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Gentoo Weekly Newsletter: 19 March 2007


1.  Gentoo News

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 on!

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.

2.  Developer of the week

"/welp hugs everybody" -Peter Weller, aka welp

Figure 2.1: Peter Weller, aka welp

Fig. 1: 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.

3.  Gentoo International

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.

4.  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 /etc/cron.daily:

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.

5.  Gentoo developer moves


The following developers recently left the Gentoo project:

  • Alexandre Buisse (nattfodd)


The following developers recently joined the Gentoo project:

  • none this week


The following developers recently changed roles within the Gentoo project:

  • none this week

6.  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.


Package: Removal date: Contact:
net-p2p/mnet 13 Mar 2007 Raúl Porcel
games-fps/quake1 14 Mar 2007 Michael Sterrett
games-fps/ttyquake 14 Mar 2007 Michael Sterrett
app-portage/portage-prefpane 15 Mar 2007 Michael Hanselmann
net-wireless/ipw2100 17 Mar 2007 Christian Heim
net-wireless/ipw2200 17 Mar 2007 Christian Heim
net-www/mod_injection 17 Mar 2007 Christian Heim
net-www/mod_bwshare 17 Mar 2007 Christian Heim
net-www/mod_random 17 Mar 2007 Christian Heim
net-www/mod_encoding 17 Mar 2007 Christian Heim
www-apache/mod_depends 17 Mar 2007 Christian Heim
games-rpg/planeshift 17 Mar 2007 Alfredo Tupone
kde-base/kde-env 17 Mar 2007 Carsten Lohrke
net-im/ohphone 17 Mar 2007 Ryan Hill
dev-php4/PEAR-XML_CSSML 18 Mar 2007 Luca Longinotti
dev-php4/PEAR-XML_XPath 18 Mar 2007 Luca Longinotti
net-irc/cyclone 18 Mar 2007 Raúl Porcel


Package: Addition date: Contact:
dev-ruby/adhearsion 13 Mar 2007 Christian Marie
x11-plugins/wmcpu 14 Mar 2007 Michele Noberasco
media-plugins/audacious-g15-spectrum 15 Mar 2007 Robert Buchholz
app-misc/g15macro 15 Mar 2007 Robert Buchholz
app-misc/g15message 15 Mar 2007 Robert Buchholz
dev-ruby/ruby-debug-base 16 Mar 2007 Christian Marie
dev-ruby/ruby-debug 16 Mar 2007 Christian Marie
media-sound/pymp 16 Mar 2007 Samuli Suominen
net-p2p/deluge 16 Mar 2007 Raúl Porcel
app-laptop/macbook-backlight 16 Mar 2007 Cédric Krier
dev-java/javahelp 16 Mar 2007 Petteri Räty
dev-haskell/xhtml 17 Mar 2007 Lennart Kolmodin
dev-haskell/arrows 17 Mar 2007 Lennart Kolmodin
dev-haskell/cgi 17 Mar 2007 Lennart Kolmodin
dev-haskell/time 17 Mar 2007 Lennart Kolmodin
media-tv/dvbstreamer 17 Mar 2007 Matthias Schwarzott
xfce-extra/xfce4-places 17 Mar 2007 Samuli Suominen
dev-ruby/facter 17 Mar 2007 Masatomo Nakano
app-admin/puppet 17 Mar 2007 Masatomo Nakano
media-libs/libnut 18 Mar 2007 Steve Dibb
dev-cpp/tclap 18 Mar 2007 René Nussbaumer

Last Rites:

Package: Removal date: Contact:
app-text/estraier 12 Apr 2007 Matsuu Takuto
dev-java/oscore-bin 12 Apr 2007 William L. Thomson Jr.
dev-java/oscore 12 Apr 2007 William L. Thomson Jr.
sci-electronics/modelsim 14 Apr 2007 Denis Dupeyron
mail-mta/qmail 15 Apr 2007 Michael Hanselmann
www-servers/ncsa-httpd 17 Apr 2007 Raúl Porcel
net-im/aim-transport 17 Apr 2007 Raúl Porcel
xfce-extra/xfcalendar 18 Apr 2007 Samuli Suominen
xfce-base/xffm 18 Apr 2007 Samuli Suominen
www-servers/plb 18 Apr 2007 Raúl Porcel

7.  Bugzilla



The Gentoo community uses Bugzilla ( 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 period are:

8.  GWN feedback

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 better.

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Page updated March 19, 2007

Summary: This is the Gentoo Weekly Newsletter for the week of 19 March 2007.

Chris Gianelloni

Peter Weller

William L. Thomson Jr.

Petteri Räty

Andrey Falko

Raúl Porcel

Wernfried Haas

Chrissy Fullam

Jan Kundrát

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