Welcome to this year's 27th issue of DWN, the weekly newsletter for the Debian community. Jordi Mallach reported that the transition of GNOME 2.6 into testing is nearly sorted out. Steve McIntyre explained that the CD/DVD creation process in debian-cd is very slow because large amounts of data are read and written, and because that data is checked with checksums several times.
Debian Weekly News
Debian Weekly News - July 13th, 2004
Welcome to this year's 27th issue of DWN, the weekly newsletter for
the Debian community. Jordi Mallach reported that the transition of
GNOME 2.6 into testing is nearly sorted out. Steve McIntyre
explained that the CD/DVD creation process in debian-cd is very
slow because large amounts of data are read and written, and because
that data is checked with checksums several times.
Debian Software used at Google. Marc Merlin of Google fame
reported in an interview that Debian is the most comprehensive
software library available for GNU/Linux. He uses apt-get and an
overall getupdates mechanism to keep the huge farm of servers in sync.
The tool itself is distribution- and even Unix-agnostic, though.
New Debian based Distribution. New Mexico Software, Inc. (NMXS)
announced that it will release the new Santa Fe desktop
environment which is Desktop-oriented and based on Debian GNU/Linux on
August 3rd this year. Dick Govatski, CEO of NMXS is proud about its
ease of use: "Users won't have to be a Linux guru to easily use the
system." They apparently have spent special effort on the installer
and its hardware detection.
Lacking commercial Support for Debian? An article about GNU/Linux
adoption in organisations, shows that Debian may need to advertise its
commercial support pages more prominently: "All the contracting
houses said if you want Red Hat, it's not a problem, but Debian was
harder" said Mike Kennedy, CIO for Australia's New South Wales Office
of State Revenue who have switched their GNU/Linux servers from Debian
to Red Hat.
Debian Control Center IRC Meeting. David Moreno Garza announced an
IRC meeting on July 18th at 16:00 GMT, at #debian-desktop on
irc.debian.org. The main idea is to bring users the capacity to
configure their entire system. With portability in mind it is planned
to provide a graphical interface, a web-based one and a command-line
Move Exim 4 to BerkelyDB 4.2? Andreas Metzler wondered if it would
be acceptable to switch Exim 4 to a newer version of BerkelyDB,
namely libdb4.2. Since the release of sarge is planned for the
near future, such a change may have the potential to delay the release
Watching new Upstream Versions. Stefano Fabri announced Debian
Watch Health Status, a service for Debian developers to monitor
upstream package versions. He complained that only very few
packages contain proper watch files to utilise this. Blars Blarson
assumed that many maintainers don't find them useful.
Bug Squashing Party. Frank Lichtenheld announced the next Debian
bug squashing party on July 16th to 18th. As usual it will be
coordinated through #debian-bugs on freenode (i.e. irc.debian.org)
where you will find pointers to all the useful websites, too. The
overall goal is to get the base system and standard packages
in a releasable state.
Discouraged Use of -rpath. Martin F. Krafft wondered why the
rpath issue is not documented in the policy manual. Florian
Ernst contributed another thread and a summary by Richard
Atterer. Goswin Brederlow added that anything that uses -rpath
will break after the release of sarge if multiarch support is
Python Modules and Versions. Fabio Tranchitella noticed that a lot
of Python modules are not versioned and are available only for
particular versions of Python. Matt Zimmerman wondered why those
modules couldn't be byte-compiled after the installation for each
installed version of Python. Andreas Barth added that
byte-compilation is not even required.
New or Noteworthy Packages. The following packages were added to the
unstable Debian archive recently or contain important updates.
* bos -- Invasion: Battle of Survival data set for Stratagus.
* brightside -- Add reactivity to the corners and edges of your
* cwirc -- X-Chat morse plugin.
* dynamite -- PKWARE Data Compression decompressor.
* gnome-ppp -- PPP dialup tool for GNOME.
* jamvm -- Java Virtual Machine which conforms to JVM
* kcemirror -- Windows CE remove control tool like VNC.
* kdetrayproxy -- Enable KDE systray icons outside of KDE or
when using another WM.
* komi -- Single player arcade game with Komi the Space Frog!
* mercury -- New logic/functional programming language.
* middleman -- Web content caching and filtering proxy server.
* mips64emul -- MIPS machine emulator.
* otags -- Tool for building TAGS files from O'Caml sources.
* png-definitive-guide -- PNG: The Definitive Guide.
* postgrey -- Greylisting implementation for Postfix.
* rbbr -- Browser for Ruby classes and documentation.
* rtai -- Real time application interface.
* stratagus -- Realtime fantasy strategy game for Unix and X.
* teatime -- Gnome Panel applet to reminds you when your tea is
* tessa -- Simulation of 3D optical systems with the FDTD
* unshield -- Extracts CAB files from InstallShield installers.
* upgrade-system -- Debian system upgrader from Konflux.
* wzdftpd -- Portable, modular, not user-friendly ftp server.
Debian Packages introduced last Week. Every day, a different Debian
package is featured from the testing distribution. If you know
about an obscure package you think others should also know about, send
it to Andrew Sweger. Debian package a day introduced the following
packages last week.
* dwww -- Read all on-line documentation with a WWW browser.
* x11vnc -- VNC server which uses your current X11 session.
* sl -- Correct you if you type 'sl' by mistake.
* grepmail -- Search mailboxes for mail matching an expression.
* ifplugd -- Configuration daemon for ethernet devices.
Orphaned Packages. 5 packages were orphaned this week and require a
new maintainer. This makes a total of 170 orphaned packages. Many
thanks to the previous maintainers who contributed to the Free
Software community. Please see the WNPP pages for the full list,
and please add a note to the bug report and retitle it to ITA: if you
plan to take over a package.
* freehoo -- Console Yahoo messenger client with guile and
readline interfaces. (Bug#257994)
* libyahoo2 -- C library interface to Yahoo Messenger protocol.
* lletters -- GTK letters-learning game for small children.
* ppxp -- Yet another PPP program. (Bug#258708)
* t-gnus -- Branch of Semi-gnus (Gnus for SEMI) variants.
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