published on Mon Feb 20 00:00:00 2012 in weekly-news
Welcome to this year's fourth issue of DPN, the newsletter for the Debian community. Topics covered in this issue include:
Goodbye Lenny!One year after the release of Debian 6.0 alias "Squeeze", and nearly three years after the release of Debian GNU/Linux 5.0 alias "Lenny", security support for the old "Lenny" release has been terminated. The Debian project is proud to have been able to support its old distribution for such a long time, even continuing for a full year after the new version was released.
Debian GNU/Hurd on the railsSamuel Thibault sent some bits from Debian GNU/Hurd porters reporting recent achievements of the team. Among other news items, Samuel confirmed that Debian GNU/Hurd might be available as a technological preview for the "Wheezy" release: the percentage of packages built for it has passed 70% and the installer is available with a graphical interface.
DPL and legal workStefano Zacchiroli sent some bits from the DPL which, as usual, reported his monthly activities. During the last month, Stefano has mostly worked on patents and legal issues, including helping David Prévot and other webmasters in their effort to relicense the Debian website, writing a draft for a Debian trademark policy (with the help of Benjamin Mako Hill and the SPI lawyers), and writing a patent policy for the Debian archive that has just been published.
Multiarch-ready dpkgCyril Brulebois mentioned on his blog that "thanks to the hard work of dpkg developers and many (generations of) developers", dpkg with multiarch was uploaded to experimental. He invites everyone to try and install packages with a foreign architecture.
GPL in Debian: a studySam Varghese wrote an article analysing John Sullivan's study on the use of the GNU General Public Licence (GPL) in the Debian project. John, executive director at the Free Software Foundation, said during his FOSDEM 2012 talk titled "Is copyleft being framed?" that 93% of Debian "Squeeze"'s packages are released under licences in the GPL family (including the GPL, the Affero GPL and LGPL), showing a constant and significant increase from the previous releases. The numbers in the talk were calculated using an existing Debian tool, but Russ Allbery mentioned that it wasn't designed to be used this way, so the current figures are only preliminary.
InterviewsThere has also been one further "People behind Debian" interview: with Ana Beatriz Guerrero López, member of the Debian KDE team.
Other newsThe Debian Project is calling for contributors to design graphics for the next release of the Universal Operating System, called "Wheezy".
Upcoming eventsYou can find more information about Debian-related events and talks on the events section of the Debian web site, or subscribe to one of our events mailing lists for different regions: Europe, Netherlands, Hispanic America, North America.
published on Mon Feb 6 00:00:00 2012 in weekly-news
Welcome to this year's third issue of DPN, the newsletter for the Debian community. Topics covered in this issue include:
Update for Debian 6.0: 6.0.4 releasedThe fourth update for Debian 6.0 (codenamed "Squeeze") has been released. This update mainly adds corrections for security problems to the stable release, along with some adjustments for serious problems.
Bits from the Release TeamNiels Thykier sent some bits from the Release Team where he announced various bits of news: the addition of armhf and s390x to testing (though these architectures may be temporarily out of sync with the others), the acceptance of a new release goal ("security hardening build flags"), and the completion of more than fourteen transitions to testing (including GNOME 3, Perl 5.14, Python 2.7, etc.). Niels also issued a reminder that the freeze is due in June, even if an exact freeze date has not been selected.
Bits from the piuparts maintainersHolger Levsen sent some bits from the piuparts maintainers announcing that piuparts is again maintained by a team and they're receiving various patches and other contributions. piuparts is an important tool for Quality Assurance within Debian as it runs various tests in order to verify that packages can be installed, upgraded and removed without problems. Tests results are publicly available on the piuparts website, where they are updated on a daily basis. Holger urged maintainers to regularly check their personal status pages on piuparts in order to fix issues related to their packages. In addition to their regular tests, since December 2011, the piuparts maintainers have been testing the upgrade of individual packages from "Squeeze" to "Wheezy": 158 packages failed the test (and another 130 failed it due to dependencies) while 33,708 passed it.
Report from Debian Med sprintAndreas Tille sent a report from the Debian Med sprint held in Southport, UK on 27-29 January. Among other activities, the Debian Med team fixed some bugs, mentored new members and students (consolidating the effort made via the "Mentoring of the Month" initiative) and packaged new software.
For more information on Debian Med activity, you can check their real time activity page.
Setting up a new school with Debian Edu/SqueezePetter Reinholdtsen announced on his blog that the next version of Debian Edu/Squeeze will contain a new tool, called sitesummary2ldapdhcp, which allows all the computers of a school to be quickly set up with a minimal number of manual steps. Once the central server is installed, this tool collects data from the network to generate system objects in the LDAP database. After a few modifications of the configuration from a GUI, the network of computers is ready to use.
A third beta version of Debian Edu based on "Squeeze" and containing this tool has just been released.
Answering Debian users' questionsRaphaël Hertzog wrote a useful blogpost about how to answer the questions of Debian users and, in general, how to support new users. There are many places for helping users (mailing lists, IRC channels, questions & answers websites, etc.) each with different characteristics, but the golden rule for every support channel is to be respectful and courteous (as stated in the Debian Community Guidelines).
Debian/Ubuntu games screenshot partyPaul Wise announced a Debian/Ubuntu games screenshot party to be held on 25 and 26 February and organised by the Games Team. The idea is to create screenshots for as many games in Debian/Ubuntu as possible and upload them to screenshots.debian.net in order to have them available to goplay (a games package browser).
For more information, you can visit the related wiki page.
GNOME Shell 3.2 in "Wheezy": a retrospectiveJordi Mallach wrote an article on the transition from GNOME 2 to GNOME 3 in Debian from the Debian GNOME Team point of view. "When you’re dealing with dozens of GNOME source packages at the same time, many of which introduce new libraries, or worse, introduce incompatible APIs that affect many more unrelated packages, things get hairy, and you need a plan" Jordi said. But even with a plan for a smooth transition, they encountered a lot of difficulties, such as failures to build from source on various architectures and incompatibilities with other packages. Finally GNOME Shell 3.2 has transitioned to Debian's testing suite and Jordi thanks not only all Debian GNOME Team members, but also Release Team members Julien Cristau and Cyril Brulebois and FTP assistant Luca Falavigna, who helped in reaching this goal.
There has been a "People behind Debian" interview with Josselin Mouette, founder of the Debian GNOME team.