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THIS ISSUE HAS BEEN [[http://www.debian.org/News/project/2008/16/|RELEASED]]! PLEASE CHANGE ONLY DEBIAN'S WEBSITE!
Debian Project News
Debian Project News - December 1st, 2008
Welcome to this year's 16th issue of DPN, the newsletter for the Debian
community. Topics covered in this issue include:
* Etch-and-a-half installation images updated
* GNU Affero General Public License suitable for Debian "main"
* Security Teams Meeting in Essen
* ... and much more.
= Etch-and-a-half installation images updated =
As a result of the release of the first release candidate for Lenny of Debian Installer (D-I RC1) on November 12th, the installer images for
Etch-and-a-half have also been updated. A consequence of this update is that during installation of Etch-and-a-half
using the currently available images, a newer kernel version (2.6.26) will
be used. However, the kernel used for the installed system remains
unchanged at version 2.6.24. In some cases this can mean that hardware which is supported during the
installation does not work after the reboot into the installed system
because support for it was added after the 2.6.24 version.
Old Etch-and-a-half businesscard and netinst CD images remain usable.
Old netboot images are no longer usable and will need to be replaced with
a current image. The [[http://www.debian.org/releases/etch/debian-installer/etchnhalf|Etch-and-a-half Debian Installer web page]]
has links to the new images and to the release
announcements which give an overview of changes in the installation
system. The Debian Installer team is currently preparing the second release candidate (RC2) of the
Lenny installer, which will again result in an update of the installer
images for Etch-and-a-half. The kernel version used during installation
will remain at 2.6.26.
= GNU Affero General Public License suitable for Debian "main" =
Joerg Jaspert, representing the FTP Archives team, has released a
about the inclusion in main of works licensed under [[http://www.fsf.org/licensing/licenses/agpl-3.0.html|GNU Affero General Public License version 3]] (AGPLv3). In short, the statement says that such works are suitable for
Debian/main, even though the AGPL has an additional clause when compared to the
[[http://www.fsf.org/licensing/licenses/gpl-3.0.html|GNU General Public License]] (GPLv3). The
clause in question requires software to offer the source code to a user when interacting with it
remotely through a computer network.
= Security Teams Meeting in Essen =
Martin 'Joey' Schulze [[http://www.infodrom.org/~joey/log/?200811301247|reports]]
on the Debian Security meeting which took place 28-30 November 2008 in Essen,
Germany. Members of both the stable and the testing security teams attended as
did the developers who are currently working on security updates for the backports archive.
The attendees discussed issues with regard to future security work in the Debian
project and for the Debian distribution. Specific topics were cooperation
between the different teams (both in terms of work as well as in terms of archive
management), as well as long term support for Debian GNU/Linux installations which
cannot support an upgrade every two years (such as large clusters of Debian
GNU/Linux systems). Notes taken during the meeting will be sent to the
debian-devel-announce mailing list.
= New Stable SuiteTelecentro 2.0 =
The new stable version of [[http://sourceforge.net/projects/suitetelecentro|SuiteTelecentro]] is now
available for download from SourceForge.net. SuiteTelecentro is a customisation of Debian and is built at the Free Software
Laboratory of the IT Board of Banco do Brasil, the largest and oldest public bank in Brazil.
As [[http://times.debian.net/?category=success-stories#1242|already covered]] at Debian Times,
SuiteTelecentro is a GNU/Linux solution which allows the use of low performance CPU and memory
computers as affordable thin clients at telecentres for the poor. Over 4 million users now have affordable
access to an Internet enabled computer thanks to this Free Software project.
SuiteTelecentro is based on Debian GNU/Linux 4.0 (Etch) and LTSP 4.2. The new 2.0 version features
easy installation, uses the GNOME graphical environment and includes: the OpenOffice.org suite, MySQL,
PHP, Apache, MediaWiki and the Ocara telecentre management software.
= Dependency based boot sequencing release goal completed =
Petter Reinholdtsen [[http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel-announce/2008/11/msg00007.html|announced]]
that the release goal of supporting a dependency based boot sequence has been completed.
This allows system services to be started in an order which is calculated from their dependencies on each other instead of a hardcoded order.
He adds that 99.8% of all packages in unstable now have the necessary dependency information, with only 2 packages
missing them. However, more testers are needed to identify problems with currently
untested combinations of packages.
= Debian bugs #600000 and #1000000 contest =
Christian Perrier announced that as the [[http://bugs.debian.org/500000|bug #500000]]
mark was turned on September 24th 2008, Debian developers and contributors need a new challenge.
So a small contest has been set up again. The principle is very
simple: Participants should place a bet (one per person) about the day bugs #600000
and #1000000 will be reported. The winners will be the persons
placing their bets as close as possible to the real moment
bugs #600000 and #1000000 are reported.
The [[http://wiki.debian.org/600000thBugContest|bet page]] is hosted in the Debian wiki. It will be closed on December 31st, 2008. Bets will be kept statically until bug #600000 is reported. Then the page will be reopened with a new list of bets for bug #1000000. Thus, there will be four sets of bets for bug #1000000 with even more suspense and fun.
= Inter-distribution collaboration for maintaining games =
Initiated by members of the merged Debian and Ubuntu games teams and
Hans de Goede from Fedora, a [[http://lists.freedesktop.org/mailman/listinfo/games|mailing list]]
[[http://lists.freedesktop.org/archives/games/2008-November/000006.html|was created]] to foster collaboration between operating systems for the maintenance of games.
The goal is to share and review patches that the upstream project
is slow or unwilling to accept, or to take over as the new upstream
for software in cases where the original upstream has died.
At this time, members of Arch Linux, Debian, Fedora, Fink, FreeBSD, Gentoo,
NetBSD, OpenSolaris, PC-BSD, Slackbuilds, SUSE and Yellow Dog Linux are on
this list as well as GNOME and KDE members.
= Call for talks for the Debian Developers' room at FOSDEM =
Wouter Verhelst [[http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel-announce/2008/12/msg00000.html|called for talks]]
for the Debian Developers' room at the upcoming Free and Open Source Developers European Meeting (FOSDEM): a yearly community
meeting that takes place at the université libre de Bruxelles in
Brussels, Belgium and which concentrates on bringing developers of Free Software
together. As during previous events, Debian has the opportunity to hold its own one and a half day conference sub-track.
= When to do non-maintainer uploads? =
A recent non-maintainer upload of the php5 package caused
about how and when non-maintainer uploads should be done. While fixing release critical
bugs is indeed a very important topic (especially for long standing bugs without
action from the maintainer), release team member Steve Langasek
[[http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel/2008/11/msg00666.html|reminded]] that developers
should still inform the maintainers about any plans to perform a NMU, while Thomas Viehmann
[[http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel/2008/12/msg00012.html|reminded maintainers]] that they
should fix, or at least comment on, release critical bugs within two weeks.
= Popular packages in Ubuntu that are not in Debian/main =
Petter Reinholdtsen did a [[http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel/2008/11/msg00659.html|survey]]
on the question of which popular Ubuntu packages are not included in Debian/main and why. In
order to determine the packages' popularity, Petter used their popcon ratings. He ended
up with a list of 152 popular Ubuntu packages which are currently not in Debian/main, a number
he considered surprisingly low.
Many of these packages are not in Debian due to different package structure or other differences between
Debian and Ubuntu, while others are already available in contrib or non-free. Of the remaining
packages many are multimedia related. Petter thinks it would be very nice to have these
packages available in Debian and wants to encourage their packaging.
In related news James Westby did a [[http://jameswestby.net/weblog/ubuntu/04-revu.html|survey]]
on the quality of the Ubuntu packages which are not included in Debian using their records in
the Ubuntu bug tracking system.
= Developer News wanted =
Raphael Hertzog, the author of the Misc Developer News
to (regularly) [[http://wiki.debian.org/DeveloperNews|share]] short news about
their work and plans so they can be published in the Misc Developer News.
Possible news covers everything which is related to Debian development and not
worth a dedicated mail to debian-devel-announce. The news is published
whenever five news stories have come together. Raphael points out that the Misc
Developer News can also be used to post calls for help.
= Need for an unofficial public community repository? =
from the queue for some new packages to be added to Debian by the FTP Archives team caused
some discussion about the need of a
not meeting Debian's standards or being otherwise unsupported. Holger Levsen
[[http://debian-unofficial.org|debian-unofficial.org]], which isn't
This caused Holger to think about a [[http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel/2008/11/msg00606.html|solution]]
inside of [[http://debian-community.org|debian-community.org]]. The proposal to
has been [[http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel/2008/11/msg00633.html|criticised]] as well.
= New maintainer =
One applicant has been [[http://lists.debian.org/debian-project/2008/11/msg00071.html|accepted]] as Debian Maintainer since
the prior issue of the Debian Project News.
Please welcome Jörg Sommer into our project!
= Bits from the buildd world =
Adeodato Simó sent [[http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel-announce/2008/11/msg00006.html|bits from buildd world]].
Buildds are a part of Debian's infrastructure, organising which automated build system (build daemon) is building
which package for which architecture. Beside some personnel changes, he also explains the proper ways to contact
the buildd team, as well as where the source code of the buildd infrastructure is maintained.
= Release-critical bugs statistics for the upcoming release =
According to the [[http://bts.turmzimmer.net/details.php|unofficial RC-bugs count]],
the upcoming release Debian GNU/Linux 5.0 "Lenny" is currently affected by 118 release critical bugs.
43 of them have already been fixed in Debian's "unstable" branch. Of the remaining 75 release critical bugs,
33 already have a patch (which might need testing) and 5 are marked as pending.
Ignoring these bugs as well as release critical bugs for packages in contrib or non-free, 36 release critical bugs
remain to be solved for the release to happen.
= 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 only 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]]):
Debian Package of the Day featured the package
[[http://debaday.debian.net/2008/11/30//|apticron]] (a cron-script to mail impending apt updates).
= Work-needing packages =
Currently 488 packages are orphaned and 117 packages are up for adoption. Please take a look
at the [[http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel/2008/11/msg00595.html|recent]]
[[http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel/2008/11/msg00455.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
## Contributors! Please list yourself here!
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Andre Felipe Machado, Jon Evans, Richard Hartmann, Stefano Zacchiroli, Christian Perrier, Frans Pop, Meike Reichle and Alexander Reichle-Schmehl contributed to this issue of the Debian Project News.