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Debian Weekly News
Debian Weekly News - May 18th, 2004
Welcome to this year's 20th issue of DWN, the weekly newsletter for
the Debian community. In an interview Miguel de Icaza said that
Debian's community commitment is fantastic, but it is a very hard
platform to support for an independent software vendor. Philip Charles
also announced new K6 mini iso images.
Two Debian Developers died. Debian mourns the loss of two project
members. Manuel Estrada Sainz (ranty) and Andrés García (ErConde) were
killed in a tragic car accident while returning from the Free
Software conference held in Valencia, Spain. The Debian Project honors
their good work and strong dedication to Debian and Free Software. The
contributions of both Manuel and Andrés will not be forgotten, and
other developers will continue their work.
Status of Java to main Effort. Arnaud Vandyck reported on the
progress of moving packages that use Java but can be run without the
aid of non-free software from contrib to main. A number of packages
have been moved to main and new releases of GNU Classpath,
SableVM, and Kaffe promise further steps ahead. Two of the
major issues currently being looked at are making gjdoc a proper
javadoc replacement and building ant with Free Software only.
People wanting to help can start by inspecting packages labeled as
unknown on the Java to main wiki.
Debian powers Binoculars. The world's largest selection of
binoculars is powered by Debian GNU/Linux as Jon Thralow
reported. The site uses a technology they call dynamically
generated HTML. The pages are regenerated every five minutes and
pushed to the web server as static pages. This looks similar to the
technique used for the Debian website itself with regeneration just
Status of GNOME 2.6 for unstable. Sebastien Bacher sent in another
status report covering GNOME 2.6 in Debian. The reason is to ask
the release team for advice regarding the transition to unstable,
given the progress the packages have made in the last few weeks.
The packages have been tested by many users without any major
issues reported. In response Anthony Towns told him that many
architectures are still missing and that GNOME is ready when
everything has been uploaded to experimental and only the version
number needs to be bumped up for unstable.
Should Sun use Debian GNU/Linux? David Edmondson argued that Sun
should base their GNU/Linux efforts on Debian. A key advantage of
Debian is the breadth and depth of applications just an apt-get away.
Glynn Foster agreed with him and noted that for the most part
Debian 'Just Works'.
Supporting more Features. Eric Dorland wondered how Debian should
handle requests to activate compile-time controlled features. He
asked to enable deactivated features or split out packages
with these features enabled, but the maintainers were concerned by
feature-creep and having to maintain more packages than needed.
Matthew Palmer suggested to either create new binary packages, to
add the features into the existing packages or to make it very easy
for the user to rebuild the package to support the optional feature.
Removing System Accounts. Stephen Gran wondered how system
accounts should be treated upon removal if they were created upon
package installation. Wouter Verhelst explained that it may be a
good idea to leave the system user since arbitrary files could still
be owned by it.
Right of Publicity. Branden Robinson explained why he is annoyed
by no-advertising clauses in several licenses. In the United States,
there are several legal remedies available to people whose names
or likenesses are misappropriated for advertising or promotional
purposes. In order to prevent similar misuse no special clause is
needed. Branden seeks information on how this is handled in other
countries in order discourage no-advertising clauses more actively.
IBM Public License. Frank Lichtenheld stomped over the IBM
Public License again and wondered if it is suited for Debian. MJ
Ray and Walter Landry raised some concerns. However, this license
is already used for postfix as Steven Augart pointed out.
Sendmail Open Source License. Richard Nelson reported that a new
license for sendmail is discussed and the authors are seeking
feedback. In particular they want to know whether the new license is
as acceptable as the sendmail 8 license. Henning Makholm and
Nathanael Nerode asserted that a license is non-free if one is
forced to go to San Francisco to defend ones innocence.
Concerned about new GPL Version. Antti-Juhani Kaijanaho is
concerned about the Free Software Foundation (FSF) developing
the next generation GNU General Public License (GPL). One of the
rumours about potential changes involve a requirement to post sources
of GPL'd software that is used to power a website, which would
probably fail the Debian Free Software Guidelines. He also
wondered whether differences about the GNU Free Documentation
License are symptoms of a deeper difference of opinion between Debian
Security Updates. You know the drill. Please make sure that you update
your systems if you have any of these packages installed.
* mah-jong -- Denial of service.
* heimdal -- Potential buffer overflow.
New or Noteworthy Packages. The following packages were added to the
unstable Debian archive recently or contain important updates.
* amavis-stats -- Virus statistics RRDtool frontend for Amavis.
* aspell-bn -- Bengali Wordlist for Aspell.
* bittornado -- Bittorrent client with enhanced GUI and curses
* diogenes -- Web content management system.
* hspell-gui -- Graphical front-end for the hspell hebrew spell
* kstreamripper -- KDE frontend for streamripper.
* lksctp-tools -- User-space access to Linux Kernel SCTP -
* mtink -- Status monitor and configuration tool for Epson
* perlindex -- Index and query Perl manual pages.
* siproxd -- SIP proxy/redirect/registrar.
* tcng -- Linux traffic control language interpreter.
Debian Packages introduced last Week. Every day, a different Debian
package is featured from the testing distribution. If you know
about an obscure package you think others should also know about, send
it to Andrew Sweger. Debian package a day introduced the following
packages last week.
* binclock -- binary clock for console with color support.
* mywiki -- Personal wiki on GNUstep or Cocoa environment.
* srs -- Command-line Sender Rewriting Scheme client.
* telnet -- The telnet client.
* procmail -- Versatile e-mail processor.
* whitespace -- Programming language where only whitespace
* regexplorer -- Visual regular expression explorer.
Orphaned Packages. 2 packages were orphaned this week and require a
new maintainer. This makes a total of 159 orphaned packages. Many
thanks to the previous maintainers who contributed to the Free
Software community. Please see the WNPP pages for the full list,
and please add a note to the bug report and retitle it to ITA: if you
plan to take over a package.
* imwheel -- Program to support the "wheel" on most new mice.
* libmail-audit-perl -- Perl library for creating easy mail
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