I dedicate this oldie but goldie to all the people in Debian that enjoy discussing everything to a dead end and then claim to have won because noone responds anymore because there is no sense to do so: Du vastehst mi ned ("you don't understand me")
Since last weekend backports.org has two more services supporting tracking of what's going on. I will list them in chronological order:
Tracking of Security issues in backports packages: This was one of the many topics that was discussed at the Security Team meeting in Essen at the end of last month and Florian Weimer implemented a first version of tracking security issues within backports.org. It currently compares the backported version against the one fixed for unstable, so at the moment it still has some false-positives (e.g. libspf2 because the fix was taken from lenny-security), but this is still a big step forward and helpful to track outstanding issues here, too.
Diffs between etch-backports and lenny: Something similar was available at some other places before but strangely got discontinued. In here you can see which packages in backports are older (meaning only debian revision difference), outdated (newer upstream version in lenny) newer (backported from unstable?), have a wrong version schema or are not available in lenny (propably even removed from unstable). It will hopefully help people to get their backports in sync. At least it's an indicator of how well the packages are tracked.
Hope you consider them already as useful as myself, even though there is obvious space for improvements. But they are both quite helpful already in their current state so that shouldn't hinder you from using them. :)
For a long time publishing source code under a freedom givinglicense was considered bad. What if people would take your code and reuse it? What if you don't like how they reuse it?
History has shown that this has happened in only rare cases. And even then, having your code reused is an homage towards your creation. People started to understand that and it gladly became very common practise.
But it seems like the story starts over from the very beginning again, the field though is a different one. It's now graphic artists and especially musicians who are facing the same fears this time. But I think, it shouldn't be me writing this because I'm neither (well, only very few people consider ASCII art as proper art. Probably even less than consider good code to be art..). Good thing is, I don't have to. One of the wesnoth graphic artists did it, and way better than I would ever be able to get the idea across. So here you go: Jetryl about GPL Policy in wesnoth. It might be long, but it's definitely worth the read, and I hope it will help to make some people understand better and fear less.
Wow, don't even remotely remember anymore when I was last blogging about going to the cinema. Granted, I wasn't that often in recent times, but I haven't mentioned some movies... Whatever.
Yesteday I have been to cinema again, and we watched "The Dark Knight". To be honest, I regret to have gone. The movie is as dark in its setting as the title says, even darker than what was common in previous Batman movies. They turned Batman into James Bond style, turning Morgan Freeman into Q, and using cheap Eminem quotes. I feel sorry for Heath that this was his last movie to star in. Even his great performance wasn't able to save the movie, and it's sad that this should be the movie people will remember him with... You deserve better, buddy.
Last week I wondered how much space a complete git conversion would actually need—and I was quite surprised:
$ du -hs webwml*
The first line is the regular CVS checkout. The third line is the SVN checkout that's available from alioth. You can see that the size is not really something one would want, especially since the real gain is extremely little: besides offline diff you rather have disadvantages with not being able to do much offline because anything history wise requires you to be online. In CVS you at least knew that revision 1.12 of a file is three commits above revision 1.9 of the same file; while in SVN you have no chance offline to know how many commits to a file happened between revision 512 and 1024, if any at all.
The conversion to git took me quite a long time, practically almost three days of (non-constant) running git-cvsimport on my laptop. The time did not completely surprise me, at least when I noticed in the end that it were well over 83 thousand commits in well over 10 years, reaching back to July 1998. My first own commit was in July 2001, which wasn't too hard to find out with git neither, and required no online operation.
git gives you complete offline access to the history. This is actually something that the build process can be based on. There propably will be some speed drawback with not being able to do simple-math for revision difference like in CVS, but that actually will have to be checked. I'm still convinced being able to do all the stuff offline without any strange hacks or needing to be online all the time is something worthwhile.
Things left to do and which I propably won't find the time in the too near future because of ... erm, you know? Lenny? That we want to release? But anyway, to not have the list of things get lost, here is a (not complete) list of things in case you are bored and want to play around a bit:
Adapt the various scripts to not check CVS revisions but use the sha1 sums.
Adjust translation-check translation="" value for all files to use sha1 sums.
Check wether a full website build would work after that changes.
Try out how submodules work and wether they might be reasonable to use for language subdirectories to allow translators partial checkouts.
Playing around a bit? Well, you don't have to do the whole git-cvsimport on yourself: I've pushed my webwml.git repository to alioth: "git clone git://git.debian.org/git/users/alfie/webwml.git" should get you started. Please notice to play around in a seperate branch and not directly in origin to be able to pull further and update from time to time.
For quite a while I'm already looking forward to this year's Two Days A Week festival. To be precise right from when I saw the first poster about it and me finding the name of one of my most favourite bands on it: Live. I haven't seen the guys from the US for a long time now and am absolutely eager to see them on stage again.
But today came the next shock: Some few days ago Slipknot had to cancel their attendance because of the injury of one of their band members, they have found a more than adequate replacement: Apocalyptica!!!! Wiesen, I'm coming!
scons claims to be a better replacement for make, or rather especially autofoo magic. Unfortunately, it isn't. To me a proper build system should definitely be able to clean up behind itself. The reasoning flying around for why scons isn't able to do so are quite hilarious, ranging from that it doesn't know what it generates (how does it generate them in the first place?) to that it's extensible and thus can't be done properly (then the extensions are broken and should add their clean informations in a hook or such, too). I haven't seen any valid reason for why it shouldn't be able to do so—yet we still seem to need to clean up cruft lying aroud like .scons* files and directories, config.log and of course the build/ directory.
People, if you really want to do some proper build system, don't forget to make it clean up after itself. It shouldn't be the requirement of application developers to fix that (which doesn't really work because a scons target trying to clean the files makes scons crash).
Sometimes things like these happen. Noone really did expect it, but it did: blosxomVersion 2.1 got released by the new Upstream Team. It does incorporate all previous Debian patches which I'm quite happy about, and contains other long standing and needed fixes and changes.
Though, there is also a tiny drawback in that, especially for the Debian package: some of the changes might not be totally approved by all the users of the Debian package. This is unfortunate, but it had to be done to get the package finally yet in a cleaner state (maybe you remember the cleanup run when I originally took over the package). Please be sure to read the NEWS.Debian entry (apt-listchanges might help here) about the most important changes, one of them might even mean that upgrades to this package will flood planets. This is extremely unfortunate but for getting things clean unavoidable:
blosxom (2.1.0-1) unstable; urgency=low
* This update is a major switch, all local patches have been incorporated
into upstream version again. Furthermore, html and rss flavours are now
included in the blosxom script directly and the old 1993 and index
flavours are not included anymore, to get rid of some further historical
annoyances with the packaging.
* MOST IMPORTANTLY: This update adds a new tag into rss feeds:
<guid isPermanentLink="true"> which helps to notice duplicates and not let
them appear again on planets. Though, for the time of switching it might
mean that your last entries might appear as new when planet doesn't check
<link> (which already should be cached) when finding <guid>. This is
unfortunate but not really avoidable. To limit impact a new plugin was
added: 00RssLimit which turns the syndicated feed in only pick up the last
* The plugin timezone got disabled and gets only installed into a new
/etc/blosxom/plugins-available directory which is the first step to the
planned blosxom-plugins package. If you found it useful and made use of it
just symlink it from the plugins directory.
-- Gerfried Fuchs <email@example.com> Fri, 25 Jul 2008 16:19:49 +0200
Technically it means you might want to tweak the included 00RssLimit plugin to even just 1 until you blogged some more and raise it with time if your blog runs through some planet. If you do the upgrade, did set 00RssLimit to 1 and do not reappear with your last entry on your planet sites feel free to switch it back.
Again, this is an unfortunate situation, and it's not really related to the Debian package only–the addition of the <guid> tag happened upstream and will affect all users of blosxom. It's just that I added the selfwritten 00RssLimit plugin to reduce the impact for the Debian users. Hope you don't mind. ;)
Ah yes, and if you might ask where the package is: I did put it into my website for now so people have some time to stumble upon this blog entry before they install the package from unstable without prior notice and maybe not even using apt-listchanges. I will upload the package within the next day.
Sometimes one stumbles upon interesting pictures. It happens too regularly in recent times and I don't think that it will end too soon. This new section of my blog will contain such photos from time to time.
I'll start off with a quite interesting poster we stumbled upon in my hometown. If you don't understand German, it's about church service targetted at youths—and everyone knows that young people always mix their language with english vocabulary all the time to sound hip, don't we... Don't forget to also read the small text at the bottom, or you don't know where the "Chill Out - Meet & Greet" is going to happen!
One of the things why I was on the tracks for getting src:wxwidgets2.8 into the pool was to be able to get a recent pgadmin3, too. The one we currently have in testing/unstable isn't even anymore able to cope with our default postgresql-8.3 version.
Now that wxwidgets2.8 is in experimental for a while I tried to suggest a pgadmin3 upload to experimental. Unfortunately the package maintainer seems to be quite busy these days, thus I prepared an NMU for it, planing to upload it into the pool at the start of next week. All involved parties received mails about it—that also includes the bug reporters of the bugs it would fix. For your convenience, if you are interested, you can find the package in the meantime on my private server: http://rhonda.deb.at/debian/pgadmin3/—feel free to give it a test and send feedback along.
Sometimes strange things happen. This tuesday I had been to a simply great concert again: Grossstadtgeflüster. They were wearing nice white jumpsuits with finger-color handprints on them, the playlist was mostly really great, good mix of their first and from the great new album. But what was the most interesting part is that they announced another concert on the following tuesday. I just dropped to the floor because well, yet another of those "coincidences", because well, next tuesday is my birthday. Again. Deja Vu, anyone?
On wednesday I had been to the next concert: Mono & Nikitaman. I never have seen the WUK that crowded, the hall was totally packed, people were even standing through the doors into the pre-hall. And even though they are rooted in Reggae it was in no way slow or soft. Greatly carrying along, hard to keep ones feet still.
Only drawback when having two great concerts in two subsequent nights: Your neck and back starts to hurt and requests its toll. *ouch*
One of the freedoms I value is the freedom to choose what you spend your time on and who you spend it with. And while I believe that people in key roles in Debian still have those freedoms (hey, 2.1(1), don't you know), reality these days even confirms that. So long, and thanks for the fish.
It's a bit strange. Still. Writing this personal part of my blog, opening some of my most inner thoughts to the wild public. Though, so wild it doesn't seem to be. To be honest I can't remember having received any bad feedback on my personal stuff, only positive, supportive ones. (Or, there was one. Though, it wasn't related to the core of the personal section but someone thinking it would be "cool" to misinterpret some statement therein and try to hurt me with it. It only made me laugh at them, trying to "use" it as an argument.)
No bad feedback might be related to that I don't have comments enabled because I don't want to have a moderation system that would make it look like I filter out bad comments but I also don't want to open it up to SPAM. And people who propably usual leave scathing comments don't consider it convenient to address me directly, via any IM system, including emails.
Anyway, opening in that way has quite some benefits: For a start, it helps me myself to keep track of things that happened. Secondly, it hopefully helps others that are in similar situations to see that they aren't alone out there and that one can survive with not hiding it. But last but not least some people address me and provide me with interesting links on the topic.
I think they shouldn't be just hidden in my personal mailbox so I am going to offer them to a broader audience here. I won't show the names of who sent them along, I'm not sure if they would like being connected to the topic. But they can be assured of my blessing for offering them to me.
First link I like to hand out is an article from advocate.com about a pregnant husband. Yes, this was no typo and the reason why I haven't posted it right the next day because I received that link on March 31st. I can just wish all the best to Thomas, Nancy and their yet unborn girl. Looking forward to see baby photos. :)
The second article I got sent lately is When Girls Will Be Boys. It is about the transition story of Ray and acceptance problems. Pretty long but definitely worth reading.
Again, thanks to the people who offered me the links to the articles, I truly appreciate them—and I hope some of the people reading my blog will too, or at least that it might change their perception and opinion on "such people".
"Die Welle" is yet another modern adoption of the old experiment Ron Jones did back in 1967 to his school class about showing them that something like the Third Reich is still possible nowadays. One of the pupils sums the first impression up pretty well, "Not again, I can't hear it anymore", but the further it comes to the end of the movie the more oppressing the situation gets. Definitely worth seeing, even if you can't hear it anymore.
Quite a lot people are unhappy with how the package descriptions are translated. Different teams handle it differently, but the approach the German "team" chose is quite unfriendly from a quality point of view: The webinterface for it doesn't require any authentication at all, leading technically to anonymous translations all over the place. The so-called "review" process consists of the same not-existing authentication, leading to a situation where unknown people can put in whatever they like and have other (or potentially the same) unknown people acknowledge that.
The language team has actively chosen that way because it was said that bad translations simply won't happen and that the review (three people opening the page and clicking onto a button) will not let that happen. Well, it happened. And is happening all over the place. Things like "Gedultsspiel" and "Murmelirrsinn" are pretty tough and almost hiding translations from "counting pipe" to "Zählrohr" and "villages" to "Orte" (and no, those aren't the only examples that accumulated over the last months). As this all happens anonymously one can't even get a message to the people submitting (extremely) low quality translations, helping them to improve their skills so they won't do the same mistake in future translations; meaning things are hard to improve.
I am usual an advocate of translating stuff, did put a lot of effort into that area—but the total lack of quality in not only a small and tiny bit here but a much broader area is why I suggest to everyone (at least from a German language point of view): Put APT::Acquire::Translation "none"; into your /etc/apt/apt.conf file and don't get annoyed by them. When quantity is the only thing that counts people wanting to have quality are simply ignored with their mails on the lists.
It's rare that one does something for themself, and entertainment has happen. Yesterday I had been to a cabaret and did take my other half with me. With the thought, it doesn't always have to be Resetarits, Gunkl or Dorfer I chose "Wegen Renovierung offen" ("Opened due to renovation") from and with Gery Seidl–being the child of a master-builder and having done my A-levels at a high school for structural engineering it wouldn't had been a better fit thematic wise.
The role of the construction supervisor Roman Schweißer is catching right from the start, and that's not only for insiders but also for people who generally have no connection to this business branch; a human like everyone else: The internal conflict between what his boss tells him and what his heart tells him, different approaches to get that done, and at the same time trying to also work on his shaken relationship isn't easy—but for sure it's extremely entertaining and worth seeing. My other half didn't regret it to got convinced by me.
Dates are still a lot left, partly sold out, partly though also from other projects to which I'm looking forward to. It's rare that a still young performer is not only just able to catch up with oldsters but also to perform with them on stage.
... are still there, even if I don't blog about every single bit all the time. Most of the packages I care about are in good state, I even did jump on board of irssi co-maintaining and got its bugcount down a fair bit (though I won't rest at this stage, there are still some to go) and did jump onboard of the pkg-games Team.
... which brings me to wesnoth. For quite a while I am tracking the stable releases (1.2.x) of wesnoth in unstable while the development releases (1.3.x) are followed in experimental. With the upcoming stable release 1.4 this though will change. The development branch is feature frozen and thus will be (propably) compatible with the next stable release, and furthermore the current stable release isn't expected to receive any further update. My plan is thus to upload the next development release directly to unstable. If you want to give it some additional testing before that happens pull the package from experimental now and give your feedback, thanks.
Furthermore I am also tracking some packages for backports.org. I usually do the packaging of it almost synchronous to its upload into unstable although it is only allowed onto backports.org when it entered testing. For the timegap in between you can usually find it on my website repository. Directories that aren't empty there have some upload to backports pending and you can feel free to test the packages and send me feedback on them. Currently this includes bacula, slony1 and postgresql-8.3.
One last note, finally it happened: apache1 isn't anymore. There were two packages left in testing until recently which got their removal requests adjusted. Thanks to everyone involved in keeping track of this and helping cleaning up the archive.