Debian Weekly News - March 7th, 2006

Welcome to this year's 10th issue of DWN, the weekly newsletter for the Debian community. If you are in doubt about the proper distribution for you, try the Linux distribution chooser. Manoj Srivastava called for votes on the General Resolution to address the Debian project's position on the GNU Free Documentation License a second time. Ballots can be casted until March 11th.

Requirements and Rights for Sub-Projects. Martin Michlmayr started a discussion on requirements and rights for official Debian sub-projects. He asked in particular if a sub-projects may handle their own finances and ask for donations if they have special needs such as Debonaras.

Debian/kFreeBSD for AMD64. Robert Millan announced the availability of an experimental base Debian GNU/kFreeBSD system for the amd64 architecture. It uses the GNU C library ported by Petr Salinger and requires a running version of FreeBSD 6.0 on amd64 and works only as chroot environment. Aurelien Jarno added a note about the setup of a build daemon for this system.

Subscribing to new CDD Packages? Enrico Zini reported about an idea to create a mechanism that will allow users to receive new packages for their custom Debian distribution (CDD) when they are properly tagged for this particular suite. A solution still needs to be found to mark packages for installation, though.

IRC Debate for the Project Leader Election. Thaddeus Black announced the live debate of this year's project leader candidates on IRC. The debate will be moderated by Don Armstrong and take place on Thursday, 16 March 2006 from 22:30 UTC to 01:00 UTC on #debian-dpl-debate on He asked for volunteers for the panel and questions to be asked the candidates.

Supporting Backports officially. Joseph Smidt wondered if backports will ever be officially supported by Debian. Norbert Tretkowski explained that it may be possible to provide some official backports in the future but quite unlikely to make all packages from official.

QA Activities List. Lars Wirzenius asked if there exists a list of what QA activities are being performed as he contemplates to help but not duplicate the effort of others. Such a list is composed within the Wiki for easier maintenance. Jeroen van Wolffelaar additionally asked for help maintaining the website.

DPL Campaigning Summaries. David Schmitt announced that he is producing a summary of the questions asked and answers given by the 2006 project leader candidates during the election campaign. The summary will be updated as questions are asked and answers published.

New Host. The Debian project announced the re-availability of the service on a new machine. The system has been donated by Schlund + Partner where it is hosted as well. It is a Dual-Core Opteron and only runs this service for Debian users and developers.

Checking Build Logs. Samuel Thibault demonstrated that missing function declarations can cause problems in running systems and proposed to add compiler flags that will cause the build to fail when a function is not declared. Kurt Roeckx added more problematic programming errors that should be taken care of. Steve Greenland stated that there is no excuse for these bugs since they are easy to fix.

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. 2 packages were orphaned this week and require a new maintainer. This makes a total of 234 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.

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This issue of Debian Weekly News was edited by Thomas Bliesener and Martin 'Joey' Schulze.