Debian Weekly News - January 17th, 2006

Welcome to this year's 3rd issue of DWN, the weekly newsletter for the Debian community. Simon Josefsson proposed a license sufficient for Debian and FreeBSD for the Internet Engineering Task Force that releases RFC documents. Michael Banck announced the availability of packages for the Hurd.

Status of the m68k Port. Wouter Verhelst announced future plans of the m68k port team after it lacks too many requirements for etch. Freescale's m68k successor, the ColdFire variant with MMU (memory management unit) would boost the buildds' speed by factor 4 and more compared to the current buildds. For the purpose of evaluating the possibilities of such an hybrid port, Freescale offered Debian five ColdFire boards which are currently on the way to the Debian m68k port team.

Debian Mirror Split. Anthony Towns announced that the primary Debian mirror will soon only contain the i386 architecture instead of all, the amd64 architecture may be added later. For other architectures special host names will be created. He asked for help communicating with mirror admins and maintaining the master mirror list.

Releasing Software under the GPL. Svante Signell wondered how to mark files in a software package that is to be released under the GNU General Public License (GPL). Justin Pryzby stated that all files with creative content should be marked accordingly. Brian Nelson added that most of these questions are answered by the Free Software Foundation already.

Discovering neglected Packages. Thomas Huriaux wrote a number of scripts to discover packages that have been neglected by their maintainers. The output should help developers to decide which package to help working on. The list is sorted by the number of bugs, date of the last maintainer upload, number of non-maintainer uploads and the number of release-critical bugs.

Distributing GPL Software. Daniel Carrera wondered how he is supposed to fulfil the source code requirement of the GNU GPL when he is handing out CDs during an exhibition. Andrew Suffield explained that the easiest way is to prepare copies of the source and give them to anybody who asks for them.

Collaborative Maintenance of Packages. Following the last discussion at the Debian-QA meeting in Darmstadt, Raphaƫl Hertzog described the basics for maintaining packages by a team using a version control system. The goal is to find a decent way for Debian to let external contributors integrate their work within Debian.

Security Updates. You know the drill. Please make sure that you update your systems if you have any of these packages installed.

New or Noteworthy Packages. The following packages were added to the unstable Debian archive recently or contain important updates.

Orphaned Packages. 7 packages were orphaned this week and require a new maintainer. This makes a total of 171 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.

Removed Packages. 22 packages have been removed from the Debian archive during the past week:

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This issue of Debian Weekly News was edited by Axel Beckert and Martin 'Joey' Schulze.