Gentoo Weekly Newsletter: 19 March 2007
Dell run a Linux Survey
On March 13th, Dell opened a survey for Linux users to gather information about
what users use Linux for to help them to prioritize their resources towards
supporting Linux on their computers.
The survey can be found online
and the GWN team urges you to specify Gentoo as the distribution to prioritize
Important changes within the Java Project
A number of significant changes have happened within Gentoo's Java team.
First, Petteri Räty was elected as
the new Java Team Lead, taking over from Josh
Nichols. The GWN staff would like to congratulate Petteri on his new
position, and give our thanks to Josh, who has done an excellent job managing
the Java Team for the past year. Josh will be remaining as the Secondary Lead
of the project and team.
The Java team have also announced some upcoming changes to the Java Project's
overlays. The changes will happen at 1200UTC on March the 24th, 2007.
Generation 1, stale and unmaintained packages will be moved to the "junkyard" -
not to be used as an overlay. Maintained packages which are not needed in the
main tree will be moved into java-overlay, which will be made readily available
to users. Other packages, for example those which are being developed on, will
be moved into a java-experimental overlay.
To use the new overlay, layman users will need to run a few commands
after the changes have happened, commands are as follows:
Code Listing 1.1: Changes for layman users
# layman -d java-experimental
# layman -d java-migration-packages
# layman -a java-overlay
Mozilla Firefox 1.5.x to be removed
As the Mozilla Firefox 2.0 series is now stable on all architectures, the
Mozilla team has announced that the Mozilla Firefox 1.5 series will be removed
from the tree. It will be masked on April 1st 2007, and removed from the tree
two weeks after masking, on the 15th of April, 2007.
Developer of the week
"/welp hugs everybody" -Peter Weller, aka welp
Figure 2.1: Peter Weller, aka welp
This week's developer of the week is 16 year old Peter Weller, known as welp. He
was born in Rhode Island, US, but at the age of 4 moved with his parents to the
UK. He lives in Ipswich, UK with his parents and younger brother - an avid WOW
player. Peter has a pet budgie (parakeet) named Saffy and also has ducks and
chickens. He has a half brother who lives in France and a half sister who lives
in the US.
Peter is still in high school, but already knows that he wants a break from
education and plans on traveling after school. He is interested in visiting the
US, to include his birthplace of Rhode Island, Connecticut, and Oregon. Down the
line he considers a career as an ethical hacking consultant.
Peter likes to spend most of his free time on IRC but has a variety of other
interests. His favorite sports are skiing and sailing; he's been racing in
regattas for over three years now. He loves books by Tom Sharpe and says that
readers tend to find his work either extremely offensive or outrageously funny.
And a lesser known fact about Peter is that he plays the didgeridoo, an
Australian wind instrument.
Peter was first introduced to Linux (Fedora Core 4) during an web design
internship about 21 months ago. He found that though FC4 worked, he really
wasn't learning HOW it worked. He loves Gentoo because he has to know how it
works for it to work. He admits that if he doesn't know the ins and outs of
something, he tends not to like it. Peter decided that he wanted to be a
documentation developer for AMD64 so set out to learn GuideXML. The AMD64 team
took advantage of Peter quickly, roping him into architecture testing as well.
Peter credits several people for mentoring him, to include blubb and jokey. He
currently works with AMD64, Sunrise, Bugday, Gentoo/FreeBSD, net-IRC, Xfce,
www-servers, and the GWN.
As for welp's personal computers, he has a x86 laptop that dual boots Gentoo
Linux and Gentoo/FBSD, a x86 desktop running Gentoo/FBSD, an AMD64 running
Gentoo Linux, and a Gentoo vserver in Dusseldorf. Welp's preferred applications
are Xfce, a terminal, an SSH session to his vserver to connect to IRC, followed
up by gajim, firefox, and claws-mail.
Czech Gentoo Meeting
A visit to Prague by Wernfried Haas
gave a nice reason for getting together. Following a mail
by the resident developer Jan Kundrát
to the Czech mailing list, a couple of users showed up too. In the old
tradition of a tea-signing, the GnuPG keys were signed over a typical
Czech tea, also known as beer, a typical Czech food was served (more or
less, since the only place with free tables was an Italian restaurant),
and many current and former Gentoo developers were bashed by the attendants.
While this nice evening was the first real life meeting of Gentoo
developers in Prague ever, there hopefully will be another one in not so
distant future as our beloved Christel
Dahlskjaer is planning her visit to Prague. Rumors say she is
willing to marry a goat here, but the GWN team couldn't get an official
manifest before the issue went to press.
Tips and Tricks
Spice up your MOTD
MOTD stands for "Message Of The Day". On most systems the file
/etc/motd serves to output messages when someone logs in to the
system. In this installment of Tips and Tricks we learn how use fortune
and cowsay to create a fancy MOTD.
First we need to install two packages:
Code Listing 4.1: Installing cowsay and fortune
# emerge fortune-mod cowsay
Next we should choose a character from the following choices:
Code Listing 4.2: Choosing your character
# ls /usr/share/cowsay-3.03/cows/
# cowsay -f ren "foo"
Finally, we update /etc/motd:
Code Listing 4.3: Updating /etc/motd
# fortune | cowsay -f ren > /etc/motd
You can generate a new motd daily by creating the following file in
Code Listing 4.4: Setting up the cron job
# echo '#!/bin/sh' >> /etc/cron.daily/motd
# echo '/usr/bin/fortune | /usr/bin/cowsay -f ren > /etc/motd' >> /etc/cron.daily/motd
# chmod +x /etc/cron.daily/motd
If you want to spice up your motd even more,
read the forums thread which inspired this week's Tips and Tricks.
Gentoo developer moves
The following developers recently left the Gentoo project:
- Alexandre Buisse (nattfodd)
The following developers recently joined the Gentoo project:
The following developers recently changed roles within the Gentoo project:
Gentoo package moves
This section lists packages that have either been moved or added to the tree
and packages that have had their "last rites" announcement given to be removed
in the future. The package removals come from many locations, including the Treecleaners and various developers. Most
packages which are listed under the Last Rites section are in need of some love
and care and can remain in the tree if proper maintainership is established.
The Gentoo community uses Bugzilla (bugs.gentoo.org) to record and track
bugs, notifications, suggestions and other interactions with the
development team. Between 11 March 2007
and 18 March 2007, activity on the site has resulted in:
- 619 new bugs during this period
- 443 bugs closed or resolved during this period
- 27 previously closed bugs were reopened this period
- 152 closed as NEEDINFO/WONTFIX/CANTFIX/INVALID/UPSTREAM during this period
- 116 bugs marked as duplicates during this period
Of the 10239 currently open bugs: 17 are labeled 'blocker', 107 are labeled
'critical', and 412 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
The GWN is staffed by volunteers and members of the community who submit ideas
and articles. If you are interested in writing for the GWN, have feedback on an
article that we have posted, or just have an idea or article that you would
like to submit to the GWN, please send us your feedback and help make the GWN
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