Gentoo Weekly Newsletter 3 April 2006

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Gentoo Weekly Newsletter 3 April 2006

Lars Weiler
Gentoo Weekly Newsletter
This is the Gentoo Weekly Newsletter for the week of 3 April 2006.

1. Gentoo news

Gentoo/MIPS for Cobalt stages available

Stuart Longland[1] announced the availabity of stage 3 tarballs for Cobalt
servers[2]. This completes the 2006.0 release for the MIPS architecture to
include Cobalt Qubes and RaQs on top of the Silicon Graphics machine
support that was already pushed to the mirrors last month. If you own a
Cobalt server, please test the new stage 3 and report your findings back
to Stuart.

 1. [hidden email]

2. Future zone

Kolab and Gentoo

Most of the current open-source groupware systems that are comparable to
the Microsoft Exchange Server are build out of a high number of
sub-services like LDAP, Apache, Postfix etc. Kolab is a typical example of
such an aggregated system.

A main feature of Kolab is the use of IMAP to store groupware information
like addresses, events, notes etc. This allows to reduce the main
components of the system to OpenLDAP, Postfix and Cyrus-Imapd. This makes
the server somewhat more lightweight than competitors such as
Open-Exchange. It is also one of the few groupware servers that has full
support for e-mail clients on Linux (Kontact) and Windows (Outlook) and
works together with a web client (Horde). Thus it can be easily employed
in an environment with mixed requirements.

The main obstacle for molding a multi-component system into an efficient
groupware server on Linux is obviously the configuration. The e-mail
service needs to work together with virus and spam scanning tools, sending
and receiving mail requires the setup of appropriate channels, each
service needs to use a central user database, etc.

One option of dealing with the configuration is to leave the configuration
of sub services in the state suggested by the distribution and provide a
lengthy document that describes all necessary tweaks and changes to get
the system up and running. This has the advantage that the groupware
server is rather distribution independent.

Kolab chose a different method and tries to fully automate the
configuration process. This is extremely nice for the end user since it
usually means that it is not necessary to have the manuals of Postfix,
Cyrus-Imap, Apache etc. at hand. But on the other hand it is a nightmare
for the developer if the goal is to enable the system for most
distributions. One would have to take all the small but important
differences between these distributions into account. So the companies
involved in creating Kolab selected one distribution (OpenPKG) and decided
to establish the system only for OpenPKG. In order to install Kolab on a
different distribution you would simply add a complete OpenPKG
installation resulting in a somewhat awkward "system in a system"

During the last three months several volunteers helped on converting Kolab
to tools such as autoconf and automake in order to have a build system
that allows the transfer of Kolab to other Linux distributions. This
finally allowed to get a native Kolab server environment in Gentoo. The
beta stage of the project can be found here[3]. It is expected to be fully
stabilized once Kolab-2.1 will be released upstream.


What are the advantages of having Kolab available as a native Gentoo
system? First of all you get rid of the rpm system that you had to use for
the OpenPKG version. As a Gentoo user this feels more than awkward since
the choice to bear with compile times was not made without a reason. With
the independence of the OpenPKG distribution also comes a far greater
potential for extension of the system. You want telephony? Integrate it
with asterisk. You need a document management system? Why not activate the
LDAP features of knowledgetree in order to provide your mail users will a
full-blown DMS system. You need website access? DAV? SVN? Trac? Anything
on apache that requires authentication and can use LDAP should be no
problem. In essence, Gentoo is the optimal system to enhance some of the
existing ebuilds with a "kolab" USE flag in order to provide a groupware
server with exciting new features. While this is not yet available, work
is underway to achieve this.

3. Heard in the community

Web forums

Libexpat ABI change catches ~ARCH users by surprise

Major uproar in the Forums this past weekend: the application binary
interface of the expat library changed with the upgrade to 2.0.0, and as a
result a whole wave of system breakage washed over many Gentoo users who
hadn't seen the small print in the ebuild telling them to revdep-rebuild
everything that depended on This sticky thread now makes
sure everybody knows what needs to be done:

 * libexpat 2.0.0 ABI breakage[4]

4. Gentoo international

USA: Gentoo at Boston Linux World Expo

Christian Fernandez of VoiceSignal Technologies, Inc. will hold a Birds of
Feather session[5] at this year's Boston LWE. Besides Christian's talk on
Portage and Gentoo scheduled for 6 April at 18:30, the project will again
be represented at the show with a booth of its own. Join them from 3 to 6
April at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center in Boston, MA.


5. Gentoo developer moves


The following developers recently left the Gentoo project:

 * None this week


The following developers recently joined the Gentoo project:

 * Thomas Cort (tcort) - Alpha, sound


The following developers recently changed roles within the Gentoo project:

 * None this week

6. Gentoo Security
================== Heap overflow in included libcurl
------------------------------------------------- contains a vulnerable version of libcurl that may cause a
heap overflow when parsing URLs.

For more information, please see the GLSA Announcement[6]


bsd-games: Local privilege escalation in tetris-bsd

tetris-bsd is prone to local privilege escalation vulnerabilities.

For more information, please see the GLSA Announcement[7]


7. Bugzilla


The Gentoo community uses Bugzilla ([8]) to record and
track bugs, notifications, suggestions and other interactions with the
development team. Between 26 March 2006 and 02 April 2006, activity on the
site has resulted in:


 * 869 new bugs during this period
 * 392 bugs closed or resolved during this period
 * 18 previously closed bugs were reopened this period

Of the 9788 currently open bugs: 65 are labeled 'blocker', 152 are labeled
'critical', and 531 are labeled 'major'.

Closed bug rankings

The developers and teams who have closed the most bugs during this period

 * Gentoo Games[9], with 34 closed bugs[10]
 * Gentoo X-windows packagers[11], with 26 closed bugs[12]
 * Jeremy Huddleston[13], with 20 closed bugs[14]
 * Gentoo KDE team[15], with 19 closed bugs[16]
 * Gentoo Linux Gnome Desktop Team[17], with 14 closed bugs[18]
 * Gentoo Security[19], with 13 closed bugs[20]
 * Netmon Herd[21], with 13 closed bugs[22]
 * media-video herd[23], with 13 closed bugs[24]
 9. [hidden email]
 11. [hidden email]
 13. [hidden email]
 15. [hidden email]
 17. [hidden email]
 19. [hidden email]
 21. [hidden email]
 23. [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[25], with 34 new bugs[26]
 * Gentoo X-windows packagers[27], with 14 new bugs[28]
 * X11 External Driver Maintainers[29], with 13 new bugs[30]
 * AMD64 Project[31], with 11 new bugs[32]
 * Gentoo Sound Team[33], with 10 new bugs[34]
 * Gentoo Linux Gnome Desktop Team[35], with 9 new bugs[36]
 * media-video herd[37], with 8 new bugs[38]
 * Gentoo Games[39], with 7 new bugs[40]
 25. [hidden email]
 27. [hidden email]
 29. [hidden email]
 31. [hidden email]
 33. [hidden email]
 35. [hidden email]
 37. [hidden email]
 39. [hidden email]

8. GWN feedback

Please send us your feedback[41] and help make the GWN better.

 41. [hidden email]

9. GWN subscription information

To subscribe to the Gentoo Weekly Newsletter, send a blank e-mail to
[hidden email].

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10. Other languages

The Gentoo Weekly Newsletter is also available in the following languages:

 * Danish[42]
 * Dutch[43]
 * English[44]
 * German[45]
 * French[46]
 * Korean[47]
 * Japanese[48]
 * Italian[49]
 * Polish[50]
 * Portuguese (Brazil)[51]
 * Portuguese (Portugal)[52]
 * Russian[53]
 * Spanish[54]
 * Turkish[55]

Ulrich Plate <[hidden email]> - Editor
Gunnar Wrobel <[hidden email]> - Author

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