Striving for greatness

The life and times of a Gentoo developer and leader

Archive for February 2004

What’s that? I have a life?

So, it’s been a few days. Haven’t done much this weekend, mostly heavy drinking, video games and pong. In other words, the usual. Spent most of Sunday in the lab finally getting some research done. Saturday was wasted staring at the screen in hopes of seeing the next comment on IRC. Sent out some emails to grad schools — Penn State, NC State and Minnesota. Got some ideas for a few more from Ellis: Alabama-Birmingham, Kansas and Washington State.

Actual work: Wrote arch() and patch_exclude() convenience functions for the eclass to make the ebuilds prettier and save me some typing. Worked them both into xfree ebuild, and fit patch_exclude() into xfree-drm as well. In fact xfree-drm was the reason I started this stuff — I did it while I was fixing up the mess dholm made last week. At least he made a drm-ioremap patch for Mach64 to somewhat make up for it. Started reading up on autotools — so far have gotten through some chapters of the Autoconf manual.

Discussions: Got 1.4 certified for SciTech drivers. Gonna do the same for 2004.0 once it’s out in a couple of days. People keep emailing me directly with their bugs, I wish they would stop. I can’t keep track of all that crap without a personal Bugzilla.

Stupid things: Got on IRC drunk again. That’s always a blast when everyone tells me about it the next day.

Drama: X licensing, still … Gentoo people won’t stop arguing about the damn GPL.

Written by Donnie Berkholz

February 23, 2004 at 3:34 am

Posted in Uncategorized

Sleep deprivation is my life

Wednesdays are always busy. Class 12:30-7:30p today with a couple of one-hour breaks, then off to work at the newspaper until 1:30a. Computers were screwy so 3 of the 4 working ones had tiny 11″ screens, really tough to make a newspaper on as you may guess. Listened to a reasonable talk on the gradually constricting freedoms in the United States from who may be the most prominent U.S. Supreme Court reporter in the country. He’s a whopping 72 years old too.

Actual work: Didn’t have time for much. Gave battousai some input on the kernel-mod eclass, changed the name of wacom to linuxwacom for him.

Discussions: More X licensing. Maybe making some headway on the XFree86 front. Board member Marc Evans posted in an at-least neutral manner. Kendall Bennett of SciTech, Torrey Lyons, who maintains the Mac stuff in XFree86, and Juliusz Chroboczek, another contributor, all posted against the new license. Kean Johnston of SCO just posted a somewhat positive statement, in part about its effect on XFree86 since distros are refusing, in part a good-faith offer for previous contributors to relicensed files.

Stupid things: Got an interview requested by CNET today which I refused, unfortunately my gentoo-dev post got quoted in a Linux Today article.

Drama: PPC back and better than ever. Maybe a lesson to me to keep my involvements in check and realistic.

Written by Donnie Berkholz

February 19, 2004 at 2:41 am

Posted in Uncategorized

So much for my future

Real life — one big waste of time better spent on Linux. Rolled out of bed at 11:30 after a refreshing eight hours of sleep, zoned out through two hours of class, then actually spent most of the night doing Linux stuff. The exception was a two-hour bad, weird Spanish movie with English subtitles. Should’ve been writing grad school apps again, but at least I got a lot of work done that’s been waiting for a while on the xfree ebuild — it’s ready for some alpha testing from other people at this point.

Actual work: Closed down most of the remaining issues on the new xfree ebuild. Laid out a roadmap last night of where I’d like to see it go — mostly moving in the direction of better FHS compliance and modularization. Yeah yeah we may not continue with XFree86, but it’s gotta happen everywhere and there’s nowhere else available to start yet. Still gotta add Alan Cox’s VIA drivers, cyfred’s got a few bugs left to close out, and we need to straighten out the “pretty fonts” situation. Other than that it’s pretty much good to go. Installs docs to /usr/share/doc/xfree-$version and man pages to /usr/share/man like a good little program. Gradual moves of /usr/X11R6/include/ and lib/ are next on the list, followed by bin/ — neither of which will happen in this release.

Discussions: Talked to Azarah about XKB junk and why it isn’t in /etc/X11 like all the other configuration things (it’s too big). Decided to drop the config protection from xkb/ to just xkb/rules/ after reading some docs. We’ll see who complains. Talked to esammer about installer progress, asked him to send out some reports and maybe write up some programming practices later this week. A little more on the X licensing bit, but not much on this front today. Cleared up a problem over in release engineering, they forgot xfree-drm. tseng pointed out the Desktop Linux Summit the other day.

Stupid things: Continuing to do all this work on XFree86 when it will hopefully become a non-issue? Oh well. We’ll see what happens. Here’s a stupid thing that isn’t me — a proposal to change the CD layout five days before the scheduled release? Yeah, superb QA there.

Drama: Security flared up again. Damn, can’t this settle down already? Also, WTH is going on with the XFree86 license talks upstream? Weird …

Written by Donnie Berkholz

February 18, 2004 at 4:11 am

Posted in Uncategorized

Another day wasted

Busy day with non-geek stuff. Was up until 7:30am procrastinating, then throwing together a story on the Philippines elections (funnier than the California governor ones). Slept til 12pm, occupied by class until 9pm with brief IRC breaks. Should really do those grad school applications tonight, but I’m getting tired.

Actual work: Hmmm. Good question. Picked up the Autobook from the post office. Now it’s sitting on top of my computer, waiting for me to open its wondrous pages. Talked to my protege Battousai about xfree-drm and getting it working on 2.6. Got the other protege, cyfred, to bump XFree86 4.3.99 for the last of the security crap — low priority since it’s hard-masked anyway.

Discussions: X licensing with Mdk, RH, etc. Foser doesn’t want to move the corefonts until fonts.eclass is around. He also suggested just having the Bitstream Vera fonts as defaults, no virtual, no USE flag — in part because the ‘truetype’ flag doesn’t actually do anything with activating or deactivating truetype support in XFree86. Could just change the name of the flag, though. What he said makes sense, but I’m not sure I agree. On one hand, there’s the smooth desktop, but on the other hand there’s the choice and customizability that makes us Gentoo.

Stupid things: Made a public announcement on gentoo-dev that Gentoo wouldn’t add XFree86 with the new 4-clause BSD license. Grant made me clarify it, so I wrote up a huge email with lots of quotes and useful info from the 9-point reference list I supplied in the first email+addendum.

Drama: Still the security thing, but it’s turned mostly into a discussion now, thank God.

Written by Donnie Berkholz

February 17, 2004 at 1:12 am

Posted in Uncategorized

So it begins …

After seeing Planet Freedesktop.org, I figured I’d start this so I could keep track of software-/Gentoo-related things I do.

Actual work: Marked some Matrox drivers stable. Added metadata.xml to some fonts packages. Tested for a move of corefonts to microsoft-corefonts. Made a patch to fix that damn circular dep for PAM/XFree86. Started unbreaking xfree-drm, dholm broke it for everyone while trying to fix it on ppc but he’s working with me to fix it now. Been waiting for stuff to mirror out for hours on that.

Discussions: Talked to mharris some more about moving shit out of /usr/X11R6 to more FHS-friendly places. Sounds like a good plan to start with easy stuff (fonts, docs), move to lib/ then bin/ (hardcoded bin stuff in third-party apps). Emailed x-packagers about this, and the next thing. License talks on >=4.3.99.903 — what a mess. Sounds like we prolly can’t use any GPL drivers with new XFree86, e.g. Synaptics. That means we might not be able to distribute both new XFree86 and Synaptics at all. Holding off on adding .903 to portage at all, pending some sort of resolution on this GPL incompabitility. Asked cyfred to bump 4.3.99.902 for security, everything else has been done. Talked to a guy looking for a good distribution to set up a cluster on.

Stupid things: Told daniels I agreed to autotool/maintain some xapps. Now I have to actually learn autotools — yeah yeah I know the book came in Friday, but I actually have to read it now. Wasted the day doing Gentoo stuff and IRC instead of some real-life work.

Drama: Security vs. The World (a.k.a., You can’t break everything for your righteous cause).

That’s all I can think of offhand.

Written by Donnie Berkholz

February 16, 2004 at 5:04 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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