Gentoo Weekly Newsletter: November 3rd, 2003
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.
Featured Developer of the Week
Figure 2.1: 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.
Gentoo Security is on hiatus this week.
Heard in the Community
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:
IDE Performance Tweaks
In the never ending quest of squeezing every last bit of performance out of your IDE disks,
are some more settings to try on your Gentoo box.
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.
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.
Portage Watch is on hiatus this week.
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:
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.
For security you may need to edit /etc/at/at.allow and
/etc/at/at.deny. See the manpage for more information on
Code Listing 8.3: Using at
% at 6am tomorrow
at> xmms ~/music/wakeup.ogg
job 6 at 2003-10-31 06:00
% at 11:30 pm today
at> emerge update mozilla
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
Code Listing 8.4: Removing a previously scheduled job
6 2003-10-31 06:00 a david
7 2003-10-30 23:30 a david
% atrm 7
6 2003-10-31 06:00 a david
For more information use man 1 at.
Moves, Adds and Changes
The following developers recently left the Gentoo team:
The following developers recently joined the Gentoo Linux team:
- Jeremy Martin-Sheperd (jbms) -- emacs
- James Harlow (hythloday) -- script repository
- kloeri -- python
The following developers recently changed roles within the Gentoo Linux project.
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