories
Debian’s Security Team recently released advisories for these packages
(among others): libapache2-mod-fcgid , nginx , gnash ,
icedove , raptor , libpng , libtasn1-3 , gnutls26 ,
openarena , linux-2.6 , tryton-server , typo3-src  and
curl  (updated announce).
Please read them carefully and take the proper measures.
Debian’s Backports Team released advisories for these packages:
gnash , puppet , nginx  and freetype . 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 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  (and the separate backports list , and stable
updates list ) for announcements.
New and noteworthy packages
207 packages were added to the unstable Debian archive recently. Among many
others  are:
* fonts-dancingscript — lively casual script with bouncing letters and size
* keepnote — cross-platform note-taking and organization application 
* kvpm — logical volume manager and disk partitioner GUI based on KDE 
* petitboot — ncurses version of petitboot, a kexec based bootloader 
* python-geopy — geocoding toolbox for Python 
* qtscrob — Audioscrobbler submitter for Rockbox-format .scrobbler.log
* shelltestrunner — test command-line programs or arbitrary shell commands
* tabble — program launcher with tabs for X 
* yagf — graphical interface to optical character recognition softwares
Currently  432 packages are orphaned  and 152 packages are up for
adoption : please visit the complete list of packages which need your help
Want to continue reading DPN?
Please help us create this newsletter. We still need more volunteer writers to
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This issue of Debian Project News was edited by Moray Allan, Cédric
Boutillier, Francesca Ciceri and David Prévot .