Debian Weekly News - June 21st, 2000

Welcome to Debian Weekly News, a newsletter for the Debian developer community.

Release news: Richard Braakman will be gone for a week or two, and unable to serve as release manager. In the meantime, Anthony Towns will be stepping in as Acting Release Manager. Anthony has already posted plans to end the current test cycle in the middle of this week, and has listed the changes he plans to accept into potato before the next test cycle.

There are two security fixes this week. A fix is available for a bug in xinetd's access control mechanism, and a remote exploit of zope has also been fixed.

Looking ahead to woody, Joey Hess is stepping up as the new leader of the woody boot-floppies team. The goal is to redesign the installation system and replace it with something more modular, flexible, smaller, and easier to use. Debian Weekly News wishes the boot-floppies team (and its upcoming leader ;-) luck on this ambitious endeavor.

Another item removed from dpkg's wishlist: For years, we have run into occasional problems where the simplest solution was "use versioned provides". Unfortunately, the Provides: field in Debian packages has never supported versioning. It does now. However, Jason Gunthorpe points out that using versioned provides in woody will probably lead to all sorts of upgrade trouble.

Debian's voting system, as established in the Debian Constitution, employs an interesting voting method called Concorde voting. Since Debian is one of the few real-world organizations to make use of this type of vote counting, we've attracted the interest of members of the Election Methods mailing list. This week, Norman Petry, a member of the Election Methods list, posted about a "circular tie" situation where no one wins a vote, and the constitution does not specify what should be done, leading to an undefined outcome. He has calculated that "you can expect to encounter a circular tie about once every 20 elections or so, on average". He suggests that we proactively modify the constitution to fix the problem before it occurs.

Followups to last week's news:

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This issue of Debian Weekly News was edited by Joey Hess.