Debian Project News – March 20th, 2012

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

* Debian Project Leader Elections 2012: the candidates
* First “Squeeze” -based Debian Edu released
* Updated Debian 5.0: 5.0.10 released
* Reports from recent Bug Squashing Parties
* The Debian Kernel Team rocks!
* Interviews
* Other news
* New Debian Contributors
* Release-Critical bugs statistics for the upcoming release
* Important Debian Security Advisories
* New and noteworthy packages
* Work-needing packages
* Want to continue reading DPN?

Debian Project Leader Elections 2012: the candidates

On 2 March, Kurt Roeckx, current Debian Project Secretary, sent the call for
nominations [1] for the 2012 Debian Project Leader elections. Unlike last year,
when Stefano Zacchiroli was the only candidate, this year three candidates will
be running for DPL: Wouter Verhelst, Gergely Nagy and the current DPL Stefano

The campaigning period has already started and will end on 31 March: the
candidates’ platforms [2] are already available. You can follow the campaign on
the debian-vote mailing list [3], where the prospective leaders reply to
voters’ questions. The voting period will start on 1 April and end on 14 April.

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First “Squeeze” -based Debian Edu released

The first “Squeeze” -based version of Debian Edu was released [4] last week.
Debian Edu (aka “Skolelinux”) is a Debian Pure Blend specifically targeted at
schools and other educational institutions, and provides a completely
configured school network environment out of the box. Petter Reinholdtsen
started a series of blogposts dedicated to Debian Edu / Skolelinux, which will
include interviews with Debian Edu users and administrators [5] and
explanations of the team’s workflows [6].

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Updated Debian 5.0: 5.0.10 released

The Debian project is pleased to announce the tenth and final update of its
oldstable distribution, Debian 5.0 (codename [7] “Lenny”). This update mainly
adds corrections for security problems to the oldstable release, along with a
few adjustments for other serious problems. Security advisories were already
published separately and are referenced where available.

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Reports from recent Bug Squashing Parties

Jonathan Wiltshire sent a report from the Bug Squashing Party [8] held over the
weekend of 2–4 March in Cambridge. The BSP was a success: eighteen developers
and contributors worked on 170 bugs, closing 45 bugs and adding further
information for 16 bugs. Manuel Montecelo closed the oldest bug [9], opened in
2005, while Neil Williams, requesting the removal of opensync and associated
packages [10], closed 25 bugs by a single action.

Paul Wise reported on the Perth Bug Squashing Party [11] held over the weekend
of 10–11 March. During the weekend about 10 people worked on 12 bugs, focusing
on the release critical bugs highlighted by rc-alert.

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Philipp Kern announced the availability of a [12] “Gobby” server hosted by
Debian. Gobby is a realtime collaborative editor which works as a standalone
desktop application. To use it, install the gobby-0.5 package [13] and then
just connect to the server at

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The Debian Kernel Team rocks!

In a recent article, Stefano Zacchiroli pointed out how much the Debian Kernel
Team is contributing to upstream [14]. Not only can members of the team often
be spotted among the most active contributors to specific Linux releases, but
they were also publicly thanked by Greg Kroah-Hartman [15], current Linux
kernel maintainer for the -stable branch, with these words:
“I would personally like to thank the Debian kernel developers, specifically
Ben Hutchings, Maximilian Attems, Dann Frazier, Bastian Blank, and Moritz
Muehlenhoff. They went above and beyond what any “normal” developer would have
done, ferreting patches out of the releases and the different vendor
kernels and bug tracking systems, backporting them to the 2.6.32 kernel,
testing, and then forwarding them on to me. Their dedication to their user
community is amazing for such a “volunteer” group of developers. I firmly
believe that without their help, the 2.6.32 kernel would not have been the
success that it was. The users of Red Hat and SuSE products owe them a great

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Raphaël Hertzog published a “People behind Debian” interview
with Gregor Herrmann [16] (member of the Perl team).

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Other news

Enrico Zini announced the new website for the New Members process [17]. The new
site [18] is the result of a major re-design of the backend database carried
out at a recent meeting.

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Stefano Zacchiroli sent his monthly report on DPL activities [19].

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Koshuke Kawaguchi wrote an interesting blogpost about the clash of cultures
between Debian and Maven [20].

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The Debian Project will participate, for the seventh consecutive year, in the
[21] “Google Summer of Code”. Further information can be found on the Debian
wiki [22].

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New Debian Contributors

Eight people have started to maintain packages [23] since the previous issue of
the Debian Project News. Please welcome Raúl Benencia, AbdulKarim Memon, Keith Winstein,
Medhamsh V, Robin Gareus, Andrea Palazzi, Sergey Slipchenko, and
Anton Kokalj into our project!

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Release-Critical bugs statistics for the upcoming release

According to the Bugs Search interface of the Ultimate Debian Database [24],
the upcoming release, Debian “Wheezy”, is currently affected by 573
Release-Critical bugs. Ignoring bugs which are easily solved or on the way to
being solved, roughly speaking, about 382 Release-Critical bugs remain to be
solved for the release to happen.

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There are also some hints on how to interpret [25] these numbers.

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Important Debian Security Advisories

Debian’s Security Team recently released advisories for these packages
(among others): libxml-atom-perl [26], plib [27], gimp [28], imagemagick
[29], freetype [30], mysql-5.1 [31], python-pam [32], libdbd-pg-perl
[33], libyaml-libyaml-perl [34], and iceweasel [35].
Please read them carefully and take the proper measures.

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Debian’s Backports Team released advisories for these packages: fex
[36] and notmuch [37].
Please read them carefully and take the proper measures.

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Debian’s Stable Release Team released an update announcement for the
package: at [38].
Please read it carefully and take the proper measures.

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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 [39] (and the separate backports list [40], and stable
updates list [41]) for announcements.

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New and noteworthy packages

315 packages were added to the unstable Debian archive recently. Among many
others [42] are:

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* fstransform — tool for in-place filesystem conversion [43]
* github-backup — backs up data from GitHub [44]
* httpcode — explain the meaning of an HTTP status code on the command line
* httpie — CLI, cURL-like tool for humans [46]
* lammps — molecular dynamics simulator [47]
* morsegen — convert text file to ASCII morse code [48]
* paulstretch — extreme sound time-stretch [49]
* pspp — statistical analysis tool [50]
* xcrysden — crystalline and molecular structure visualizer [51]

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Work-needing packages

Currently [52] 440 packages are orphaned [53] and 146 packages are up for
adoption [54]: please visit the complete list of packages which need your help

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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 [56] to find out how to help. We’re looking forward to
receiving your mail at [57].

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This issue of Debian Project News was edited by Cédric Boutillier, Francesca
Ciceri and Justin B Rye [58].

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