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Welcome to this year's third issue of DPN, the newsletter for the Debian community. Topics covered in this issue include:
We hope that you are enjoying the new format of the DPN.
For other news, please read the official Debian Blog
Bits from Debian, and follow our Pump.io network feed:
Debian's Security Team releases current advisories on a daily basis
(Security Advisories 2016). Please
read them carefully and subscribe to the security mailing
At the end of this project news we've added a Quick Links section which
links to many of the posts made through our other media streams.
Mate 1.14 in Unstable
Mike Gabriel announced
MATE 1.14 was landing in unstable, with builds for the 23 architectures
supported by Debian. Mike notes that the greatest change is the switch from GTK2 to
GTK3 and that there are some known issues such as when running in an NXv3-based
remote desktop session. The team thanks all those who helped getting MATE into
Misc Developer News
Julien Cristau posted
Misc Developer News #41. Highlights include the new
debhelper compat 10 being ready for testing, source packages now being able to include
upstream signatures, a change to Apt allowing the use of
by-hash to avoid hashsum
mismatches, minor mirror changes to help the Debian Mirrors network, the
stretch-debug suite now being populated, and the package init losing
its status as Essential and required, so that it can be left out of minimal chroots.
7.11: the eleventh and
final update of oldstable Debian 7 (codename
wheezy) was released on 4 June 2016.
8.5: the fifth
update of stable Debian 8 (codename
jessie) was also released on 4 June 2016.
Changes in the New Member process
Enrico Zini highlights some changes to the New Member process along with a guide
to the application process. The nm.debian.org site now offers managed self-service for
most of the steps, which should aid applicants and advocates to provide input and
information and make it easier for Account Managers and Debian Developers to provide input.
These changes help move the NM process forward in several areas, especially
helping Debian Account Managers and Front Desk members to concentrate on
reviewing and deciding on applications.
Wheezy LTS and the switch to OpenJDK 7
Markus Koschany followed up on the earlier announcement of support
and changes for Wheezy LTS. He gave more background information to the
decision to switch from OpenJDK 6 to OpenJDK 7 in Wheezy LTS, a move prompted by
the end of life of Ubuntu 12.04 which uses OpenJDK 6. The switch took into
consideration choosing a default for a stable release cycle, the impact that it
would have on users, and questioning the need of supporting JDK6 for a short 12
month period of time in contrast to the length of the LTS timeline.
Bits from the DPL
Debian Project Leader Mehdi Dogguy shared news of his activities and happenings inside of the project.
He announced changes made to the Newmaint delegation, notes on attending DebConf16 and
Sun Camp, appointments to the Anti-Harassment team, a review of reimbursement
procedures, and asset purchases.
GCC 6 and binutils for the Debian stretch release
GCC 6 will be the default GNU Compiler Collection
for stretch. GCC 6 is available in testing and can be currently made the
default on systems by installing the gcc/g++ packages from experimental.
Matthias highlighted known build failures, and plans for release. Packages
using previous GCC versions will become release critical for the next
binutils will be moving from a 12 month release cycle to a 6 month release
cycle; expect binutils 2.27 or later for stretch.
New pkg-security team
Gianfranco Costamagna announced a
new pkg-security team which will focus on providing a list of security
tools maintained by downstream distributions, and merging them back into Debian. The
pkg-security team wiki
has more information on the team, task, and infrastructure.
Replace "Chairman" with
"Chair" throughout the Debian Constitution - Proposed by Margarita
Menterola, with link to
debian-private - Proposed by Nicolas Dandrimont, with link to discussion.
DebConf16 - The annual Debian Developers Conference
Each year the Debian community of Contributors, Developers, and software
enthusiasts meets for an annual Conference known as DebConf.
This year was the 16th conference, along with its precursor hacking session
DebCamp which was held 23 June through 1 July 2016.
The conference location for this year was Cape Town, South Africa, the venue
was the University of Cape Town (UCT), and the event was hosted by the Engineering Faculty
and the Department of Computer Sciences.
DebConf16 officially started 2
July and ended 9 July 2016 with over 280 people attending from all over the
As Debian is a worldwide community, for those unable to attend, 113 hours
of talks in 114 events, BOFs (
Birds of a Feather discussions), and sessions were recorded
and live streamed. A special nod of appreciation to the Video team who reviewed
sessions as soon as they were recorded and set up a system to publish the videos
automatically; videos may be seen at the
meetings archive website.
We hope to provide a fuller report of the DebConf16 experience, but as of
now most of the attendees are still recovering and blogging about their times
and experiences, so please stay tuned.
Debian activities in FISL17
During the 17th edition of the International Free Software Forum (FISL17) held
from 13 July through 16 July at PUCRS in Porto Alegre, Brazil, the Debian
project's late founder, Ian Murdock, received a great tribute, in which one of the stages of the
event received his name. At the official opening this announcement was
greeted with a warm round of applause. More details are available in the news
published on the
event website (in Portuguese).
The Brazilian Debian community held various activities during FISL17:
6 Lightning Talks on various topics such as Forensics, BTS, Debian Policy, and
GSoC. There were also workshops on packaging, the Web of Trust, and a
community meeting. The main theme of this meeting was to present the
various work fronts and ways of contribution to the community and to attract new
contributors. All activities of the Debian community in Brazil can be seen here.
As has happened in previous years, the event had exhibition stands for the
communities; this space was very important and served as a meeting between
members of the Debian community. During the four-day event promotional materials
were distributed, and many people sought out the exhibition stand to learn more
about the Debian community. Others participated in the Install Fest. Some
photos of the event.
Debian Brazil community continues its focus to have a continuous presence in
one of the greatest Free Software events in the world, showing the work done
and inviting more people to collaborate with the
Universal Operating System.
A small reminder that Debian has a Code of Conduct that is to be
honoured at all Debian Events and by Developers representing Debian at events
and functions. We take pride in our diversity and welcoming
Reminder: 5 November 2016, transitions freeze for stretch.
Once upon a time in Debian:
Teams needing help
Call for Stretch artwork proposals
Niels Thykier made the official call for proposals for stretch artwork. If
you would like, or know of someone who would like, to create a desktop look and
feel, be sure to send in your artwork. Submission deadline is 5 September 2016.
Packages needing help:
Currently 800 packages are orphaned and 171 packages are up for adoption: please visit the complete list of packages which need your help.
Debian has a newcomer bug tag used to indicate bugs which are suitable for new
contributors to use as an entry point to working on specific packages.
There are 182
newcomer bugs available.
1,657 people and 19 teams are listed on the Debian Contributors page for 2016.
Debian user Gene Heskett asked how to fix his Iceweasel/Firefox icon and binary mixup... and
started one of the largest threads in -user. The discussion covered firefox
binaries, what synaptic actually installs and where it installs it to, email
etiquette and code of conduct, and the resurfacing of bug #815006 and great news.
Debian user Lisi Reisz posted "Catastrophe
- but how? Aptitude goes mad", when a simple aptitude install instead
uninstalled everything. The thread gives the recovery, solution and some history on GREP, as
well as notes on when to use and when to never use aptitude vs. apt-get.
On the Debian Developers list Steve McIntyre pondered the usefulness of a
Jessie release. Although the name is not set, the discussion on what
and a half
to include in this release starts off with a backports-kernel, a rebuilt Debian
Installer, X drivers, xserver, and other packages. Thoughts are many arm64,
recent amd64, and ppc64el ports would benefit from this release and its net
Tips and Tricks
Keerthana Krishnan shared
10 Git commands every developer should know
and A beginner’s guide to Debian Source Packages.
Francois Marier shared information on Replacing a failed RAID drive
and Cleaning up obsolete config files on Debian and Ubuntu.
Tips and Tricks: Capetown/South Africa Edition
Michael Prokop shared lessons learnt in Capetown at DebConf16.
Outreachy Weekly Reports
Valerie Young starts off Outreachy - Summer of Reproducible Builds with a self
introduction and details of what Reproducible Builds are all about.
Week 1, Reproduced the
reproducible builds tests website locally, added additional information to
INSTALL files, and fixed broken links due to an additional directory.
Week 2, introduction of a
templates system using mustache,
navigation improvements to package pages, started bash to python script
Week 3, at DebCamp Valerie
continued work on python script conversion and added more templates. Objectives
presented for creating more mustache templates and continuing work on
Week 5, distracted by the
amazing people of Debian at DebCamp. Plans to finish package set page script,
highlight issue with navigation.
Week After DebConf, finished the conversion of the package
set pages script, replaced the bash code navigation with a
mustache template that the python scripts use for the home
page, redesigned the website by way of rearranging, enabled cross suite and
architecture navigation on most pages.
Scarlett Clark - reports on Week 1
of Outreachy, Reproducible Builds.
Work started on kapptemplate,
plans to fix the source of problem issues by looking into the kconfig_compiler.
Week 2 saw kapptemplate pushed to upstream and a submitted patch for
choqok with a review request, work in progress on kxmlgui which was causing
unreproducible symbol/debug files.
Week 3 choqok patch approved! Further
work with kxmlgui and the start of work in KDE Randa.
Week 5: kde4libs and kf5 kconfig were pushed
upstream, testing a patch to fix umask issues in kapptemplate, the KDE Randa
docker image is up and running.
GSOC - WebRTC (Real-Time Communications) and Communications projects
Daniel Pocock introduces us to this year's Debian Summer of Code
Students working on WebRTC (Real-Time Communications) and Communications
Can Gurle is making plugins for genuinely free WebRTC
with open standards like SIP, recently creating the WPCall plugin for WordPress.
Krishnan has started work on creating a
similar plugin for MediaWiki.
Prabaharan is working on a tool to help users to find all the
phone numbers and ham radio callsigns in old emails.
Reynaud, and Alok
Anand are working on a peer-to-peer alternative to SIP, XMPP
and WebRTC, along with
Savoir Faire Linux in work on
the Ring softphone.
Jain has been working on streamlining the provisioning
of SIP accounts, hoping as well to provide mechanisms for privately operated SIP
PBXes such as Asterisk.
Vaes has been working on issues that users of the JAIN SIP library used
for Java in Apache Camel and the Jitsi softphone have been facing.
There is also a large Mentoring Team around the Summer of Code Projects for
GSoC - Reproducible Builds in Debian
Satyam Zode started Week 1 with work on the addition of the -hide=profiles
flag to diffoscope to provide alternatives for tools and to increase the
userbase of diffoscope and contributors. He task-listed: Working towards reading
argparse python documentation, debugging code towards solutions, and discussing
the problems with the community.
Week 2 and 3 focused on using a prebuilder
to duplicate reproducibility issues, the use of which helped find more use
cases for -hide=profiles. He also researched the differences between different
unreproducible packages, added detailed use cases to Reproducible
Builds Hide Profiles Specifications, and apprised apkdiff,
pkg-diff, and tar to see how they were reading and ignoring input.
Week 4 and 5 Satyam worked on interface design, argument
completion, and hiding .buildinfo from .changes files.
GSoC - Improving distributed and secure communication using free software
Simon Désaulnier started his
introduction to GSoC by
sharing his focus of work on improving distributed and secure communication
using free software. Simon will be working on OpenDHT, a component of Ring, a secure and distributed voice, video and chat
communication platform. OpenDHT is the distributed hash table which allows Ring
to keep communications and the platform decentralised.
Simon's roadmap for the project starts with new OpenDHT functionality,
maintenance, and data optimisation.
Week 1 started with
serialisable structure for remote filtering which allows for expanded sql
Week 2 Simon fixed a
bug issues with a Packaging issue for
Python bindings and for dht: consider IPv4
or IPv6 disconnected on operation done.
Week 3 and 4 Simon
worked on the final version of the queries code library, work now focuses on
Value pagination including a redesign of some of the operation callbacks, and
optimising announce operations.
Week 5 and 6 at DebConf16 Simon attended a
keysigning party and speaks on the web of trust and mentions that Ring is now
part of Debian. Simon worked with Debian Developer Alexandre Viau and together they
Presented Ring at DebConf
LTS Freexian Monthly Reports
Debian Long Term Support, June 2016
Debian Long Term Support, May 2016
Reproducible Build status/update
Reproducible builds: week 57 in
Reproducible builds: week 58 in
Reproducible builds: week 59 in
Reproducible builds: week 60 in
Reproducible builds: week 61 in
Reproducible builds: week 62 in
New Developers and Maintainers - May and June 2016
Debian Perl Sprint 2016
Debian 7 Wheezy LTS now supporting armel and armhf
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This issue of Debian Project News was edited by The Publicity Team with contributions from Giovani Augusto Ferreira, Justin B. Rye and Holger Wansing.