Gentoo Weekly Newsletter: July 28th, 2003
Radical changes to Perl module handling
A new version of perl that radically changes the way that modules are handled is now available in ~arch, and is slated to appear in the 1.4 release. Perl has a list of directories in which it looks for modules called @INC, and the standard ordering of @INC is rather inconvenient for distribution maintainers. It is impossible to override the functionality of modules that are included in the core distribution without overwriting the files. That is what Gentoo has done to date, but it has some unfortunate side-effects.
While one would expect that merging and unmerging a new version of ExtUtils-MakeMaker would return one's system to the state it was in before, it does not. Instead, ExtUtils::MakeMaker is completely wiped off the system, and the system becomes unable to install any more modules. In perl 5.8.0-r12 and beyond, @INC is augmented and reordered, so that versions of files in the core are actually near the bottom of the chain, and can be overridden easily in two well-defined ways: by the vendor directories and the site directories. Files in the site directories in turn can override those in the vendor directories.
After 5.8.0-r12 has been widely installed, we will change the perl-module eclass so that all ebuilds in dev-perl that use it will install their files into the vendor directory. Up to now, they use the site directory. The site directory is the perl equivalent of /usr/local in the current opinion of the Gentoo perl team, and we are going to give users complete control over what goes in there, so you will never have to worry about Gentoo ebuilds writing into your site directories any more, and you always have the last say about which version of a module is going to be used. Want to try a version from CPAN that's a little experimental? Go ahead, and then just delete it from the site directory, and you will have the version from the ebuild right there, without any need to reemerge it. No longer will depclean or unmerging perl modules disable critical perl functionality.
However, since current versions of some perl module ebuilds that are already installed on people's systems lay claim to critical files in the perl core, you need to get those off of your systems before emerging perl-5.8.0-r12. emerge will remind you of this by using blocking depends, so if you have the problematic versions of the packages installed, emerge -u world or emerge -u perl will abort with an error. Note that the version mentioned in the block is the safe version, because the block says it conflicts with anything prior to the safe version. Below is the list at this time of safe versions of the affected modules. Anything prior must be unmerged before emerging perl. Note that you do not necessarily need to remerge the safe version of these modules after installing perl 5.8.0-12, because the 5.8 core contains versions of these modules that are sufficiently recent for most uses.
First Gentoo BugDay on August 2
The Gentoo Linux development team is going to dedicate a day to QA on Saturday, 2 August 2003, the first Gentoo BugDay. Developers and users are encouraged to join #gentoo-bugs on irc.freenode.net to test and fix as many bugs as possible. We're hoping that by periodically setting aside time to fix bugs and by enlisting users' help we can take a chunk out of the bugs open on Bugzilla. So come and join the fun!
Gentoo Linux 1.4 for PowerPC now available for pre-order
Our new Gentoo Store is now now accepting pre-orders for Gentoo Linux 1.4 for PowerPC, PowerPC G3, PowerPC G4, and the KDE/GNOME PowerPC LiveCD, which now contains both desktop environments on one CD. Thanks to the Gentoo PowerPC team for their excellent work!
Indonesian documentation in need of translators
The Indonesian documentation team is in need of translators to translate the Gentoo Linux project's documentation. Candidates should have a solid understanding of both written Indonesian as well as written English. Interested parties should make a visit to #gentoo-id, the Indonesian community channel at irc.freenode.net, or drop a line to Erwin.
Quote from advisory:
"Local or remote attacker which is capable to send RPC request to vulnerable mountd daemon could execute arbitrary code or cause denial of service."
- Severity: High - Potential remote file overwriting or code execution.
- Packages Affected: nfs-utils prior to nfs-utils-1.0.5
- Rectification: Synchronize and emerge nfs-utils, emerge clean.
- GLSA Announcement
gpg needs to be setuid to make use of protected memory space, however the setgid bit allowed gpg user to overwrite group root writable files and is therefor unnecessary.
- Severity: High - Potential remote file overwriting.
- Packages Affected: gnupg prior to gnupg-1.2.2-r1
- Rectification: Synchronize and emerge gnupg, emerge clean.
- GLSA Announcement
New Security Bug Reports
The following new security bugs were posted in the past week:
User stories will be back next week with a story about how Gentoo Linux is being used at Digital Illusions CE (the company which makes Battlefield 1942). Remember to send us your bizarre, hilarious, or incredible Gentoo stories so they can be featured here!
Featured Developer of the Week
Figure 4.1: Robert Coie
Robert Coie (rac) will be familiar to many Gentoo users, as he is
often present in both the forums and IRC helping with support and
configuration questions. In addition to those efforts, Robert assists
with the administration of the forums and on the maintenance of Perl
and XEmacs packages in portage. Robert was also involved in the
initial development of digital signature verification for portage.
Robert is an old-time Mac developer. He has contributed patches and
bugfixes to the Macintosh port of Perl, and even developed some
shrink-wrapped applications for the mac called "Highway" and
"Construction" which produced mathematically-complex abstract artwork
and animations. The applications were sufficiently popular amongst
DJs in the Japanese club scene that Robert was featured as a televised
guest on a Japanese culture program. Robert has also contributed to
updating wireless LAN card drivers for the 2.2 kernel and the
Linux-MIPS handheld project.
Choosing to name his computers after female espionage agents, Robert
works on josie (Josephine Baker), an Athlon XP 2700+ and a
Titanium Powerbook named noor (Princess Noor Inayat Khan). He
works primarily in XEmacs and recently moved to the Mozilla Firebird
browser. He uses Enlightenment for his WM and used to use the MULE
extensions for Japanese support in text editing, which lead to his
current use of the emacs-based Oort Gnus for mail.
Robert works for a Japanese system design and implementation firm,
developing custom software and special-purpose Linux servers. He has
been married for 7 years and currently lives in California, although
his job requires a trip to Japan every few months.
Robert is also a musician, playing guitar on his black sunburst '89
USA Fender Strat or a cherry red Ovation 1867 acoustic/electric. He
likes to cook and frequently tries his hand at making unique seasonal
and environmentally friendly meals. He is eclectically rounded-out
with skills in card-playing, rowing and hiking. It is reported that
he owns a hairless cat. It is likely that this is a normal condition
for the cat.
Robert spoke about Gentoo:"The highly motivated users that are
willing to participate in improving the distribution, whether it be by
filing bugs, testing packages, contributing ebuilds, or helping other
users, are what gives Gentoo the strength it has."
Heard in the Community
Gentoo Framebuffer, Bootsplash
Bootsplash has made its way to gentoo, allowing for high resolution
consoles and attractive backgrounds to do your hacking in. These two
forums focus on how to get bootsplash and framebuffer working in gentoo.
Optimizing your computer is one of the main reasons why gentoo users
choose gentoo. This forum shares and discusses peoples experiences with
XD2 Port Project
A project to port Ximian's Desktop 2 to gentoo. It is a project to
create ebuilds for the Ximian Gnome packages to allow Gentoo users a
desktop environment that is polished and deviates as little from XD2 as possible.
Trying to get cdrom drives, floppy drives, and other devices to
automatically mount in your Gentoo system. Look no further this forum
discuss automounting and how to get automounting to work for you.
Many new technologies are quickly gaining popularity. One such advancement is the use of (re)writable DVD media. In the forums, a gentoo user has asked which program to use for burning DVDs, and the thread became a great informative point on DVD burning and linux. Ranging from "which media type should I use?" to the limitations of ISO9660, this is certainly a good read for anyone interested in the subject.
What is Azarah?
Just what was this phantom "Azarah Exp $" popping up in files on Robert Crawford's system? Curious, he quickly sent a post out. Come to find out, those comments were really records of the dev who last touched the files. However, Azarah also showed up as a storage device for Robert. Can Azarah really be a dev and a storage device? Click here to find out! In reality, the user's text editor created a new line, setting Azarah as the mountpoint.
X editors for programmers
Gentoo user Nathaniel McCallum posed a relatively simple question to the gentoo-user
list this week: "Are there any good X text editors for programmers that don't use GTK or QT?". It spawned a pretty large discussion with good suggestions, as well as a few classic
emacs / vi cheap shots thrown in for fun. Link
Gentoo Poll Number 2
Gentoo Dev fava (Fred Van Andel) decided to repost his poll. The Question: "Why did you choose Gentoo?" Please send all replies to email@example.com. According to Fred, response to this poll has been slow, so feedback is welcome! The original post can be found here.
Booting a gentoo install from floppies
Mike Frysinger posted a reqest for help about creating a set of floppies for booting, and installing, gentoo.
Indubitably, Quite a few people had something to say about it!
Rutger Lubbers suggested this idea about
how progress is monitored in compiles (something all gentooists have to love!). Discussion centered around different dependencies this "time" calculation involves, and what units to use...
(crazy?) proposal to reduce load and disk on mirrors
As gentoo continues to bring new software to the user, the need for storage on the mirrors increases steadily. And even though mirroring the portage tree is a good solution for improving access to the software. It might not be the most effective way of storing heavy weight applications such as games.
Håvard Wall suggests the implementation of a point-to-point system that lets users share the larger files. That way there would almost certainly always be a copy of the software out there. However the scheme is not entirely problem free. Read the following discussion as it brings both pros and cons.
There is no Gentoo International news this week
The following stable packages were updated or added to portage in the last week
- app-admin/ufed: Gentoo Linux USE flags editor
- app-crypt/gnupg: The GNU Privacy Guard, a GPL pgp replacement
- app-dicts/canna-cannadic: Japanese kana-kanji conversion dictionary for Canna
- app-doc/doc++: Documentation system for C, C++, IDL and Java
- app-doc/doxygen: Doxygen is a documentation system for C++, C, Java, IDL (Corba, Microsoft, and KDE-DCOP flavors) and to some extent PHP and C#.
- app-editors/bluefish: A GTK HTML editor for the experienced web designer or programmer.
- app-emulation/advancemame: GNU/Linux port of the MAME emulator, with GUI menu.
- app-emulation/daphne: Laserdisc Arcade Game Emulator
- app-gnustep/affiche: Affiche allows people to
- app-gnustep/easydiff: GNUstep app that lets you easily see the differences between two text files.
- app-gnustep/gnumail: A fully featured mail application for GNUstep
- app-gnustep/gorm: GNUstep GUI interface designer
- app-gnustep/gridlock: Gridlock is a collection of grid-based games
- app-gnustep/gworkspace: GNUstep GUI interface designer
- app-gnustep/helpviewer: HelpViewer is an online help viewer for GNUstep programs.
- app-gnustep/imageviewer: ImageViewer is a small image viewer
- app-gnustep/jigs: GNUstep java bridge
- app-gnustep/pantomime: A set of Objective-C classes that model a mail system
- app-gnustep/projectcenter: GNUstep project developer
- app-gnustep/renaissance: GNUstep xml-based UI toolkit
- app-gnustep/talksoup: GNUstep based IRC Client
- app-gnustep/terminal: GNUstep GUI interface designer
- app-misc/abook: Abook is a text-based addressbook program designed to use with mutt mail client.
- app-office/abiword: Fully featured yet light and fast cross platform word processor.
- app-office/gnucash: A personal finance manager
- app-sci/chemtool: program for drawing organic molecules
- app-shells/bash-completion: Programmable Completion for bash (includes emerge and ebuild commands).
- app-shells/ksh: The Original Korn Shell, 1993 revision (ksh93)
- app-shells/smrsh: Sendmail restricted shell, for use with MTAs other than Sendmail.
- app-shells/zsh: UNIX Shell similar to the Korn shell
- app-text/a2ps: Any to PostScript filter
- app-text/acroread: Adobe's PDF reader
- dev-ada/adabindx: An Ada-binding to the X Window System and *tif.
- dev-ada/asis: The Ada Semantic Interface Specification queries and services provide a consistent interface to information within the Ada Program Library created at compile time.
- dev-ada/cbind: This tool is designed to aid in the creation of Ada bindings to C.
- dev-ada/florist: POSIX Ada Bindings
- dev-ada/garlic: The GNAT implementation of the ARM Annex for Distributed Systems.
- dev-ada/gtkada: Gtk+ bindings to the Ada language
- dev-ada/xmlada: XML library for Ada
- dev-cpp/gtkmm: C++ interface for GTK+2
- dev-games/KXL: Development Library for making games for X
- dev-games/cardpics: set of free cards sets
- dev-games/cel: A game entity layer based on Crystal Space
- dev-games/cel-cvs: A game entity layer based on Crystal Space
- dev-games/clanlib: multi-platform game development library
- dev-games/crystalspace: portable 3D Game Development Kit written in C++
- dev-games/crystalspace-cvs: portable 3D Game Development Kit written in C++
- dev-games/ggz-client-libs: The client libraries for GGZ Gaming Zone
- dev-games/hlsdk: Half-Life Software Development Kit for mod authors
- dev-games/libggz: The GGZ library, used by GGZ Gameing Zone
- dev-games/libmaitretarot: backend library for the maitretarot games
- dev-games/libmt_client: backend library for the maitretarot clients
- dev-games/libnw: Tools and libraries for NWN file manipulation
- dev-games/ode: Open Dynamics Engine SDK
- dev-games/ogre: Object-oriented Graphics Rendering Engine
- dev-games/simgear: Development library for simulation games
- dev-php/mod_php: Apache module for PHP
- dev-php/php: PHP Shell Interpreter
- dev-php/php-accelerator: The ionCube PHP Accelerator
- dev-php/phpgroupware: The phpGroupWare intranet/groupware tool and application framework.
- dev-php/turck-mmcache: Turck MMCache is a free open source PHP accelerator, optimizer, encoder and dynamic content cache for PHP. It increases performance of PHP scripts by caching them in compiled state, so that the overhead of compiling is almost completely eliminated. Also it uses some optimizations to speed up execution of PHP scripts. Turck MMCache typically reduces server load and increases the speed of your PHP code by 1-10 times.
- dev-php/xdebug: A PHP debugger
- dev-ruby/amrita: A HTML/XHTML template library for Ruby
- dev-tex/cweb_latex: LaTeX package for using LaTeX with CWEB
- dev-tex/g-brief: LaTeX package for formatting formless letters in german or english language.
- dev-tex/prosper: Prosper is a LaTeX class for writing transparencies
- dev-util/aap: Bram Moolenaar's super-make program
- dev-util/anjuta: A versatile IDE for GNOME
- gnome-base/eel: EEL is the Eazel Extentions Library
- gnome-base/gail: Part of Gnome Accessibility
- gnome-extra/acme: GNOME tool to make use of the multimedia buttons present on most laptops and internet keyboards.
- kde-base/arts: aRts, the KDE sound (and all-around multimedia) server/output manager
- media-fonts/acroread-asianfonts: Asian Font Packs for Acrobat Reader 5.0
- media-fonts/chkfontpath: Simple interface for editing the font path for the X font server
- media-libs/SoQt: A Qt Interface for coin
- media-tv/mythtv: Homebrew PVR project.
- net-dns/bind: BIND - Berkeley Internet Name Domain - Name Server
- net-dns/ldapdns: A tiny, fast authoritative nameserver that queries LDAP and can be updated instantly
- net-dns/noip-updater: no-ip.com dynamic DNS updater
- net-firewall/fwbuilder: A firewall GUI
- net-firewall/shorewall: Full state iptables firewall
- net-ftp/ftp: Standard Linux FTP client with optional SSL support
- net-ftp/ftpcube: Graphical FTP client using wxPython
- net-im/amsn: Alvaro's Messenger client for MSN
- net-irc/bitchx: An IRC Client
- net-libs/c-client: UW IMAP c-client library
- net-libs/enet: relatively thin, simple and robust network communication layer on top of UDP
- net-libs/gnet: GNet network library.
- net-news/newspost: a usenet binary autoposter for unix
- net-news/slrn: s-lang Newsreader
- net-news/tin: A threaded NNTP and spool based UseNet newsreader
- net-zope/xmlwidgets: UI widgets for Zope XML objects.
- sys-devel/bc: Handy console-based calculator utility
- sys-devel/binutils: Tools necessary to build programs
- sys-devel/distcc: a program to distribute compilation of C code across several machines on a network
- sys-devel/gcc: The GNU Compiler Collection. Includes C/C++ and java compilers
- sys-kernel/aa-sources: Full sources for Andrea Arcangeli's Linux kernel
- sys-kernel/ac-sources: Full sources for Alan Cox's Linux kernel
- x11-base/kdrive: Xfree86: famous and free X server. Tiny version (Kdrive)
- xfce-base/libxfce4mcs: Library's for XFCE4
- xfce-base/libxfce4util: Library's for XFCE4
- xfce-base/libxfcegui4: Library's for XFCE4
- xfce-base/xfce-mcs-manager: Library's for XFCE4
- xfce-base/xfce-mcs-plugins: Library's for XFCE4
- xfce-base/xfce-utils: Xfce4 utilities
- xfce-base/xfce4: XFCE4, a lightweight Desktop Environment
- xfce-base/xfce4-panel: Xfce4 panel
- xfce-base/xfce4-session: Xfce4 session manager
- xfce-base/xfdesktop: Xfce4 desktop
- xfce-base/xffm: Xfce4 file manager
- xfce-base/xfprint: Printing plugin for XFCE4
- xfce-base/xfwm4: Xfce4 windowmanager
- xfce-extra/xfce4-iconbox: Xfce4 iconbox
- xfce-extra/xfce4-mixer: Xfce4 Mixer
- xfce-extra/xfce4-systemload: Xfce system load monitor
- xfce-extra/xfce4-systray: Xfce4 system tray
- xfce-extra/xfce4-themes: Xfce4 themes
- xfce-extra/xfce4-toys: Xfce4 toys
- xfce-extra/xfce4-trigger-launcher: Xfce trigger launcher
- xfce-extra/xffm-icons: Icons for xffm
- xfce-extra/xfwm4-themes: Xfwm themes
Total categories: 92 (6 categories added in the last two weeks)
Total packages: 5984 (1060 packages added in the last two weeks)
The Gentoo community uses Bugzilla (bugs.gentoo.org) to record and track
bugs, notifications, suggestions and other interactions with the development team. Between 18 July 2003 and 24 July 2003, activity
on the site has resulted in:
- 450 new bugs during this period
- 231 bugs closed or resolved during this period
- 7 previously closed bugs were reopened this period
Of the 3405 currently open bugs: 75 are labeled 'blocker', 146 are labeled 'critical', and 285 are labeled 'major'.
Closed Bug Rankings
The developers and teams who have closed the most bugs during this period are:
New Bug Rankings
The developers and teams who have been assigned the most new bugs during this period are:
Tips and Tricks
This week's tip shows you some useful tricks in Mozilla - specifically the
about: address. To access these special pages in Mozilla (or any
Mozilla based browser), just enter the URL into the location bar.
There are six main pages you can access to view some hidden options in
Mozilla. These are:
The addresses about:, about:credits, and
about:mozilla show you some information about the people behind
Mozilla and contain links to Mozilla licensing information.
The next address, about:cache, displays your cache information
(both disk and memory). Entering this address should display something
similar to the following:
Code Listing 9.1: about:cache
Memory cache device
Number of entries: 210
Maximum storage size: 4096 k
Storage in use: 3943 k
Inactive Storage: 2630 k
List Cache Entries
Disk cache device
Number of entries: 1468
Maximum storage size: 50000 k
Storage in use: 10180 k
Cache Directory: /home/david/.galeon/mozilla/galeon/Cache
List Cache Entries
The next address, about:plugins, displays all the plugins available
in Mozilla. This is a great way to see what you have installed and
troubleshoot why a particular plugin may not be working.
The last address, about:config, displays just about every single
configuration option available to Mozilla. In most Mozilla-based browsers,
you can modify these values directly from this page - saving quite a bit
of typing and editing preference files.
Featured Quote/Signature of the Week
This week we're featuring forum user senectus's sig: "Imagine a school with children that can read and write, but with teachers who cannot, and you have a metaphor of the Information Age in which we live." - Peter Cochrane.
Moves, Adds and Changes
The following developers recently left the Gentoo team:
The following developers recently joined the Gentoo Linux team:
- Keith Wesolowski (wesolows) -- sparc, mips
The following developers recently changed roles within the Gentoo Linux project.
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