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Gentoo Weekly Newsletter: June 7, 2004

Content:

1.  Gentoo News

Introducing app-admin/wasabi, a log-monitoring tool

We're very pleased to announce the public release of Wasabi, a log file-monitoring tool that infrastructure dev Andrea Barisani wrote to replace oak. Wasabi watches a log file for lines matching a user-defined regular expressions and reports on the matches, sending an email as soon as an associated line is found, or reporting periodically. The source is available here, and an unstable ebuild has been committed into the portage tree. Documentation is available here. Feedback, bug reports, and feature requests should be sent to bugs.gentoo.org.

Some GLEP news

This week saw the submisison of one GLEP as well as a major revision to another. First, GLEP editor Grant Goodyear submitted GLEP 28, which proposes to mark Draft GLEPs that have been inactive for more than 60 days and Accepted GLEPs that have been inactive for over six monhts as inactive. This is intended to keep inactive GLEPs from lingering in a limbo state and help the GLEP editors keep track of how each GLEP is doing.

Grant also reworked GLEP 22 this week. This GLEP concerns changes to the keyword designed to facilitate the mixing and matching of hardware architectures, userland toolsets, C libraries, and kernels. The original idea, brought up by Daniel Robbins, was to have compound keywords like gnu/x86 and macos/ppc. This, however, didn't cover the full range of possibilities, and in further discussion the developers decided to embrace the combinatorial explosion instead of avoiding it. Thus, GLEP 22 proposes a system where keywords would have 4 parts, corresponding to the possible architecture, userland, libc, and kernel choices, resulting in something like five hundred possible keywords.

2.  Gentoo Security

tla: Multiple vulnerabilities in included libneon

tla includes a vulnerable version of the neon library.

For more information, please see the GLSA Announcement

Ethereal: Multiple security problems

Multiple vulnerabilities including one buffer overflow exist in Ethereal, which may allow an attacker to run arbitrary code or crash the program.

For more information, please see the GLSA Announcement

tripwire: Format string vulnerability

A vulnerability allowing arbitrary code execution under certain circumstances has been found.

For more information, please see the GLSA Announcement

sitecopy: Multiple vulnerabilities in included libneon

sitecopy includes a vulnerable version of the neon library.

For more information, please see the GLSA Announcement

3.  Featured Developer of the Week

Jason Stubbs


Figure 3.1: Jason Stubbs, with wife Sanae

Fig. 1: Jason Stubbs

Our featured developer for this week is Jason Stubbs (jstubbs), one of the members of the portage developers group. He is currently completing work on an API (Application Programming Interface) for portage, to provide an abstract interface for client applications to make use of portage functionality. He will also be helping with the modification of existing tools to use the new API and the modularization and abstraction of portage's back-end as we move toward the portage-ng functionality. He describes this work as amongst the accomplishments he is most proud of, and took the opportunity to thank Jason Mobarak (aether) for recruiting him to work on it.

Jason works on an Athlon 1800 XP laptop (512 MB, 30 GB, GeForce4), and works solely in KDE, using KDE applications supplemented by mplayer and ogle. He typically works at home, multitasking his brain with the television or stereo, but sometimes works on the train ride to work. His primary development environment is KDevelop, save for quick text edits in nano.

Jason has been a programmer for most of his life - beginning with BASIC as a pre-teen and progressing through C, Pascal, and C++ before learning 6502 assembly language and Java as a teenager. He studied Engineering at the Swinburne University of Technology in Melbourne before leaving to pursue a career in programming. Jason's first experience with Linux was when he began experimenting with Slackware in 1994. He furthered his understanding by building a test server for experimentation and test server using Red Hat in 1997. In early 2003, he discovered Gentoo on distrowatch and was intrigued by the "simple but powerful" ideals of the distro. He has been using it ever since and expects to introduce it at his work with a server upgrade in the near future.

Jason is originally from Melbourne, Australia. He met his wife while studying Japanese in Sydney and moved to Japan to marry her. He now lives in Yokohama (just outside Tokyo), where he works as a Linux server administrator and developer. He finds himself coding in anything from C++ through C, ruby and php as he works on a variety of web-based applications and server utilities. He is a passionate musician, playing both guitar and trumpet. He is a Pink Floyd fan, but claims to an omnivorous taste: "anything except Country - even Opera!". His other great interest is studying science, especially mathematics and physics. He can often be found quoting Jedi Master Qui-Gon Jinn from Star Wars Epsisode I: "Your perspective determines your reality."

4.  Heard in the Community

Web Forums

Free Macromedia Flash Player for Linux - Or Is It?

The brandnew Flash player version 7 for Linux put out by Macromedia ten days ago has been greeted with more than just mild interest. Although the lack of a Shockwave client for Linux is frequently deplored within the same sentence, people honour the move to make at least Flash available on their preferred platform. However, the details of the license agreement are peculiar enough to raise a number of eyebrows, especially about the redistribution clauses that appear to need some revision before Linux distributions can be sure to stay within legal boundaries if they ship Flash 7 to their users:

Love Sources Now Featuring ReiserFS 4

Gentoo Forums continue to be a place for shadow development outside the official Gentoo devhood. Last week the (in)famous patch-as-you-can Linux kernel project "Love Sources" has come up with its latest installment of a heavily ment and bent package somewhat loosely based on Andrew Morton's mm-sources, together with support for the latest filesystem craze, ReiserFS 4. Your mileage may vary dramatically:

gentoo-user

Putting /etc on a separate partition

Usually /etc and the root (/) directories coexist on the same physical drive patition. Is it possible to split them?

Viruses on Linux

The subject itself was marked "off-topic" by its author, but turned into one of the larger thread's we've seen on gentoo-user. Read it here.

gentoo-dev

Developers being sought

When Seemant Kulleen posted to -dev looking for people interested in maintaining the firebird database and BIND ebuilds, several other developers followed suit, asking for help with X, dialup, Java, and webapps. This might be a good chance for those of you who are interested in becoming developers. See the thread for details.

5.  Gentoo International

Germany: LinuxTag 23-26 June in Karlsruhe

The Gentoo booth at Europe's largest Linux and Open Source fair, the LinuxTag in Karlsruhe (close to the French border), is set to become even more exciting than last year's event. Fifteen Gentoo developers from all over Germany, clad in Gentoo shirts reminiscent of football teams are sharing their time to man the booth that will feature almost every Gentoo platform imaginable, ranging from various Macs and Intel-based laptops via a veritable SGI Indy, right down to iPaqs and an Xbox. A webcam will deliver live views from the booth to the community at large, and those who do make it all the way to Karlsruhe will become the first Gentooists to become members of the German not-for-profit association Gentoo e.V., for an annual membership fee of 20 Euros (10 for students). Application forms and lots of give-aways and Gentoo merchandise will be available at the stand. For details, refer to the Gentoo e.V. website and a coordination thread in the Forums.

6.  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 28 May 2004 and 03 June 2004, activity on the site has resulted in:

  • 614 new bugs during this period
  • 333 bugs closed or resolved during this period
  • 16 previously closed bugs were reopened this period

Of the 6363 currently open bugs: 135 are labeled 'blocker', 201 are labeled 'critical', and 522 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:

7.  Tips and Tricks

Aliasing ACCEPT_KEYWORDS

This week's tip was submitted by developer Caleb Tennis

I saw a user post this in a bug comment, and thought it was a good idea. In your .bashrc file, add the line:

Code Listing 7.1

alias akmrg='ACCEPT_KEYWORDS="~x86" emerge'

This will allow you to emerge unstable ebuilds by typing akmrg foo instead of the more cumbersome ACCEPT_KEYWORDS="~x86" emerge foo.

However, if you always want to have certain keywords in place when emerging particular ebuilds, the recommended way is to edit /etc/portage/package.keywords. For example, to have net-misc/totd emerged with the ~x86 keyword, add the following:

Code Listing 7.2

net-misc/totd ~x86

This also makes using the --upgrade-only option of emerge unnecessary.

8.  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:

  • Christian Andreetta (satya) - SAMBA
  • Scott Haffield (hadfield) - Gentoo Script Repository
  • Lukasz Strzygowski (lucass) - python
  • Guillaume Destuynder (kang) - net-p2p, RSBAC

Changes

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

  • None this week

9.  Contribute to GWN

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10.  GWN Feedback

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11.  GWN Subscription Information

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12.  Other Languages

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Print

Page updated 7 June 2004

Summary: This is the Gentoo Weekly Newsletter for the week of May 31st, 2004.

Yuji Carlos Kosugi
Editor

AJ Armstrong
Contributor

Brian Downey
Contributor

Kurt Lieber
Contributor

David Narayan
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Ulrich Plate
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Sven Vermeulen
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Simon Holm Thagersen
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Jesper Brodersen
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Arne Mejlholm
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Hendrik Eeckhaut
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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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Hiroyuki Takeda
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Otavio Rodolfo Piske
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Pablo N. Hess -- NatuNobilis
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Pedro de Medeiros
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Ventura Barbeiro
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Bruno Ferreira
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