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Gentoo Weekly Newsletter: November 3rd, 2003

Content:

1.  Gentoo News

Summary

Embedded Gentoo seeking interested developers

A group of Gentoo developers comprising Chris PeBenito, Arun Thomas, Ned Ludd, and Abhishek Amit are looking for people interested in helping get Embedded Gentoo restarted. They've restarted the #gentoo-embedded channel and a proposal has been submitted, but some planning needs to be done before any projects are started. Send one of them an email if you want to help out, or post to the thread on gentoo-dev if you have any ideas.

2.  Featured Developer of the Week

Patrick Kursawe


Figure 2.1: Patrick Kursawe

Fig. 1: Patrick Kursawe

This week's featured developer is Patrick Kursawe (phosphan), a frequent contributer and maintainer of ebuilds. When he has time, he also provides general bug-squashing services in the sci (scientific) and video herds.

Patrick grew up in Essen, Germany and now lives, works and goes to school in Bochum. He works for the Computing Centre of the Ruhr-Universität Bochum, where he is currently a doctoral candidate in Analytical Chemistry. In fact, Patrick is scheduled to complete his studies in December, which accounts for his lack of significant time to devote to Gentoo just at the moment. He lives with his companion-in-life Natalia and enjoys the aquatic pursuits of canoeing, sailing, scuba diving and snorkeling. On land, he is an avid reader and fan of standard and latin dancing, as well as studying Aikido. He reflects that, despite being a professional and hobbyist user, "there's more to life than computers, even if they're running Gentoo Linux".

The saga of Patrick's elevation to developer status is entirely documented in Bug 17019, and was summarized by him with the observation that "after a half a dozen or so ebuilds stuffed into bugzilla they maybe thought it was less trouble if they gave me CVS access". Patrick first tried Gentoo on a test server after reading about the distro in the spring of 2002, and within a few months he had converted four other computers to Gentoo, saving only a lonely SuSE box to serve a reference platform. This was a fairly substantial shift for someone who had been a dedicated SuSE user for the five years previous, and reflects his thoughts on Gentoo: "if you don't think one size fits all, you should give it a try."

Patrick is a Windowmaker user, and lists as his favorite applications (in no particular order): mutt, vim, knews, mozilla, apache, kvoctrain, cups, perl and gcc. When asked what application he first launches on startup, Patrick responded "init". The author declines to comment on the sort of sense of humour that represents.

3.  Gentoo Security

Gentoo Security is on hiatus this week.

4.  Heard in the Community

Web Forums

Gentoo-related Jobs Forum Created

It's not as if the other forum categories had been crumbling under the onslaught of job advertisements recently, but the Forum administrators, anticipating the future popularity of this particular type of postings, have now set up a forum for job offers directly related to Gentoo Linux. If you have jobs for developers in the field of Gentoo Linux available, do post a short message to this forum (after a good, long look at its very specific guidelines):

Centrino WLAN Chip Support in Linux

One of the main reasons for people staying away from laptops and notebooks using Intel's Centrino technology used to be the lack of Linux support for the wireless LAN mini-PCI card included in that platform. While Intel seems to be indifferent about it, Linuxant (of Linmodem fame) has released commercial NDIS-driver wrappers for this and other hardware drivers in the open so that Linux users can actually benefit from the hardware features they bought with their portable PC, by using the Windows drivers inside their Linux configurations. Check this thread for a discussion of both Linuxant's and Intel's attitudes, and user experiences with Linuxant's drivers:

Desktops and Windows

While the first KDE 3.2 beta ebuilds are continuing to blossom on the portage tree, other leaner and meaner window managers do have their followers, especially among Gentooists traditionally fond of things with a small memory footprint. Flavour of the week seems to be XFCE4, but unlike most Linux support mailing lists that carefully avoid this type of discussion for fear of (f)lame wars, one of the strengths of a web-based forum is that people can explore and compare the virtues of window managers and desktop environments without getting scolded for cluttering bandwidth. Check some threads on current trends in making X look good:

gentoo-user

IDE Performance Tweaks

In the never ending quest of squeezing every last bit of performance out of your IDE disks, here are some more settings to try on your Gentoo box.

gentoo-dev

Locking a user out.

A problem with locking a user out of system with usermod commands is that often they can still log in using ssh etc. Have a look at this post for some potential remedies for this ailment.

5.  Gentoo International

Russian Forum In Spe Looking for Moderators

The Gentoo Forums are busy looking for one or more Russian speakers to take on the responsibilities of moderating the new Russian forum in the works. The current global moderators are unable to watch over even the first few days of a new forum in a language none of them speaks all that well, which is why it'll only be created after someone managing it from the inside is found. Go to this thread to announce your intentions.

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 24 October 2003 and 30 October 2003, activity on the site has resulted in:

  • 425 new bugs during this period
  • 289 bugs closed or resolved during this period
  • 7 previously closed bugs were reopened this period

Of the 3925 currently open bugs: 89 are labeled 'blocker', 188 are labeled 'critical', and 311 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

Scheduling with "at"

This week's tip shows you how to schedule events in Gentoo Linux with the at command. While cron is the more common scheduling utility in Gentoo Linux, at is useful for scheduling one-time events, or simply setting a task to run at some date/time in the future.

Code Listing 8.1: Getting at

# emerge sys-apps/at
  

Now that at is installed, the daemon must be started so that scheduled jobs can be run.

Code Listing 8.2: Starting atd

# /etc/init.d/atd start
 * Starting atd...                                                        [ ok ]
  

Now you can start using at.

Note: For security you may need to edit /etc/at/at.allow and /etc/at/at.deny. See the manpage for more information on securing at.

Code Listing 8.3: Using at

(Set XMMS to play wakeup.ogg at 6am tomorrow morning)
% at 6am tomorrow
at> xmms ~/music/wakeup.ogg
at> <Ctrl-D>
job 6 at 2003-10-31 06:00

(At 11:30 pm today, start an install of mozilla)
% at 11:30 pm today
at> emerge update mozilla
at> <Ctrl-D>
job 7 at 2003-10-30 23:30
  

Now there are two jobs scheduled which will be run 'at' the specified times. To view a list of jobs you've scheduled, use atq. If you decide you don't want a job to run, you can can use the atrm command.

Code Listing 8.4: Removing a previously scheduled job

(Remove the 'emerge' job we scheduled for 11:30pm)
% atq
6       2003-10-31 06:00 a david
7       2003-10-30 23:30 a david
% atrm 7
% atq
6       2003-10-31 06:00 a david
  

For more information use man 1 at.

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:

  • Jeremy Martin-Sheperd (jbms) -- emacs
  • James Harlow (hythloday) -- script repository
  • kloeri -- python

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 3 November 2003

Summary: This is the Gentoo Weekly Newsletter for the week of November 3rd, 2003.

Yuji Carlos Kosugi
Editor

AJ Armstrong
Contributor

Brian Downey
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Cal Evans
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Chris Gavin
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Luke Giuliani
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Shawn Jonnet
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Michael Kohl
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Kurt Lieber
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