Elsewhere

Konstantinos Margaritis: SIMD optimizations, cont.

Planet Debian - Mon, 13/10/2014 - 21:19

A friend of mine told me that I should advertise my passion and know-how about SIMD more, and I decided to follow his advice. Though I am terrible at marketing and even more at personal marketing, I've made an attempt to do just that, advertise the fact that I'm offering SIMD Optimization Services (with emphasis on PowerPC AltiVec/VMX/VSX, and ARM NEON, but I'm ok with SSE as well, the logic is pretty much the same, though the difference(s) are in the details). For this reason I'm offering a free evaluation of your performance critical code (open/closed, able to sign NDAs if needed) to let you know if it's worth optimizing it, what kind of a performance gain you would get and how much it would cost you to get that result.
You can read more here.

Categories: Elsewhere

Drupal Easy: Professionally-Trained, Community-Oriented, Drupal Career Online Students Ready for Work

Planet Drupal - Mon, 13/10/2014 - 20:10

The fifth class of our Drupal career training program is just about at the halfway mark, and our students are eager to put their new skills to work. The six Drupal Career Online students will be ready for junior-developer-level work in mid-November, and we're looking for forward-thinking organizations willing to help our graduates on the next leg of their Drupal career journey.

As we've done for the past five classes, (we've had more than 60 graduates so far) we're looking to make introductions between our upcoming graduates and organizations looking for people with Drupal site-building and development skills. Our Work Experience Drupal (WE Drupal) program is designed to provide students with valuble experience in internship-type settings. WE Drupal host companies are asked to make a 6-10 week commitment to one or more of our students, provide them with guidance, mentoring, and the professional experience that is so difficult to come by for new Drupal site builders and developers. In return, you get the efforts of a well-prepared, super-eager Drupal novice to help you lighten the task-load for your staff.

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Categories: Elsewhere

John Goerzen: Update on the systemd issue

Planet Debian - Mon, 13/10/2014 - 19:46

The other day, I wrote about my poor first impressions of systemd in jessie. Here’s an update.

I’d like to start with the things that are good. I found the systemd community to be one of the most helpful in Debian, and #debian-systemd IRC channel to be especially helpful. I was in there for quite some time yesterday, and appreciated the help from many people, especially Michael. This is a nontechnical factor, but is extremely important; this has significantly allayed my concerns about systemd right there.

There are things about the systemd design that impress. The dependency system and configuration system is a lot more flexible than sysvinit. It is also a lot more complicated, and difficult to figure out what’s happening. I am unconvinced of the utility of parallelization of boot to begin with; I rarely reboot any of my Linux systems, desktops or servers, and it seems to introduce needless complexity.

Anyhow, on to the filesystem problem, and a bit of a background. My laptop runs ZFS, which is somewhat similar to btrfs in that it’s a volume manager (like LVM), RAID manager (like md), and filesystem in one. My system runs LVM, and inside LVM, I have two ZFS “pools” (volume groups): one, called rpool, that is unencrypted and holds mainly the operating system; and the other, called crypt, that is stacked atop LUKS. ZFS on Linux doesn’t yet have built-in crypto, which is why LVM is even in the picture here (to separate out the SSD at a level above ZFS to permit parts of it to be encrypted). This is a bit of an antiquated setup for me; as more systems have AES-NI, I’m going to everything except /boot being encrypted.

Anyhow, inside rpool is the / filesystem, /var, and /usr. Inside /crypt is /tmp and /home.

Initially, I tried to just boot it, knowing that systemd is supposed to work with LSB init scripts, and ZFS has init scripts with carefully-planned dependencies. This was evidently not working, perhaps because /lib/systemd/systemd/ It turns out that systemd has a few assumptions that turn out to be less true with ZFS than otherwise. ZFS filesystems are normally not mounted via /etc/fstab; a ZFS pool has internal properties about which dataset gets mounted where (similar to LVM’s actions after a vgscan and vgchange -ay). Even though there are ordering constraints in the units, systemd is writing files to /var before /var gets mounted, resulting in the mount failing (unlike ext4, ZFS by default will reject an attempt to mount over a non-empty directory). Partly this due to the debian-fixup.service, and partly it is due to systemd reacting to udev items like backlight.

This problem was eventually worked around by doing zfs set mountpoint=legacy rpool/var, and then adding a line to fstab (“rpool/var /var zfs defaults 0 2″) for /var and its descendent filesystems.

This left the problem of /tmp; again, it wasn’t getting mounted soon enough. In this case, it required crypttab to be processed first, and there seem to be a lot of bugs in the crypttab processing in systemd (more on that below). I eventually worked around that by adding After=cryptsetup.target to the zfs-import-cache.service file. For /tmp, it did NOT work to put it in /etc/fstab, because then it tried to mount it before starting cryptsetup for some reason. It probably didn’t help that the system’s cryptdisks.service is a symlink to /dev/null, a fact I didn’t realize until after a lot of needless reboots.

Anyhow, one thing I stumbled across was poor console control with systemd. On numerous occasions, I had things like two cryptsetup processes trying to read a password, plus an emergency mode console trying to do so. I had this memorable line of text at one point:

(or type Control-D to continue): Please enter passphrase for disk athena-crypttank (crypt)! [ OK ] Stopped Emergency Shell.

And here we venture into unsatisfying territory with systemd. One answer to this in IRC was to install plymouth, which apparently serializes console I/O. However, plymouth is “an attractive boot animation in place of the text messages that normally get shown.” I don’t want an “attractive boot animation”. Nevertheless, neither systemd-sysv nor cryptsetup depends on plymouth, so by default, the prompt for a password at boot is obscured by various other text.

Worse, plymouth doesn’t support serial consoles, so at the moment booting a system that uses LUKS with systemd over a serial console is a matter of blind luck of typing the right password at the right time.

In the end, though, the system booted and after a few more tweaks, the backlight buttons do their thing again. Whew!

Categories: Elsewhere

Steve McIntyre: Successful Summer of Code in Linaro

Planet Debian - Mon, 13/10/2014 - 19:06

It's past time I wrote about how Linaro's students fared in this year's Google Summer of Code. You might remember me posting earlier in the year when we welcomed our students. We started with 3 student projects at the beginning of the summer. One of the students unfortunately didn't work out, but the other two were hugely successful.

Gaurav Minocha was a graduate student at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada. He worked on Linux Flattened Device Tree Self-checking, mentored by Grant Likely from Linaro's Office of the CTO. Gaurav achieved all of his project's goals, and he was invited to Linaro's recent Linaro Connect USAConnect conference in California to meet people and and talk about his project. He and Grant presented a session on their work; it was filmed, and video is online. Grant said he was very happy with Gaurav's "strong, solid performance" during the project.

Varad Gautam was a student at Birla Institute of Technology and Science, Pilani, India. He succeeded in porting UEFI to the BeagleBone Black. Leif Lindholm from the Linaro Enterprise Group was his mentor for the summer. At the end of the summer, Varad delivered a UEFI port ready for booting Linux and his code was included in Linaro's September UEFI release. Leif said that he was "very pleased with Varad's self sufficiency and ability to pick up an entirely new software project very quickly". We were hoping to invite Gaurad to Connect in California also, but travel document delays got in the way. With luck we'll see him at the next Connect in Hong Kong in February 2015.

Well done, guys! It was great to work with these young developers for the summer, and we wish them lots more success in their future endeavours.

Google have also just confirmed that they will be running the Summer of Code program again in 2015. I'm hoping that Linaro will be accepted again next year as a mentoring organisation. I'll post more about that early next year.

Categories: Elsewhere

Stanford Web Services Blog: Module of the Day: Stanford MetaTag NoBots - Hide your site from search engines!

Planet Drupal - Mon, 13/10/2014 - 18:00

When we launch a site at Stanford Web Services, we open the doors and roll out the red carpet for the search engines to index the site. However, before launch we like to keep the content under wraps and ask the search engines not to index the site. To do this, we use a module called Stanford MetaTag NoBots.

Categories: Elsewhere

Acquia: How to setup auto-translation of nodes using Rules and Tmgmt

Planet Drupal - Mon, 13/10/2014 - 15:17

This how-to guide describes how to set up automatic machine-based translations for content on a Drupal site. Whenever a node is created, translation jobs will be created for every language specified, and depending on how you set up your translator, you should be able to completely automate the translation process. For this project we are using SDL, but you should be able to use other translators.

1. Download and enable the translation management modules. This can be done through Drush or through the modules interface in drupal.

Categories: Elsewhere

InternetDevels: Ready! Drupal! Action! DrupalCon Amsterdam!

Planet Drupal - Mon, 13/10/2014 - 13:05

Where on this planet as a pedestrian you can be hit by bicycle and… be guilty for it? Amsterdam, you are just awesome! :)

DrupalCon is over and its attendees are in the relaxed process of event reminiscence. True drupallers are never tired of sessions, code-sprints, workshops and just fuss between these events; and yes, this year’s Con has provided all of these! But you know what? You can read about this stuff in dozens of other materials. And here we have gathered those moments and snapshots, which made our days at DrupalCon!

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Categories: Elsewhere

SK+ Drupallets: Top Modules for Drupal 7

Planet Drupal - Mon, 13/10/2014 - 08:29

Dozens of useful contributed modules for building Drupal 7 sites.

There are many really useful contributed modules to take your site beyond the basics of Drupal core. There are modules to improve, allow, and/or help with everything from accessibility to workflow, from images to input formats, and beyond.

This session will be of interest to beginner and intermediate Drupallers, as well as those who manage or hire Drupallers or who are just trying to decide whether to use Drupal.

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Categories: Elsewhere

Drupal Bits at Web-Dev: Codit: Blocks a video introduction to making custom blocks

Planet Drupal - Mon, 13/10/2014 - 07:17

This screen share walks you through why you might want a more powerful way of making blocks and why Codit: Blocks is a good candidate if you need lots of custom blocks.

Categories: Elsewhere

Dirk Eddelbuettel: Seinfeld streak at GitHub

Planet Debian - Mon, 13/10/2014 - 02:23

Early last year, I referred to a Seinfeld Streak in a blog post referring to almost two months of updates to the Rcpp Gallery. This is sometimes called Jerry Seinfeld's secret to productivity: Just keep at it. Don't break the streak.

I now have different streak:

Now we'll see how far this one will go.

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

Midwestern Mac, LLC: St. Louis Drupal Group - Hackathon on Headless Drupal 8 & AngularJS

Planet Drupal - Mon, 13/10/2014 - 00:00

Now that Drupal 8.0.0-beta1 is out, and the headless Drupal craze is in full-swing, the Drupal St. Louis meetup this month will focus on using Drupal 8 with AngularJS to build a demo pizza ordering app. (The meetup is on Thurs. Oct. 23, starting at 6:30 p.m.; see even more info in this Zero to Drupal post).

We'll be hacking away and seeing how far we can get, and hopefully we'll be able to leave with at least an MVP-quality product! I'll be at the event, mostly helping people get a Drupal 8 development environment up and running. For some, this alone will hopefully be a huge help, and maybe motivation to adopt Drupal 8 more quickly!

If you're in or around the St. Louis area, consider joining us; especially if you would like to learn something about either Drupal 8 or AngularJS!

Categories: Elsewhere

Jonathan Wiltshire: Clean builds for the win

Planet Debian - Sun, 12/10/2014 - 22:50

I’ve just spent a little time squashing several bugs on the trot, all the same: insufficient build-dependencies when built in a clean environment. Typically this means that the package was uploaded after being built on a developer’s normal machine, which already has everything required installed.

It’s long been the case that we have several ways to build packages in a clean chroot before upload, which reveals these sorts of errors and more. There’s not really any excuse for uploading packages that fail to build in this way.

Please, for the sanity of everyone working with the archive, don’t upload packages that haven’t been built in a clean environment. It’s such a waste of everybody’s time if you don’t do this most basic of checks.

Clean builds for the win is a post from: jwiltshire.org.uk | Flattr

Categories: Elsewhere

Steinar H. Gunderson: Short SSH keys

Planet Debian - Sun, 12/10/2014 - 21:00

I'm sure this is useful for something beyond being neat:

klump:~> cat .ssh/id_ed25519.pub ssh-ed25519 AAAAC3NzaC1lZDI1NTE5AAAAIFePWUlZmVbCZ9KHa4pOOMBXHaMFeuuIZDw0uHHEY2/m sesse@klump

I hope OpenSSH doesn't eventually grow a sort-of single point of failure in “djb ALL the algorithms!” by default, though.

Categories: Elsewhere

Iustin Pop: Day trip on the Olympic Peninsula

Planet Debian - Sun, 12/10/2014 - 19:53
Day trip on the Olympic Peninsula

TL;DR: drove many kilometres on very nice roads, took lots of pictures, saw sunshine and fog and clouds, an angry ocean and a calm one, a quiet lake and lots and lots of trees: a very well spent day. Pictures at http://photos.k1024.org/Daytrips/Olympic-Peninsula-2014/.

Sometimes I travel to the US on business, and as such I've been a few times in the Seattle area. Until this summer, when I had my last trip there, I was content to spend any extra days (weekend or such) just visiting Seattle itself, or shopping (I can spend hours in the REI store!), or working on my laptop in the hotel.

This summer though, I thought - I should do something a bit different. Not too much, but still - no sense in wasting both days of the weekend. So I thought maybe driving to Mount Rainier, or something like that.

On the Wednesday of my first week in Kirkland, as I was preparing my drive to the mountain, I made the mistake of scrolling the map westwards, and I saw for the first time the Olympic Peninsula; furthermore, I was zoomed in enough that I saw there was a small road right up to the north-west corner. Intrigued, I zoomed further and learned about Cape Flattery (“the northwestern-most point of the contiguous United States!”), so after spending a bit time reading about it, I was determined to go there.

Easier said than done - from Kirkland, it's a 4h 40m drive (according to Google Maps), so it would be a full day on the road. I was thinking of maybe spending the night somewhere on the peninsula then, in order to actually explore the area a bit, but from Wednesday to Saturday it was a too short notice - all hotels that seemed OK-ish were fully booked. I spent some time trying to find something, even not directly on my way, but I failed to find any room.

What I did manage to do though, is to learn a bit about the area, and to realise that there's a nice loop around the whole peninsula - the 104 from Kirkland up to where it meets the 101N on the eastern side, then take the 101 all the way to Port Angeles, Lake Crescent, near Lake Pleasant, then south toward Forks, crossing the Hoh river, down to Ruby Beach, down along the coast, crossing the Queets River, east toward Lake Quinault, south toward Aberdeen, then east towards Olympia and back out of the wilderness, into the highway network and back to Kirkland. This looked like an awesome road trip, but it is as long as it sounds - around 8 hours (continuous) drive, though skipping Cape Flattery. Well, I said to myself, something to keep in mind for a future trip to this area, with a night in between. I was still planning to go just to Cape Flattery and back, without realising at that point that this trip was actually longer (as you drive on smaller, lower-speed roads).

Preparing my route, I read about the queues at the Edmonds-Kingston ferry, so I was planning to wake up early on the weekend, go to Cape Flattery, and go right back (maybe stop by Lake Crescent).

Saturday comes, I - of course - sleep longer than my trip schedule said, and start the day in a somewhat cloudy weather, driving north from my hotel on Simonds Road, which was quite nicer than the usual East-West or North-South roads in this area. The weather was becoming nicer, however as I was nearing the ferry terminal and the traffic was getting denser, I started suspecting that I'll spend a quite a bit of time waiting to board the ferry.

And unfortunately so it was (photo altered to hide some personal information):

.

The weather at least was nice, so I tried to enjoy it and simply observe the crowd - people were looking forward to a weekend relaxing, so nobody seemed annoyed by the wait. After almost half an hour, time to get on the ferry - my first time on a ferry in US, yay! But it was quite the same as in Europe, just that the ship was much larger.

Once I secured the car, I went up deck, and was very surprised to be treated with some excellent views:

The crossing was not very short, but it seemed so, because of the view, the sun, the water and the wind. Soon we were nearing the other shore; also, see how well panorama software deals with waves :P!

And I was finally on the "real" part of the trip.

The road was quite interesting. Taking the 104 North, crossing the "Hood Canal Floating Bridge" (my, what a boring name), then finally joining the 101 North. The environment was quite varied, from bare plains and hills, to wooded areas, to quite dense forests, then into inhabited areas - quite a long stretch of human presence, from the Sequim Bay to Port Angeles.

Port Angeles surprised me: it had nice views of the ocean, and an interesting port (a few big ships), but it was much smaller than I expected. The 101 crosses it, and in less than 10 minutes or so it was already over. I expected something nicer, based on the name, but… Anyway, onwards!

Soon I was at a crossroads and had to decide: I could either follow the 101, crossing the Elwha River and then to Lake Crescent, then go north on the 113/112, or go right off 101 onto 112, and follow it until close to my goal. I took the 112, because on the map it looked "nicer", and closer to the shore.

Well, the road itself was nice, but quite narrow and twisty here and there, and there was some annoying traffic, so I didn't enjoy this segment very much. At least it had the very interesting property (to me) that whenever I got closer to the ocean, the sun suddenly disappeared, and I was finding myself in the fog:

So my plan to drive nicely along the coast failed. At one point, there was even heavy smoke (not fog!), and I wondered for a moment how safe was to drive out there in the wilderness (there were other cars though, so I was not alone).

Only quite a bit later, close to Neah Bay, did I finally see the ocean: I saw a small parking spot, stopped, and crossing a small line of trees I found myself in a small cove? bay? In any case, I had the impression I stepped out of the daily life in the city and out into the far far wilderness:

There was a couple, sitting on chairs, just enjoying the view. I felt very much intruding, behaving like I did as a tourist: running in, taking pictures, etc., so I tried at least to be quiet ☺. I then quickly moved on, since I still had some road ahead of me.

Soon I entered Neah Bay, and was surprised to see once more blue, and even more blue. I'm a sucker for blue, whether sky blue or sea blue ☺, so I took a few more pictures (watch out for the evil fog in the second one):

Well, the town had some event, and there were lots of people, so I just drove on, now on the last stretch towards the cape. The road here was also very interesting, yet another environment - I was driving on Cape Flattery Road, which cuts across the tip of the peninsula (quite narrow here) along the Waatch River and through its flooding plains (at least this is how it looked to me). Then it finally starts going up through the dense forest, until it reaches the parking lot, and from there, one goes on foot towards the cape. It's a very easy and nice walk (not a hike), and the sun was shining very nicely through the trees:

But as I reached the peak of the walk, and started descending towards the coast, I was surprised, yet again, by fog:

I realised that probably this means the cape is fully in fog, so I won't have any chance to enjoy the view.

Boy, was I wrong! There are three viewpoints on the cape, and at each one I was just "wow" and "aah" at the view. Even thought it was not a sunny summer view, and there was no blue in sight, the combination between the fog (which was hiding the horizon and even the closer islands), the angry ocean which was throwing wave after wave at the shore, making a loud noise, and the fact that even this seemingly inhospitable area was just teeming with life, was both unexpected and awesome. I took here waay to many pictures, here are just a couple inlined:

I spent around half an hour here, just enjoying the rawness of nature. It was so amazing to see life encroaching on each bit of land, even though it was not what I would consider a nice place. Ah, how we see everything through our own eyes!

The walk back was through fog again, and at one point it switched over back to sunny. Driving back on the same road was quite different, knowing what lies at its end. On this side, the road had some parking spots, so I managed to stop and take a picture - even though this area was much less wild, it still has that “outdoors” flavour, at least for me:

Back in Neah Bay, I stopped to eat. I had a place in mind from TripAdvisor, and indeed - I was able to get a custom order pizza at "Linda's Woodfired Kitchen". Quite good, and I ate without hurry, looking at the people walking outside, as they were coming back from the fair or event that was taking place.

While eating, a somewhat disturbing thought was going through my mind. It was still early, around two to half past two, so if I went straight back to Kirkland I would be early at the hotel. But it was also early enough that I could - in theory at least - still do the "big round-trip". I was still rummaging the thought as I left…

On the drive back I passed once more near Sekiu, Washington, which is a very small place but the map tells me it even has an airport! Fun, and the view was quite nice (a bit of blue before the sea is swallowed by the fog):

After passing Sekiu and Clallam Bay, the 112 curves inland and goes on a bit until you are at the crossroads: to the left the 112 continues, back the same way I came; to the right, it's the 113, going south until it meets the 101. I looked left - remembering the not-so-nice road back, I looked south - where a very appealing, early afternoon sun was beckoning - so I said, let's take the long way home!

It's just a short stretch on the 113, and then you're on the 101. The 101 is a very nice road, wide enough, and it goes through very very nice areas. Here, west to south-west of the Olympic Mountains, it's a very different atmosphere from the 112/101 that I drove on in the morning; much warmer colours, a bit different tree types (I think), and more flat. I soon passed through Forks, which is one of the places I looked at when searching for hotels. I did so without any knowledge of the town itself (its wikipedia page is quite drab), so imagine my surprise when a month later I learned from a colleague that this is actually a very important place for vampire-book fans. Oh my, and I didn't even stop! This town also had some event, so I just drove on, enjoying the (mostly empty) road.

My next planned waypoint was Ruby Beach, and I was looking forward to relaxing a bit under the warm sun - the drive was excellent, weather perfect, so I was watching the distance countdown on my Garmin. At two miles out, the "Near waypoint Ruby Beach" message appeared, and two seconds later the sun went out. What the… I was hoping this is something temporary, but as I slowly drove the remaining mile I couldn't believe my eyes that I was, yet again, finding myself in the fog…

I park the car, thinking that asking for a refund would at least allow me to feel better - but it was I who planned the trip! So I resigned myself, thinking that possibly this beach is another special location that is always in the fog. However, getting near the beach it was clear that it was not so - some people were still in their bathing suits, just getting dressed, so… it seems I was just unlucky with regards to timing. However, I the beach itself was nice, even in the fog (I later saw online sunny pictures, and it is quite beautiful), the the lush trees reach almost to the shore, and the way the rocks are “sitting” on the beach:

Since the weather was not that nice, I took a few more pictures, then headed back and started driving again. I was soo happy that the weather didn't clear at the 2 mile mark (it was not just Ruby Beach!), but alas - it cleared as soon as the 101 turns left and leaves the shore, as it crosses the Queets river. Driving towards my next planned stop was again a nice drive in the afternoon sun, so I think it simply was not a sunny day on the Pacific shore. Maybe seas and oceans have something to do with fog and clouds ☺! In Switzerland, I'm very happy when I see fog, since it's a somewhat rare event (and seeing mountains disappearing in the fog is nice, since it gives the impression of a wider space). After this day, I was a bit fed up with fog for a while ☺…

Along the 101 one reaches Lake Quinault, which seemed pretty nice on the map, and driving a bit along the lake - a local symbol, the "World's largest spruce tree". I don't know what a spruce tree is, but I like trees, so I was planning to go there, weather allowing. And the weather did cooperate, except that the tree was not so imposing as I thought! In any case, I was glad to stretch my legs a bit:

However, the most interesting thing here in Quinault was not this tree, but rather - the quiet little town and the view on the lake, in the late afternoon sun:

The entire town was very very quiet, and the sun shining down on the lake gave an even stronger sense of tranquillity. No wind, not many noises that tell of human presence, just a few, and an overall sense of peace. It was quite the opposite of the Cape Flattery… and a very nice way to end the trip.

Well, almost end - I still had a bit of driving ahead. Starting from Quinault, driving back and entering the 101, driving down to Aberdeen:

then turning east towards Olympia, and back onto the highways.

As to Aberdeen and Olympia, I just drove through, so I couldn't make any impression of them. The old harbour and the rusted things in Aberdeen were a bit interesting, but the day was late so I didn't stop.

And since the day shouldn't end without any surprises, during the last profile change between walking and driving in Quinault, my GPS decided to reset its active maps list and I ended up with all maps activated. This usually is not a problem, at least if you follow a pre-calculated route, but I did trigger recalculation as I restarted my driving, so the Montana was trying to decide on which map to route me - between the Garmin North America map and the Open StreeMap one, the result was that it never understood which road I was on. It always said "Drive to I5", even though I was on I5. Anyway, thanks to road signs, and no thanks to "just this evening ramp closures", I was able to arrive safely at my hotel.

Overall, a very successful, if long trip: around 725 kilometres, 10h:30m moving, 13h:30m total:

There were many individual good parts, but the overall think about this road trip was that I was able to experience lots of different environments of the peninsula on the same day, and that overall it's a very very nice area.

The downside was that I was in a rush, without being able to actually stop and enjoy the locations I visited. And there's still so much to see! A two nights trip sound just about right, with some long hikes in the rain forest, and afternoons spent on a lake somewhere.

Another not so optimal part was that I only had my "travel" camera (a Nikon 1 series camera, with a small sensor), which was a bit overwhelmed here and there by the situation. It was fortunate that the light was more or less good, but looking back at the pictures, how I wish that I had my "serious" DSLR…

So, that means I have two reasons to go back! Not too soon though, since Mount Rainier is also a good location to visit ☺.

If the pictures didn't bore you yet, the entire gallery is on my smugmug site. In any case, thanks for reading!

Categories: Elsewhere

Giuseppe Iuculano: apt-get purge chromium

Planet Debian - Sun, 12/10/2014 - 18:10

As you may know, I was the Debian chromium maintainer for many years. Some week ago, I decided to stop working  in the chromium package because it is not possible anymore to contribute and work in the team. In fact, Michael Gilbert started to work in a manner that prevent people to help maintain the package.

In the last period the git repository rarely was updated, and my requests were systematically  ignored. Having an updated git repository is mandatory in a big package like Chromium,  and if you don’t push your changes, other people will lost their time

Now, after deciding to stop maintaining Chromium, I also decided to purge it and switch to the Google Chrome binary. Why? Chromium is a pain. Huge commits not documented in changelog that caused stupid bugs because no one can double check them.

In this moment we have an unusable [1] [2] [3] version of Chromium in testing because maintainer demoted grave bugs with the recommendation to rm -rf ./config/chromium … and nobody can understand the sense of latest commits.

Categories: Elsewhere

Mario Lang: soundCLI works again

Planet Debian - Sun, 12/10/2014 - 15:30

I recently ranted about my frustration with GStreamer in a SoundCloud command-line client written in Ruby.

Well, it turns out that there was quite a bit confusion going on. I still haven't figured out why my initial tries resulted in an error regarding $DISPLAY not being set. But now that I have played a bit with gst-launch-1.0, I can positively confirm that this was very likely not the fault of GStreamer.

THe actual issue is, that ruby-gstreamer is assuming gstreamer-1.0, while soundCLI was still written against the gstreamer-0.10 API.

Since the ruby gst module doesn't have the Gstreamer API version in its name, and since Ruby is a dynamic language that only detects most errors at runtime, this led to all sorts of cascaded errors.

It turns out I only had to correct the use of query_position, query_duration, and get_state, as well as switching from playbin2 to playbin.

soundCLI is now running in the background and playing my SoundCloud stream. A pull request against soundCLI has also been opened.

On a somewhat related note, I found a GCC bug (ICE SIGSEGV) this weekend. My first one. It is related to C++11 bracketed initializers. Given that I have heard GCC 5.0 aims to remove the experimental nature of C++11 (and maybe also C++14), this seems like a good time to hit this one. I guess that means I should finally isolate the C++ regex (runtime) segfault I recently stumbled across.

Categories: Elsewhere

Guido Günther: Testing a NetworkManager VPN plugin password dialog

Planet Debian - Sun, 12/10/2014 - 13:55

Testing the password dialog of a NetworkManager VPN plugin is as simple as:

echo -e 'DATA_KEY=foo\nDATA_VAL=bar\nDONE\nQUIT\n' | ./auth-dialog/nm-iodine-auth-dialog -n test -u $(uuid) -i

The above is for the iodine plugin when run from the built source tree. This allows one to test these dialogs although one didn't see them since ages since GNOME shell uses the external UI mode to query for the password.

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Categories: Elsewhere

John Goerzen: First impressions of systemd, and they’re not good

Planet Debian - Sun, 12/10/2014 - 05:18

Well, I finally bit the bullet. My laptop, which runs jessie, got dist-upgraded for the first time in a few months. My brightness keys stopped working, and it no longer would suspend to RAM when the lid was closed, and upon chasing things down from XFCE to policykit, eventually it appears that suddenly major parts of the desktop breaks without systemd in jessie. Sigh.

So apt-get install systemd-sysv (and watch sysvinit-core get uninstalled) and reboot.

Only, my system doesn’t come back up. In fact, over several hours of trying to make it boot with systemd, it failed in numerous spectacular and hilarious (or, would be hilarious if my laptop would boot) ways. I had text obliterating the cryptsetup password prompt almost every time. Sometimes there were two processes trying to read a cryptsetup password at once. Sometimes a process was trying to read that while another one was trying to read an emergency shell password. Many times it tried to write to /var and /tmp before they were mounted, meaning they *wouldn’t* mount because there was stuff there.

I noticed it not doing much with ZFS, complaining of a dependency loop between zfs-mount and $local-fs. I fixed that, but it still wouldn’t boot. In fact, it simply hung after writing something about wall passwords.

I’ve dug into systemd, finding a “unit generator for fstab” (whatever the hack that is, it’s not at all made clear by systemd-fstab-generator(8)).

In some cases, there’s info in journalctl, but if I can’t even get to an emergency mode prompt, the practice of hiding all stdout and stderr output is not all that pleasant.

I remember thinking “what’s all the flaming about?” systemd wasn’t my first choice (I always thought “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” about sysvinit), but basically ignored the thousands of messages, thinking whatever happens, jessie will still boot.

Now I’m not so sure. Even if the thing boots out of the box, it seems like the boot process with systemd is colossally fragile.

For now, at least zfs rollback can undo upgrades to 800 packages in about 2 seconds. But I can’t stay at some early jessie checkpoint forever.

Have we made a vast mistake that can’t be undone? (If things like even *brightness keys* now require systemd…)

Categories: Elsewhere

Zero to Drupal: Headless Drupal & AngularJS Hackathon - St. Louis

Planet Drupal - Sun, 12/10/2014 - 01:14
What do you get

When you cross Drupal, AngularJS, and a room full of folks eager to learn more about Drupal 8, api's, rest services, and front-end frameworks? You get St. Louis' first Headless Drupal Hackathon...that's what!

When

Thursday, October 23rd - 6:30p - 9:00p

Where

The Journey - Reber Place 4900 Reber Place St. Louis, MO

Details

For the first time in our beloved history as a Drupal User's Group, we will be hosting our first interactive meetup. Our goal is to collectively build a faux pizza ordering app using Drupal 8 as a backend, and AngularJS as the front end.

For more information, see our Meetup event page for more info.

Hope to see you there!

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