Debian Project News – May 2nd, 2011

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

* Debian Project mourns the loss of Adrian von Bidder
* Upcoming changes for the Linux kernels on the i386 architecture
* Bits from the DPL
* Berkeley Database plans for the future
* Mono 2.10.1 now in “experimental”
* Report from FAI developer meeting
* The popcon problem
* Further interviews
* Other news
* New Debian Contributors
* Important Debian Security Advisories
* New and noteworthy packages
* Work-needing packages
* Want to continue reading DPN?

Debian Project mourns the loss of Adrian von Bidder
—————————————————

The Debian Project lost Adrian von Bidder [2], who was involved in
Debian, represented the project at numerous events and was one of the
founding members and current secretary of debian.ch [3]. He also founded
the “NTP Pool [4]” (crowd-sourced time synchronisation), which our
project has since fully adopted.

2 : http://www.debian.org/News/2011/20110423
3 : http://debian.ch
4 : http://www.pool.ntp.org/en/

Upcoming changes for the Linux kernels on the i386 architecture
—————————————————————

Ben Hutchings announced some upcoming changes [5] for the Linux kernels
[6] in the i386 architecture [7] (aka 32-bit PC). The most notable change
with the 2.6.39 kernel packages will be the drop of the 686 flavour, even
so it’s the most widely used. Ben explains that only a very limited set
of processors are not able to use the 686-bigmem flavour, which has less
limitations and supports more that 4GB of RAM (on top of some other
benefits). He also points out that these processors not supported by the
686-bigmem flavour seem to gain performance with the 486 flavour. Without
the 686 flavour, the 686-bigmem will be renamed to 686-pae.

5 : http://womble.decadent.org.uk/blog/upcoming-changes-in-debian-linux-packages-for-i386.html
6 : http://packages.debian.org/src:linux-2.6
7 : http://www.debian.org/ports/i386/

He also said, that the amd64 flavour will be dropped as soon as migration
from a 32-bit userland with 64-bit kernel to a 64-bit userland with
64-bit kernel is implemented and has been tested.

Before that, Ben blogged about changes introduced with 2.6.38 [8]
kernels. One change is the introduction of a user space daemon [9]
providing the kernel with country specific regulations for wireless usage
from a database [10].

8 : http://womble.decadent.org.uk/blog/recent-changes-in-debian-linux-packages.html
9 : http://packages.debian.org/crda
10 : http://packages.debian.org/wireless-regdb

Bits from the DPL
—————–

Ignoring the result of his reelection [11], Stefano Zacchiroli sent his
last bits from the DPL [12], where he was glad to refer to the Debian
Derivatives Exchange project [13] recently launched and the high activity
on the debian-devel [14] and debian-project [15] mailing lists. He
enjoyed spreading the Debian verb in Bosnia, Taiwan and France; and is
looking forward at the LinuxTag in Berlin [16], the Greek Free and Open
Source Software Society [17] conference and the Ubuntu Developer Summit
[18]. Stefano discussed the relationships with others: the GNOME
Foundation invited Debian at the GNOME.Asia summit [19] where Josselin
Mouette attended on behalf of Debian, John Sullivan who become the new
executive director at FSF, and Graziano Sorbaioli, the gNewSense
community manager. He finally kept us posted about the upcoming DebConf
preparation, sprints and other expenses.

11 : http://www.debian.org/vote/2011/vote_001
12 : http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel-announce/2011/04/msg00010.html
13 : http://www.debian.org/News/2011/20110318
14 : http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel/
15 : http://lists.debian.org/debian-project/
16 : http://www.linuxtag.org/2011/
17 : http://www.ellak.gr/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=6874/
18 : http://uds.ubuntu.com/
19 : http://www.gnome.asia/

After being reelected as Debian Project Leader, Stefano Zacchiroli sent
his first bits from the DPL in this term [20]: “Thanks! I’m flattered by
the support and trust in me you have shown. It’s a honor to be confirmed
as Debian Project Leader, as well as it’s a honor to represent Debian
before the Debian community and the world out there. I’ll try very hard
not to disappoint any of you.” Stefano described what is the DPL role and
how people can help and contact him.

20 : http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel-announce/2011/05/msg00000.html

Berkeley Database plans for the future
————————————–

Ondrej Surý reported from the plans of the Berkeley DB maintainers [21]
to reduce the number of BDB versions [22] shipped in stable releases.
Debian 5 “Lenny” and Debian 6 “Squeeze” both contained three different
versions which where needed to supported during the release as well as
during upgrades, which was often quite difficult. In the future, each
stable release should have only one version as default as well as the
tools for the previous one to ensure smooth upgrades.

21 : http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel/2011/04/msg01030.html
22 : http://wiki.debian.org/ReleaseGoals/BerkeleyDB

Mono 2.10.1 now in “experimental”
———————————

Mirco Bauer notified us about his recent upload of Mono 2.10.1 into
Debian’s [23] “experimental” branch. The biggest change from a packaging
point of view is making Mono even more modular with one library per
package. This reduces the install size.

23 : http://www.meebey.net/posts/the_big_split_mono_2.10_debian_packaging/

Report from FAI developer meeting
———————————

Michael Prokop blogged about the FAI developer meeting [24] held last
month in Cologne, Germany. The meeting was very fruitful: as Micheal
reported, during the two days were made 134 Subversion commits, regarding
a new release candidate version, various website improvements, and the
documentation. The team has also discussed about the release management
(deciding to use 3.4.x version as long term stable release and 4.x as
developer version) and has defined its future goals.

24 : http://michael-prokop.at/blog/2011/04/21/report-from-fai-developer-meeting-042011/

The popcon problem
——————

Joey Hess wrote an interesting post about popcon [25] where analyzes
various issues regarding the use of the Debian Popularity Contest [26].
First of all, noticed Joey, there’s a measuring problem: popcon units are
unknown and the only way to resolve this ambiguity is the use of ratios
of values. Also, it is deceptive to compare popcon scores of packages
with different functions and targets: in fact, some packages are
installed by default on a wide range of machines, while others are more
specific. At the end, Joey noticed that one of the most interesting
aspect of Debian is that you can find in it even uncommon and specific —
but not necessarily popular or widespread — software: so, “every removal
of a package for “low popcon score” runs the risk of silently degrading
this overall value of Debian.”

25 : http://kitenet.net/~joey/blog/entry/the_popcon_problem/
26 : http://popcon.debian.org/

Further interviews
——————

There has been a further “People behind Debian” interview withMeike
Reichle [27], Press Officer and member of the Debian Women project.

27 : http://raphaelhertzog.com/2011/04/21/people-behind-debian-meike-reichle-member-of-debian-women/

Other news
———-

Alexander Reichle-Schmehl noted that repository used to draft this
newsletter has just seen it’s 2000th commit [28].

28 : http://lists.debian.org/4DAE970A.4030408@schmehl.info

Tom Marble noted [29] that, according to popcon [30], openjdk-6-jre [31]
installations on Debian surpassed sun-java6-jre [32]. Well done, OpenJDK
Team!

29 : http://identi.ca/notice/71944067
30 : http://qa.debian.org/popcon-graph.php?packages=sun-java6-jre,+openjdk-6-jre&show_installed=on&want_percent=on&want_legend=on&want_ticks=on&from_date=&to_date=&hlght_date=&date_fmt=%25Y-%25m&beenhere=1
31 : http://packages.debian.org/unstable/main/openjdk-6-jre
32 : http://packages.debian.org/unstable/non-free/sun-java6-jre

Russel Coker blogged about valid policies for Security-Enhanced Linux
[33] (SELinux).

33 : http://etbe.coker.com.au/2011/04/29/valid-se-linux-policy/

After her recent [34] “People behind Debian” interview, Press Officer
Meike Reichle followed up in her blog about “What it’s like to do Debian
Press Work [35]” .

34 : http://raphaelhertzog.com/2011/04/21/people-behind-debian-meike-reichle-member-of-debian-women/
35 : http://blog.alphascorpii.net/english/debian/press-work.html

Jan Hauke Rahm called for help for Debian’s presence at the upcoming
LinuxTag in Berlin [36].

36 : http://blog.jhr-online.de/283

Daniel Kahn Gillmor blogged about his experience with the new systemd
packages [37] available for Debian “Sid” and “experimental”. While he
agrees that “systemd seems to get some things right” , he’s a bit
concerned about the Linux-centricism of systemd and the general “bloat”
of it.

37 : http://debian-administration.org/users/dkg/weblog/78

It seems that Mike Hommey is already working on iceweasel 5 [38]
packages.

38 : http://glandium.org/blog/?p=1981

Bastien Roucaries asked if Debian intends to do a consolidation of
cryptographic libraries [39] similar to Fedora [40]. In the following
discussion, it was agreed to be a good idea, but it should ensured that
there were no regressions.

39 : http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel/2011/04/msg01062.html
40 : http://fedoraproject.org/wiki/FedoraCryptoConsolidation

Christian Perrier activated the Uyghur language in Debian Installer [41],
which is the language of Xinjiang or East Turkestan [42] spoken by nearly
nine millions people.

41 : http://www.perrier.eu.org/weblog/2011/04/21#di-uyghur
42 : http://www.perrier.eu.org/weblog/2011/04/25#east-turkestan

New Debian Contributors
———————–

16 people have started to maintain packages [43] since the previous issue
of the Debian Project News. Please welcome Robin Sheat, Gabriel de
Perthuis, Andriy Beregovenko, Koichi Akabe, Denis Roio, Arno Töll, Onur
Aslan, Keith Lawson, Shravan Aras, Swapnil Kulkarni, Sana Khan, Bill Cox,
Luciana Fujii Pontello, Geoffroy Youri Berret, Sebastian Bator, and
Luboš Novák into our project!

43 : http://udd.debian.org/cgi-bin/new-maintainers.cgi

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

Debian’s Security Team recently released advisories for these packages
(among others): xmlsec1 [44], request-tracker3.6 and request-tracker3.8
[45], libmojolicious-perl [46], tinyproxy [47], doctrine [48], openjdk-6
[49], asterisk [50], libmodplug [51], iceape [52], iceweasel [53], spip
[54], and qemu-kvm [55]. Please read them carefully and take the proper
measures.

44 : http://www.debian.org/security/2011/dsa-2219
45 : http://www.debian.org/security/2011/dsa-2220
46 : http://www.debian.org/security/2011/dsa-2221
47 : http://www.debian.org/security/2011/dsa-2222
48 : http://www.debian.org/security/2011/dsa-2223
49 : http://www.debian.org/security/2011/dsa-2224
50 : http://www.debian.org/security/2011/dsa-2225
51 : http://www.debian.org/security/2011/dsa-2226
52 : http://www.debian.org/security/2011/dsa-2227
53 : http://www.debian.org/security/2011/dsa-2228
54 : http://www.debian.org/security/2011/dsa-2229
55 : http://www.debian.org/security/2011/dsa-2230

Debian’s Backports Team released an update announcement for the package:
request-tracker3.8 [56], Please read it carefully and take the proper
measures.

56 : http://lists.debian.org/201104201741.10701.waja@cyconet.org

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 [57] (and the separate backports
list [58], and stable updates list [59] or volatile list [60], for
“Lenny” , the oldstable distribution) for announcements.

57 : http://lists.debian.org/debian-security-announce/
58 : http://lists.debian.org/debian-backports-announce/
59 : http://lists.debian.org/debian-stable-announce/
60 : http://lists.debian.org/debian-volatile-announce/

New and noteworthy packages
—————————

402 packages were added to the unstable Debian archive recently. Among
many others [61] are:

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

* 7kaa — Seven Kingdoms Ancient Adversaries — real-time strategy game [62]
* abacas — Algorithm Based Automatic Contiguation of Assembled Sequences [63]
* aglfn — Adobe Glyph List For New Fonts [64]
* apparmor — User-space parser utility for AppArmor [65]
* apparmor-notify — AppArmor notification system [66]
* apparmor-profiles — Profiles for AppArmor Security policies [67]
* apparmor-utils — Utilities for controlling AppArmor [68]
* aspcud — CUDF solver based on Answer Set Programming [69]
* asterisk-dahdi — DAHDI devices support for the Asterisk PBX [70]
* asterisk-ooh323 — H.323 protocol support for the Asterisk PBX – ooH323c [71]
* asterisk-voicemail — simple voicemail support for the Asterisk PBX [72]
* ckport — portability analysis and security checking tool [73]
* cliquer — clique searching program [74]
* crtmpserver — High performance RTMP/RTSP streaming server [75]
* d-push — an implementation of the ActiveSync protocol [76]
* darktable — virtual lighttable and darkroom for photographers [77]
* darnwdl — WDL document format viewer [78]
* db5.1-sql-util — Berkeley v5.1 SQL Database Utilities [79]
* etoolbox — Toolbox for LaTeX class and package authors [80]
* expeyes — hardware & software framework for developing science experiments [81]
* figtree — graphical phylogenetic tree viewer [82]
* freegish — a physics based arcade game [83]
* fs2ram — manage post-mount/pre-unmount scripts for tmpfs across reboot [84]
* gaduhistory — EKG history viewer [85]
* gbrowse — The GMOD Generic Genome Browser [86]
* gofigure2 — Tool for visualizing, processing and analysing of bioimages [87]
* gpick — advanced GTK+ color picker [88]
* herculesstudio — Hercules GUI front-end [89]
* hg-fast-export — mercurial to git converter using git-fast-import [90]
* ideviceinstaller — Utility to manage installed applications on an iDevice [91]
* ikiwiki-hosting-dns — ikiwiki hosting — dns server [92]
* ikiwiki-hosting-web — ikiwiki hosting — web server [93]
* imhangul-common — Common files for imhangul [94]
* jsxgraph — Interactive Geometry with JavaScript [95]
* kdocker — lets you dock any application into the system tray [96]
* keepass2 — Password manager [97]
* lcrt — graphic linux remote login tool [98]
* logreq — LaTeX compiling helper [99]
* mana — opensource 2D MMORPG platform client [100]
* maqview — graphical read alignment viewer for short gene sequences [101]
* mediathekview — View streams from German public television stations [102]
* minitunes — Simple but sophisticated graphical music player [103]
* modsecurity-crs — modsecurity’s Core Rule Set [104]
* mothur — sequence analysis suite for research on microbiota [105]
* mpd-sima — Automagically add title to mpd playlist [106]
* mpikmeans-tools — Standalone applications for MPIKmeans [107]
* msgpack-python — Python implementation of MessagePack format [108]
* nigiri — D-Bus-based IRC suite (terminal client) [109]
* nwchem — High-performance computational chemistry software [110]
* oasis — Architecture for building OCaml libraries and applications [111]
* openbabel-gui — Chemical toolbox utilities (graphical user interface) [112]
* passwordmaker-cli — creates unique, secure passwords – cli version [113]
* polygraph — performance testing tool for caching proxies and more [114]
* postler — desktop mail client built in vala [115]
* proftpd-mod-vroot — ProFTPD module mod_vroot [116]
* racket — extensible programming language in the scheme family [117]
* runlim — tool for sampling time and memory usage [118]
* rygel-preferences — GNOME UPnP/DLNA services – preferences tool [119]
* scolasync — graphic tool to copy data to or from a set of USB storage media [120]
* scrypt — File encryption utility using scrypt for key derivation [121]
* serdi — lightweight RDF syntax library – serdi tool [122]
* showq — MIDI controllable audio player [123]
* snappy — Powerful media player with a minimalistic interface [124]
* sonic — Simple utility to speed up or slow down speech [125]
* spark — SPARK programming language toolset [126]
* spek — acoustic spectrum analyser [127]
* squizz — Sequence/alignment converter [128]
* synapse — semantic file launcher [129]
* tekka — D-Bus-based IRC suite (graphical client) [130]
* tetraproc — Tetrahedral Microphone Processor for Ambisonic Recording [131]
* torchat — decentralized instant messenger built on top of the Tor Network [132]
* tumbler — D-Bus thumbnailing service [133]
* twittering-mode — a Twitter client for Emacs [134]
* ultracopier — Advanced graphical file copy system [135]
* unhide.rb — Forensic tool to find processes hidden by rootkits [136]
* uxlaunch — quick X and user desktop starter [137]
* xul-ext-compactheader — Icedove extension to reduce header size to one or two lines [138]
* yade — Platform for discrete element modeling [139]

62 : http://packages.debian.org/unstable/main/7kaa
63 : http://packages.debian.org/unstable/main/abacas
64 : http://packages.debian.org/unstable/main/aglfn
65 : http://packages.debian.org/unstable/main/apparmor
66 : http://packages.debian.org/unstable/main/apparmor-notify
67 : http://packages.debian.org/unstable/main/apparmor-profiles
68 : http://packages.debian.org/unstable/main/apparmor-utils
69 : http://packages.debian.org/unstable/main/aspcud
70 : http://packages.debian.org/unstable/main/asterisk-dahdi
71 : http://packages.debian.org/unstable/main/asterisk-ooh323
72 : http://packages.debian.org/unstable/main/asterisk-voicemail
73 : http://packages.debian.org/unstable/main/ckport
74 : http://packages.debian.org/unstable/main/cliquer
75 : http://packages.debian.org/unstable/main/crtmpserver
76 : http://packages.debian.org/unstable/main/d-push
77 : http://packages.debian.org/unstable/main/darktable
78 : http://packages.debian.org/unstable/main/darnwdl
79 : http://packages.debian.org/unstable/main/db5.1-sql-util
80 : http://packages.debian.org/unstable/main/etoolbox
81 : http://packages.debian.org/unstable/main/expeyes
82 : http://packages.debian.org/unstable/main/figtree
83 : http://packages.debian.org/unstable/main/freegish
84 : http://packages.debian.org/unstable/main/fs2ram
85 : http://packages.debian.org/unstable/main/gaduhistory
86 : http://packages.debian.org/unstable/main/gbrowse
87 : http://packages.debian.org/unstable/main/gofigure2
88 : http://packages.debian.org/unstable/main/gpick
89 : http://packages.debian.org/unstable/main/herculesstudio
90 : http://packages.debian.org/unstable/main/hg-fast-export
91 : http://packages.debian.org/unstable/main/ideviceinstaller
92 : http://packages.debian.org/unstable/main/ikiwiki-hosting-dns
93 : http://packages.debian.org/unstable/main/ikiwiki-hosting-web
94 : http://packages.debian.org/unstable/main/imhangul-common
95 : http://packages.debian.org/unstable/main/jsxgraph
96 : http://packages.debian.org/unstable/main/kdocker
97 : http://packages.debian.org/unstable/main/keepass2
98 : http://packages.debian.org/unstable/main/lcrt
99 : http://packages.debian.org/unstable/main/logreq
100 : http://packages.debian.org/unstable/main/mana
101 : http://packages.debian.org/unstable/main/maqview
102 : http://packages.debian.org/unstable/main/mediathekview
103 : http://packages.debian.org/unstable/main/minitunes
104 : http://packages.debian.org/unstable/main/modsecurity-crs
105 : http://packages.debian.org/unstable/main/mothur
106 : http://packages.debian.org/unstable/main/mpd-sima
107 : http://packages.debian.org/unstable/main/mpikmeans-tools
108 : http://packages.debian.org/unstable/main/msgpack-python
109 : http://packages.debian.org/unstable/main/nigiri
110 : http://packages.debian.org/unstable/main/nwchem
111 : http://packages.debian.org/unstable/main/oasis
112 : http://packages.debian.org/unstable/main/openbabel-gui
113 : http://packages.debian.org/unstable/main/passwordmaker-cli
114 : http://packages.debian.org/unstable/main/polygraph
115 : http://packages.debian.org/unstable/main/postler
116 : http://packages.debian.org/unstable/main/proftpd-mod-vroot
117 : http://packages.debian.org/unstable/main/racket
118 : http://packages.debian.org/unstable/main/runlim
119 : http://packages.debian.org/unstable/main/rygel-preferences
120 : http://packages.debian.org/unstable/main/scolasync
121 : http://packages.debian.org/unstable/main/scrypt
122 : http://packages.debian.org/unstable/main/serdi
123 : http://packages.debian.org/unstable/main/showq
124 : http://packages.debian.org/unstable/main/snappy
125 : http://packages.debian.org/unstable/main/sonic
126 : http://packages.debian.org/unstable/main/spark
127 : http://packages.debian.org/unstable/main/spek
128 : http://packages.debian.org/unstable/main/squizz
129 : http://packages.debian.org/unstable/main/synapse
130 : http://packages.debian.org/unstable/main/tekka
131 : http://packages.debian.org/unstable/main/tetraproc
132 : http://packages.debian.org/unstable/main/torchat
133 : http://packages.debian.org/unstable/main/tumbler
134 : http://packages.debian.org/unstable/main/twittering-mode
135 : http://packages.debian.org/unstable/main/ultracopier
136 : http://packages.debian.org/unstable/main/unhide.rb
137 : http://packages.debian.org/unstable/main/uxlaunch
138 : http://packages.debian.org/unstable/main/xul-ext-compactheader
139 : http://packages.debian.org/unstable/main/yade

Work-needing packages
———————

Currently 312 packages are orphaned [140] and 151 packages are up for
adoption [141]: please visit the complete list of packages which need
your help [142].

140 : http://www.debian.org/devel/wnpp/orphaned
141 : http://www.debian.org/devel/wnpp/rfa
142 : 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 [143] to find out how to help. We’re
looking forward to receiving your mail at
debian-publicity@lists.debian.org [144].

143 : http://wiki.debian.org/ProjectNews/HowToContribute
144 : mailto:debian-publicity@lists.debian.org

This issue of Debian Project News was edited by Justin B. Rye, Francesca
Ciceri, Jeremiah C. Foster, David Prévot and Alexander Reichle-Schmehl
[145].

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

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