Gentoo Weekly Newsletter 17 July 2006

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Gentoo Weekly Newsletter 17 July 2006

Lars Weiler
Gentoo Weekly Newsletter
This is the Gentoo Weekly Newsletter for the week of 17 July 2006.
1. Gentoo news
The VDR project needs your help
The Gentoo Video Disk Recorder [1] (VDR) project is looking for some
people to help out and join the team. If you are interested in helping
out, please contact Matthias Schwarzott[2].

 2. [hidden email]
2. Developer of the week
"The emperor told me it was my destiny." -Jason Wever, aka Weeve
Figure 2.1: Jason Wever, aka Weeve
Developer Jason Wever, aka Weeve, grew up in upstate New York. At 27, he
currently resides in Broomfield, CO... for the rest of us, that is
somewhere outside of Denver.
Jason has a variety of interests. He has been able to fulfill his
childhood dream of becoming a pirate by riding the ebb and flow of packet
tides, stealing from the rich and streaming to the poor. When he's not off
pirating, Weeve also enjoys some more common things like reading, walking,
and biking. He enjoys listening to punk and a little jazz, ska, or reggae
and occasionally writes and performs as well. Weeve also collects obscure
punk, jazz, and classical vinyl records. We might all be surprised to
think of him listening to classical music, but he said he does so in order
to slow things down and to contemplate the finer points of life. Yes
that's right, this IRC clown has a serious side. He believes that
philosophy is something that should be experienced, not taught and enjoys
sampling other cultures and their view of the world with regards to inner
peace and serenity.
Weeve has a rather interesting job as a Security Engineer for Avaya. He
does penetration testing of products and helps determine the impact of
vendor advisories, like RHE or MS, on Avaya products. Weeve obviously
enjoys his work, stating "getting paid to break stuff is the bomb!"
Weeve recalled his start with Linux... he was a Slackware user as it did
not make assumptions about what a user wanted or try to do things for the
user, but felt that he was limited with the package set. That's when a
friend introduced him to Gentoo. While running Gentoo on a SPARC
workstation, he answered forum posts, submitted bugs, and began pestering
Seemant until he made him a developer. An active developer for four years,
Weeve is also the Strategic Lead for the SPARC team, and has recently
joined the Infrastructure team.
As for his home machines, Weeve has an x86 server that runs apache, samba,
NFS, IMAP, and spamassassin. He also has an x86 laptop and an AMD64
workstation. As to be expected, he also has a collection of SPARC
machines, to include 6 test SPARC64's (Ultra1, Ultra2, Ultra10, Ultra60,
Blade 100, and Blade 1000), as well as an assortment of SPARC32 machines.
The first apps he launches are rxvt-unicode, gkrellm2, firefox,
sylpheed-claws and/or pine, screen, xmms, and aumix.
3. Heard in the community
dispatch-conf or etc-update?
Welp, an Arch Tester, created a poll asking people which tool they use for
managing files under CONFIG_PROTECT. etc-update seems to be favored among
the older users, as that was the only tool for the job in previous
releases. dispatch-conf on the other hand is favored by mainly the newer
users, although there are some older users who swear by it. While almost
50% prefer either one of these utilities, there are also a few who use
neither, using programs such as cfg-update to manage merging and updating
configuration files.
 * dispatch-conf or etc-update?[3]

Nazi / German 3rd Reich symbols
A discussion has sparked on the forums about the usage of Nazi symbols on
the Gentoo forums. Several different views are expressed by the posters.
What do you think? Speak your mind on the thread, as a friendly discussion
is wanted by those involved.
 * Nazi / German 3rd Reich symbols on Gentoo Forums[4]
Gentoo around the world
Several events took place during the past few weeks, including the Gentoo
UK Conference in London and the Libre Software Meeting (LSM) in France.
Several people, including Damien Krotkine[5], Boris Fersing[6] and Hanno
Boeck[7] manned the Gentoo booth at LSM and gave away 2006.0 LiveCD's.

 5. [hidden email]
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Daniel Drake[8] reports about the Gentoo UK Conference in his blog. About
65 people attended the third Gentoo Conference in the UK and listened to
talks about Ainkaboot (a London-based startup company providing
cluster-solutions based on Gentoo Linux), an introduction to Gentoo's
release engineering by Tim Yamin[9] and Andrew Cowie's talking about "How
Gentoo rocks in the enterprise". After a lunch-break Daniel presented a
few ideas about problems with the contribution flow through the Gentoo
community. Finally Bryan Ƙstergaard[10] gave a short introduction to
Gentoo's developer relations project, especially about the recruitment and
retirement process.

 8. [hidden email]
 9. [hidden email]
 10. [hidden email]
Figure 3.1: from left to right: dertobi123 (HPPA), Kugelfang (AMD64),
plasmaroo (IA64/genkernel) and kloeri (Alpha)
 *  LSM 2006: pictures[11]
 *  Gentoo UK 2006: success[12]
 *  Gentoo UK 2006 pics/slides published[13]
 13. - Gentoo Community Portal
Thomas Cort[14] started to build a collection of Gentoo community sites
with the goal of giving them more visibility.[15] provides
not only links to community sites but also to their
counterparts. About 50 sites are currently added, please mail additions to

 14. [hidden email]
 16. [hidden email]
 * - Gentoo Community Portal[17]  

New PHP revisions in the tree
New PHP versions (dev-lang/php-4.4.2-r6 and dev-lang/php-5.1.4-r4) hit the
tree some days ago. Notable things include various bug and security fixes,
but the shiniest new feature is the concurrentmodphp USE Flag which allows
use of both mod_php4 and mod_php5 in the same Apache instance, with each
mod_php version having its own mime-types and configuration directives.
Though this feature is considered highly experimental, it has been tested
on x86.
 *  New PHP revisions in the tree[18]  

4. Tips and Tricks
Changing virtual terminals
Changing virtual terminals is already a fairly easy combination of
keypresses in a standard Linux installation.If are you are in X, you would
use Ctrl+Alt plus the function key of the terminal number to change to.
Switching back is easy, just select Ctl+Alt+F7. Outside of X it's one less
keypress - Alt+F2.
Like most things in a Unix-like environment, there is more than one way to
accomplish your goal.This one is no different. The sys-apps/kbd ebuild
installs a chvt binary which lets you change terminals with one command.
The only argument it takes is an integer value of which one you want to
switch to.
| Code Listing 4.1:                                                       |
| Changing terminals with chvt                                            |
|                                                                         |
|# chvt 1                                                                 |
|                                                                         |
If you are in X, you can only execute the command as root, otherwise it
will not work. It will work as any user outside of X, though. If you're
interested in a workaround, you can use app-admin/sudo to allow your
user(s) to run chvt from inside an X11 session.
| Code Listing 4.2:                                                       |
| Adding sudo access to chvt                                              |
|                                                                         |
|$ echo "%users $HOSTNAME=/usr/bin/chvt" >> /etc/sudoers                  |
|                                                                         |
Warning:  Be sure you know what you are doing when modifying sudo
permissions, since you are giving root access to run certain commands.
More ScummVM games
In a previous GWN article[19] we covered ScummVM[20] a little bit, and
mentioned Flight of Amazon Queen as a freely downloable game. A user wrote
in to tell us that we forgot to mention another one, Beneath a Steel
Sky[21], also available in portage.

So if you're looking for another classic point-and-click adventure game,
emerge games-rpg/bass, make sure your user is in the games group, and run
5. Gentoo developer moves
The following developers recently left the Gentoo project:
 * Fernando Serboncini (fserb)
The following developers recently joined the Gentoo project:
 * Yaari Yuval (yuval) Perl
The following developers recently changed roles within the Gentoo project:
 * Karl Trygve Kalleberg (karltk) - Stepped down as Java project lead
 * Joshua Nichols (nichoj) - Elected Java project lead
6. Bugzilla
 * Statistics
 * Closed bug ranking
 * New bug rankings
The Gentoo community uses Bugzilla ([22]) to record and
track bugs, notifications, suggestions and other interactions with the
development team. Between 09 July 2006 and 16 July 2006, activity on the
site has resulted in:

 * 863 new bugs during this period
 * 418 bugs closed or resolved during this period
 * 24 previously closed bugs were reopened this period
Of the 10528 currently open bugs: 49 are labeled 'blocker', 139 are
labeled 'critical', and 520 are labeled 'major'.
Closed bug rankings
The developers and teams who have closed the most bugs during this period
 * GNOME Office[23], with 30 closed bugs[24]  
 * Gentoo's Team for Core System packages[25], with 16 closed bugs[26]  
 * SpanKY[27], with 15 closed bugs[28]  
 * Michal Januszewski[29], with 12 closed bugs[30]  
 * Default Assignee for Orphaned Packages[31], with 12 closed bugs[32]  
 * Gentoo Linux Clustering Team[33], with 12 closed bugs[34]  
 * Gentoo X-windows packagers[35], with 11 closed bugs[36]  
 * Gentoo Security[37], with 10 closed bugs[38]  
 23. [hidden email]
 25. [hidden email]
 27. [hidden email]
 29. [hidden email]
 31. [hidden email]
 33. [hidden email]
 35. [hidden email]
 37. [hidden email]

New bug rankings
The developers and teams who have been assigned the most new bugs during
this period are:
 * Default Assignee for New Packages[39], with 37 new bugs[40]  
 * AMD64 Project[41], with 14 new bugs[42]  
 * Default Assignee for Orphaned Packages[43], with 10 new bugs[44]  
 * Gentoo Games[45], with 7 new bugs[46]  
 * media-video herd[47], with 6 new bugs[48]  
 * Gentoo KDE team[49], with 6 new bugs[50]  
 * Gentoo X-windows packagers[51], with 5 new bugs[52]  
 * X11 External Driver Maintainers[53], with 5 new bugs[54]  
 39. [hidden email]
 41. [hidden email]
 43. [hidden email]
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 51. [hidden email]
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7. GWN feedback
Please send us your feedback[55] and help make the GWN better.

 55. [hidden email]
8. GWN subscription information
To subscribe to the Gentoo Weekly Newsletter, send a blank e-mail to
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To unsubscribe to the Gentoo Weekly Newsletter, send a blank e-mail to
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9. Other languages
The Gentoo Weekly Newsletter is also available in the following languages:
 * Chinese (Simplified)[56]  
 * Danish[57]  
 * Dutch[58]  
 * English[59]  
 * German[60]  
 * French[61]  
 * Korean[62]  
 * Japanese[63]  
 * Italian[64]  
 * Polish[65]  
 * Portuguese (Brazil)[66]  
 * Portuguese (Portugal)[67]  
 * Russian[68]  
 * Spanish[69]  
 * Turkish[70]  

Ulrich Plate <[hidden email]> - Editor
Chris Gianelloni <[hidden email]> - Author
Mark Kowarsky <[hidden email]> - Author
Tobias Scherbaum <[hidden email]> - Author
Steve Dibb <[hidden email]> - Author
Chrissy Fullam <[hidden email]> - Author

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