Get your hot new X leetness in Gentoo

Live-git packages for much of X.Org (the important parts, anyway) are now available in Gentoo’s x11 overlay, thanks to James Cloos. I hope you’re all very happy that he’s merged his work into the main project overlay–I know I am. Gentoo users can add this overlay by installing layman and running `layman -a x11`. All the live-git packages are in package.mask, so you’ll need to unmask them–portpeek is one easy way of doing this.

xorg-server-1.5 prereleases are also in there. So far that’s just, but more should show up soon. They’ll remain in the x11 overlay until they build against packages that have actually been released, at which point they’ll move to package.mask in the main tree. Any xprint users, feel free to contribute patches to fix its build. I know Debian already has some patches for this, so that would be a good place to start.

How to disagree

Paul Graham‘s writing is hit-or-miss for me. His most recent posting, called “How to Disagree,” definitely hit home. Everyone involved in a community should read it. It describes a hierarchy of disagreement types from irrelevant insults to arguments that actually refute to the main point. After you read it, you will recognize which responses are baseless claims and which ones deserve consideration. This will also help in understanding debates of all sorts that you aren’t involved in but just observe.

Mix a tight package GUI with Gentoo for Summer of Code

PackageKit is this amazing idea of having a tool for managing packages that works identically on every distribution. It’s got both a GUI and a command-line tool, called pkcon. Check out some screenshots. To reach that goal, it has to actually work on every distro.

Wouldn’t it be great if PackageKit worked on Gentoo? You could make that happen! Three major package managers work with Gentoo: portage, paludis, and pkgcore. Working on this as a Summer of Code project means you’d write a PackageKit backend for one of these package managers, in the process learning the API of each and working with PackageKit founder Richard Hughes, me, the developers of one of the package managers, and the broader Gentoo and PackageKit communities.

Three potential applicants have already talked with me about this, so space is limited. You can reach me by email or on IRC ( as dberkholz) if you’d like to talk about your ideas.

Summer of Code applications are only open until April 1, 0000 UTC, so apply now!