[LWN Logo]
Date: Tue, 2 Jan 2001 19:29:38 -0800
From: Joey Hess <joeyh@debian.org>
To: debian-news@lists.debian.org
Subject: Debian Weekly News - January 2nd, 2001

Debian Weekly News
Debian Weekly News - January 2nd, 2001
Happy new year and welcome to Debian Weekly News. Debian Weekly News
has now been summarizing the events of the Debian world for two full
years. A [1]timeline of the most important stories of 2000
is available as a special supplement to this issue.

Discussion volume has been light on the mailing lists over the
holidays, with many developers on vacation. Lots of users were on
vacation too, and some wanted to temporarily unsubscribe from
debian-user to prevent email piling up while they were away. However,
several of them were [2]unable to unsubscribe. Brian Moore tracked
down the problem to an [3]invalid threshold that had been set in
SmartList's configuration, and the problem was eventually

We're beginning to learn what life with the testing distribution will
be like. Developers now need to keep track of what versions of their
packages are in testing, as well as stable and unstable, and it's
proving to be rather hard to figure out why an updated package is not
being accepted into testing. This involves reading the [5]"update
excuses" file and trying to [6]guess what it means. Anthony Towns has
posted several explanations of various aspects of testing's workings
([7]architecture details, [8]versioned dependency details). Some
packages, including the new versions of X and perl, are not in testing
yet, and are "holding back the tide" of other packages that depend on
them. On the other hand, glibc 2.2 has now entered testing.

The move from /usr/doc to /usr/share/doc is proving long and slow.
Joey Hess [9]calculated that unless 6 packages are converted every
day from now until woody is frozen, the first stage of the transition
will not be finished in time for woody, and the full transition would
be pushed off into the far future. Though this did spur some uploads,
nowhere near six packages a day are being converted. Ben Collins
[10]pointed out that an alternative is to "reevaluate this decision
based on the fact that the bug in dpkg that forced this implementation
(as opposed to a clean /usr/doc symlink to share/doc) has been gone
for awhile now". He proposed a single transition script that would
move the remaining contents of /usr/doc to /usr/share/doc and symlink
the two directories. According to Ben, all of his systems have been
set up this way "without any errors or missing files". Santiago Vila
[11]worries about "risking the integrity of the system by complex
scripts"; in the meantime development of such a script is [12]under
way, though it is not clear if it will be used.

Wishlist features for dpkg turned out to be the topic of this thread,
although it didn't [13]start out that way. The features people would
like to see added to some future version of dpkg include the ability
to easily [14]rollback upgrades, [15]relocatable packages,
installation of [16]multiple versions of a package at one time,
entirely [17]eliminating maintainer scripts so installing a package
does not run code as root, and many other difficult things. It's not
just all daydreaming though -- dpkg may support [18]binary database
cache files as early as version 1.9.

Just in time for Christmas, three new security fixes were released: a
[19]temporary file attack against dialog, [20]several vulnerabilities
in stunnel, and [21]two gnupg problems were all fixed on December

  1. http://www.debian.org/News/weekly/2000/timeline
  2. http://lists.debian.org/debian-user-0012/msg03526.html
  3. http://lists.debian.org/debian-user-0012/msg03777.html
  4. http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel-0012/msg02198.html
  5. http://ftp-master.debian.org/~ajt/update_excuses.html
  6. http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel-0012/msg02228.html
  7. http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel-0012/msg02699.html
  8. http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel-0012/msg01920.html
  9. http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel-0012/msg02191.html
  10. http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel-0012/msg02196.html
  11. http://www.debian.org/News/weekly/2001/1/mail#1
  12. http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel-0101/msg00038.html
  13. http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel-0012/msg02277.html
  14. http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel-0012/msg02297.html
  15. http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel-0012/msg02304.html
  16. http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel-0012/msg02344.html
  17. http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel-0012/msg02354.html
  18. http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel-0012/msg02311.html
  19. http://www.debian.org/security/2000/20001225
  20. http://www.debian.org/2000/20001225a
  21. http://www.debian.org/2000/20001225b

see shy jo

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