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Gentoo Weekly Newsletter: June 20th, 2005


1.  Gentoo News

Gentoo Foundation store opens

Taking over from Daniel Robbins -- whose sole remaining activity at the Gentoo project had been the Gentoo merchandising shop operations -- the new Gentoo store under new management by the Gentoo Foundation is now up and running. Set up at Cafepress, the store's catalog of 2005.0 CDs, branded clothing and "schwag" including coffee mugs and other merchandising items is now ready for online ordering, with prices in USD and delivery worldwide. 5 USD of each item sold goes as a direct contribution to the Gentoo project, to be made available to development by the Foundation. The store's address hasn't changed, it's at

Gentoo at the German LinuxTag 2005 in Karlsruhe

"Linux everywhere" is the motto of this year's LinuxTag, the largest European Linux fair, which again takes place in Karlsruhe this week, 22 to 25 June. "Gentoo on everything slightly faster than a washing machine" could very well be the slogan of the Gentoo booth at the event. Representing Gentoo Linux for the third year in a row, this year seesa nice collection of Gentoo-supported platforms on display, including MIPS machines (an SGI O2), a Sun Blade 100 (SPARC) and several PowerPC hosts (two PegasosPPC ODWs and several iBook's), complemented by the usual assorted x86 hardware.

You will have plenty of opportunity to meet many of the German Gentoo developers and discuss recent activities and upcoming changes with them. A handful of developers from other countries also announced their attendance, of which Robin H. Johnson flying in from Canada will undoubtedly be the one earning the most bonus-miles.

Gentoo booths organized by the German NFP "Friends of Gentoo e.V." traditionally include a remastered XLiveCD distributed under the nickname "Fizzlewizzle". Thanks to Joseph Jezak's brand-new version of Xorgautoconfig this event's Fizzlewizzle Edition is also available for PowerPCs. The XLiveCD is fully localized into German, ships with the current KDE release 3.4.1 and features top-notch translated installation documents. Gentoo merchandise and lots of free give-a-ways are available at the booth, too, and visitors can also become a member of "Friends of Gentoo" (official German title of the NFP: Förderverein Gentoo e.V.) on the spot, for an annual membership fee of 20 EUR (10 for students).

Gentoo Forum admin and moderators to become official staff members

After years in the twilight zone, the Gentoo Forums are becoming an official Gentoo project. Christian Hartmann and Wernfried Haas submitted a GLEP that has already been discussed with Gentoo's developer relations department, as it directly impacts in their area, and has now been taken to the mailing list for open discussion.

This means that all administrators and the so-called global moderators will now be official Gentoo staff members. This will give the Forum team better access to developers and resources helping them ensure the quality of the award winning Gentoo Forums.

In preparation for this change the Forum team has written a new document entitled "Gentoo Forums Moderator Policies and Guidelines".

Gentoo Forums receive hardware donation

Forum administrator Tom Knight's employers, Dialogue Communications, have generously donated two 160GB Maxtor DiamondMax Plus 9 hard drives and an AMCC 3ware 9500S-4LP SATA RAID controller. This hardware will mainly be used for development and testing of new forums features, including the long awaited UTF8 conversion which needs lots of I/O for testing. Thanks a lot!

2.  Heard in the community

Web forums

64 vs 32 bit: is less really more?

Triggered by Jem Matzan's article on, this thread discusses the virtues of going 64-bit instead of staying with a 32-bit-architecture. As the article seems to find too little in terms of performance enhancement by the move at this time, the Forum regulars are a little disappointed about tomorrow's platform not being properly hailed as today's alternative, as they think it should be.

3.  Gentoo International

UK: London Gentoo user and developer meeting

Last Friday, a few Gentoo developers and users met up, albeit at very short notice, for a few drinks in central London. Gentoo developers Daniel Drake, Michal Januszewski (visiting from Poland) and Benjamin Smee (strerror) got together with event organizer George Prowse (more widely known as cokehabit) and Gentoo users Andy and Edwin for the afternoon. They are planning to organize a similar meeting later this summer, and this time there'll be some advance notice, promised!

Figure 3.1: Gentooists of London

Fig. 1: London

Note: Left to right: Daniel Drake, Andy, George Prowse, Benjamin Smee, Michal Januszewski

4.  Gentoo in the press

Slashdot (14 June 2005)

A merry flamefest was kindled upon news that Gentoo founder Daniel Robbins had found employment with Microsoft. Among the readers commenting the short article, Hans Reiser could be seen putting drobbins' credit card debt in perspective with his own financial distress stemming from a messy divorce, other people volunteered to mount rescue missions, with about half the comments venturing into various sinister sci-fi analogies from Star Wars to Star Trek, apparently unable to decide whether it's been Darth Gates or Gates of Borg who lured Gentoo's ex-chief-architect into joining the forces of evil.

The Age, Sydney Morning Herald (14 June 2005)

Australian broad-sheet daily newspaper The Age picked up the story of Daniel Robbins' new employment at Microsoft from the Gentoo website. Author Sam Varghese puts the Gentoo founder next to Gnome's Nat Friedman as "about the only other prominent open-source figure" who has ever worked for Microsoft, with Ximian founder Miguel de Icaza having been interviewed once, but turned down. The same article appeared in the Sydney Morning Herald, a sister publication of The Age.

The Inquirer (14 June 2005)

A significantly more salacious way of wording the very same news item could be found at the Inquirer, a rather eccentric UK online publication who depicts Daniel Robbins turning into someone who "squeaks wildly in the burrow of the Vole" where he's "joined the forces of darkness" in order "to help Microsoft try to understand how Open Sauce works, a fairly major task." (15 June 2005)

Yet another Gentoo-related article by author Jem Matzen, this time about "64-bit performance in Gentoo Linux" -- or rather the lack of any really outstanding performance measured in his benchmark tests. An earlier test with FreeBSD in a 64-bit environment had already yielded similar results: "64-bit does make a difference, but that performance advantage may not be evident in all situations."

ZDNet UK (16 June 2005)

Allowing for a few days of checking the background, ZDNet's Ingrid Marson wrote a more complete assessment of Daniel's new employment and the alleged ripples in the project's surface, which as she finds weren't as agitated as some expected.

5.  Moves, adds, and changes


The following developers recently left the Gentoo team:

  • None this week


The following developers recently joined the Gentoo Linux team:

  • Jean-François Brunette (formula7) - Security
  • Matthias Schwarzott (zzam) - Video Disc Recorder (VDR) ebuilds
  • Julien Allanos (dju`) - web apps
  • Paul Varner (FuzzyRay) - tools-portage
  • Senno During (st3vie) - Dutch GWN translation lead
  • Stefan Briesenick (sbriesen) - net-dialup


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

  • None this week

6.  Gentoo security

MediaWiki: Cross-site scripting vulnerability

MediaWiki is vulnerable to a cross-site scripting attack that could allow arbitrary scripting code execution.

For more information, please see the GLSA Announcement

webapp-config: Insecure temporary file handling

The webapp-config utility insecurely creates temporary files in a world writable directory, potentially allowing the execution of arbitrary commands.

For more information, please see the GLSA Announcement

Sun and Blackdown Java: Applet privilege escalation

Sun's and Blackdown's JDK or JRE may allow untrusted applets to elevate their privileges.

For more information, please see the GLSA Announcement

PeerCast: Format string vulnerability

PeerCast suffers from a format string vulnerability that could allow arbitrary code execution.

For more information, please see the GLSA Announcement

7.  Bugzilla



The Gentoo community uses Bugzilla ( to record and track bugs, notifications, suggestions and other interactions with the development team. Between 12 June 2005 and 19 June 2005, activity on the site has resulted in:

  • 664 new bugs during this period
  • 348 bugs closed or resolved during this period
  • 21 previously closed bugs were reopened this period

Of the 8461 currently open bugs: 97 are labeled 'blocker', 214 are labeled 'critical', and 605 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.  GWN feedback

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9.  GWN subscription information

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10.  Other languages

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Page updated June 20, 2005

Summary: This is the Gentoo Weekly Newsletter for the week of 20 June 2005.

Ulrich Plate

Daniel Drake

M Curtis Napier

Tobias Scherbaum

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