Debian Weekly News - May 24th, 1999
Welcome to Debian Weekly News, a newsletter for the Debian developer community.
Either Wichert Akkerman or a cron job that is surprisingly good at imitating him posted the Call for Votes for the new Debian logo. There are seven candidates which you can see here. Cast your ballot!
The big topic of discussion this week is rewriting dpkg. First Aaron Van Couwenberghe posted his plans to completely rewrite dpkg in C++. Though this rather predictably sparked a C vs. C++ flame war ("I don't care what language you rewrite dpkg in, as long as it's C"), the important thing is that everyone who posted agrees that dpkg needs to be rewritten.
Next, Ben Collins announced the DPKGv2 Project, which has in fact already been quietly preparing to rewrite dpkg. They are working on finishing their design specification and then the project will open up a bit for public comment.
Should the "nag" messages be turned off? For those who haven't received one, these are automated messages sent out periodically to the maintainers of packages with old bugs, in hopes that the reminder will lead to a fix. However, as their name suggests, these nags can be annoying, especially to those who keep up with their bugs by other means, and they cannot be turned off. During the heated discussions about turning them off, the messages were frequently compared to spam. Opinions are divided, though the majority view seems to be that they should be turned off or at each developer should at least be allowed to disable them. Brian White, who is responsible for the messages, has been notably silent on the subject.
Ben Collins issued a call for PAM support. Everyone who maintains packages that could use it are encouraged to enable PAM support if possible, and look for patches to add it otherwise.
News from LinuxExpo: Many CD's given away, a cool "Debian Developed Here" world map, light sabre duels with Slashdot staff, and other fun all described here and here.
It was a good week for advertising and mentions in the press. Debian gets prominent mention on every page of the new linux.com portal, which runs Debian. There's also a banner ad on the front page. Here's an idea about a way to team up with some Debian vendors and get a full page ad in Linux Journal. Speaking of which, an article on Linux Standards in the June Linux Journal quotes both Nils Lohner and Wichert Akkerman, and that issue also contains an article on RAID by Martin Schulze.
Aren't editor wars fun? We had one this week on debian-devel, focused on what editor should go on the boot disks. The only conclusion that resulted is that ae's vi emulation mode is more trouble than it's worth, so it has been removed from ae.
New packages added to Debian this week include the following and 39 more, including lots of roxen modules:
- libstdc++2.9-glibc2.1-dbg: The GNU stdc++ library (debugging files)
- libunicode-map8-perl: Perl module to map 8bit character sets to Unicode
- libunicode-string-perl: Perl modules for Unicode strings
- pointerize: Internationalization utilities, based on gettext
- realplayer: Real Player G2 (installer)
- snmpd: CMU SNMP (Simple Network Management Protocol) Agent.
There were no new packages announcements last week because of technical difficulties. These packages were new last week:
- lsof-2.2: lists open files
- Netscape 4.6: Netscape version 4.6 (base, java support, statically linked binaries, dynamically linked binaries)
- Pandora is now on the 6bone. This is a good opportunity for people to start working on IPv6 support. (A few kinks are still being worked out; IPv6 may not always be turned on.)
- Faure was upgraded to kernel 2.2.9 and will be upgraded to potato soonish.
Followups to previous news items:
- The Debian JP team has decided not to release a "potato-jp" set of add-on Japanese packages. Instead they're working to merge their packages into Debian proper. To that end, three or four more members of Debian JP have become developers.
Thanks to Randolph Chung, Christian Meder and Katsura S. Yoshio for contributing.
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This issue of Debian Weekly News was edited by Joey Hess.