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Gentoo Weekly Newsletter: October 20, 2003

Content:

1.  Gentoo News

Summary

An update on GLEPs

The Gentoo Linux Enhancement Proposal (GLEP) system was announced in June in order to track and manage large-scale proposals to the Gentoo Linux community. Since then, sixteen GLEPs have been submitted, of which eight have been accepted. Here's a summary of some of the notable approved proposals:

  • GLEP 6 was the proposal for a monthly Gentoo BugDay devoted to cleaning out bugs. These are now held on the first Saturday of each month.
  • GLEP 11 standardizes the way web applications are installed by Portage.
  • GLEP 13 extends and unifies documents on installation, configuration, and other topics into a large but well-organized Gentoo Handbook.
  • GLEP 14 proposes to extend Portage so that it can read a GLSA and either fix security holes automatically, notify the user of how to fix the problem, or to merely print the GLEP.

For more information about GLEPs, read GLEP 1: GLEP Purpose and Guidelines. You can keep up on GLEPs by reading the GLEP index or by reading the gentoo-dev mailing list where these and other issues are discussed.

2.  Gentoo Security

Gentoo Security is on hiatus this week.

3.  Featured Developer of the Week

Peter Johanson


Figure 3.1: Peter Johanson

Fig. 1: Peter Johanson

This week's featured developer is Peter Johanson (latexer), who provides a lot of the developer support for wireless connectivity drivers and software in Gentoo. He has also contributed some of the work on IPv6 support, documentation and some continuing work on the init scripts. Peter is also a frequent resident of the #gentoo IRC channel and often contributes to the support discussions there.

Peter started using Linux in the summer of 2001 by installing Mandrake on his 100 MHz Gateway Solo laptop. He later moved to Debian and made the final jump to the Gentoo he had been hearing about when he acquired a 1.8 GHz laptop in September of 2002 - a computer that was "worth actually putting Gentoo on." Peter submitted fixes and suggestions to bugs.gentoo.org before attending Linux World Expo 2003 in New York, where he met Seemant Kulleen and Daniel Robbins. He was soon invited by Seemant to join the development team. In addition to his work on Gentoo, Peter has found an interest in driver porting and has contributed work on the airo_mpi.c driver for the Cisco MiniPCI card found in some laptops. He is also working an a Gnome dockapp for wireless configuration.

Peter has a PII (500 MHz) server, Pentium (100 MHz, BSD) Firewall, and an Ultra2 (dual 400 MHz, 128Mb) that boots Gentoo diskless over tftp from an NFS root. However, his primary development platform is a Thinkpad T30 (1.8 GHz, 1GB). He generally works wherever he can find a wifi access point to connect to. He is currently a Gnome user, but has frequently used fluxbox and xfce. The first application he starts is usually xterm with AA fonts - which he promptly employs to ssh into a server with mutt and irssi running in a screen session. He rounds out his list of favorite apps by adding vim, nctfp, wavemon, iwconfig, sed, pork and gaim to the list.

Peter is currently a senior at New York University, completing a Mathematics major. He does, however, express some regret at his choice of fields - now wishing that he had selected Computer Science instead. Peter is also employed at the University, serving the Business School as webmaster, programmer and general factotum. He lives in the borough of Brooklyn, near the Franklin stop of the C-Line. And the moment, he has no internet connectivity, and hopes that one of his neighbors will read this and offer some line-of-site wifi. He is single and available, but the news that Mandy Moore attends NYU fills him with hope that this will soon change.

4.  Heard in the Community

gentoo-user

Gnome or KDE

Most Linux distros favor KDE over Gnome, or Gnome over KDE. What's Gentoo's slant? According to this thread Gentoo leaves the ultimate decision up to the user to customize it how he or she pleases.

Clustering High-Volume Mail Servers

Despise some of the risks of using a bleeding-edge distro in high-availability solution, there's always ways to circumvent possible problems, and clustering several physical servers is one of them. This pretty big thread covers some of the solutions and problems that one could encounter.

gentoo-dev

GTK and GTK2

Ever wondered the difference between these two USE flags? Well here is a short post explaining the use and history (and future?) of the two.

Is your system shutting down too fast?!

Eric Sammer raised this issue when his init system stopped processes a bit too aggressively, making life difficult. This was especially true for some of the nameservers and other related internet services. Take a look here at some of the suggestions and comments made.

5.  Gentoo International

Japan: Raising a Gentoo Penguin

Even to people with modern pan-global awareness standards, Japan is a strange country. Who can explain why penguins are among the country's most popular zoo animals, depicted in a multitude of pop culture settings, generally cuddly and kawa-ii - yet the Open Source Software mainstream continues to flow towards *BSD and its slightly more belligerent iconography? In an attempt to reconcile the imagery, Hagihara Yoshiaki, a Gentoo-JP activist of advanced seniority and notoriousness, is busy preparing for next Friday's presentation of Gentoo Linux in Tokyo's splendid Electric Town, the Akihabara district. Titled "Let's raise a Gentoo penguin", his introduction to installation and maintenance of Gentoo Linux will be held at Plat'home (try pronouncing this "platform", the pun is intended), Akihabara's most imminent vendor and systems integrator of *NIX-related hard- and software. Plat'home has teamed up with a training facility by the name of Begi.net for regularly scheduled "@home seminars" about Linux and related subjects, falling in line with Begi.net's mission statement of "lowering the threshold and broadening the market" for open source software. While the organisers seem to know what they're doing, Hagihara-san himself - needlessly, needless to say - feigns nervousness about his presentation software skills... If you happen to be in Tokyo that day, cheer him on and grab after-talk drinks and snacks on Friday, 24 October 2003, from 19:00 (doors open 18:45) to 21:00. Registration isn't compulsory, but seats are limited to 30 people, so please sign up here (site in Japanese). You'll have to pay 1000 JPY at the door, unless you're a student or someone who purchased more than 2000 Yen worth of merchandise at Plat'home that same day...

Germany: Gentoo User Meeting in Oberhausen

On 8 October (as announced in the GWN) almost twenty Gentooists had left their computers at home and went to meet at the "Brauhaus Zeche Jacobi" in Oberhausen's CentrO. Long-term Linux-users and freshmen talked about advantages of Gentoo Linux, other distributions and their eventual benefits, the new KDE alpha branch, and lots of other amusing things. Since it was such an interesting and outright funny meeting they finally agreed to meet again, on 10 December. The venue and other details are subject to discussion in this Forum thread.

Germany: Practical Linux Day Report Vol. 2

The last GWN was published before all the information from the Gentoo booth participants in Gießen had actually trickled in, so here's an update on what you've missed if you weren't there last week... On early Friday afternoon tantive, pYrania, stkn and beejay had set up the booth, went on to meet TG, ian! and dertobi123 at the youth hostel which turned out to be a nasty surprise leading to a group decision to book a hotel next year... Having spent the evening (and important parts of the night) in a Greek restaurant with other exhibitors, organisers of the show, and late-arrival pylon.

Mild public interest in the early hours developed into a big rush on the Gentoo booth in the afternoon. Hanno joined the group of devs sitting around the table, and Cybersystem and a nameless Gentoo user performed a live installation of Gentoo Linux on an Apple Powerbook. Somehow the number of people looking over their shoulders with more than just mild interest must have achieved critical mass. The ice thusly and visibly broken, the Gentoo booth the dominant location in the exhibition area for the remainder of the Practical Linux day. When the doors closed at dusk, the visitors went away with lots of answers to their questions, and a LiveCD to ease their way into future Gentooism.

Last but not least, now that the show is over beejay has made copies of his presentation available as a Flash Movie (72kb) and as a PDF file (223kb). Enjoy.

6.  Portage Watch

Portage Watch is on hiatus this week.

7.  Bugzilla

Summary

Statistics

The Gentoo community uses Bugzilla (bugs.gentoo.org) to record and track bugs, notifications, suggestions and other interactions with the development team. Between 03 October 2003 and 09 October 2003, activity on the site has resulted in:

  • 503 new bugs during this period
  • 313 bugs closed or resolved during this period
  • 16 previously closed bugs were reopened this period

Of the 4152 currently open bugs: 109 are labeled 'blocker', 196 are labeled 'critical', and 343 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:

8.  Tips and Tricks

Using the Gentoo Log Parser (genlop)

This week's tip introduces the Gentoo Log Parser (genlop), which is a utility to create useful reports from your /var/log/emerge.log file. To get started with genlop, you'll need to install it using the following command: emerge app-portage/genlop.

We can now use genlop to look at the merge history for a package (or your entire system), and to calculate the merge times for various packages. The following example looks at the merge history for Mozilla.

Code Listing 8.1: Using genlop

% genlop -t mozilla

 * net-www/mozilla

     Merged   at Fri Jan  3 19:29:16 2003    (mozilla-1.2.1-r4)
       merge time: 1 hour, 35 minutes and 6 seconds.

     Merged   at Fri Mar 21 20:59:45 2003    (mozilla-1.2.1-r5)
       merge time: 2 hours, 53 minutes and 4 seconds.

     Merged   at Thu Jun 12 15:55:58 2003    (mozilla-1.3-r1)
       merge time: 3 hours, 28 minutes and 37 seconds.

     Merged   at Wed Jun 25 16:29:38 2003    (mozilla-1.3-r2)
       merge time: 2 hours, 43 minutes and 47 seconds.

     Merged   at Wed Jul 23 18:36:58 2003    (mozilla-1.4)
       merge time: 2 hours, 2 minutes and 24 seconds.

     Merged   at Wed Oct  1 14:49:31 2003    (mozilla-1.4-r3)
       merge time: 3 hours, 20 minutes and 38 seconds.

 merged totally 6 times in 16 hours, 3 minutes and 36 seconds.
 average merge time: 2 hours, 40 minutes and 36 seconds.
  

Note: Type genlop to see the other options availble.

9.  Moves, Adds and Changes

Moves

The following developers recently left the Gentoo team:

  • none this week

Adds

The following developers recently joined the Gentoo Linux team:

  • Lance Albertson (ramereth) -- system administration
  • Sven Blumenstein (bazik) -- sparc

Changes

The following developers recently changed roles within the Gentoo Linux project.

  • none this week

10.  Contribute to GWN

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11.  GWN Feedback

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12.  GWN Subscription Information

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13.  Other Languages

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Print

Page updated 20 October 2003

Summary: This is the Gentoo Weekly Newsletter for the week of October 20, 2003.

Yuji Carlos Kosugi
Editor

AJ Armstrong
Contributor

Brian Downey
Contributor

Cal Evans
Contributor

Chris Gavin
Contributor

Luke Giuliani
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Shawn Jonnet
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Michael Kohl
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Kurt Lieber
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Rafael Cordones Marcos
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David Narayan
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Gerald J Normandin Jr.
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Ulrich Plate
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Mathy Vanvoorden
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Hendrik Eeckhaut
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Jorn Eilander
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Bernard Kerckenaere
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Peter ter Borg
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Jochen Maes
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Roderick Goessen
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Gerard van den Berg
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Matthieu Montaudouin
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Xavier Neys
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Martin Prieto
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Antoine Raillon
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Sebastien Cevey
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Jean-Christophe Choisy
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Thomas Raschbacher
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Steffen Lassahn
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Matthias F. Brandstetter
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Lukas Domagala
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Tobias Scherbaum
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Daniel Gerholdt
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Marc Herren
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Tobias Matzat
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Marco Mascherpa
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Claudio Merloni
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Yoshiaki Hagihara
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Yuji Carlos Kosugi
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Pablo N. Hess -- NatuNobilis
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