Gentoo Weekly Newsletter: August 4th, 2003
Gentoo Linux at Linux World Expo on August 5-7
Gentoo Linux will be at Linux World Expo in San Francisco at the Moscone Convention Center on August 5-7, where we'll be releasing Gentoo Linux 1.4. Find us at booth #1 in the .org pavillion where we'll be giving away free Gentoo Linux 1.4 LiveCDs and free computer hardware, including a new Pentium 4 system and an Epson Stylus Photo 900 printer. We have many other surprises planed both on site and online, so please join us at the show!
First Gentoo BugDay held on August 2
The first Gentoo BugDay was a success: 130 participants gathered in #gentoo-bugs on irc.freenode.net, and a total of 124 bugs were closed - about double the usual number (51 bugs were closed last Saturday). Users and developers worked together in the channel, testing, discussing, and fixing bugs. It was a great chance for users and developers to get to know each other, and we may even have scouted a few candidates for future developers. The current plan is to hold BugDays on the first Saturday of each month; thanks to Brian Jackson for organizing this event.
WineX ebuilds removed from Portage
By request from Transgaming Technologies, two WineX ebuilds (winex and winex-cvs) which build WineX from Transgaming's public CVS tree available under the Aladdin Free Public License have been removed from Portage and will no longer be maintained. According to Transgaming, the public CVS tree's purpose is not to provide a free version of WineX, but to enable people to assist with their development efforts, and if it's trivial for people to get WineX from CVS without contributing, it seriously discourages them from providing public CVS at all. See this excerpt from their LICENSE:
"Note that while this license does permit certain kinds of non-commercial
distribution of pre-compiled binary packages of WineX, doing so on a large
scale is discouraged, as it affects TransGaming's ability to continue
to improve and develop the code. TransGaming reserves the right to
change the license under which TransGaming-owned copyright code is made
available, and will not hesitate to do so if non-commercial distribution
of pre-compiled binary packages adversely affects the financing of continued
The winex-transgaming ebuild remains available for subscribers to Transgaming who want to install binary WineX packages. Also, Wine, the free project on which WineX is based, is still in the Portage tree.
There were no Security announcements this week
New Security Bug Reports
There were no new security bugs opened this week.
User stories is on hiatus this week. 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: Seemant Kulleen
This week, we're pleased to feature Seemant Kulleen (seemant), a long-time developer and
familiar name from the forums and mailing lists. Gentoo is actually
Seemant's first involvement with a major Open Source project, where he
served until recently as Project Co-Ordinator. He is on
Gentoo's XFree team and often contributes bugfixes to unmaintained
packages (before embarking on a mission to find a maintainer).
A few weeks ago, Seemant was named to a position as the Manager of
Developer Relations under Gentoo's
new management structure. Developer Relations' primary
responsibility will be the care and feeding of Gentoo's burgeoning
developer community. This includes identifying and recruiting new
developers, providing resources for the developers, organizing teams,
and resolving conflicts. He is currently working with Jon Portnoy on creating a
Developer's Handbook that will formalize some of the technical
details of the development process and assist with training new
developers. He is also working on the Developer Relations Ombudsman
subproject suggested by Grant
Goodyear as an effort to provide a stable and neutral avenue
for conflict resolution. More information about the Developer
Relations project can be found at its project page.
Seemant also assists with Quality Assurance and Public Relations for
the management team.
Seemant is a Master's candidate at the Rochester Institute of
Technology, currently working on his thesis. He lives in Santa
Monica, CA where he spends much of his time working on Gentoo. He
runs a black nForce2 box with an Athlon-XP 2100 and a Sun Ultra 1
currently serving as a firewall. He generally has sylpheed-claws and
xchat1 running with XFce4 as the Window Manager. He is also fond of
rsync, screen and gkrellm. He usually has a coke to hand. He
describes Gentoo as "a dream" and is particularly proud of the Gentoo
developer community, which he describes as "nothing short of
magicians". He made a point of thanking the Gentoo Developers and
user base for making it possible to work on such an "awesome
Heard in the Community
Decking Out Your Desktop
Want to know what people are doing with their customized desktops? The original Gentoo Desktops thread, begun over a year ago, has been locked, but in its place we now have Gentoo Desktops Part 2, which has already received 450 replies. If you're particularly proud of your desktop and want to post a screenshot or want to look at others' setups for inspiration, then look no further.
Artwiz fonts coming soon to Gnome2 and KDE3
Forum user aLEczapKA had been hard at work trying to get the Artwiz fonts working under GTK2 and Qt3, when he realized that Alexander Kahl had posted an improved ebuild on Bugzilla mere days ago. In either case, though, it seems Gentoo will be one of the first distributions to have Xft/Freetype-compatible Artwiz fonts.
Clarifying the meaning of x86 and ~x86
Determined to fully understand the difference between ~x86 and x86 keywords, Gentoo User Jonathan Kelly shot an email out to fellow Gentoo Users. They were quick to point out that ~x86 isn't really considered to be "unstable" but rather a "testing" area. Once a package's build process as well as it's overall execution is tested and considered stable, it is released to the masses for consumption under the x86 keyword. Additionally users pointed out that ppc, ~ppc, as well as other architectural keywords exist to suit the same purpose of testing and stable packages. Read it here
A new Itanium box!
posted the fantastic news that the Gentoo Linux project now has access to an Itanium box! This is especially great for any developers who wish to test with this in mind.
Whilst this idea might seem a bit out of place in the Gentoo Linux community, Fredrik Danerklint
brought up a question about the emerge flag "--usepkg" - used for downloading binaries as opposed to source - to be implemented in our much loved make.conf.
Gentoo Linux at Chaos Communication Camp 2003
Gentoo Linux will be at the Chaos Communication Camp 2003. This second International Open Air Hacker Gathering will take place on a field nearby Berlin from 7th to 10th August, organized by the German hacker-group Chaos Computer Club. There will be a lot of lectures in English, the world's largest civil open-air network, and, of course, fun. A Gentoo tent will be set up where you'll be able to meet developers, ask them questions about Gentoo, grab the recent LiveCDs, and exchange your experiences with Gentoo.
Portage Watch is in hiatus this week and will be back next week with two week's worth of updates.
The Gentoo community uses Bugzilla (bugs.gentoo.org) to record and track
bugs, notifications, suggestions and other interactions with the development team. Between 25 July 2003 and 31 July 2003, activity
on the site has resulted in:
- 377 new bugs during this period
- 201 bugs closed or resolved during this period
- 6 previously closed bugs were reopened this period
Of the 3467 currently open bugs: 72 are labeled 'blocker', 155 are labeled 'critical', and 281 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
A Quick and Easy Password Generator
This week's tip shows you how to quickly generate a list of passwords
using /dev/urandom, and uuencode.
Code Listing 9.1
% dd if=/dev/urandom count=1 2> /dev/null | uuencode -m - | head -n 2 | tail -n 1 | cut -c-8
The options for the cut command indicate the length of the password
generated (in this case, 8 characters). This could easily be expanded to
generate a whole list of passwords using the for command.
Code Listing 9.2
% for ((n=0;n<10;n++)); do dd if=/dev/urandom count=1 2> /dev/null | uuencode -m -| head -n 2 \
| tail -n 1 | cut -c-8; done
To create a longer or shorter list, just change the limit in for
(in this case 10).
If you want to generate WEP keys for wireless networking, you can use a
similar procedure, replacing uuencode with md5sum:
Code Listing 9.3
% dd if=/dev/urandom count=1 2> /dev/null | md5sum | head -n 2 | tail -n 1 | cut -c-26
Featured Quote/Signature of the Week
This week's featured signature should appeal to Gentoo users who are also fans of J.R.R. Tolkien's Lord of the Rings trilogy; take a look at philocipher's sig:
"Nine megs for the secretaries fair
Seven megs for the hackers scarce
Five megs for the grads in smoky lairs
Three megs for system source
One disk to rule them all
One disk to bind them
One disk to hold the files
And in the darkness grind 'em"
Moves, Adds and Changes
The following developers recently left the Gentoo team:
The following developers recently joined the Gentoo Linux team:
- Jasmine Chua (jasmine) -- nagios-based monitoring
- Romans Malinovskis (romans) mailing list archives
- Don Seiler (rizzo) -- handling new ebuild submissions
- Max Kalika (max) -- mythtv
- Brian Jackson (iggy) -- courier
- Stephen Diener (sediener) -- app-sci
- Gerald J Normandin Jr. (gerrynjr) -- documentation
- Jason A. Mobarak (aether) -- java-config, portage
The following developers recently changed roles within the Gentoo Linux project.
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