Debian Project News – October 15th, 2012

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

* Report from the FTP Team meeting
* Bits from the DPL
* Decrease in bug reporting rate in Debian
* Other news
* Upcoming events
* 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?

Report from the FTP Team meeting

Joerg Jaspert sent a report from the FTP Team meeting held from the 14th
to the 20th of September in Fulda. During the meeting, the team
implemented a new interface for managing Debian Maintainer
permissions [1] which will allow them to deprecate the use of the DMUA
flag. A huge improvement was also made in pdiff generation: in the past
the Debian archive provided diff files to support incremental updates,
but without great results. Thanks to a rewrite of the code, it is now
possible to merge older diffs together in order to have a faster and
more reliable final result: users now only have to download two diffs
instead of up to 56.
The meeting also provided the opportunity to promote Ansgar Burchardt to
FTPMaster; congratulations Ansgar!
As usual, the team would like to thank everyone who donated to the Debian
Project, as well as Office Factory Fulda for hosting the meeting.


Bits from the DPL

Stefano Zacchiroli sent his usual report of DPL activities for September
2012: among others things, Stefano continued his work on the relicensing
of the Debian Open Use logo, which is now dual-licensed under LGPL3+ /
CC-BY-SA 3.0 [2]. In addition, Stefano sent a call for help for the
Google Code-In initiative. In order to participate, Debian needs both
mentors and admins; if you’re interested you can volunteer on the soc-
coordination mailing list.


Decrease in bug reporting rate in Debian

Christian Perrier noted that Debian bug #690000 [3] was reported last
Monday, three months and eight days after bug #680000. This led to some
interesting reflections on the decrease in the bug reporting rate in
Debian: according to Christian, this could be related to the freeze of
“Wheezy” but could also be the symptom of a decrease of the overall
activity in the project [4]. Don Armstrong sought a confirmation of this
theory, analysing the data from the Bug Tracking System [5] and found
that while there certainly are specific periods of time with a decline
in bug reporting, “there’s an even more alarming trend of a decrease in
bug reporting in Debian which has been happening since 2006”.


Other news

Gijs Hillenius reported that the municipality of Vieira do Minho, in the
north of Portugal, has been running Debian on its servers for several
years [6]. In fact, the administration of the municipality decided to
use open source software wherever possible, also switching to it for its
desktop computers during March this year. For António Rebelo, head of
the IT department, “these IT solutions are flexible, easy to study, test
and switch […] and, because of the lower costs, [it] results in a more
sustainable IT infrastructure.”


Upcoming events

There are several upcoming Debian-related events:

* October 17, Porto Alegre, RS, Brazil — Talk and debate: “What is the Debian Project?” [7]
* October 27-28, Le Camp, Vaumarcus, Switzerland — Debian Bug Squashing Party [8]
* October 27, Bento Gonçalves, RS, Brazil — Debian talk at II Seminário de Tecnologia em Software Livre TcheLinux [9]
* October 27-28, Eindhoven, Netherlands — Debian Booth at Technical Dutch Open Source Event [10]


You can find more information about Debian-related events and talks on
the events section [11] of the Debian web site, or subscribe to one of
our events mailing lists for different regions: Europe [12],
Netherlands [13], Hispanic America [14], North America [15].


Do you want to organise a Debian booth or a Debian install party? Are
you aware of other upcoming Debian-related events? Have you delivered a
Debian talk that you want to link on our talks page [16]? Send an email
to the Debian Events Team [17].


New Debian Contributors

7 people have started to maintain packages [18] since the previous issue
of the Debian Project News. Please welcome José Ernesto Dávila Pantoja,
Jerome St-Louis, Vivia Nikolaidou, Eugene Seliverstov, James Hunt,
Markus Koschany and Louis Bouchard into our project!


Release-Critical bugs statistics for the upcoming release

According to the Bugs Search interface of the Ultimate Debian
Database [19], the upcoming release, Debian “Wheezy”, is currently
affected by 443 Release-Critical bugs. Ignoring bugs which are easily
solved or on the way to being solved, roughly speaking, about 246
Release-Critical bugs remain to be solved for the release to happen.


There are also some hints on how to interpret [20] these numbers.


Important Debian Security Advisories

Debian’s Security Team recently released advisories for these packages
(among others): libxslt [21], icedove [22], hostapd [23], and
bacula [24]. 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 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 [25] (and the separate backports
list [26], and stable updates list [27]) for announcements.


New and noteworthy packages

201 packages were added to the unstable Debian archive recently. Among
many others [28] are:

* aseprite — sprite and pixel art editor [29]
* crrcsim — model-Airplane Flight Simulator [30]
* glogic — graphical logic circuit simulator [31]
* katarakt — simple PDF viewer with two layouts [32]
* mjpegtools — MJPEG capture/editing/replay and MPEG encoding toolset [33]
* muffin — lightweight window and compositing manager [34]
* nwipe — utility to securely erase disks [35]
* pass — lightweight directory-based password manager [36]
* repsnapper — STL to GCode Converter and print software for RepRap machines [37]
* tt-rss — web-based news feed (RSS/Atom) aggregator [38]


Work-needing packages

Currently [39] 471 packages are orphaned [40] and 136 packages are up
for adoption [41]: please visit the complete list of packages which need
your help [42].


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


This issue of Debian Project News was edited by Cédric Boutillier,
Francesca Ciceri, David Prévot and Justin B Rye.

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