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Developers’ Weblog

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It took us a while, but we’ll be participating at Plänet Forge soon as well. We, that is the Evolvis team at tarent GmbH:

  • Thorsten Glaser (that’s me), a sysadmin at tarent and an Evolvis developer
  • Sven Frommeyer, an apprentice sysadmin at tarent
  • Stefan Walenda, our project manager
  • … and potentially others

To clean up the nomenclature…

  • Evolvis is the platform consisting of EvolvisForge and others, such as a Continuum or Hudson build server, an Alfresco DMS, a MediaWiki, …
  • EvolvisForge shall be the name of the customised installation (not fork) of FusionForge (formerly gforge-*.deb) that is used by Evolvis
  • is the public platform where tarent GmbH is presenting their open-sourced projects
  • There are other Evolvis installations at * domains, which are private.

EvolvisForge customisations mostly consist of: take a stable FusionForge version plus bugfixes, sometimes backports (such as the FF 5.0 MediaWiki integration), change some defaults, and add Evolvis branding such as our theme. Also, some integration with the other Evolvis components, Univention/LDAP, etc.

This is a welcoming posting, so I better keep it short. We’ve been in Issy-les-Moulineaux (I hope I spelt that correctly) breaking up the French cabal, but they’re all nice people. Let’s try and improve all the forges!

Update: This wlog entry uses aggressive tone because I somehow needed to vent frustration from using some of the tools. I should probably provide some constructive critics, too... but this is a rant. Be warned.

Keysigning is useless. I boot up a suitable live GNU/Linux system, install signing-party, take the trouble that is to set up caff, transfer my secret key from the secure box, sign. I think caff providing the keys in a different order than they're given on the command line sucks and just run caff once per key. I did even start Postwreck. But no, people just don't accept any mail from "EHLO grml" systems, and I still cannot control my reverse DNS despite having a static IPv4 address (and IPv6, which looks to be unused). People also pretend I'm on dial-up. Great!

I will no longer participate in any (mass) PGP keysigning but will continue to do so on a per-person basis. Probably sign but one uid, either apply common sense and upload it to t̲h̲e̲ keyserver, or mail the entire signed key to one address.

By the way, how crazy is it that I need to use the deprecated $CONFIG{'mailer-send'} to pass an envelope-from to the mailer? It also suffers from the same delusion as e.g. nmudiff, namely that my Debian box is a fully set up workstation able to send out eMail and configured correctly. At least, it, unlike a number of others, does not assume I use mud (Mutt). grml…

Oh, and caff does a protocol violation (by always sending out GnuPG/MIME and not offering the standardised Inline OpenPGP), I think people just don't care about such. (There is a notation people can use to signal they want PGP/MIME, Inline PGP — which is called "partitioned" — or both (and which order of priority) but, alas, despite Inline PGP being the only one useful for the MUAs without integratin, and being more widely spread than that PGP/MIME crap, the followers of the latter do some (FSF-style?) kind of vendor lockin by not speaking anything else.

Anyway. I'm all for X.509 except there seems to be no sane CA (Startcom is... trouble, even with Opera; is dying). I'll just buy a certificate (not from Verisign though) for www, and roll my own again (I can do it, I have experience with that actually).

On an unrelated side note, still waiting for an OpenSSL patch for that recent TLS extension...

ObRant: password policies, be they required characters or any kind of length restrictions, suck. People I will eventually end up with less secure passwords on such systems, because even if some of mine may appear to be derived from some kind of dictionary (what language that is I'd be interested in, though...) they aren't, and I have my schemes. You got to have them with a gazillion of passwords used. And I probably will forget them more often (and sending them via eMail is also not a solution).

Unrelated notice: mksh R39c with bug fixes coming RSN.

(Updated 24.02. because I was, rightfully, told the language, and the title, were too strong. I also would like to excuse for going so low as to write an ad-hominem attack, which I've since redacted.

After FOSDEM 2010

2010-02-08 by bsiegert@
Tags: event

FOSDEM was a great success. Once more, thanks to Daniel Seuffert, Marius Nünnerich and the others from the AllBSD project. We distributed 400 CDs with the latest snapshots, of which about 350 were distributed on Saturday alone. There was a stronger demand for French flyers compared to the last years; I think that more locals (i.e. Belgians) attended the conference. Many of these people were only there on one of the two days.

Kudos also to the people from the Debian booth (especially Axel “XTaran” Beckert) for lending us a screen for the showcase computer. Due to communication problems, the others had not brought a spare screen as usual, and I could not bring one on the plane.

I held my talk about Build Systems with autoconf, automake and libtool on Sunday at noon, with a very interested public who posed some very concrete question. I conclude that there is a real need for this kind of “HOWTO”. I will write a bit more on the subject of autotools, in the meantime the slides are available at SlideShare, where you can view the presentation online (Flash required) or download a PDF.

Oh, and contrary to “popular” belief, the food at the Pakistani (!) restaurant on Saturday was excellent :).

the day after FOSDEM

2010-02-08 by tg@
Tags: event

Bauch wieder OK, dafür nen recht wehtuënden Frosch im Hals, Hammerkopfschmerzen, Rückenschmerzen und bißchen Gliederschmerzen. Grml. Ich mach' im Moment erst mal nix.

FOSDEM 2010, day #2

2010-02-07 by tg@
Tags: event

Ich glaube, das Essen gestern (war eh’ scheiße, heh… anyway, der Couscous-Laden hatte zu, und Benny und gecko2@ und Anhäne haben mich zum Inder geschleppt) ist schuld, daß es mitr im Moment scheiße (heh…) geht. Mist.

Ich freue mich schon auf das Essen gleich, hoffe, daß es frischen Minztee in großen Mengen geben wird. Und daß ich die Reise nach Hause unbeschadet überstehen werde. Immerhin haben wir gut, aber zu wenig ☺ wie immer… geschlafen.

XTaran hält gerade seinen Vortrag. Dem Benz seiner war gut.

FOSDEM 2010, day #0

2010-02-05 by tg@

Yesterday, I arrived in Bruxelles, coming from the Issy/Paris FusionForge meeting which will be described more later by Roland on Plänet Forge. Please tell Ohlol if you use it, for more visibility.

There is a new inter-forge mailing list as well, see the info page. People from Coclico and the various *forges may want to subscribe there (forge developers, not so much users (hosters) or end-users (hosted project developers/users) though).

At FOSDEM, Benny and I (and maybe gecko2) will be running the MirBSD booth, so no Debian staffing for me, sorry. But I will be there. Also please do ask me about mksh — the MirBSD Korn Shell etc.

There are flyers in German (not updated), English and French too! (One of the *forge guys did install mksh(1) after reading it, in fact.)

Don't you people dare miss the two talks: from Benny about how to package with autotools and libtool correctly and from XTaran explaining Debian GNU/kFreeBSD. Benny's also famous for his talk about Painless Perl Ports with cpan2port; XTaran's famous for a whole bunch of other things.

I still have some catching up (wlog entries, keysigning, webpages, etc.) to do, please bear with me. I don't really have a proper work environment with me.

There's a chance I will not be attending the Beer Event in the Delirium Tremens café (last year's still remembered). Benny will certainly be there, though.

Could someone please order nice weather? I still need to eat some lunch and find a supermarket to shop for the weekend!

Hello, Debian!

2010-01-31 by tg@
Tags: debian

I got an eMail tonight. I guess this means I can say hello officially now. (Everything else is details, waiting and fixing some bugs and technicalities, or so.) Thanks to everyone involved, I learned a lot already. Oh, and I had a look into madduck's book (the old sarge edition, which I got for free recently) and found a nice graphic explaining what non-native English speakers (I even had Latin first, and 3 programming languages!) don't, from the Debian constitution.

Congratulations XTaran for making it as well, even visible on the website already!

Please don't file an "Please package mksh R39b" bug again, I am aware there's a new version ;-) as I'm upstream too. I'm just short of time at the moment, and I'd like to put out high-quality packages. Besides, the webpage needs fixing first (while the checksums and the changelog for the release are there, no proper announcement is yet, and I'd like, for this version, to add a "upgrading caveats" section, since due to bugfixes and better standards compliance some scripts need to be updated; some of the pdksh behaviour favoured Bourne over POSIX even!

new snapshot (netinstall) uploaded

2010-01-30 by tg@
Tags: snapshot

The 2010-01-30 snapshot was uploaded to /MirOS/current/ with i386 (actually had to restart due to cid 1004B6372DA2A612787, then manually incorporate cid 1004B6448D51D101C96 and re-do the floppy, and then, cid 1004B64C58E652566A6+1004B64C5FC627C5254 and especially 1004B64D0994DA8A990 are still not honoured), sparc (built 2010-01-25 though), MirOS bsd4grml and MirOS bsd4me (with another number of commits). If I had more time, I'd probably rebuild them both. As things are, I consider pimping all four of {i386,sparc}/{,x}etc10.ngz before making the FOSDEM Live-ISO. Maybe even put the re-built boot.fd into base10.ngz and re-do all of the ramdisk kernels, floppies and CDs. Ugh.

To do.

2010-01-28 by tg@

The MirOS Project will have a booth at FOSDEM 2010, business as usual. If you thought otherwise, you’re crazy ☺

I know I should write a wlog entry about the BSP, write more, release mksh R40, fix the TaC of it and the kwalletcli webpage (thanks again, it’s now in Debian sid!) etc.pp but I also need to prepare an ISO for FOSDEM, etc. Heck, I should prepare a talk for FOSDEM, but I’m not going to. If I need to stand there and talk, I’ll talk, not hold a presentation. I’ll just see what people are interested in, talk about The MirOS Project, and improvise.

I’m busy, and there’s only so much computing you can do in a day. This does include the dayjob. At least, my NMUs are in Debian now and probably can help people (and I submitted info about other bugs too).

Anyway, watch the news in the months to follow… can’t talk about everything now.

Marc Fleury, JBoss founder joins the ranks of Tonnerre, me, and other people requesting that MySQL (and MariaDB!) please finally die. Everyone, don't even fork it. Use a real database instead. Or, at least, SQLite. Really.

We're going to FOSDEM 2010 (of course – I've been at every FOSDEM that was not just an OSDEM, Benny and gecko2 are regular attendees as well, as are other projects of mine such as FreeWRT and Debian GNU/kFreeBSD, by proxy). There will be a recent MirBSD snapshot I've yet got to build, with the new floppy format ustarfs (idea, but no single line of their stinking ridiculously huge code, stolen from NetBSD®) and other improvements (albeit less than I wanted to get done by then). The days before, I'll attend the first FusionForge meeting to break up the French Cabal, with my work hat on. That is also my first time in France (outside of the Elsaß). People, make a good impression on me to overcome the classic prejudices ;-)

This weekend I'm going to meet my Debian Application Manager zack, have some good beer (ugh... first this, then Paris, then good belgian beer...) and fix some bugs, all while learning even more. Sounds like fun, but I almost feel overwhelmed, in contrast to the years of much less travelling from my past. I've also started sort-of mentoring Simon, one of our apprentices at work, into the Debian processes. (On an unrelated side note, formorer recently said bpo will become bp.d.o soon. Great!)

Please don't laugh at this excuse for a webpage, as I've yet to fill it in, but my CLI for the KDE Wallet is hereby deemed ready for public consumption, with a bug-fix release 2.01 (bugs actually found during preparation of a port to Debian sid and KDE 4, which is much much worse than KDE 3, plus it looks so absolutely disgusting I'm not even sure Windows® Mistda is worse). I hope the package will end up in NEW soon (and once progressed to testing I may be able to make the KDE 3 variant official via lenny backports; my WTF *.deb repo will hold them until then.

There are more webpages I need to fill in... mksh's TaC, arc4random (which needs some major redesign as well) and BSD::arc4random, the RANDEX protocol (entropy exchange over IRC) and its plugins and patches, ...

Not just Mac OSX (and, I hope, iPhoneOS) will soon come with mksh(1), but also Android (I prepared patches to make it /bin/sh, which works quite well – although I need to find out how to make a hardlink so that #!/bin/mksh scripts will run) and Maemo, for which I wrote an mksh package in a garage project, which also needs some love w.r.t. testing on actual devices, menu integration, etc. (Please contact me if you can help with either of the three.) We also have «lewellyn:#ksh» making a package for the new OpenSolaris system (thanks again). People persuading Apple to put it on the jesusPhone are also welcome. (This does not mean I endorse any of these – right now, I'd probably get the most of a WinCE PDA with built-in GPSr, WLAN and maybe GSM/GPRS.)

English and French native speakers, please review, and Dutch native speakers may contribute a translation of, our flyers. (Source code for these is not available, sorry. Benny makes them in Quark on System 7 in Basilisk II, used to be Classic until Apple yanked it. But still, they use only free fonts, free imagery or such the MirOS Project is allowed to use, and beat every single other FOSS project flyer I've ever seen by far!)

There's probably more I could write, I bet I forgot half of it anyway, but I'll leave it at that for now. Get yourself a nice cup of hot chocolate, pour an Espresso into it, and enjoy the mix with a piece of cake (I'd say strawberry or mousse-pear but all they had was cassis-créme) and pity me for not knowing any French next month.

The MirBSD Midi-ISO (bi-arch manifold boot) and NetInstall for both i386 and sparc have been upgraded to the 20091226 snapshot (sorry for the delay). A separate news announcement will be done when a full ISO (MirBSD + MirGRML) is done.

Other than that, I have fixed a couple of things all over the place, jupp for example. The planned release of mksh R39b is still not done though, as I’m only human as well, and too much hacking isn’t something one can do without relaxing some in between.

On the Debian front, my RCBD #1 was continued, here’s #1½ results:

  • Carry over from day #1
  • bug #552791 — acorn-fdisk — Copyright file does not contain verbatim copy of the license or a pointer to one
  • bug #562647 — gidentd — Does not work with ipv4 after recent change in netbase
  • bug #558812 — dietlibc — incorrect license in debian/copyright
  • bug #531937 — autossh — FTBFS on mipsel due to missing -fPIC
  • New ones
  • bug #563522 — acorn-fdisk — cleanup patches
  • bug #563525 — gidentd — cleanup patches

Explanations: I did go overboard during the first patching session, but I suppose this is what the NM learning period is for too. The autossh maintainer said thanks and will probably integrate my patches, so I don’t need to NMU. I could close the dietlibc bug. The other two didn’t look as good, I had to separate the fix for the RC bug (and other required fixes, such as ftp-master rejects — there were none though) and my other fixes; I submit the former as NMU diffs again and pointed Zack to the .dsc files, and opened the aforementioned two new bugs with the rest of the diffs, so the proper maintainers can take and apply them.

There’s questioning if gidentd should be removed (see the PR for more); the acorn-fdisk upstream (arm-fdisk it’s called there) is not actively developing but will receive patches; the autossh maintainer said thanks but I didn’t yet hear back from upstream.

The binutils as intel_mode bug was fixed upstream and in experimental for my case, but I had to reopen things because the variant documented in binutils-current still doesn’t work, so others (who use the new, more intel-like, syntax) don’t run into it.

Luk sent me a request to do more mipsel-FTBFS-due-to-toolchain-bugs workarounds. Will do (but can’t promise to do so before the upcoming BSP.

Robert Millan incorporated something like manifold-boot into GRUB 2, after I described it to him (the debian-bsd@ people are currently sorting out some heisenbugs with it, though). Now there’s three variants (but then, this helps spotting bugs that don’t appear in all implementations).

sendmail 8.13.4 is out, I wonder when OgreBSD will upgrade… I could do it myself again, but this time it’s not that urgent. Still waiting for the TLS extension, though…

catching up the TODO

2010-01-01 by tg@

Wow. Cleaned up mksh, did NMUs for T&S 1, tested nwcc, validated mksh-current (what will be the base of R39b) on HP-UX, but there’s still a lot of things I need to do. A new MirBSD snapshot awaits, more ports fixes, new LLVM, I’ve got to fix the typos I found, and much more. And it’s already this late. At least I feel like I’ve achieved somewhat much ☺ I somehow need to put an order or priorities to tasks.

The 26C3 gang has also returned, with delays that seem funny to those not involved… and tonight snow came back as well. Benny still works on the pkgtools configuration stuff. I wonder how much effort it would be to patch both pkgtools and apt to play together optionally… we wouldn’t lose that what pkgtools already have as high-level functionality, gain some of dpkg’s low-level functionality (must be reimplemented though), and for these who want, a (GPL’d…) high-level tool for binary package management.

FreeWRT is also slowly gaining a little more traction, even from its founder (who asserts that FreeWRT 1.0-stable is the only OS for WRT-like devices that does WDS correctly, and feeds us patches). I still think we need MirWRT ☺ with a ports-like instead of buildroot-based system, but will never have enough time and interest to do that…

And: our website source code is in fact superiour to many others ☻ and quite extensible and flexible…

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