Debian Project News – April 18th, 2011

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

* Bits from the Release Team — Kicking off “Wheezy”
* Registration now open for DebConf11 and call for contributions
* Report from the FTP Master meeting
* The Canterbury Project: an amazing example of cross-distro collaboration
* Report from Med@Tel
* Further interviews
* Other news
* New Debian Contributors
* Important Debian Security Advisories
* New and noteworthy packages
* Work-needing packages
* Want to continue reading DPN?

Bits from the Release Team — Kicking off “Wheezy”
————————————————–

Neil McGovern sent some bits from the Release Team [1] calling for
feedback on the recent release. He also addresses various subjects that
are currently under discussion: time-based freezes, transitions,
release goals, sprint organisation and 0-day NMU policy.

1 : http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel-announce/2011/03/msg00016.html

Luk Claes proposed (amongst other ideas) continuing the removal of
obsolete libraries [2]. Josselin Mouette suggested starting [3] with
HAL [4] and gnome-vfs [5]. Although there has been some progress
towards getting rid of HAL (still used by xserver-xorg [6] on
kFreeBSD), Cyril Brulebois pointed out that this effort is stalled for
now [7]. Christian Perrier also proposed to drop [8]defoma [9].

2 : http://lists.debian.org/debian-release/2011/03/msg00492.html
3 : http://lists.debian.org/debian-release/2011/03/msg00493.html
4 : http://packages.debian.org/src:hal
5 : http://packages.debian.org/src:gnome-vfs
6 : http://packages.debian.org/xserver-xorg
7 : http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel/2011/03/msg01194.html
8 : http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel/2011/03/msg01166.html
9 : http://packages.debian.org/defoma

Limitations [10] in ifupdown [11] led to calls for an overhaul [12] of
Debian’s default network management infrastructure. network-manager
[13] could be adopted [14] to this end, though this proposal has
provoked a great many objections, whether rational [15] or less so
[16].

10 : http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel/2011/03/msg01146.html
11 : http://packages.debian.org/ifupdown
12 : http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel/2011/03/msg01167.html
13 : http://packages.debian.org/network-manager
14 : http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel/2011/04/msg00041.html
15 : http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel/2011/04/msg00051.html
16 : http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel/2011/04/msg00120.html

Among other release goal proposals [17] (such as read-only root file
system and C.UTF-8 provided by default), Roger Leigh started a
discussion about supporting [18]/run for “Wheezy” .

17 : http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel/2011/03/msg01136.html
18 : http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel/2011/03/msg01118.html

Stefano Zacchiroli proposed some further release goals [19] relating to
package quality, and relaunched the time based freezes [20] proposal.
He argued that fixed freeze dates would allow Debian’s developer base
to improve planning and coordination with upstream developers, and
underlined that the first part of the “Squeeze” freeze (blocking
library transitions while being lax about general migration of new
packages) was quite successful, and that it should be done similarly in
the future. While the time frame for such freezes (andhow they should
be announced [21]) is still being discussed, there generally seems to
be a consensus in favour [22].

19 : http://lists.debian.org/debian-release/2011/03/msg00510.html
20 : http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel/2011/04/msg00091.html
21 : http://lists.debian.org/20110404070550.GL21476@rivendell.home.ouaza.com
22 : http://lists.debian.org/20110407160009.GA25468@upsilon.cc

Registration now open for DebConf11 and call for contributions
————————————————————–

Gunnar Wolf announced the opening of DebConf11 registration [23].
Registration instructions [24] are available and the deadline for
sponsored food and accommodation is 8 May 2011. A call for
contributions [25] has also been sent, and the organisers welcome all
sort of submissions: performances, art installations, debates, or
anything else can be proposed as well as traditional talks. There will
be a poster session this year. More information on submissions of
events or posters is available on the DebConf11 website [26] and the
deadline for submissions is also 8 May 2011.

23 : http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel-announce/2011/04/msg00005.html
24 : http://debconf11.debconf.org/register.xhtml
25 : http://www.debian.org/News/2011/20110408
26 : http://debconf11.debconf.org/cfp.xhtml

Report from the FTP Master meeting
———————————-

Jörg Jaspert sent a report from the FTP Master meeting [27] which was
held at Linux Hotel in Essen, 21–27 March. During the meeting a lot of
work was done, in various areas:

27 : http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel-announce/2011/03/msg00015.html

* an upgrade of the main archive machine (as well as backports and security
machines) to “Squeeze” was performed;

* the update frequency of the DD accessible copy of thedak installation
(moved from merkel.debian.org to ries.debian.org) was changed to reflect
the database changes immediately

* a new field (Built-Using) was implemented in dak and a related patch for
dpkg [28] has been prepared

* the creation of theMaintainers and Uploaders files was sped up (from
roughly 15 minutes to about a minute)

* the project of enabling autosigning for the buildds has finally been
completed

* binary-alldists files were added

Meanwhile, in a discussion with the Debian GNU/Hurd porters it was
decided that the Hurd port will stay on ftp-master.debian.org until
“Wheezy” is released, while the alpha port will be completely removed
from Debian and the hppa port will move over todebian-ports.org. As a
side note, Jörg added that during the meeting Ansgar Burchardt was
appointed to the post of FTP Assistant; congratulations, Ansgar!

28 : http://packages.debian.org/dpkg

The Canterbury Project: an amazing example of cross-distro collaboration
————————————————————————

Gerfried Fuchs blogged from behind the scenes of one of the most
hilarious — and well orchestrated — April Fools’ pranks of this year:
the Canterbury Project [29]. As you probably noticed, on the morning of
April the first, the homepages of Arch Linux, Debian, Gentoo, Grml and
OpenSUSE were replaced by a placeholder [30] announcing the merging of
all these distributions into one new one. In the posting, Gerfried said
that the initial idea was to simply do a sort of exchange of homepages
between participants. “Then the thing happened which the Free Software
community is so well known for: additional ideas came in, two people
independently addressed me whether it wouldn’t be better that instead
of a circle replacement of the frontpage, why not display the same page
on all of them. And one of them added that a corresponding news item
might make sense.” said Gerfried. Another example of new ideas coming
up during the whole Canterbury Project was the introduction of thecant
package manager [31] (see also Alexander’s blog for details [32]).
Gerfried revealed also the reason behind the name “Canterbury” : it
was adopted when Alexander Reichle-Schmehl noticed that, according to
the relevantWikipedia page [33], “the earliest recorded association
between April 1 and foolishness can be found in Chaucer’s Canterbury
Tales (1392)”. As a final note, Gerfried added that even if the
all-in-one distribution was only a joke, the cross-distro collaboration
was real and exciting, and thanked all the participants for their
efforts.

29 : http://rhonda.deb.at/blog/debian/the-canterbury-project.html
30 : http://www.debian.org/misc/canterbury
31 : http://packages.debian.org/cant
32 : http://blog.schmehl.info/Debian/cant-package-manager
33 : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/April_Fools%27_Day

Report from Med@Tel
——————-

Andreas Tille sent a report from the Med@Tel conference [34] held in
Luxembourg and dedicated to medicine informatics. This year, Andreas
delivered a talk titled [35] “Benefits of Free/Libre Open Source
Software in Health Care (FLOSS-HC): Communities, Collaboration,
Development Issues, Technology Transfer”, based on a paper written by
the Debian Med team. As Andreas reported, the talk was well received
and the main impression is that the Debian Med Blend itself is
considered as a really helpful and needed thing. It also seems that
Debian Med and other important — and very useful — Blends are little
known by the wider public. For this reason, Andreas proposed to use
microblogging to better promote the existence of Debian Med and — in
the following thread — many other ways to improve the visibility of
Debian Blends [36].

34 : http://lists.debian.org/debian-project/2011/04/msg00024.html
35 : http://people.debian.org/~tille/talks/201104_luxembourg
36 : http://lists.debian.org/debian-project/2011/04/msg00032.html

Further interviews
——————

Since the last issue of the Debian Project News, two new issues of the
[37] “This week in Debian” podcast have been published: with Jonathan
Nadeau [38], about current Debian news; and with Roberto Sanchez [39],
who gave a talk at the Northeast GNU/Linux Fest.

37 : http://wiki.debian.org/ThisWeekInDebian
38 : http://frostbitemedia.libsyn.com/this-week-in-debian-episode-24
39 : http://frostbitemedia.libsyn.com/this-week-in-debian-episode-25

There have also been two further “People behind Debian” interviews:
withBdale Garbee [40], chair of the technical committee; and with Adam
D. Barratt [41], release manager.

40 : http://raphaelhertzog.com/2011/03/28/people-behind-debian-bdale-garbee-chair-of-the-technical-committee/
41 : http://raphaelhertzog.com/2011/04/07/people-behind-debian-adam-d-barratt-release-manager/

Other news
———-

Steve McIntyre made available online a new cdimage search tool [42]
that has knowledge of just about all the Debian CDs and DVDs produced
by Debian since the Woody release, covering all the official releases
(both older archived releases and the current “stable” release) and
the current sets of daily and weekly testing builds.

42 : http://cdimage-search.debian.org

Stefano Zacchiroli has just been reelected as Debian Project Leader
[43], supported by 98% of valid voters. Congratulations, and keep up
the good work!

43 : http://www.debian.org/vote/2011/vote_001

Guido Günther sent some bits from the fourth Debian Groupware Meeting
[44], held at the Linux Hotel in Essen, Germany. During the weekend the
group has fixed various issues (mostly related to gnome-shell [45] in
iceowl [46]), and has been able to push new versions of icedove [47]
and iceowl [48] to “unstable” and to resurrect theiceowl-l10n [49]
language packs. Some work was also done on Citadel [50], Z-Push and
SOGo.

44 : http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel-announce/2011/04/msg00003.html
45 : http://packages.debian.org/gnome-shell
46 : http://packages.debian.org/iceowl
47 : http://packages.debian.org/icedove
48 : http://packages.debian.org/iceowl
49 : http://packages.debian.org/iceowl-l10n
50 : http://packages.debian.org/src:citadel

Raj Mathur sent a report about a large Debian installation in India
[51]: the installation involved about 2,500 desktops and 40 servers, on
which were installed “Squeeze” and “Wheezy” . The installation was
done in six different locations in India for a large call-out business
headquartered in Noida, Uttar Pradesh. Well done!

51 : http://www.mail-archive.com/ilugd@lists.linux-delhi.org/msg28166.html

Cyril Brulebois published the eighth [52], ninth [53] and tenth [54]
issues of his Debian XSF News.

52 : http://blog.ikibiki.org/2011/04/03/DXN-8/
53 : http://blog.ikibiki.org/2011/04/10/DXN-9/
54 : http://blog.ikibiki.org/2011/04/11/DXN-10/

Raphaël Hertzog blogged about his “journey of a new GNOME 3 Debian
packager [55]” .

55 : http://raphaelhertzog.com/2011/04/11/journey-of-a-new-gnome-3-debian-packager/

New Debian Contributors
———————–

Seven applicants [56] have been accepted as Debian Maintainers since
the previous issue of the Debian Project News. Please welcome Pau
Garcia i Quiles, Andrew O. Shadoura, Ignace Mouzannar, Hans-Christoph
Steiner, Timo Juhani Lindfors, Jaromir Mikes, and Asias He into our
project!

56 : http://lists.debian.org/debian-project/2011/04/msg00004.html

Important Debian Security Advisories
————————————

Debian’s Security Team recently released advisories for these packages
(among others): gdm3 [57], mahara [58], tomcat5.5 [59], bind9 [60], tgt
[61], tiff [62], vlc [63], tmux [64], x11-xserver-utils [65], ikiwiki
[66], gitolite [67], isc-dhcp [68], dhcp3 [69], and vlc [70]. Please
read them carefully and take the proper measures.

57 : http://www.debian.org/security/2011/dsa-2205
58 : http://www.debian.org/security/2011/dsa-2206
59 : http://www.debian.org/security/2011/dsa-2207
60 : http://www.debian.org/security/2011/dsa-2208
61 : http://www.debian.org/security/2011/dsa-2209
62 : http://www.debian.org/security/2011/dsa-2210
63 : http://www.debian.org/security/2011/dsa-2211
64 : http://www.debian.org/security/2011/dsa-2212
65 : http://www.debian.org/security/2011/dsa-2213
66 : http://www.debian.org/security/2011/dsa-2214
67 : http://www.debian.org/security/2011/dsa-2215
68 : http://www.debian.org/security/2011/dsa-2216
69 : http://www.debian.org/security/2011/dsa-2217
70 : http://www.debian.org/security/2011/dsa-2218

Debian’s Backports Team released advisories for these packages:
iceweasel [71], nss [72], squid3 [73], and tmux [74]. Please read them
carefully and take the proper measures.

71 : http://lists.debian.org/debian-backports-announce/2011/03/msg00002.html
72 : http://lists.debian.org/debian-backports-announce/2011/03/msg00003.html
73 : http://lists.debian.org/debian-backports-announce/2011/04/msg00000.html
74 : http://lists.debian.org/debian-backports-announce/2011/04/msg00001.html

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 [75] (and the separate backports
list [76], and stable updates list [77] or volatile list [78], for
“Lenny” , the oldstable distribution) for announcements.

75 : http://lists.debian.org/debian-security-announce/
76 : http://lists.debian.org/debian-backports-announce/
77 : http://lists.debian.org/debian-stable-announce/
78 : http://lists.debian.org/debian-volatile-announce/

New and noteworthy packages
—————————

1244 packages were added to the unstable Debian archive recently. Among
many others [79] are:

79 : http://packages.debian.org/unstable/main/newpkg

* 4store — RDF database storage and query engine [80]
* biogenesis — artificial life program that simulates evolution of organisms [81]
* brewtarget — GUI beer brewing software [82]
* clam-networkeditor — prototyping tool for CLAM [83]
* cliquer — clique searching program [84]
* commit-patch — utility to commit fine grained patches to source code control repositories [85]
* cpan-listchanges — package change history notification tool [86]
* cpanminus — script to get, unpack, build and install modules from CPAN [87]
* ctioga2 — polymorphic plotting program [88]
* daisy-player — player for DAISY Digital Talking Books [89]
* darnwdl — WDL document format viewer [90]
* downtimed — monitor of downtime, shutdown, and crashes [91]
* facturlinex2 — ERP/CRM for small and medium businesses [92]
* fadecut — toolset to rip audiostreams, cut, fade in/out and tag the resulting audiofiles [93]
* fcitx-config-gtk — graphic fcitx configuration tool [94]
* florence — extensible and scalable virtual keyboard for GNOME [95]
* gaduhistory — EKG history viewer [96]
* gem2deb — Debian Ruby packaging suite [97]
* get-flash-videos — program to download Flash videos [98]
* haci — web based IP(v6) address and network administration tool [99]
* hydra — very fast network login cracker [100]
* ipxe — PXE boot firmware [101]
* jstest-gtk — joystick testing and configuration tool [102]
* laditools — set of tools to control and monitor LADI (JACK+LASH) system [103]
* logtop — real time log line rate analyzer [104]
* npm — package manager for node.js [105]
* openafs-fuse — AFS distributed file system experimental FUSE client [106]
* oxref — cross reference utility [107]
* photofilmstrip — slide show creator with Ken Burns effect [108]
* pnp4nagios — Nagios addon to create graphs from performance data [109]
* psensor — display graphs for monitoring hardware temperature [110]
* qmail — secure, reliable, efficient, simple message transfer agent [111]
* scolasync — graphic tool to copy data to or from a set of USB storage media [112]
* scute — OpenPGP smartcard plugin for Mozilla Network Security Services [113]
* ssl-cert-check — proactively handling X.509 certificate expiration [114]
* sslstrip — SSL/TLS man-in-the-middle attack tool [115]
* starman — high-performance preforking PSGI/Plack web server [116]
* synapse — semantic file launcher [117]
* twms — tiny web map service [118]

80 : http://packages.debian.org/unstable/main/4store
81 : http://packages.debian.org/unstable/main/biogenesis
82 : http://packages.debian.org/unstable/main/brewtarget
83 : http://packages.debian.org/unstable/main/clam-networkeditor
84 : http://packages.debian.org/unstable/main/cliquer
85 : http://packages.debian.org/unstable/main/commit-patch
86 : http://packages.debian.org/unstable/main/cpan-listchanges
87 : http://packages.debian.org/unstable/main/cpanminus
88 : http://packages.debian.org/unstable/main/ctioga2
89 : http://packages.debian.org/unstable/main/daisy-player
90 : http://packages.debian.org/unstable/main/darnwdl
91 : http://packages.debian.org/unstable/main/downtimed
92 : http://packages.debian.org/unstable/main/facturlinex2
93 : http://packages.debian.org/unstable/main/fadecut
94 : http://packages.debian.org/unstable/main/fcitx-config-gtk
95 : http://packages.debian.org/unstable/main/florence
96 : http://packages.debian.org/unstable/main/gaduhistory
97 : http://packages.debian.org/unstable/main/gem2deb
98 : http://packages.debian.org/unstable/main/get-flash-videos
99 : http://packages.debian.org/unstable/main/haci
100 : http://packages.debian.org/unstable/main/hydra
101 : http://packages.debian.org/unstable/main/ipxe
102 : http://packages.debian.org/unstable/main/jstest-gtk
103 : http://packages.debian.org/unstable/main/laditools
104 : http://packages.debian.org/unstable/main/logtop
105 : http://packages.debian.org/unstable/main/npm
106 : http://packages.debian.org/unstable/main/openafs-fuse
107 : http://packages.debian.org/unstable/main/oxref
108 : http://packages.debian.org/unstable/main/photofilmstrip
109 : http://packages.debian.org/unstable/main/pnp4nagios
110 : http://packages.debian.org/unstable/main/psensor
111 : http://packages.debian.org/unstable/main/qmail
112 : http://packages.debian.org/unstable/main/scolasync
113 : http://packages.debian.org/unstable/main/scute
114 : http://packages.debian.org/unstable/main/ssl-cert-check
115 : http://packages.debian.org/unstable/main/sslstrip
116 : http://packages.debian.org/unstable/main/starman
117 : http://packages.debian.org/unstable/main/synapse
118 : http://packages.debian.org/unstable/main/twms

Work-needing packages
———————

Currently 314 packages are orphaned [119] and 154 packages are up for
adoption [120]: please visit the complete list of packages which need
your help [121].

119 : http://www.debian.org/devel/wnpp/orphaned
120 : http://www.debian.org/devel/wnpp/rfa
121 : http://www.debian.org/devel/wnpp/help_requested

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 [122] to find out how to help.
We’re looking forward to receiving your mail at
debian-publicity@lists.debian.org [123].

122 : http://wiki.debian.org/ProjectNews/HowToContribute
123 : mailto:debian-publicity@lists.debian.org

This issue of Debian Project News was edited by Francesca Ciceri, David
Prévot and Alexander Reichle-Schmehl [124].

124 : mailto:debian-publicity@lists.debian.org

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