Elsewhere

Shirish Agarwal: The road to debconf 2016, tourism and arts.

Planet Debian - Sat, 11/06/2016 - 08:55

A longish blog post, please bear, a second part of the blog post would be published in few days from now. My fixed visa finally arrived, yeah But this story doesn’t start here, it starts about a year back. While I have been contributing to Debian in my free time over the years, and sometimes paid time as well, I had never thought of going overseas as the experiences I knew from friends and relatives, it isn’t easy to get all the permissions and paperwork done to say the least (bureaucracy @ work). But last year, when Debconf 15 was being launched, there are/were 2-3 friends of mine who are studying, doing their Ph.D. in some computer/web stuff, living in Germany currently that they goaded me to apply. The first few times I gave some standard excuses, but when they kept on for a while, just to shut them up I applied to the debconf team applying for food, accommodation and travel sponsorship.

I didn’t have high hopes as there obviously are many more talented peers around me who understand FOSS and Debian at a much more fundamental, philosophical as well as technical level than me. Much to my surprise though, about a month (and around two or three weeks just before the event was about to take place) I got the bursary/sponsorships for food, accommodation as well as travel. I was unsure that the remaining time was enough to get a visa hence declined that time around.

That whole episode gave me the confidence that perhaps my application would be accepted if I applied again. Using my previous years understanding, decided to give it a shot again as this would also enable me to get a feel of visa bureaucracy as well as gain a bit of novice understanding about what factors go in choosing a flight and believe me the latter part proved to be pretty confusing. While the visa business seems easy, the form at least is easy and what they ask, it can be troublesome as far as visa-processing process is concerned. It took a better part of the month to get the visa which I needed. The in-between time is and can be a bit stressful as you have committed funds for travel i.e. the airline tickets and are in a limbo as you didn’t know that if the visa is cancelled for some reason, your tickets would be refunded or not. A little history is needed and hopefully is helpful for anybody who’s applying for a short-stay Visa in South Africa.

Exactly, A month and day back I had applied for visa. The visa I had applied for is 17 days as the flights within my budget was for those days only. The visa I got was for 10 days only which was ending in the middle of the conference. I tried many avenues to get information and was told that I needed to write a correction letter telling/sharing the information about the correct time period and dates in BOLD with a heavier weight/point which is what I did and gave to VFS office without any further payment on my part. It took a bit more time than the first time around but the consulate co-operated. While I can understand the oversight as they probably get more visas requests along with special and urgent requests so such occurrences can happen. I am and was happy that there was a recourse rather than starting from scratch which probably would have made me more anxious due to the first experience .

Apparently I was lucky that I had done with Qatar Airways as later came to know that there are other airways which don’t refund money even after visa rejection . This information I got to know pretty late in the game otherwise I wouldn’t have been much stressed. As had committed knew had to go the whole hog and whatever barriers are there, have overcome at least as far as the visa part/process is concerned.

Now after few days, will probably start to worry about the actual travel, part nervousness, part excitement, nervousness as it will be an alien land, am obese so traveling economy on 787-8 and 777-300 ER will be tricky. The 787-8 will probably be a rough ride as it’s a 9 hr. journey and the seat are a mere 18″, the cattle class as shared by one of our esteemed politicians. This blame has to do with Boeing 787 rather than anybody else. Hopefully, if there is a next time, would make better choices.

Anyways,have selected an aisle seat so that will be able to walk every hr. or so to get the circulation in legs going as leg room in economy is not much from my domestic air travel experiences. If I do survive the travel, then will see South Africa and try to get some free time and explore South Africa and try to figure out how are they able to get one and half time tourists while we get around half figure for a whole year even though we are bigger (area-wise) to South Africa. I did find something positive for us as well, it’s not all doldrums all around.

Now, I had been thinking about if I know any South African music and movies. I had explored djembe while growing up in teens but other than that, not much. The only music I have heard is Harry Belafonte . So I hope to bring some Indian movies and music with me so that people if they have not explored Bollywood as well as Indian classical music could explore some of it, of course it will be pale imitation of what ‘Sawai Gandharva Music Festival‘ for instance gives. I also hope to hear and get some music and movies to learn more about South Africa.


Filed under: Miscellenous Tagged: #bollywood, #Debconf Germany 2015, #Debconf South Africa 2016, #Debconf15, #Debconf16, #djembe, #South-African consulate, music, tourism, visa
Categories: Elsewhere

Hideki Yamane: Which compression do Debian packages use?

Planet Debian - Sat, 11/06/2016 - 05:50
gzip: 4576
bzip2: 54xz: 46250none: 9
90% of packages use xz. Packages use bzip2 should migrate to xz.
Categories: Elsewhere

Paul Tagliamonte: It's all relative

Planet Debian - Sat, 11/06/2016 - 05:45

As nearly anyone who's worked with me will attest to, I've long since touted nedbat's talk Pragmatic Unicode, or, How do I stop the pain? as one of the most foundational talks, and required watching for all programmers.

The reason is because netbat hits on something bigger - something more fundamental than how to handle Unicode -- it's how to handle data which is relative.

For those who want the TL;DR, the argument is as follows:

Facts of Life:

  1. Computers work with Bytes. Bytes go in, Bytes go out.
  2. The world needs more than 256 symbols.
  3. You need both Bytes and Unicode
  4. You cannot infer the encoding of bytes.
  5. Declared encodings can be Wrong

Now, to fix it, the following protips:

  1. Unicode sandwich
  2. Know what you have
  3. TEST
Relative Data

I've started to think more about why we do the things we do when we write code, and one thing that continues to be a source of morbid schadenfreude is watching code break by failing to handle Unicode right. It's hard! However, watching what breaks lets you gain a bit of insight into how the author thinks, and what assumptions they make.

When you send someone Unicode, there are a lot of assumptions that have to be made. Your computer has to trust what you (yes, you!) entered into your web browser, your web browser has to pass that on over the network (most of the time without encoding information), to a server which reads that bytestream, and makes a wild guess at what it should be. That server might save it to a database, and interpolate it into an HTML template in a different encoding (called Mojibake), resulting in a bad time for everyone involved.

Everything's awful, and the fact our computers can continue to display text to us is a goddamn miracle. Never forget that.

When it comes down to it, when I see a byte sitting on a page, I don't know (and can't know!) if it's Windows-1252, UTF-8, Latin-1, or EBCDIC. What's a poem to me is terminal garbage to you.

Over the years, hacks have evolved. We have magic numbers, and plain ole' hacks to just guess based on the content. Of course, like all good computer programs, this has lead to its fair share of hilarious bugs, and there's nothing stopping files from (validly!) being multiple things at the same time.

Like many things, it's all in the eye of the beholder.

Timezones

Just like Unicode, this is a word that can put your friendly neighborhood programmer into a series of profanity laden tirades. Go find one in the wild, and ask them about what they think about timezone handling bugs they've seen. I'll wait. Go ahead.

Rants are funny things. They're fun to watch. Hilarious to give. Sometimes just getting it all out can help. They can tell you a lot about the true nature of problems.

It's funny to consider the isomorphic nature of Unicode rants and Timezone rants.

I don't think this is an accident.

U̶n̶i̶c̶o̶d̶e̶ timezone Sandwich

Ned's Unicode Sandwich applies -- As early as we can, in the lowest level we can (reading from the database, filesystem, wherever!), all datetimes must be timezone qualified with their correct timezone. Always. If you mean UTC, say it's in UTC.

Treat any unqualified datetimes as "bytes". They're not to be trusted. Never, never, never trust 'em. Don't process any datetimes until you're sure they're in the right timezone.

This lets the delicious inside of your datetime sandwich handle timezones with grace, and finally, as late as you can, turn it back into bytes (if at all!). Treat locations as tzdb entries, and qualify datetime objects into their absolute timezone (EST, EDT, PST, PDT)

It's not until you want to show the datetime to the user again should you consider how to re-encode your datetime to bytes. You should think about what flavor of bytes, what encoding -- what timezone -- should I be encoding into?

TEST

Just like Unicode, testing that your code works with datetimes is important. Every time I think about how to go about doing this, I think about that one time that mjg59 couldn't book a flight starting Tuesday from AKL, landing in HNL on Monday night, because United couldn't book the last leg to SFO. Do you ever assume dates only go forward as time goes on? Remember timezones.

Construct test data, make sure someone in New Zealand's +13:45 can correctly talk with their friends in Baker Island's -12:00, and that the events sort right.

Just because it's Noon on New Years Eve in England doesn't mean it's not 1 AM the next year in New Zealand. Places a few miles apart may go on Daylight savings different days. Indian Standard Time is not even aligned on the hour to GMT (+05:30)!

Test early, and test often. Memorize a few timezones, and challenge your assumptions when writing code that has to do with time. Don't use wall clocks to mean monotonic time. Remember there's a whole world out there, and we only deal with part of it.

It's also worth remembering, as Andrew Pendleton pointed out to me, that it's possible that a datetime isn't even unique for a place, since you can never know if 2016-11-06 01:00:00 in America/New_York (in the tzdb) is the first one, or second one. Storing EST or EDT along with your datetime may help, though!

Pitfalls

Improper handling of timezones can lead to some interesting things, and failing to be explicit (or at least, very rigid) in what you expect will lead to an unholy class of bugs we've all come to hate. At best, you have confused users doing math, at worst, someone misses a critical event, or our security code fails.

I recently found what I regard to be a pretty bad bug in apt (which David has prepared a fix for and is pending upload, yay! Thank you!), which boiled down to documentation and code expecting datetimes in a timezone, but accepting any timezone, and silently treating it as UTC.

The solution is to hard-fail, which is an interesting choice to me (as a vocal fan of timezone aware code), but at the least it won't fail by misunderstanding what the server is trying to communicate, and I do understand and empathize with the situation the apt maintainers are in.

Final Thoughts

Overall, my main point is although most modern developers know how to deal with Unicode pain, I think there is a more general lesson to learn -- namely, you should always know what data you have, and always remember what it is. Understand assumptions as early as you can, and always store them with the data.

Categories: Elsewhere

Drupal Console: Help us complete the Drupal Console stable release

Planet Drupal - Sat, 11/06/2016 - 00:52
If you are reading this you maybe are aware or have an idea what the Drupal Console is, but in case you are not; this is a brief explanation. Drupal Console is “The new CLI for Drupal”. A tool to generate boilerplate code, interact with and debug Drupal. Why are we asking for help? The Drupal Console as many other Open Source projects is created and maintained with the effort and free time of contributors and maintainers, which is great but, sometimes the community requires those tools earlier than the contributors can produce using only in their own time. One example of that is the Drupal 8 Accelerate program,  d8rules funding program, and D8 Module Acceleration Program with the aim to bring to the community those products as soon as possible, getting money to sponsor contributors office hours to complete those products. Our situation is not so different from other projects, even though the core maintainers have some hours per week sponsored by our employer or business. But this time is not enough, and we need to use our personal time to continue with the development. We need to assign more time to check the issue queue, currently with 200+ pending issues and feature requests, to provide support on the Gitter channel, to do a much better work with the documentation, and improve the test coverage. Therefore, we need some financial assistance to try to deliver our first stable release as soon as possible. For more information and to know how to help us, please read the article in full.
Categories: Elsewhere

Guido Günther: Debian Fun in May 2016

Planet Debian - Fri, 10/06/2016 - 19:38
Debian LTS

May marked the thirteenth month I contributed to Debian LTS under the Freexian umbrella. I spent the 17.25 hours working on these LTS things:

  • Fixed CVE-2014-7210 in pdns resulting in DLA-492-1
  • Fixed the build failure of Icedove on armhf resulting in DLA 472-2
  • Forward ported our nss, nspr enhancements to to the current versions in testing to continue the discussion on the same nss and nspr versions in all suites including some ABI compliance research (thanks abi-compliance-tester!), resulting in 824872.
  • Backported Icedve 45 and Enigmail to wheezy to check if we can continue to support it - we can with a minor tweaks. Upload will happen in June.
  • While at that added some autpkgtests for Icedove 45 resulting in 809723 (already applied).
  • Released DLA-498-1 for ruby-active-model-3.2 to address CVE-2016-0753.
  • Reviewed the Updates of ruby-active-record-3.2 for CVE-2015-7577 and eglibc.
Other Debian stuff
  • Uploaded libvirt 1.3.4 to sid, 1.3.5~rc1 to experimental
  • Uploaded libosinfo 0.3.0 to sid
  • Uploaded git-buildpackage 0.7.4 to sid including experimental multiple tarball support for gbp buildpackage
Categories: Elsewhere

Acquia Developer Center Blog: Multisite Governance, Site Delivery, and Other Issues Related to Managing Many Sites: Part 3

Planet Drupal - Fri, 10/06/2016 - 18:34

This is Part 3 of an interview with Will Eisner, Senior Director, Product at Acquia. Will’s primary focus is on Acquia Cloud Site Factory, which helps organizations create and manage many sites, from a dozen to thousands.

Also sitting in on the interview, via conference line, was Sonya Kovacic, a Junior Product Manager at Acquia who also works on Site Factory.

Tags: acquia drupal planet
Categories: Elsewhere

Acquia Developer Center Blog: Agile Training for the Government Product Owner

Planet Drupal - Fri, 10/06/2016 - 18:06

TLDR: A new, free agile training course for government product owners has been released on the AGL Academy. Sign up now to participate in the introductory webinar scheduled for June 16, 2016 at 1PM ET (or view the webinar recording after that date).

Tags: acquia drupal planet
Categories: Elsewhere

DrupalCon News: Drupal 8 in the Wild

Planet Drupal - Fri, 10/06/2016 - 17:46

Intrepid developers of the Drupal community!

This year saw the bravest of explorers venture out into the harsh and unforgiving landscapes of the World (Wide Web).

Wearing only t-shirts from past DrupalCons, they put all of their trust in the hard work of their friends and colleagues, as they set out on a mission: to use Drupal 8 on real projects!

Categories: Elsewhere

ImageX Media: How Can I Make It then How Can I Break It?

Planet Drupal - Fri, 10/06/2016 - 17:42

This is the second in a series of posts recapping ImageX’s presentations at this year’s DrupalCon.

With so many testing methods available -- code static analysis checks, unit testing, functional testing, front-end performance testing, load testing, visual regression testing, etc. --  it can be difficult for a development team to choose which will work best for their project, particularly with limited time and budget available.

Categories: Elsewhere

ImageX Media: DrupalCon 2016

Planet Drupal - Fri, 10/06/2016 - 17:27

DrupalCon brings together thousands of people throughout the Drupal community who use, design for, develop for, and support the platform. It’s the heartbeat of the Drupal community, where advancements in the platform happen, learnings from its users are shared, and where connections are made that strengthen the community. 

Categories: Elsewhere

ImageX Media: Higher Education Notes and Trends

Planet Drupal - Fri, 10/06/2016 - 17:17

 

As a web agency that specializes in higher education, ImageX keeps its figurative finger on the pulse of the sector. Some weeks are busier than others for new data and studies being released, and this week definitely falls into the busy category. Let’s take a look at the week that was in higher education!

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation released a compelling student demographic breakdown of what the higher education landscape looks like in America:

Categories: Elsewhere

Acquia Developer Center Blog: Acquia U and career changers - meet Doris Wong

Planet Drupal - Fri, 10/06/2016 - 16:36
Acquia U and career changers - meet Doris Wong

Doris Wong and I sat down at Acquia's Boston HQ to talk about her interesting journey through HTML and frontend work, to UX, to fitness, and finally to Drupal and Acquia, and how even at Acquia it took time, Acquia U and three jobs (!) to really settle in. Here, we talk about that path and what she got out of Acquia U.

Read this blog post on Doris's website for a wonderful, clear introduction to who Doris is and how she got to Acquia and Drupal development.

"Not all [my] experiences were a success, but the one thing I didn’t stop doing was learning. Learning is one of the greatest tools you can have in your arsenal. I first came to Acquia as a UX intern with the goal of finding my next career. When I came to the realization that my heart was in web development, the Acquia U program came into fruition. When the program was finally announced, I hesitated to apply. I didn’t know enough about Drupal to make an educated decision but then I thought, well, why stop learning now?" - Doris Wong

Interview video - 10 min.

Guest dossier
Interview transcription
Meet Doris

jam: We are sitting here at Acquia’s headquarters. How many days have you been working here so far?

Doris: I would have to break it down three ways. I have been here for a year with three different departments. I started as a UX Intern--User Experience--with the engineering team. That was for the summer ... No actually, I extended summer. Then from there ...

Backtrack: I was a frontend developer. I teach fitness on the side, and I was kind of looking for a change. Thinking I was going to do fitness, and then I worked at a company for frontend development because I wanted to get back into it who is focused on UX.

Then, I got connected to the UX team here. Then I thought, “Alright, what’s next? I want to try something else”. Then, I met Amy Parker. She kind of convinced me to sign up for Acquia U. I got in. I was at Acquia U, then I was kind of like, “Alright. Let’s see what’s next”. Then I kind of found a role within Marketing, which was not really part of the curriculum, but I developed an interest in them. Right now, I am at Acquia as a Digital Marketer.

jam: Wow. I think we can draw two conclusions from this. The first conclusion we can draw is that you have trouble making up your mind.

Doris: Yes!

jam: The second conclusion we can draw is that three departments in a year at Acquia ... Acquia is a gold mine of opportunities for people who want to try stuff out.

Doris: Definitely. You see that a lot here. You see a lot of people who learn. It is not that I didn’t learn much from the UX or with Acquia U. All of that experience has really helped me with my current role in Marketing, which is focusing on conversion for Acquia.com. So having the User Experience and the Drupal skillset to be able to use certain products on Acquia.com has really helped. In the end, actually surprisingly, all tied in together.

jam: Introduce yourself and tell us something non-Drupal-ly about you.

Doris: Alright. My name is Doris Wong. The non-Drupal-ly thing about me is that I currently teach a dance fitness class called BollyX. It is a Bollywood-inspired dance fitness program. So for those of you who have taken other dance fitness programs, this one introduces the mainstream folks to the world of Bollywood in a fitness format. It’s a lot of fun.

jam: Wow, that’s a cool non-Drupal-ly thing. You had this odd path into Acquia U where you had already touched Acquia - but before you came to Acquia, had you heard of Drupal?

Doris: No.

jam: How did you find out about that UX internship that you applied for?

Doris: This is where the power of networking comes in. At my internship ... It was an internship doing frontend development. It was more email marketing, but the company was involved with UX consulting or research. The former director of UX at Acquia, she had previously worked at that company. That company was probably the size of maybe 10 folks, so it is definitely a small company, very personal, intimate. I developed a relationship with the CEO. The CEO and the former director of UX here were good friends. Upon my exit, I expressed interest in developing a career in UX. During that time, the director was looking for an intern and hence the connection there. Definitely network.

Meet Acquia U

jam: What were your expectations going into Acquia U?

Doris: That’s an interesting question. I don’t think I had a lot of expectations. I feel that in my experience, I didn’t have any expectations going into anything new, because it is a new program. I wanted to have a clear head going in, as to not have it affect my experience in the program. I was going in knowing that this was kind of the rebirth of the program since there was kind of a gap between the first program and this. So I knew it was going to be kind of like, so to speak, a pilot. There are probably going to be some hiccups and I knew that I would kind of have to go with it and run with it. Just having an open mind really helped me.

jam: What did you want to get out of it?

Doris: A sense of ... let me think about that. I think just kind of getting a better understanding of where I am in terms of my career and skills. It kind of helped me understand who I was and what I am capable of. Because Drupal was new, I was kind of coming from scratch. Didn’t know anything. It really helped me figure out, “Alright, this is what I can do. This is what I am capable of. What’s next?”

jam: Alright. How was it?

Doris: It was challenging. It was really challenging because it was a little more fast-paced. There were some folks within the program that had Drupal experience, some who have built sites around. I think for me having a frontend development experience really helps. Knowing a little bit – at least a general understanding of PHP, I knew the frontend stuff like CSS, HTML kind of helped, but I think it was more of the site building component and just understanding how it worked together. That was the more challenging aspect of it. But that was just the beginning. As I keep getting engrossed to it, it just got a lot easier.

jam: Run us through a day at Acquia U.

Doris: There is no typical day. But I can say that as you are going through the program, you would come in – usually the first half would be lecture. Going over ... reviews. That is also dependent on where we are. If we feel comfortable passing a subject, if we are familiar, we can move on to the next. Then, the second half of the day could be more of a project that we are working on. If we wanted to do more learning, there was some flexibility in the schedule. That was the great thing about the program, there is a lot of flexibility during the day. We will have a set schedule, but depending on what we wanted to do, the instructor was really great in allowing us to decide, “I think we want to focus on this today versus that”.

jam: What’s the most important thing you got out of going through Acquia U?

Doris: Definitely working with the team and learning more about the Acquia culture. That’s the one thing that is really good about this program is because you are not just sitting in a random office or something that you are just learning something. You are actually engrossed in the culture, so you get an understanding for what it is like working here and working with the people around you.

jam: What’s the one piece of advice that you would give for people looking for a new career?

Doris: One piece of advice is that--this may sound interesting--but you need to be dedicated. It is not easy making the transition. If you are serious about making a career change, then you want to be devoted to it and do everything you can to get better at it because you can just go in and say, “Maybe I will just try this and not do anything about it”. You are not getting much value. You have to have dedication.

jam: Would you recommend Acquia U to others?

Doris: Yes. Not only are you learning a lot from the instructors, you are also learning from your peers because we have folks that are coming from different careers and I feel that anything that you learn, you can always translate that in whatever career you end up choosing afterwards.

jam: Awesome. Thank you!

Doris: Thank you! It’s a pleasure.

Skill Level: Beginner
Categories: Elsewhere

Mediacurrent: Friday 5: 5 Minutes on Getting to Know Your Website

Planet Drupal - Fri, 10/06/2016 - 16:27

TGIF! We hope you're having a great week and are gearing up for an even better weekend. Thanks for joining us for Episode 10 of The Mediacurrent Friday 5!

This Friday, Senior Drupal Developer Matt Goodwin joins host Mark Casias to spend 5 Minutes on Getting to Know Your Website

Categories: Elsewhere

Jaminy Prabaharan: Weekly Report for GSoC16-week 1 and week2

Planet Debian - Fri, 10/06/2016 - 15:18

After introducing ourselves to the community, we start contributing to the open and free source software. Since this is the first week,  I have went through theories which would help me in coding. Before coding it is always safer to refer to theories so that we don’t need to spare time in debugging.

 

The following were my week 1-4 plans:

  • Getting familiar with Python and coding for connecting to an email account (using IMAP) and examines every message in every folder.
  • Writing a basic Python script to look at the “To”, “From” and “CC” headers of every email message in the folder. Identifying all the names and email addresses and writing them in a CSV file.
  • Scanning the body of each message looking for phone numbers.(for messages in plain text format)
  • Cleaning up the phone numbers and write them in international format and putting those in the CSV file too.(Telify recognizes phone numbers on web pages or in email messages and converts them into clickable links. This works with many CTI applications, SIP clients, Skype, Netmeeting, snom phones, the AGFEO TK-Suite client, SerVonic IXI-PCS and others. In general, all telephony software, devices or interfaces which can be controlled by using a URL, will most likely enable you to call a phone number directly from your browser or email client.

These two weeks I have completed my first two tasks in the list.I have committed and pushed my works in GitHub.https://github.com/Jaminy/GSoC

Successfully logged into the email account using IMAP and examined each folders.Examined inbox to extract  “To”, “From” and “CC” of the last message received.Trying to extract all message details to put in CSV file.


Categories: Elsewhere

Ben Hutchings: Debian LTS work, May 2016

Planet Debian - Fri, 10/06/2016 - 13:02

I was assigned another 15 hours of work by Freexian's Debian LTS initiative, but only worked a total of 10 hours. I intend to make up for this in June.

I began preparing the next stable update for Linux 3.2 on kernel.org, but haven't yet sent it out for review. I rebased the wheezy-security branch onto Linux 3.2.80, and added fixes for one more security issue and one data corruption issue affecting aufs.

I started a week in the front desk, triaging new issues for wheezy.

Categories: Elsewhere

Palantir: On the Air with Palantir podcast, Ep. 05: Consulting engagements that work - a case study with Rhodes College

Planet Drupal - Fri, 10/06/2016 - 05:17

Welcome to a new episode of On the Air with Palantir, a long-form podcast by palantir.net where we go in-depth on topics related to the business of web design and development. It’s June 2016 and this is episode #5. In this episode Account Manager Allison Manley is joined by our client Justin McGregor from Rhodes College. Allison caught up with Justin at DrupalCon in New Orleans last month, and spoke with him about how his school has implemented Drupal, how we worked together, and how it’s been going since.

iTunes | RSS Feed | Download

We'll be back next Tuesday with another episode of the Secret Sauce and a new installment of our long-form interview podcast On the Air With Palantir next month, but for now subscribe to all of our episodes over on iTunes.

Need a helping hand with effective consulting? Our years of expertise can help make sense of any challenge you're facing with your web project, whether strategy, design, development, or ongoing support in nature.

Look for our transcript of this episode added here soon.

Categories: Elsewhere

Martin Pitt: autopkgtest 4.0: Simplified CLI, deprecating “adt”

Planet Debian - Thu, 09/06/2016 - 22:24

Historically, the “adt-run” command line has allowed multiple tests; as a consequence, arguments like --binary or --override-control were position dependent, which confused users a lot (#795274, #785068, #795274, LP #1453509). On the other hand I don’t know anyone or any CI system which actually makes use of the “multiple tests on a single command line” feature.

The command line also was a bit confusing in other ways, like the explicit --built-tree vs. --unbuilt-tree and the magic / vs. // suffixes, or option vs. positional arguments to specify tests.

The other long-standing confusion is the pervasive “adt” acronym, which is still from the very early times when “autopkgtest” was called “autodebtest” (this was changed one month after autodebtest’s inception, in 2006!).

Thus in some recent night/weekend hack sessions I’ve worked on a new command line interface and consistent naming. This is now available in autopkgtest 4.0 in Debian unstable and Ubuntu Yakkety. You can download and use the deb package on Debian jessie and Ubuntu ≥ 14.04 LTS as well. (I will provide official backports after the first bug fix release after this got some field testing.)

New “autopkgtest” command

The adt-run program is now superseded by autopkgtest:

  • It accepts only exactly one tested source package, and gives a proper error if none or more than one (often unintend) is given. Binaries to be tested, --override-control, etc. can now be specified in any order, making the arguments position independent. So you now can do things like: autopkgtest *.dsc *.deb [...]

    Before, *.deb only applied to the following test.

  • The explicit --source, --click-source etc. options are gone, the type of tested source/binary packages, including built vs. unbuilt tree, is detected automatically. Tests are now only specified with positional arguments, without the need (or possibility) to explicitly specify their type. The one exception is --installed-click com.example.myapp as possible names are the same as for apt source package names. # Old: adt-run --unbuilt-tree pkgs/foo-2 [...] # or equivalently: adt-run pkgs/foo-2// [...] # New: autopkgtest pkgs/foo-2 # Old: adt-run --git-source http://example.com/foo.git [...] # New: autopkgtest http://example.com/foo.git [...]
  • The virtualization server is now separated with a double instead of a tripe dash, as the former is standard Unix syntax.
  • It defaults to the current directory if that is a Debian source package. This makes the command line particularly simple for the common case of wanting to run tests in the package you are just changing: autopkgtest -- schroot sid

    Assuming the current directory is an unbuilt Debian package, this will build the package, and run the tests in ./debian/tests against the built binaries.

  • The virtualization server must be specified with its “short” name only, e. g. “ssh” instead of “adt-virt-ssh”. They also don’t get installed into $PATH any more, as it’s hardly useful to call them directly.

README.running-tests got updated to the new CLI, as usual you can also read the HTML online.

The old adt-run CLI is still available with unchanged behaviour, so it is safe to upgrade existing CI systems to that version.

Image build tools

All adt-build* tools got renamed to autopkgtest-build*, and got changed to build images prefixed with “autopkgtest” instead of “adt”. For example, adt-build-lxc ubuntu xenial now produces an autopkgtest-xenial container instead of adt-xenial.

In order to not break existing CI systems, the new autopkgtest package contains symlinks to the old adt-build* commands, and when being called through them, also produce images with the old “adt-” prefix.

Environment variables in tests

Finally there is a set of environment variables that are exported by autopkgtest for using in tests and image customization tools, which now got renamed from ADT_* to AUTOPKGTEST_*:

  • AUTOPKGTEST_APT_PROXY
  • AUTOPKGTEST_ARTIFACTS
  • AUTOPKGTEST_AUTOPILOT_MODULE
  • AUTOPKGTEST_NORMAL_USER
  • AUTOPKGTEST_REBOOT_MARK
  • AUTOPKGTEST_TMP

As these are being used in existing tests and tools, autopkgtest also exports/checks those under their old ADT_* name. So tests can be converted gradually over time (this might take several years).

Feedback

As usual, if you find a bug or have a suggestion how to improve the CLI, please file a bug in Debian or in Launchpad. The new CLI is recent enough that we still have some liberty to change it.

Happy testing!

Categories: Elsewhere

Mediacurrent: 8 Insights and Useful Snippets for the D8 Rest Module

Planet Drupal - Thu, 09/06/2016 - 14:43

Tips and tricks for working with REST module in Drupal 8.

Categories: Elsewhere

Vardot: Rights and Liberty on Your Screen: New Website of Al Jazeera Media Network

Planet Drupal - Thu, 09/06/2016 - 13:12
News Read time: 3 minutes

The Public Liberties and Human Rights Center was founded in 2008 as a "desk" within Al Jazeera. Today it is staffed by a diverse team which works across different areas of the network. The editorial team operates on all of Al Jazeera's platforms and in all of the network's languages. The journalists produce original stories and content examining human rights issues around the world, complementing the network's hard-hitting news. Their website contains information about initiatives and events organized by the Center as well as many images and videos related to their projects. In 2015, Vardot developed a new website to bring together all the work Al Jazeera does regarding human right through all its platforms to one hub.   

 

Goal of the project

The goal of Vardot was to build an editor-friendly distribution that will also bring visitors a seamless user experience. The mission was to launch a modern multilingual SEO-optimized website that will be integrated with social networks and have the ability to handle a high traffic.

 

The right CMS for media networks

Vardot already partnered with Al Jazeera to develop other AJ websites such as  Sharek, Forum, Stream and Cafe. All these sites were built on Drupal because the client was looking for a CMS that will be able to handle high traffic, different permission levels, a large number of subpages and at the same time be secure and flexible for users. For the AJ Public Liberties project, we used our very own Drupal 7 distribution, Uber Publisher, that in our opinion ideally meets the needs of the Media producers and Online News Publishers.

The idea of this distribution is easy: most of news websites require the same package of features such as the ability to upload and edit text quickly, create roles and permissions for a better security, add taxonomy terms to organize the content in the convenient way, handle  high traffic and more. Uber Publisher does just that. It is a combination of  modules, configurations, settings and custom development for online publishers.

Why our customers always choose Drupal

 

Uber Publisher as a competitive advantage

Having the “foundation” of the website ready, our team was able to  concentrate on the  uniqueness of the Liberties website without wasting time for a basic coding.  As a result, the work on the new website of Al Jazeera Public Liberties & Human Rights Centre took less than one month.

Furthermore,  we were able to to provide Al Jazeera  with many different ways to change the display of content listings to meet their needs at any time. Depending on what Al Jazeera content managers wanted to showcase, the site allows them to feature one main article or multiple articles to tell a story and promote the most important news first.

Building a good website in just one month is very impressive, but we are looking forward to be able to work even faster. After updating Uber Publisher and making it more universal for any kind of online publishing company we expect to decrease not only the time of the development, but also the average total cost of ownership of news websites.

 

Bottom line

Building sites for enterprise companies always means accepting a big challenge, but our team likes to exceed expectations. Working with Al Jazeera before we’ve learned a lot about our client’s assumptions and ways of working, and this time we’ve just used the experience collected before and made a high-quality website in less than one month. Like Al Jazeera Public Liberties & Human Rights Centre contributes a lot to the awareness of humanitarian organizations, Vardot is happy to add some improvements to Drupal and share our experience with you.

Tags:  Drupal Planet Title:  Rights and Liberty on Your Screen: New Website of Al Jazeera Media Network
Categories: Elsewhere

Pronovix: Generating embeddable Help widgets from a Drupal 8 site

Planet Drupal - Thu, 09/06/2016 - 12:10

We developed the WalkHub Help Widget to help site owners guide their visitors to the right documentation content - right inside an application or web site. You can also set up your own widget creation interface easily - in this blogpost, we will guide you through the steps.

Categories: Elsewhere

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