Elsewhere

Matthew Garrett: The importance of a community-focused mindset

Planet Debian - Mon, 24/02/2014 - 05:09
Piston, an Openstack-in-a-box vendor[1] are a sponsor of the Red Hat[2] Summit this year. Last week they briefly ceased to be for no publicly stated reason, although it's been sugggested that this was in response to Piston winning a contract that Red Hat was also bidding on. This situation didn't last for long - Red Hat's CTO tweeted that this was an error and that Red Hat would pay Piston's sponsorship fee for them.

To Red Hat's credit, having the CTO immediately and publicly accept responsibility and offer reparations seems like the best thing they could possibly do in the situation and demonstrates that there are members of senior management who clearly understand the importance of community collaboration to Red Hat's success. But that leaves open the question of how this happened in the first place.

Red Hat is big on collaboration. Workers get copies of the Red Hat Brand Book, an amazingly well-written description of how Red Hat depends on the wider community. New hire induction sessions stress the importance of open source and collaboration. Red Hat staff are at the heart of many vital free software projects. As far as fundamentally Getting It is concerned, Red Hat are a standard to aspire to.

Which is why something like this is somewhat unexpected. Someone in Red Hat made a deliberate choice to exclude Piston from the Summit. If the suggestion that this was because of commercial concerns is true, it's antithetical to the Red Hat Way. Piston are a contributor to upstream Openstack, just as Red Hat are. If Piston can do a better job of selling that code than Red Hat can, the lesson that Red Hat should take away is that they need to do a better job - not punish someone else for doing so.

However, it's not entirely without precedent. The most obvious example is the change to kernel packaging that happened during the RHEL 6 development cycle. Previous releases had included each individual modification that Red Hat made to the kernel as a separate patch. From RHEL 6 onward, all these patches are merged into one giant patch. This was intended to make it harder for vendors like Oracle to compete with RHEL by taking patches from upcoming RHEL point releases, backporting them to older ones and then selling that to Red Hat customers. It obviously also had the effect of hurting other distributions such as Debian who were shipping 2.6.32-based kernels - bugs that were fixed in RHEL had to be separately fixed in Debian, despite Red Hat continuing to benefit from the work Debian put into the stable 2.6.32 point releases.

It's almost three years since that argument erupted, and by and large the community seems to have accepted that the harm Oracle were doing to Red Hat (while giving almost nothing back in return) justified the change. The parallel argument in the Piston case might be that there's no reason for Red Hat to give advertising space to a company that's doing a better job of selling Red Hat's code than Red Hat are. But the two cases aren't really equal - Oracle are a massively larger vendor who take significantly more from the Linux community than they contribute back. Piston aren't.

Which brings us back to how this could have happened in the first place. The Red Hat company culture is supposed to prevent people from thinking that this kind of thing is acceptable, but in this case someone obviously did. Years of Red Hat already having strong standing in a range of open source communities may have engendered some degree of complacency and allowed some within the company to lose track of how important Red Hat's community interactions are in perpetuating that standing. This specific case may have been resolved without any further fallout, but it should really trigger an examination of whether the reality of the company culture still matches the theory. The alternative is that this kind of event becomes the norm rather than the exception, and it takes far less time to lose community goodwill than it takes to build it in the first place.

[1] And, in the spirit of full disclosure, a competitor to my current employer
[2] Furthering the spirit of full disclosure, a former employer

Categories: Elsewhere

Andrew Pollock: [life] Day 27, Kindergarten, Debian, Hawthorne Road

Planet Debian - Mon, 24/02/2014 - 05:07

I realised yesterday morning that I will have biked up Hawthorne Road at least once a day for 5 days in a row by tomorrow (unless it happens to rain).

It's not a bad hill, really, it has a sort of a stair-step gradient. There's a short, gentle incline, just to get your heart going, then there's a flat bit, to recover, then there's a less friendly incline, which is both more unfriendly and longer. Then you get to the top, gasping for breath, before there's a short decline and usually a red traffic light.

This morning I had the bright idea of leaving the bike trailer at Kindergarten, so it made the journey home much more pleasant, as was the aforementioned climb up Hawthorne Road in the afternoon.

I spent the day doing Debian stuff, but unfortunately didn't result in a package upload to show for it. Library packages are tricky, and I'm far from experienced or competent at maintaining them.

Zoe didn't nap today at Kindergarten, and wasn't too worse for wear for it.

When we got home, Zoe wanted to make a crown for Mummy like the one she made at Playgroup last week. Unfortunately we didn't really have any good crown-sized paper, so I made a little crown out of some surplus Letter-sized paper, and then Zoe decided to do some painting. The painting devolved into a lot of hand painting of her cardboard box rocket, inside and out. We managed to keep the mess to a minimum.

After we cleaned up, Zoe watched a bit of TV, and my girlfriend came over and together we all made a vegetable stir fry for dinner. After dinner we walked down to the Hawthorne Garage to get some unwanted cardboard fruit boxes, to help with packing for our two night trip to Coochiemudlo Island later this week.

Bedtime went pretty smoothly. Zoe managed to get a bunch of insect bites yesterday, which was the cause of a 4am wake up this morning. They're still giving her grief, so I'm expecting some sort of disturbance overnight tonight.

Categories: Elsewhere

Rogério Brito: Trivial fact #3: Continued fractions via matrices

Planet Debian - Mon, 24/02/2014 - 03:30
Note

Apparently, it's not Debian planet that has problems to deal with MathJax (which makes posts usingn it appear illegible on Debian planet), but the ikiwiki plugin that I am using which generates garbage in the feeds that get consumed by planet.debian.org.

If you it know of a better plugin (which doesn't generate such output) please let me know, especially if it is not super computationally expensive for a Core 2 Duo T7250 (which is my notebook).

The real thing

As William Stein is now offering a course on Number Theory and he has been posting recorded videos of his lectures, I started watching some of them (mainly, the ones regarding continued factions). In particular, he shows the usual recursive formula for convergents of a continued fraction and that's super nice.

For the curious reader, the recurrence relations for the convergents of !!mathjaxbegin-i!! W2FfMCwgYV8xLCBcbGRvdHMsIGFfbiwgXGxkb3RzXQ== !!mathjaxend-i!! are: !!mathjaxbegin-d!! CnBfbiA9IGFfbiBwX3tuLTF9ICsgcF97bi0yfVxcCnFfbiA9IGFfbiBxX3tuLTF9ICsgcV97bi0y fSwK !!mathjaxend-d!! with initial conditions (!!mathjaxbegin-i!! cF97LTJ9ID0gMA== !!mathjaxend-i!!, !!mathjaxbegin-i!! cF97LTF9ID0gMQ== !!mathjaxend-i!!, !!mathjaxbegin-i!! cF8wID0gYV8w !!mathjaxend-i!!, !!mathjaxbegin-i!! cV97LTJ9ID0gMQ== !!mathjaxend-i!!, !!mathjaxbegin-i!! cV97LTF9ID0gMA== !!mathjaxend-i!!, !!mathjaxbegin-i!! cV8wID0gMQ== !!mathjaxend-i!!).

He even motivated the use of continued fractions with the golden ratio, which is super nice, given that I like the subject and have been writing a document collecting facts that I know about the Fibonacci numbers (well, this document is horribly incomplete and not even close to something that I would consider proper for public consumption—I plan on publishing them soon).

OK, after he discussed the basics of it convergents, he noted that the recurrence relations are like those defining the Fibonacci numbers, just that one of the terms is "weighted" by the coefficients of the continued fraction.

I missed one thing, though: neither his book nor wikipedia's article on continued fractions mentions a very neat, alternative way to express the convergents of continued fractions (truth be said, I took a quick peek at wikipedia's article and I found that it doesn't mentionat least explicitly, in a 1 min skim—it may well be buried somewhere else).

I, then, proposed the following exercise for his students (which he apparently liked, as he +1's the suggestion):

Prove that the recurrence relation of the !!mathjaxbegin-i!! cF9p !!mathjaxend-i!!'s and !!mathjaxbegin-i!! cV9p !!mathjaxend-i!!'s that we mentioned before can be obtained via matrix multiplication. More precisely, prove that: !!mathjaxbegin-d!! ClxiZWdpbntibWF0cml4fQphXzAgJmFtcDsgMVxcCjEgJmFtcDsgMApcZW5ke2JtYXRyaXh9Clxi ZWdpbntibWF0cml4fQphXzEgJmFtcDsgMVxcCjEgJmFtcDsgMApcZW5ke2JtYXRyaXh9ClxjZG90 cwpcYmVnaW57Ym1hdHJpeH0KYV9uICZhbXA7IDFcXAoxICZhbXA7IDAKXGVuZHtibWF0cml4fQog PQpcYmVnaW57Ym1hdHJpeH0KcF9uICZhbXA7IHBfe24tMX1cXApxX24gJmFtcDsgcV97bl8xfWFf MSAmYW1wOyAxClxlbmR7Ym1hdHJpeH0uCg== !!mathjaxend-d!! As a corollary, derive Cassini's identity for the Fibonacci Numbers.﻿

Please, if you any errors on this, please let me know so that I can fix it.

Categories: Elsewhere

Daniel Kahn Gillmor: Inline-PGP considered harmful

Planet Debian - Mon, 24/02/2014 - 03:09
We changed the default PGP signatures generated by enigmail in debian from Inline PGP to PGP/MIME last year, and the experiment has gone well enough that we're now using it in jessie and wheezy (where it arrived as part of a security update to make the extension work with the security-updated icedove package).

After having several people poke me in different contexts about why inline cleartext PGP signatures are a bad idea, i got sufficiently tired of repeating myself, and finally documented some of the problems explicitly.

The report includes a demonstration of a content-tampering attack that changes the meaning of a signed inline-PGP message without breaking the signature, which i first worked out on the notmuch mailing list, but hadn't gotten around to demonstrating until recently.

The attack is demonstrated against clearsigned messages, but also works against inline encrypted messages (but is harder to demonstrate since a demonstration would require sharing secret key material for the decryption step).

Please don't generate Inline-PGP messages. And if you must parse and accept them, please consider carefully the risks you expose your users to and think about ways to mitigate the problems.

Tags: charset, inline-pgp, openpgp, security

Categories: Elsewhere

Steve Kemp: Two minor toys ..

Planet Debian - Mon, 24/02/2014 - 00:36

Two minor things:

graphite_send

A simple shell-script to submit metrics to a graphite server, extensible via local plugins, but covers the obvious metrics by default.

Metrics are submitted via simple calls to netcat.

Trivial, but much more lightweight than collectd and similar.

HTML::Emoji

A perl module for converting HTML like "&ltp>:smile:</p>" into something graphical.

This was written for my markdown sharing site, but is pretty fun.

The konami-code page demonstrates usage.

(This parses the HTML so it won't transform attributes, ids, or anything that isn't in the "text" part of any HTML input.)

The graphite sending script is perhaps the most useful, but at the same time it feels too small to be a package of its own. I'm tempted to bundle it up into my sysadmin-util collection, but I can't quite decide if it belongs there either.

Categories: Elsewhere

Paul Tagliamonte: Debile + Docker = love

Planet Debian - Sun, 23/02/2014 - 23:55

I’ve spent a bit of time this saturday Dockerizing Debile’s slave / workers (for those who don’t know about Debile yet, there are a few posts where I explain it)

Many thanks to Tianon Gravi for his work in helping me out :)

I created two images to test - the “base” image for any slave (paultag/debile-slave-base, and a preconfigured image for our test master server.

This includes a script to preconfigure the slave worker (OpenPGP keys, username, password) that are passed to it via a tarball generated by debile-remote.

Hopefully this makes deploying debile slaves easier :)

I was able to do a test build of about 300 packages with the dockerized slave, and I think it’s a huge step forward.

Onward!

Categories: Elsewhere

Russell Coker: Electric Car Charging in Melbourne

Planet Debian - Sun, 23/02/2014 - 23:03

This morning I noticed some parking bays reserved for car charging in a car park at the corner of Sydney Rd and Glenlyon St in Brunswick (near Aldi). One of the parking spots was occupied by a Plug-in Prius from GoGet [1]. I didn’t even realise that you could get a plug-in Prius in Australia. The charging station is run by Charge Point [2].

The charging points are about 1.5m high and the cable is about 3cm thick (about as thick as the pipe used for filling a car with petrol), so it would charge a car much faster than could be done with a regular power point.

One big problem with the Charge Point web site is that they don’t give any information on pricing. They sell home charge points (which I guess means just an all-weather two-phase power point) but don’t give a price for that. They sell charge points that can be used by commercially but don’t give a price for them either. Also their infrastructure for billing is apparently based on companies installing charge points and setting a price for the service. Some charge points may offer free service (I guess staff car parks and some government agencies) and others will charge varying rates – none of which is available on the web site. Apparently they have an “online portal” which gives information on such things to registered users – so you have to register to discover what it costs. Of course hardly anyone is going to register before discovering the price, not even when registration is free. But while registration is free the web site demands the make and model of the electric car, so presumably one has to spend $40,000 or more on a vehicle before discovering the price and availability of charging it. Charge Point can be used as an example of how not to design a web site that promotes a service, or at least how not to promote a service that is aimed at saving money (electricity is significantly cheaper than petrol so it’s of interest to people and organisations that want to save money). The Charge Point site seems to be better suited to showing that the concept can work than convincing people that they should sign up for it. It seems to me that the best thing that they could do would be to prominently display the average cost of all non-free charge points that are open to the public along with an explanation of the price of driving a desirable car (such as a plug-in Prius or a Nissan Leaf) with such an electricity cost. The “contact” section on the web site only has a link for “careers”. I don’t think it’s possible to get widespread use of electric vehicles without getting better information out there. It appears that Charge Point is relying on councils to do the work of promoting their business by installing their stations and reserving car parking as Moreland council has done in this case. Related posts: 1. Qi Phone Charging I have just bought a wireless phone charging system based... 2. electric cars Here’s an interesting post on the Green’s site about the... 3. Victoria Hotel Melbourne I have just stayed at the Victoria Hotel Melbourne. I... Categories: Elsewhere PreviousNext: Drupal South Presentation: Everything you wanted to know about Drupal 8 but were too afraid to ask Planet Drupal - Sun, 23/02/2014 - 22:52 On Saturday morning at DrupalSouth, Kim Pepper and I presented Everything you wanted to know about Drupal 8 but were too afraid to ask. We've been asked to present it again online for Jam's Drupal Camp but in the meantime, here's the slides Categories: Elsewhere Andrew Pollock: [tech] My thoughts on the Ozobot Kickstarter campaign Planet Debian - Sun, 23/02/2014 - 16:56 I'm not an avid Kickstarter follower (if I were, I'd have gone broke long ago). I tend to wind up backing campaigns that come to my attention via other means (in other words, they're in the process of going viral). That said, I've backed plenty of campaigns over the years, and so I'd like to think I have a little bit of familiarity with how they usually operate. When Ozobot came to my attention, I found it unusual, because they were pre-promoting their Kickstarter campaign before it opened. To me, this looked like a case of them trying to build hype prior to the campaign opening, which was a new one to me. The whole thing seemed incredibly slick, and I was surprised they were "only" seeking$100K.

The product looked like it'd be something cool for Zoe to play with, so I decided to back it anyway. Then all the updates started flowing in about how well it was being received at various trade shows and whatnot. Yet the amount of dollars flowing into the Kickstarter campaign didn't seem to be reflecting the external hype. I was watching the campaign's dashboard with great interest, because as time marched on, it was looking more and more likely that it wasn't going to make its funding target. This seemed highly unusual to me, given the slickness of the product and purported external interest in it.

And then they pulled the plug on the campaign. Purportedly because they were pursuing equity funding instead. They admitted they'd also read the writing on the wall and it was unlikely they were going to make their funding target. I haven't followed other campaigns to see how much of a last minute funding "pop" they have. Usually I've found they've closed at many multiples of their original target, and hit their target well in advance of their deadline, when they're ridiculously popular. My interpretation of Ozobot's campaign, from a funding perspective, is that Kickstarters gave it a big fat "MEH", which surprised me somewhat.

Then the question comes up: was the Kickstarter campaign a ruse all along? Was it just a new way of pitching for venture capital? The videos seemed pretty slick. The product seemed already complete, and $100K didn't seem like enough to take it to manufacturing. It'll be interesting to see what becomes of Ozobot now. Categories: Elsewhere Sylvain Le Gall: Release of OASIS 0.4.2 Planet Debian - Sun, 23/02/2014 - 13:36 I am happy to announce the release of OASIS v0.4.2. OASIS is a tool to help OCaml developers to integrate configure, build and install systems in their projects. It should help to create standard entry points in the source code build system, allowing external tools to analyse projects easily. This tool is freely inspired by Cabal which is the same kind of tool for Haskell. You can find the new release here and the changelog here. More information about OASIS in general on the OASIS website. Here is a quick summary of the important changes: • Change BSD3 and BSD4 to BSD-3-clause and BSD-4-clause to comply with DEP5, add BSD-2-clause. BSD3 and BSD4 are still valid but marked as deprecated. • Enhance .cmxs supports through the generation of .mldylib files. When one of the modules of a library has the name of the library, ocamlbuild tends to just transform this module into a .cmxs. Now, the use of a .mldylib fix that problem and the .cmxs really contains all modules of the library. • Refactor oasis.cli to be able to create subcommand plugins. • Exported modules starts now with CLI. • Display plugins in the manual. • Design so that it is possible to be thread-safe. • Try to minimize the number of functions. • Make better choice of name and API. • A subcommand plugin 'dist' to create tarball is in preparation, as a separate project. • Remove plugin-list subcommand, this command was limited and probably not used. A better alternative will appear in next version. • Sub-command setup-dev is now hidden and will soon be removed. I have published a quick intermediate version 0.4.1, a few days after the previous release. This was a bug fix related to threads. I also decided to skip the release of last month. I was in the US at this time and didn't have time to work enough on OASIS (christmas vacation and a travel to the US). This month I am back on track. This new version doesn't feature a lot of visible changes. I mostly work on the command line interface code, in order to be able to create external plugins. A first external plugin is almost ready, but need some more polishing before release. This first plugin project is a port of the script that I have used for a long time and that was present in the source code of oasis (oasis-dist.ml). It will be a project on its own and have a different release cycle. The point of this plugin is to create .tar.gz out of an OASIS enabled project. I also must admit that I am very happy to see contributors sending me pull-request through GitHub. It helps me a lot and I also realize that the learning curve to enter OASIS code is steep. This last point is something I will try to improve. Categories: Elsewhere Vincent Cheng: Hello, Planet Debian! (also, RFH: sponsorship-requests) Planet Debian - Sun, 23/02/2014 - 07:41 Hi Debian! Just to briefly introduce myself, I'm Vincent (vcheng@d.o, vincent_c on OFTC/Freenode) and I'm a recent graduate of the NM process, having attained DD-ship (is that even a word?) about a month ago in January. Before that, I was a DM since mid-2012, and just another contributor for a few years prior to that. Most of my contributions to the Project are related to packaging, especially packages maintained within the Debian Games Team. Outside of Debian, well, I'm just another 20-year-old, 3rd-year undergrad student studying at the University of British Columbia, working towards a major in computer science. I anticipate that I'll be able to ditch academia for good in 2016; just 2 more years to go... More about my life story in my AM's report. It's fairly boring, if I say so myself. This blog post isn't just about me; I'd like to touch upon another topic that I consider important, i.e. attracting new contributors, and in many cases that involves package sponsorship. That's one of the many things I'd like to work on as a DD, and to that effect I've dedicated a large chunk of the time I currently spend on Debian sponsoring various packages, including packages that I'm not familiar with. I would love to see the sponsorship-requests queue empty one day, but I admit that I find that increasingly unlikely to happen, now that I've gotten a taste of the time commitment involved with sponsoring. Team maintenance and sponsorship seems to work relatively well in Debian; why does that success not translate over to sponsorship-requests / debian-mentors@l.d.o, where a considerable amount of RFS requests don't see any response at all, and merely get closed once those packages get removed from mentors.debian.net (AFAIK they automatically get removed after 20 weeks)? Well, I'm not here to offer an answer for that, but I will point out that there was a relevant thread that originated on debian-devel a month ago: <87ha8lzl7n.fsf@inf-8660.int-evry.fr> (and no, I'm not talking about the giant init-related threads that pop up on debian-devel every other week or so and drown out everything else on the list...). Are DDs in general reluctant to engage in "fly-by sponsoring"? Most packages coming through the sponsorship-requests queue are not team-maintained, and are sent from sponsorees who are not already in contact with a sponsor, and who have no other way of getting in touch with a potential sponsor (assuming that there isn't an existing team or a DD who happens to be interested in that package). Regardless of the merits of fly-by sponsoring (many arguments in favour of, and against, this type of sponsorship have already been discussed in that thread; no need to re-iterate them here), it's discouraging for potential contributors new to Debian, who may just give up and move on to something else. I've now had the opportunity to be a sponsor (rather than just a sponsoree), and I acknowledge that being a sponsor is more work than I imagined it to be a month ago, and it can be quite tedious and not-fun at times. I suppose I can draw a parallel between sponsoring packages and RC bug fixing; neither is what I'd consider to be a highly enjoyable way of spending my leisure time, and both can eat up a large chunk of time and effort; both often involve working on something that you aren't familiar with. But both are beneficial to Debian. No, beneficial isn't a strong enough word; how about "essential" instead? Yeah, that makes more sense. Without dedicated RC bug squashers, Debian would never be able to make a release; without dedicated sponsors, the size of Debian's archive would be smaller and of lesser quality, and its community also a lot smaller. With all that said...I hope this blog post inspires at least a few DDs, possibly more, to dedicate a little bit more of their time towards sponsoring packages. :) Categories: Elsewhere Diego Escalante Urrelo: Adopted mindset Planet Debian - Sun, 23/02/2014 - 06:32 This just wrinkled my brain. Be nice to programmers: In order to be a good programmer I need to adopt a certain mindset. That mindset is slowly making me unhappy. Programming builds an acutely negative mindset over time. I’m always asking the question “what’s wrong with this?” Positive people are always focusing on “what’s good about this?” Go ahead and read the full transcript, you might recognize yourself. There are some other ideas in the original article that linked me to this transcript. Categories: Elsewhere Francesca Ciceri: Community tip #236 Planet Debian - Sun, 23/02/2014 - 02:29 I'm sorry, I couldn't resist: words so good need a pretty (fsvo pretty) framing. source Categories: Elsewhere Petter Reinholdtsen: New home and release 1.0 for netgroup and innetgr (aka ng-utils) Planet Debian - Sat, 22/02/2014 - 21:45 Many years ago, I wrote a GPL licensed version of the netgroup and innetgr tools, because I needed them in Skolelinux. I called the project ng-utils, and it has served me well. I placed the project under the Hungry Programmer umbrella, and it was maintained in our CVS repository. But many years ago, the CVS repository was dropped (lost, not migrated to new hardware, not sure), and the project have lacked a proper home since then. Last summer, I had a look at the package and made a new release fixing a irritating crash bug, but was unable to store the changes in a proper source control system. I applied for a project on Alioth, but did not have time to follow up on it. Until today. :) After many hours of cleaning and migration, the ng-utils project now have a new home, and a git repository with the highlight of the history of the project. I published all release tarballs and imported them into the git repository. As the project is really stable and not expected to gain new features any time soon, I decided to make a new release and call it 1.0. Visit the new project home on https://alioth.debian.org/projects/ng-utils/ if you want to check it out. The new version is also uploaded into Debian Unstable. Categories: Elsewhere Robert Millan: Newcons coming to Debian GNU/kFreeBSD (testers wanted!) Planet Debian - Sat, 22/02/2014 - 16:47 FreeBSD vt(4) -commonly known as “Newcons”-, which is planned to replace Syscons as the default FreeBSD console, is now available on Debian GNU/kFreeBSD. It is enabled by default, but only in kfreebsd-11 packages from experimental. Newcons provides many interesting new features, such as KMS support, Unicode, double-width CJK characters, etc. More details are available in FreeBSD wiki. Ironically, Debian GNU/kFreeBSD is in a bit more of a hurry to deploy Newcons than FreeBSD is. The reason for this is that Newcons is practically a requirement for using the new KMS drivers. While FreeBSD Ports, in order to ensure a smooth transition, preserve support for UMS (User Mode Setting) in their X11/DRI userland, Debian supports many kernels and (contrary to some ill claims I heard) gives priority to new features on Debian GNU/Linux port, which is the one with most users and developers. In this case, it means KMS is the only option when it comes to X11/DRI userland in Debian. Anyway, we’ve been making some nice progress. Here’s a screenshot of Newcons in action in a Debian system (running on VirtualBox, thus with VGA backend): The idea is to backport this to kfreebsd 10.0, as FreeBSD plans to merge it into stable/10 anyway. However, it is still in the process of being tested (and being polished on FreeBSD, I hear they plan to merge it on March). Categories: Elsewhere Dirk Eddelbuettel: RcppBDT 0.2.2 Planet Debian - Sat, 22/02/2014 - 14:16 A new maintenance release of the RcppBDT package is now on CRAN. There is no new code in this; it mainly accomodates a request by CRAN to standardize the \code{Imports:} and \code{Depends:} relationships in the \code{DESCRIPTION} file. We also updated the build process now that we can use Rcpp 0.11.0. Having said that, there is a lot of new code in the git repository but I guess I'll talk about that when I can make a new upload. Yesterday, this balked because win-builder felt the need for a long long int in 64-bit mode which we can provide once C++11 will be permitted under R 3.1.0, due out in April. Oddly, no such need arose in 64-bit Linux. Oh well. The complete NEWS entry is below: Changes in version 0.2.2 (2014-02-21) • Updates to current CRAN Policy standards for Depends: and Imports: in DESCRIPTION • Also take advantage of new Rcpp 0.11.0 build options • New code remains in GitHub repo master branch until R 3.1.0 is release so that we can use C++11 in order to get the long long int support without which the package does not build on Windows (whereas Linux is fine) Courtesy of CRANberries, there is also a diffstat report for 0.2.2 relative to 0.2.1. As always, feedback is welcome and the rcpp-devel mailing list off the R-Forge page for Rcpp is the best place to start a discussion. This post by Dirk Eddelbuettel originated on his Thinking inside the box blog. Please report excessive re-aggregation in third-party for-profit settings. Categories: Elsewhere Dirk Eddelbuettel: RDieHarder 0.1.3 Planet Debian - Sat, 22/02/2014 - 14:04 A pure maintenance release of RDieHarder is now on CRAN. RDieHarder provides R bindings for the DieHarder battery of tests for random number generators by Brown et al. This release contains no new code, but the vignette needed to be moved from inst/doc to vignettes/ to help finalize that transition of the R / CRAN Package Policy. Courtesy of CRANberries, there is also a diffstat report relative to the previous release. As always, more detailed information is on the RDieHarder page. This post by Dirk Eddelbuettel originated on his Thinking inside the box blog. Please report excessive re-aggregation in third-party for-profit settings. Categories: Elsewhere Vasudev Kamath: First experience of driving in Bangalore Planet Debian - Sat, 22/02/2014 - 12:54 So finally I did it, I managed to ride the 2-wheeler in Bangalore roads!. Officially I've got a license to drive 2 and 4 wheelers back in 2011 but I was never confident enough to ride the vehicle on road and in traffic. Partially this is because I don't own a vehicle and I've never practiced driving, and partially because of road and traffic conditions in India I was bit afraid to do so. So today morning my roommate and me planned to go to temple in the early morning. We got up at 530 in the morning and we were ready to drive to Mahalaxmi Layout at 615. Since during this time traffic is very less I asked my roommate shall I drive and he agreed!. So I drove the bike from Malleshwaram to Mahalaxmi Layout and it was fun. I did had hick up in uphill driving as my mind was not co-ordinating well with breaks and gear. I did have hickups in first gear too but I guess this will be alright once I get hold of things. I'm still not having enough confidence to drive during the peak hours because people are not at all following traffic rules. They just change the lane without any hints or just come to middle of road from side roads without looking at other side to see if there is a vehicle is coming from other side of the road (yes they don't have courtesy to wait). And finally they can shout at persons who is actually following rules. In general very less people have traffic discipline in India. But I will adapt to this once I start driving so I'm now all set to get my 2 wheeler soon and ride on! Categories: Elsewhere Steve Kemp: Changing my stack .. Planet Debian - Sat, 22/02/2014 - 12:32 For the past few years I've hosted all my websites in a "special" way: • Each website runs under its own UID. • Each website runs a local thttpd / webserver. • Each server binds to localhost, on a high-port. • My recipe is that the port of the webserver for user "foo" is "$(id -u foo)".
• On the front-end I have a proxy to route connections to the appropriate back-end, based on the Host header.

The webserver I chose initially was thttpd, which gained points because it was small, auditable, and simple to launch. Something like this was my recipe:

#!/bin/sh exec thttpd -D -C /srv/steve.org.uk/thttpd.conf

Unfortunately thttpd suffers from a few omissions, most notably it doesn't support either "Keep-Alive", or "Compression" (i.e. gzip/deflate), so it would always be slower than I wanted.

On the plus side it was simple to use, supported CGI scripts, and served me well once I'd patched it to support X-Forwarded-For for IPv6 connections.

Recently I setup a server optimization site and was a little disappointed that the site itself scored poorly on Google's page-speed test. So I removed thttpd for that site, and replacing it with nginx. The end result was that the site scored 98/100 on Google's page-speed test. Progress. Unfortunately I couldn't do that globally because nginx doesn't support old-school plain CGI scripts.

So last night I removed both nginx and thttpd, and now every site on my box is hosted using lighttpd.

There weren't too many differences in the setup, though I had to add some rules to add caching for *.css, etc, and some of my code needed updating.

Beyond that today I've setup a dedicated docker host - which allows me to easily spin up containers. Currently I've got graphite monitoring for my random hosts, and a wordpress guest for plugin development/testing.

Now to go back to reading Off to be the wizard .. - not as good as Rick Cook's wizardry series (which got less good as time went on, but started off strongly), but still entertaining.

Categories: Elsewhere

Sylvestre Ledru: Some updates on llvm.org/apt/

Planet Debian - Sat, 22/02/2014 - 10:51

I made some changes on http://llvm.org/apt/ for the last 2 months.

• Added trusty, Ubuntu 14.04, as a new supported distribution (on the request of Michael Larabel, Phoronix)
• Support both the stable and development version. Currently, that means that the release_34 branch and the trunk are built. So, for example, clang-3.4 and clang-3.5 can be installed.
release_34 are only built when a new commit is submitted in this branch. trunk is built twice a day.
• Add a new package llvm-{3.4,3.5}-tools which contains various tools to build software/packages on top of llvm. Contributed by Martin Nowack in the context of Klee.
• Since a C++ 11 compiler is now mandatory, I had to force the usage of a backported gcc/g++ 4.8 (thanks Doko).
This is the case for Ubuntu Precise (12.04), Quantal (12.10) and raring (13.04).
The thing is that it triggers a dependency on the libstdc++ 4.8 causing the PPA to be mandatory.