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Debian Project News
Debian Project News - October 6th, 2008
Welcome to this year's 12th issue of DPN, the newsletter for the Debian
community. Some of the topics covered in this issue include:
* Bits from the DPL
* What you can do for Lenny
* 500,000th bug reported
* ... and much more.
= Bits from the DPL =
Steve McIntyre sent out another [[http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel-announce/2008/09/msg00009.html|"Bits from the DPL"]]
mail. His first topic was the recently finished eighth Debian Conference in Argentina.
Even though many developers and contributors could not travel there he considered it to be a successful conference.
He especially thanked the video team, who did an
[[http://wiki.debconf.org/wiki/DebConf8/Videoteam/Thanks|amazing job this year]] making most of the sessions available via stream as well as forwarding questions via Internet Relay Chat." Steve is already
looking forward to next year's Debian Conference, which will take place in the Junta Extremadura in Spain.
He then summarized the results of this year's [[http://wiki.debian.org/SummerOfCode2008|Google Summer of Code]] where students work on
specific free software projects and get paid by Google. Debian got thirteen project slots. Eleven of these
projects were completed successfully (sadly, the rest had to drop out due to unforeseen problems).
Steve closed with a short summary about the upcoming stable release "Lenny". Preparations for a
release candidate of the debian-installer are on their way and the release notes are taking shape. But
there are still a lot of release critical bugs left to be fixed.
= What you can do for "Lenny" =
Unfortunately, Debian GNU/Linux 5.0 "Lenny" hasn't been released yet, Alexander Reichle-Schmehl
[[http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel-announce/2008/10/msg00000.html|briefly explained the problems]]
and listed some open issues which need to resolved before Lenny can be released. He points
out that even a "simple user" (meaning "everyone") can help.
While most release blockers and release goals have been dealt with -- including transitions to newer compilers,
libraries and other tools -- the development has reached its final phase, where the last release critical bugs
need to be fixed, upgrade tests need to be performed and the release notes need to be written. Alexander gave a brief overview on
how to perform upgrade tests, which he later [[http://blog.schmehl.info/Debian/releasing-lenny|updated]] in his blog,
also showing other ways to help such as writing and translating the release notes.
He then [[http://blog.schmehl.info/Debian/releasing-lenny-2|categorized]] the remaining bugs, while
Lucas Nussbaum created a detailed list of the [[http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel/2008/10/msg00072.html|bugs still remaining]].
In related news, Franklin Piat [[http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel/2008/10/msg00043.html|has created]] a
[[http://wiki.debian.org/TestDebian|list]] of things users could do in the long term to help test Debian.
= 500,000th bug reported =
Christian Perrier [[http://www.perrier.eu.org/weblog/2008/09/24#bug-500000-now|noted]] that the 500,000th
[[http://bugs.debian.org/500000|bug]] has been reported to Debian's bug tracking sytem. In it, Nobuhiro Iwamatsu requested
a feature for the common debian build system, a tool used to create
Debian packages, and even provided a patch.
Lucas Nussbaum [[http://www.lucas-nussbaum.net/blog/?p=312|graciously provided]] some statistics. From these 500,000 bugs, nearly
410,000 have already been solved.
Christian also noted that the vitality of the Debian Bug Tracking system is an indicator of the
vitality of development in Debian (the current bug report rate is
about 60,000 bugs per year for a total of 24,000 packages in the
distribution, only 2.5 bugs per year, per package).
Thus, Debian developers are proud that they have had 500,000 occasions
to interact with their users. Of course, they are also proud that they
have already closed 410,000 of these bugs and and only 250 of the remaining bugs
are release critical for the upcoming Debian lenny release.
= Valid-Until field in Release files =
While the current archive structure prevents injection of
malicious packages through a digital trust path (e.g. at a "bad" mirror),
it still has a small flaw. A potential attacker could use outdated
release information to force people to use an outdated mirror, leaving
out the latest security updates. To address this problem, Jörg Jaspert
[[http://blog.ganneff.de/blog/2008/09/23/valid-until-field-in-release-f.html|has added a "valid until"]]
field to the release information. APT (or another package manager) can now check
if the data available on the mirror is up to date. Work has already begun to
integrate this feature into the apt package manager and tools based
upon it; however, [[http://bugs.debian.org/499897|some questions]] are
= Choosing a language during NAS installations =
Martin Michlmayr [[http://www.cyrius.com/journal/debian/nas-localechooser|reported]]
that due to changes of the internal structure of the debian-installer,
it is now possible to choose the language of installation (and the resulting
system) for installations on NAS machines. Installations on headless NAS devices
are typically done remotely via SSH and up until now, the network had been started
after the language had already been chosen, thus the ability to choose a language
interactively was completely disabled for such devices. Due to changes in the
component responsible for choosing the locale, this feature can now be enabled
for these kinds of devices.
= m68k moved to debian-ports =
After missing release criteria for both Etch and Lenny, the m68k port made
the switch from using the wanna-build instance on Debian infrastructure to
the one on [[http://www.debian-ports.org/|Debian-Ports]]. This is a necessary
step before m68k can be removed from the Debian archive.
supports the m68k architecture and has already adopted the change.
The m68k port was one of two official ports in the first Debian release, Debian 2.0 (the other being i386).
= Other news =
Christian Perrier [[http://www.perrier.eu.org/weblog/2008/09/21#di-freeze-lenny-final|released]]
the final number of languages which will be supported in the debian-installer of the upcoming
release. All-in-all, 63 languages will be supported, 5 more than the current release.
A long term goal, the move from documentation in /usr/doc to /usr/share/doc as recommended in
the Filesystem hierarchy standard, has finally been [[http://bugs.debian.org/322762#1225|completed]].
Christian Perrier [[http://www.perrier.eu.org/weblog/2008/09/30#apt-maintenance|also noted]]
that the team working on apt, the core package manager of Debian and Debian-based distributions,
is lacking manpower and in need of help.
= Linux Kongress 2008 =
From Thursday the 9th of October to Friday the 10th of October, the Debian Project
will participate with a booth at the Linux-Kongress 2008 in Hamburg, Germany.
Please see the respective [[http://www.debian.org/events/2008/1009-linuxkongress|events page]]
for further details.
= Technical Dutch Open Source Event 2008 =
From Saturday the 25th of October to Sunday the 26th of October, the Debian Project
will participate with a booth at the Technical Dutch Open Source Event (T-DOSE) in Eindhoven, Netherlands.
Please see the respective [[http://www.debian.org/events/2008/1025-t-dose|events page]]
for further details.
= New Developers =
6 applicants [[http://lists.debian.org/debian-newmaint/2008/09/msg00059.html|have been]]
[[http://lists.debian.org/debian-newmaint/2008/09/msg00029.html|accepted]] as Debian
Developers since the prior issue of the Debian Project News.
Please welcome Tobias Grimm, Chris Lamb, Manuel Prinz, Patrick Schoenfeld, Sandro Tosi,
Jan Wagner and Barry deFreese in our project!
= Important Debian Security Advisories =
Debian's Security Team recently released advisories for these packages (among others):
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
two weeks. If you need to be kept up to date about security advisories
released by the Debian Security Team, please subscribe to the
[[http://lists.debian.org/debian-security-announce/|security mailing list]] for announcements.
= New and noteworthy packages =
The following packages were added to the unstable Debian archive recently ([[http://packages.debian.org/unstable/main/newpkg|among others]]):
[[http://debaday.debian.net/2008/09/28/ddclient-getting-access-to-home-servers-despite-having-a-dynamic-ip/|ddclient]] (an utility to get access to home servers despite having a dynamic IP),
[[http://debaday.debian.net/2008/09/21/flamerobin-a-gui-to-administer-firebirdinterbase-sql-servers/|FlameRobin]] (a GUI to Administer Firebird/Interbase SQL servers) and
[[http://debaday.debian.net/2008/10/05/logstalgia-pong-like-apache-log-viewer/|logstalgia]] (a pong-like apache log viewer)
where presented by Debian Package of the Day.
= Work-needing packages =
Currently 444 packages are orphaned and 125 packages are up for adoption. Please take a look
at [[http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel/2008/09/msg00574.html|the]] [[http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel/2008/09/msg00714.html|recent]]
[[http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel/2008/10/msg00020.html|reports]] to see if there are packages
you are interested in or view the complete list of
[[http://www.debian.org/devel/wnpp/help_requested|packages which need your help]].
= 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
[[http://wiki.debian.org/ProjectNews/HowToContribute|contributing page]] to find out how to
help. We're looking forward to receiving your mail at
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Ari Pollak, Ingo Juergensmann, Christian Perrier and Alexander Reichle-Schmehl contributed to this issue of the Debian