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Layman 1.3.0 released

Time to collect bugfixes to 1.3.0_rc1 for a new release...


layman-1.3.0 fixes expected rough edges from 1.3.0_rc1. Thanks to everyone reporting bugs, i.e. thanks to Piotr Mitas, Albert W. Hopkins and tman/cornicx.


  • Move storage default from /usr/local/portage/layman to /var/lib/layman (fixes bug #253725)
  • Syncing failed for overlays that no longer exist in the remote lists without need to (bug #301174)
  • No longer treat sync warnings like errors (bug #301327)
  • Fix faults introduced at refactoring (bug #301253)

How to upgrade

  1. Unmask =app-portage/layman-1.3.0 if you're on stable
  2. sudo emerge -av =app-portage/layman-1.3.0
  3. sudo etc-update

Gentoo is dy-what?

Layman 1.3.0_rc1 released

New features this time: here is Layman 1.3.0_rc1. Let me try to summarize:


layman-1.3.0_rc1 introduces support for several sources per overlay. Also, layman -i overlay now makes full use of metadata that arrived with the migration from layman-global.txt to the repositories.xml format.


  • Add support for several sources per overlay (also fixes #280472) When adding an overlay all sources will be probed until a working one is found. This should help Layman through some firewalls.
  • Display related directory when deleting overlays
  • Improve overlay info display (i.e. layman -i):
    • Add quality indicator (keep in mind: no guarantee)
    • Add feed URIs
    • Fix whitespace handling for description field
    • Improve layman usage display

How to upgrade

  1. Unmask =app-portage/layman-1.3.0_rc1 if you're on stable
  2. sudo emerge -av =app-portage/layman-1.3.0_rc1
  3. sudo etc-update

What else?

  • Please report bugs!
  • Using layman and proxies, programming Python? Feel like doing James a favor with bug #300651?

Gentoo is dying? Says who?!

Layman 1.2.6 released

In spirit of release-early-and-without-reason: here is Layman 1.2.6. Let me try to summarize:


layman-1.2.6 introduces support for tar overlays that are compressed with an algorithm other than gzip or bzip2. That, plus minor fixes.


  • Warn on lack of write permissions (fixes #260218)
  • Migrate to GNU tar's compression format auto-detection which adds potential support for more types of compressed tar archives (LZMA, xz or Z) as a side-effect (Requires GNU tar 1.15 or later, released in 2005)
  • Drop support for broken tar overlays with missing category level (and missing profiles/repo_name as a consequence)
  • Make missing overlay directory not fail removal of that overlay from the local list
  • Start shipping doc sources and release notes with release archives
  • Start shipping test suite files missing from the 1.2.5 release

How to upgrade

  1. Unmask =app-portage/layman-1.2.6 if you're on stable
  2. sudo emerge -av =app-portage/layman-1.2.6
  3. sudo etc-update

What else?

  • Please report bugs!
  • Using layman and proxies, programming Python? Feel like doing James a favor with bug #300651?

Gentoo is dying? Says who?!

4 more days of Gentoo Council voting: Why and how in 3 seconds

NOTE: You can ignore this if you're not a Gentoo developer.

Why vote?

If you have the impression your vote doesn't matter - think again: With most selections there are candidates that you do not want to win. So in case you don't have positive preferences choose anybody else. That decreases the chance of the others. Simple thing, probably not applied enough.


votify --new council200912
nano -w ~/.ballot-council200912  # re-order candidates
votify --verify council200912
votify --submit council200912


Layman 1.2.5 released

I was time to collect recent commits into a new release - here it is: Layman 1.2.5. This includes the code from teaming up with Christian Groschupp during 26C3. Let me try to summarize:

New features

  • Allow overriding of VCS commands
  • Allow running VCS from PATH (fixes #280539)

Bug fixes

  • Migrate XML handling from minidom to ElementTree (also fixes #261666)
  • Fix handling of Subversion overlays whose name contains one or more '@' characters (#295018)
  • Fix handling of non-ASCII characters (#286290)

How to upgrade

  1. Unmask =app-portage/layman-1.2.5 if you're on stable
  2. sudo emerge -av =app-portage/layman-1.2.5
  3. sudo etc-update

What else?

  • Please report bugs!
  • Interested in taking care of bug #260218, i.e. writing a patch for it?

Gentoo is dying? Says who?!

26C3 through Gentoo glasses

[Just a few bits, don't expect completeness here.] We had that big blue banner (first presented on Linux Tag 2009) with us again: it did a great job on promoting our table and on easing up finding the way back. Neighborhood to the Debian table seemed to be peaceful to my impression, though we didn't exchange many patches either. People came by to talk, getting support (like fixing graphical login), getting started with Subversion live ebuilds and to thank us for "the great work" Gentoo people do. The gentoo-users mailing list was praised, too. Quite a few flyers were given out, stickers were asked for and given out repeatedly. Also, Christian Groschupp and me teamed up on a bit of hacking on Layman which was fun, too. Impatient people are welcome to give the Layman live ebuild (app-portage/layman-9999) a spin before the next release is coming out. Looking back I would say it was a good event Gentoo-wise.

Layman 1.2.4 released

What's in for you with Layman 1.2.4:

The only visual indication of the arrival of repositories.xml support for now is that contacts now show names where available:

layman 1.2.3

 * Contact :

layman 1.2.4

 * Contact : Tomas Chvatal <>

More goodies will come. How to upgrade:

  1. Unmask =app-portage/layman-1.2.4 if you're on stable
  2. sudo emerge -av =app-portage/layman-1.2.4
  3. sudo etc-update to migrate /etc/layman/layman.cfg, very important

Btw report bugs please!

How we got here: I bet a new Layman release isn't really what you expected for today. A quick summary would be:

  1. I requested SourceForge project admin access from Gunnar and happily received it,
  2. applied my repositories.xml patch done earlier,
  3. updated change logs,
  4. fixed an unexpected last-minute showstopper (Layman hasn't been handling CDATA sections before),
  5. uploaded a tarball, and
  6. and bumped the ebuild.

Help me with Layman! If you know a little Python you are welcome to support Layman development! These days my time is rather limited and there is a lot to do:

  • Fixing Layman bugs
  • Migrating from minidom to ElementTree
  • Extending support for repositories.xml features like:
    • Multiple repository URLs
    • Overlay stability indicators
    • your favourite here

Sounds like fun? What are you waiting for?!

Year in filename patterns ("%Y") for Asunder 1.9

In recent times of near-zero coding I took a break yesterday afternoon to write a patch for Asunder 1.9. I'm using Asunder for the moment because as Audex and KAudioCreator fail to handle my CD-ROM device correctly (without really telling why) for reasons I still need to uncover. So Asunder turned out to work for me but it didn't fully support my currently preferred file layout

<artist>/(<year>) <album>/<trackno> <title>.<ext>
Seether/(2002) Disclaimer/04 Needles.flac

as it doesn't allow to use the album's year in the format strings. So I added support for a %Y constant which enables a config of

Album directory: "%A/(%Y) %L"
Music file: "%N %T"

to get before-mentioned file layout. Upstream hasn't replied yet. Before a new release arrives you can grab the patch from here or use my 1.9-r1 ebuild from the "sping" overlay for convenience:

[EDIT 2009-12-07] : The patch went into Asunder 1.9.1, released yesterday.

My album of the year 2009

The Album itself is from 2008 but so what. I've had a lot of fun with Cog's "Sharing Space" lately. Especially compared to the other other albums I bought this year (including artists like Smily Empty Soul, Chevelle and Vertical Horizon) that did not manage to meet my admittedly high expectations, this has been a fresh surprise that keeps getting better with every spin. Cog do some kind or rock music, some would say "alternative rock" I guess. In case you check the album out I recommend jumping in at one of these:

  • 2. Are You Interested?
  • 5. Bird Of Feather (listenable on Cog's MySpace page)
  • 8. Say Your Last Goodbye