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Raphaël Hertzog: Freexian’s report about Debian Long Term Support, July 2015

Wed, 26/08/2015 - 11:14

Like each month, here comes a report about the work of paid contributors to Debian LTS.

Individual reports

In July, 79.50 work hours have been dispatched among 7 paid contributors. Their reports are available:

Evolution of the situation

August has seen a small decrease in terms of sponsored hours (71.50 hours per month) because two sponsors did not pay their renewal invoice on time. That said they reconfirmed their willingness to support us and things should be fixed after the summer. And we should be able to reach our first milestone of funding the equivalent of a half-time position, in particular since a new platinum sponsor might join the project.

DebConf 15 happened this month and Debian LTS was featured in a talk and in a work session. Have a look at the video recordings:

In terms of security updates waiting to be handled, the situation is better than last month: the dla-needed.txt file lists 20 packages awaiting an update (4 less than last month), the list of open vulnerabilities in Squeeze shows about 22 affected packages in total (11 less than last month). The new LTS frontdesk ensures regular triage of CVE reports and the difference between both counts dropped significantly. That’s good!

Thanks to our sponsors

Thanks to Sig-I/O, a new bronze sponsor, which joins our 35 other sponsors.

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Categories: Elsewhere

Dirk Eddelbuettel: RProtoBuf 0.4.3

Wed, 26/08/2015 - 05:01

A new maintenance release 0.4.3 of RProtoBuf is now on CRAN. RProtoBuf provides R bindings for the Google Protocol Buffers ("Protobuf") data encoding library used and released by Google, and deployed as a language and operating-system agnostic protocol by numerous projects.

This release comes upon the request of CRAN and adds additional import statements to the NAMESPACE file. While we were at it, a few more things got cleaned up and edited---but no new code was added. Full details are below.

Changes in RProtoBuf version 0.4.3 (2015-08-25)
  • Declare additional imports from methods in NAMESPACE.

  • Travis CI tests now run faster as all CRAN dependencies are installed as binaries.

  • The tools/winlibs.R script now tests for R (< 3.3.0) before calling the (soon-to-be phased out) setInternet2() function.

  • Several small edits were made to DESCRIPTION to clarify library dependencies, provide additonal references and conform to now-current R packaging standards.

CRANberries also provides a diff to the previous release. The RProtoBuf page has a package vignette, a a 'quick' overview vignette, and a unit test summary vignette. Questions, comments etc should go to the GitHub issue tracker off the GitHub repo.

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

Norbert Preining: Plex Home Theater 1.4.1 updated for Debian/sid

Wed, 26/08/2015 - 01:21

Debian/sid is going through a big restructuring with the switch to a new gcc and libstc++. Furthermore, libcec3 is now the default. So I have updated my PHT builds for Debian/sid to build and install on the current status, both for amd64 and i386.

Add the following lines to your sources.list:

deb http://www.preining.info/debian/ sid pht deb-src http://www.preining.info/debian/ sid pht

You can also grab the binary for amd64 directly here for amd64 and i386, you can get the source package with

dget http://www.preining.info/debian/pool/pht/p/plexhometheater/plexhometheater_1.4.1-2.dsc

The release file and changes file are signed with my official Debian key 0x860CDC13.

For Debian/testing I am waiting until the transition has settled. Please wait a bit more.

Now be ready for enjoying the next movie!

Categories: Elsewhere

Richard Hartmann: Tor-enabled Debian mirror, part 2

Wed, 26/08/2015 - 01:11

Well, that was quite some feedback to my last post; via blog, email, irc, and in person. I actually think this may be the most feedback I ever got to any single blog post. If you are still waiting for a reply after this new post, I will get back to you.

To handle common question/information at once:

  • It was the first download from an official Tor-enabled mirror; I know people downloaded updates via Tor before
  • Yes, having this in the Debian installer as an option would be very nice
  • Yes, there are ways to load balance Tor hidden services these days and the pre-requisites are being worked on already
    • Yes, that load balanced setup will support hardware key tokens
  • A natively hidden service is more secure than accessing a non-hidden service via Tor because there is no way for a third-party exit node to mess with your traffic
  • apt-get etc will leak information about your architecture, release, suites, desired packages, and package versions. That can't be avoided, but else it will not leak anything to the server. And even if it did.. see above
  • Using Tor is also more secure than normal ftp/http/https as you don't build up an IP connection so the server can not get back to the client other than through the single one connection the client built up
  • noodles Tor-enabled his partial debmirror as well: http://earthqfvaeuv5bla.onion/
    • It took him 14322255 tries to get a private key which produced that address
    • He gave up to find one starting with earthli after 9474114341 attempts
  • I have been swamped with queries if I had tried apt-transport-tor instead of torify
    • I had forgotten about it, re-reading the blog post reminded me about apt transports
    • Tim even said in his post that Tor hidden mirror services would be nice
    • Try it yourself before you ask ;)
    • Yes, it works!

So this whole thing is a lot easier now:

# apt-get install torsocks apt-transport-tor # mv /etc/apt/sources.list /etc/apt/sources.list--backup2 # > /etc/apt/sources.list << EOF deb tor+http://vwakviie2ienjx6t.onion/debian/ unstable main contrib non-free deb tor+http://earthqfvaeuv5bla.onion/debian/ unstable main contrib non-free EOF # apt-get update # apt-get install vcsh
Categories: Elsewhere

Lunar: Reproducible builds: week 17 in Stretch cycle

Tue, 25/08/2015 - 18:11

A good amount of the Debian reproducible builds team had the chance to enjoy face-to-face interactions during DebConf15.

Names in red and blue were all present at DebConf15

Hugging people with whom one has been working tirelessly for months gives a lot of warm-fuzzy feelings. Several recorded and hallway discussions paved the way to solve the remaining issues to get “reproducible builds” part of Debian proper. Both talks from the Debian Project Leader and the release team mentioned the effort as important for the future of Debian.

A forty-five minutes talk presented the state of the “reproducible builds” effort. It was then followed by an hour long “roundtable” to discuss current blockers regarding dpkg, .buildinfo and their integration in the archive.

Toolchain fixes
  • Kenneth J. Pronovici uploaded epydoc/3.0.1+dfsg-12 which makes class and modules ordering predictable (#795835) and fixes __repr__ so memory addresses don't appear in docs (#795826). Patches by Val Lorentz.
  • Sergei Golovan uploaded erlang/1:18.0-dfsg-2 which adds support for SOURCE_DATE_EPOCH to erlc. Patch by Chris West (Faux) and Chris Lamb.
  • Dmitry Shachnev uploaded sphinx/1.3.1-5 which make grammar, inventory, and JavaScript locales generation deterministic. Original patch by Val Lorentz.
  • Stéphane Glondu uploaded ocaml/4.02.3-2 to experimental, making startup files and native packed libraries deterministic. The patch adds deterministic .file to the assembler output.
  • Enrico Tassi uploaded lua-ldoc/1.4.3-3 which now pass the -d option to txt2man and add the --date option to override the current date.

Reiner Herrmann submitted a patch to make rdfind sort the processed files before doing any operation. Chris Lamb proposed a new patch for wheel implementing support for SOURCE_DATE_EPOCH instead of the custom WHEEL_FORCE_TIMESTAMP. akira sent one making man2html SOURCE_DATE_EPOCH aware.

Stéphane Glondu reported that dpkg-source would not respect tarball permissions when unpacking under a umask of 002.

After hours of iterative testing during the DebConf workshop, Sandro Knauß created a test case showing how pdflatex output can be non-deterministic with some PNG files.

Packages fixed

The following 65 packages became reproducible due to changes in their build dependencies: alacarte, arbtt, bullet, ccfits, commons-daemon, crack-attack, d-conf, ejabberd-contrib, erlang-bear, erlang-cherly, erlang-cowlib, erlang-folsom, erlang-goldrush, erlang-ibrowse, erlang-jiffy, erlang-lager, erlang-lhttpc, erlang-meck, erlang-p1-cache-tab, erlang-p1-iconv, erlang-p1-logger, erlang-p1-mysql, erlang-p1-pam, erlang-p1-pgsql, erlang-p1-sip, erlang-p1-stringprep, erlang-p1-stun, erlang-p1-tls, erlang-p1-utils, erlang-p1-xml, erlang-p1-yaml, erlang-p1-zlib, erlang-ranch, erlang-redis-client, erlang-uuid, freecontact, givaro, glade, gnome-shell, gupnp, gvfs, htseq, jags, jana, knot, libconfig, libkolab, libmatio, libvsqlitepp, mpmath, octave-zenity, openigtlink, paman, pisa, pynifti, qof, ruby-blankslate, ruby-xml-simple, timingframework, trace-cmd, tsung, wings3d, xdg-user-dirs, xz-utils, zpspell.

The following packages became reproducible after getting fixed:

Uploads that might have fixed reproducibility issues:

Some uploads fixed some reproducibility issues but not all of them:

Patches submitted which have not made their way to the archive yet:

  • #795861 on fakeroot by Val Lorentz: set the mtime of all files to the time of the last debian/changelog entry.
  • #795870 on fatresize by Chris Lamb: set build date to the time of the latest debian/changelog entry.
  • #795945 on projectl by Reiner Herrmann: sort with LC_ALL set to C.
  • #795977 on dahdi-tools by Dhole: set the timezone to UTC before calling asciidoc.
  • #795981 on x11proto-input by Dhole: set the timezone to UTC before calling asciidoc.
  • #795983 on dbusada by Dhole: set the timezone to UTC before calling asciidoc.
  • #795984 on postgresql-plproxy by Dhole: set the timezone to UTC before calling asciidoc.
  • #795985 on xorg by Dhole: set the timezone to UTC before calling asciidoc.
  • #795987 on pngcheck by Dhole: set the date in the man pages to the latest debian/changelog entry.
  • #795997 on python-babel by Val Lorentz: make build timestamp independent from the timezone and remove the name of the build system locale from the documentation.
  • #796092 on a7xpg by Reiner Herrmann: sort with LC_ALL set to C.
  • #796212 on bittornado by Chris Lamb: remove umask-varying permissions.
  • #796251 on liblucy-perl by Niko Tyni: generate lib/Lucy.xs in a deterministic order.
  • #796271 on tcsh by Reiner Herrmann: sort with LC_ALL set to C.
  • #796275 on hspell by Reiner Herrmann: remove timestamp from aff files generated by mk_he_affix.
  • #796324 on fftw3 by Reiner Herrmann: remove date from documentation files.
  • #796335 on nasm by Val Lorentz: remove extra timestamps from the build system.
  • #796360 on libical by Chris Lamb: removes randomess caused Perl in generated icalderivedvalue.c.
  • #796375 on wcd by Dhole: set the date in the man pages to the latest debian/changelog entry.
  • #796376 on mapivi by Dhole: set the date in the man pages to the latest debian/changelog entry.
  • #796527 on vserver-debiantools by Dhole: set the date in the man pages to the latest debian/changelog entry.

Stéphane Glondu reported two issues regarding embedded build date in omake and cduce.

Aurélien Jarno submitted a fix for the breakage of make-dfsg test suite. As binutils now creates deterministic libraries by default, Aurélien's patch makes use of a wrapper to give the U flag to ar.

Reiner Herrmann reported an issue with pound which embeds random dhparams in its code during the build. Better solutions are yet to be found.

reproducible.debian.net

Package pages on reproducible.debian.net now have a new layout improving readability designed by Mattia Rizzolo, h01ger, and Ulrike. The navigation is now on the left as vertical space is more valuable nowadays.

armhf is now enabled on all pages except the dashboard. Actual tests on armhf are expected to start shortly. (Mattia Rizzolo, h01ger)

The limit on how many packages people can schedule using the reschedule script on Alioth has been bumped to 200. (h01ger)

mod_rewrite is now used instead of JavaScript for the form in the dashboard. (h01ger)

Following the rename of the software, “debbindiff” has mostly been replaced by either “diffoscope” or “differences” in generated HTML and IRC notification output.

Connections to UDD have been made more robust. (Mattia Rizzolo)

diffoscope development

diffoscope version 31 was released on August 21st. This version improves fuzzy-matching by using the tlsh algorithm instead of ssdeep.

New command line options are available: --max-diff-input-lines and --max-diff-block-lines to override limits on diff input and output (Reiner Herrmann), --debugger to dump the user into pdb in case of crashes (Mattia Rizzolo).

jar archives should now be detected properly (Reiner Herrman). Several general code cleanups were also done by Chris Lamb.

strip-nondeterminism development

Andrew Ayer released strip-nondeterminism version 0.010-1. Java properties file in jar should now be detected more accurately. A missing dependency spotted by Stéphane Glondu has been added.

Testing directory ordering issues: disorderfs

During the “reproducible builds” workshop at DebConf, participants identified that we were still short of a good way to test variations on filesystem behaviors (e.g. file ordering or disk usage). Andrew Ayer took a couple of hours to create disorderfs. Based on FUSE, disorderfs in an overlay filesystem that will mount the content of a directory at another location. For this first version, it will make the order in which files appear in a directory random.

Documentation update

Dhole documented how to implement support for SOURCE_DATE_EPOCH in Python, bash, Makefiles, CMake, and C.

Chris Lamb started to convert the wiki page describing SOURCE_DATE_EPOCH into a Freedesktop-like specification in the hope that it will convince more upstream to adopt it.

Package reviews

44 reviews have been removed, 192 added and 77 updated this week.

New issues identified this week: locale_dependent_order_in_devlibs_depends, randomness_in_ocaml_startup_files, randomness_in_ocaml_packed_libraries, randomness_in_ocaml_custom_executables, undeterministic_symlinking_by_rdfind, random_build_path_by_golang_compiler, and images_in_pdf_generated_by_latex.

117 new FTBFS bugs have been reported by Chris Lamb, Chris West (Faux), and Niko Tyni.

Misc.

Some reproducibility issues might face us very late. Chris Lamb noticed that the test suite for python-pykmip was now failing because its test certificates have expired. Let's hope no packages are hiding a certificate valid for 10 years somewhere in their source!

Pictures courtesy and copyright of Debian's own paparazzi: Aigars Mahinovs.

Categories: Elsewhere

Richard Hartmann: Tor-enabled Debian mirror

Tue, 25/08/2015 - 09:50

During Jacob Applebaum's talk at DebConf15, he noted that Debian should TLS-enable all services, especially the mirrors.

His reasoning was that when a high-value target downloads a security update for package foo, an adversary knows that they are still using a vulnerable version of foo and try to attack before the security update has been installed.

In this specific case, TLS is not of much use though. If the target downloads 4.7 MiB right after a security update with 4.7 MiB has been released, or downloads from security.debian.org, it's still obvious what's happening. Even padding won't help much as the 5 MiB download will also be suspicious. The mere act of downloading anything from the mirrors after an update has been released is reason enough to try an attack.

The solution, is, of course, Tor.

weasel was nice enough to set up a hidden service on Debian's infrastructure; initally we agreed that he would just give me a VM and I would do the actual work, but he went the full way on his own. Thanks :) This service is not redundant, it uses a key which is stored on the local drive, the .onion will change, and things are expected to break.

But at least this service exists now and can be used, tested, and put under some load:

http://vwakviie2ienjx6t.onion/

I couldn't get apt-get to be content with a .onion in /etc/apt/sources.list and Acquire::socks::proxy "socks://127.0.0.1:9050"; in /etc/apt/apt.conf, but the torify wrapper worked like a charm. What follows is, to the best of my knowledge, the first ever download from Debian's "official" Tor-enabled mirror:

~ # apt-get install torsocks ~ # mv /etc/apt/sources.list /etc/apt/sources.list.backup ~ # echo 'deb http://vwakviie2ienjx6t.onion/debian/ unstable main non-free contrib' > /etc/apt/sources.list ~ # torify apt-get update Get:1 http://vwakviie2ienjx6t.onion unstable InRelease [215 kB] Get:2 http://vwakviie2ienjx6t.onion unstable/main amd64 Packages [7548 kB] Get:3 http://vwakviie2ienjx6t.onion unstable/non-free amd64 Packages [91.9 kB] Get:4 http://vwakviie2ienjx6t.onion unstable/contrib amd64 Packages [58.5 kB] Get:5 http://vwakviie2ienjx6t.onion unstable/main i386 Packages [7541 kB] Get:6 http://vwakviie2ienjx6t.onion unstable/non-free i386 Packages [85.4 kB] Get:7 http://vwakviie2ienjx6t.onion unstable/contrib i386 Packages [58.1 kB] Get:8 http://vwakviie2ienjx6t.onion unstable/contrib Translation-en [45.7 kB] Get:9 http://vwakviie2ienjx6t.onion unstable/main Translation-en [5060 kB] Get:10 http://vwakviie2ienjx6t.onion unstable/non-free Translation-en [80.8 kB] Fetched 20.8 MB in 2min 0s (172 kB/s) Reading package lists... Done ~ # torify apt-get install vim Reading package lists... Done Building dependency tree Reading state information... Done The following extra packages will be installed: vim-common vim-nox vim-runtime vim-tiny Suggested packages: ctags vim-doc vim-scripts cscope indent The following packages will be upgraded: vim vim-common vim-nox vim-runtime vim-tiny 5 upgraded, 0 newly installed, 0 to remove and 661 not upgraded. Need to get 0 B/7719 kB of archives. After this operation, 2048 B disk space will be freed. Do you want to continue? [Y/n] Retrieving bug reports... Done Parsing Found/Fixed information... Done Reading changelogs... Done (Reading database ... 316427 files and directories currently installed.) Preparing to unpack .../vim-nox_2%3a7.4.826-1_amd64.deb ... Unpacking vim-nox (2:7.4.826-1) over (2:7.4.712-3) ... Preparing to unpack .../vim_2%3a7.4.826-1_amd64.deb ... Unpacking vim (2:7.4.826-1) over (2:7.4.712-3) ... Preparing to unpack .../vim-tiny_2%3a7.4.826-1_amd64.deb ... Unpacking vim-tiny (2:7.4.826-1) over (2:7.4.712-3) ... Preparing to unpack .../vim-runtime_2%3a7.4.826-1_all.deb ... Unpacking vim-runtime (2:7.4.826-1) over (2:7.4.712-3) ... Preparing to unpack .../vim-common_2%3a7.4.826-1_amd64.deb ... Unpacking vim-common (2:7.4.826-1) over (2:7.4.712-3) ... Processing triggers for man-db (2.7.0.2-5) ... Processing triggers for mime-support (3.58) ... Processing triggers for desktop-file-utils (0.22-1) ... Processing triggers for hicolor-icon-theme (0.13-1) ... Setting up vim-common (2:7.4.826-1) ... Setting up vim-runtime (2:7.4.826-1) ... Processing /usr/share/vim/addons/doc Setting up vim-nox (2:7.4.826-1) ... Setting up vim (2:7.4.826-1) ... Setting up vim-tiny (2:7.4.826-1) ... ~ #

More services will follow. noodles, weasel, and me agreed that the project as a whole should aim to Tor-enable the complete package lifecycle, package information, and the website.

Maybe a more secure install option on the official images which, amongst others, sets up apt, apt-listbugs, dput, reportbug, et al up to use Tor without further configuration could even be a realistic stretch goal.

Categories: Elsewhere

Norbert Preining: Kobo Japanese Dictionary Enhancer 1.0

Tue, 25/08/2015 - 09:34

I have just released a wastly improved new version of the Kobo Japanese Dictionary Enhancer. It allows you to enhance the Kobo Japanese dictionary with English translations.

The new version provides now 326064 translated entries, which covers most non-compound words, including Hiragana. In my daily life reading Harry Potter and some other books in Japanese, I haven’t found many untranslated words by now.

Please head over to the main page of the project for details and download instructions. If you need my help in creating the updated dictionary, please feel free to contact me.

Enjoy.

Categories: Elsewhere

Raphael Geissert: Updates to the sources.debian.net editor

Tue, 25/08/2015 - 09:00
Debconf is a great opportunity to meet people in real life, to express and share ideas in a different way, and to work on all sort of stuff.

I therefore spent some time to finish a couple of features in the editor for sources.debian.net. Here are some of the changes:

  • Compare the source file with that of another version of the package
  • And in order to present that: tabs! editor tabs!
  • at the same time: generated diffs are now presented in a new editor tab, from where you can download it or email it


Get it for chromium, and iceweasel.

If your browser performs automatic updates of the extensions (the default), you should soon be upgraded to version 0.1.0 or later, bringing all those changes to your browser.

Want to see more? multi-file editing? in-browser storage of the editing session? that and more can be done, so feel free to join me and contribute to the Debian sources online editor!
Categories: Elsewhere

Richard Hartmann: DebConf15

Tue, 25/08/2015 - 00:48

Even though the week of DebCamp took its toll and the stress level will not go down any time soon...

...DebConf15 has finally started! :)

Categories: Elsewhere

Iustin Pop: Finally, systemd!

Mon, 24/08/2015 - 23:40

Even though Debian has moved to systemd as default a long while ago now, I've stayed with sysv as I have somewhat custom setups (self-built trimmed down kernels, separate /usr not pre-mounted by initrd, etc.).

After installing a new system with Jessie and playing a bit with systemd on it a couple of months ago, I said it's finally time to upgrade. Easier said than starting to actually do it ☹.

The first system I upgraded was a recent (~1 year old) install. It was a trimmed-down system with Debian's kernel, so everything went smoothly. So smoothly that I soon forgot I made the change, and didn't do any more switches for a while.

Systemd was therefore out of my mind until this recent Friday when I got a bug report about mt's rcS init script and shipping a proper systemd unit. The first step should be to actually start using systemd, so I said - let's convert some more things!

During the weekend I upgraded one system, still a reasonably small install, but older - probably 6-7 years. First reboot into systemd flagged the fact that I had some forced-load modules which no longer exist, fact that was too easy to ignore with sysv. Nice! The only downside was that there seems to be some race condition between and ntp, as it fails to start on boot (port listen conflict). I'll see if it repeats. Another small issue is that systemd doesn't like duplicate fstab entries (i.e. two devices which both refer to the same mount point), while this works fine for mount itself (when specifying the block device).

I said that after that system, I'll wait a while until to upgrade the next. But so it happened that today another system had an issue and I had to reboot it (damn lost uptimes!). The kernel was old so I booted into a newer one (this time compiled with the required systemd options), so I had a though - what if I take the opportunity and also switch to systemd on this system?

Caution said to wait, since this was the oldest system - installed sometime during or before 2004. Plus it doesn't use an initrd (long story), and it has a split /usr. Caution… excitement… caution lost ☺ and I proceeded.

It turns out that systemd does warn about split /usr but itself has no problems. I learned that I also had very old sysfs entries that no longer exist, and which I didn't know about as sysv doesn't make it obvious. I also had a crypttab entry which was obsolete, and I forgot about it, until I met the nice red moving ASCII bar which—fortunately—had a timeout.

To be honest, I believed I'll have to rescue boot and fix things on this "always-unstable" machine, on which I install and run random things, and which has a hackish /etc/fstab setup. I'm quite surprised it just worked. On unstable.

So thanks a lot to the Debian systemd team. It was much simpler than I thought, and now, on to exploring systemd!

P.S.: the sad part is that usually I'm a strong proponent of declarative configuration, but for some reason I was reluctant to migrate to systemd also on account on losing the "power" of shell scripts. Humans…

Categories: Elsewhere

David Moreno: Thanks Debian

Mon, 24/08/2015 - 21:43

I sent this email to debian-private a few days ago, on the 10th anniversary of my Debian account creation:

Date: Fri, 14 Aug 2015 19:37:20 +0200 From: David Moreno To: debian-private@lists.debian.org Subject: Retiring from Debian User-Agent: Mutt/1.5.23 (2014-03-12) [-- PGP output follows (current time: Sun 23 Aug 2015 06:18:36 PM CEST) --] gpg: Signature made Fri 14 Aug 2015 07:37:20 PM CEST using RSA key ID 4DADEC2F gpg: Good signature from "David Moreno " gpg: aka "David Moreno " gpg: aka "David Moreno (1984-08-08) " [-- End of PGP output --] [-- The following data is signed --] Hi, Ten years ago today (2005-08-14) my account was created: https://nm.debian.org/public/person/damog Today, I don't feel like Debian represents me and neither do I represent the project anymore. I had tried over the last couple of years to retake my involvement but lack of motivation and time always got on the way, so the right thing to do for me is to officially retire and gtfo. I certainly learned a bunch from dozens of Debian people over these many years, and I'm nothing but grateful with all of them; I will for sure carry the project close to my heart — as I carry it with the Debian swirl I still have tattooed on my back ;) http://damog.net/blog/2005/06/29/debian-tattoo/ I have three packages left that have not been updated in forever and you can consider orphaned now: gcolor2, libperl6-say-perl and libxml-treepp-perl. With all best wishes, David Moreno. http://damog.net/ [-- End of signed data --]

I received a couple of questions about my decision here. I basically don’t feel like Debian represents my interests and neither do I represent the project – this doesn’t mean I don’t believe in free software, to the contrary. I think some of the best software advancements we’ve made as society are thanks to it. I don’t necessarily believe on how the project has evolved itself, whether that has been the right way, to regain relevancy and dominance, and if it’s remained primarily a way to feed dogmatism versus pragmatism. This is the perfect example of a tragic consequence. I was very happy to learn that the current Debian Conference being held in Germany got the highest attendance ever, hopefully that can be utilized in a significant and useful way.

Regardless, my contributions to Debian were never noteworthy so it’s also not that big of a deal. I just need to close cycles myself and move forward, and the ten year anniversary looked like a significant mark for that.

Poke me in case you wanna discuss some more. I’ll always be happy to. Specially over beer :)

Peace.

Categories: Elsewhere

Jonathan McDowell: Random post-DebConf 15 thoughts

Mon, 24/08/2015 - 17:18

There are a bunch of things I mean to blog about, but as I have just got fully home from Heidelberg and DebConf15 this afternoon that seems most appropriate to start with. It’s a bit of a set of disjoint thoughts, but I figure I should write them down while they’re in my head.

DebConf is an interesting conference. It’s the best opportunity the Debian project has every year to come together and actually spend a decent amount of time with each other. As a result it’s a fairly full on experience, with lots of planned talks as a basis and a wide range of technical discussions and general social interaction filling in whatever gaps are available. I always find it a thoroughly enjoyable experience, but equally I’m glad to be home and doing delightfully dull things like washing my clothes and buying fresh milk.

I have always been of the opinion that the key aspect of DebConf is the face time. It was thus great to see so many people there - we were told several times that this was the largest DebConf so far (~ 570 people IIRC). That’s good in the sense that it meant I got to speak to a lot of people (both old friends and new), but does mean that there are various people I know I didn’t spend enough, or in some cases any, time with. My apologies, but I think many of us were in the same situation. I don’t feel it made the conference any less productive for me - I managed to get a bunch of hacking done, discuss a number of open questions in person with various people and get pulled into various interesting discussions I hadn’t expected. In short, a typical DebConf.

Also I’d like to say that the venue worked out really well. I’ll admit I was dubious when I heard it was in a hostel, but it was well located (about a 30 minute walk into town, and a reasonable bus service available from just outside the door), self-contained with decent facilities (I’m a big believer in having DebConf talks + accommodation be as close as possible to each other) and the room was much better than expected (well, aside from the snoring but I can’t blame the DebConf organisers for that).

One of the surprising and interesting things for me that was different from previous DebConfs was the opportunity to have more conversations with a legal leaning. I expect to go to DebConf and do OpenPGP/general crypto related bits. I wasn’t expecting affirmation about the things I have learnt on my course over the past year, in terms of feeling that I could use that knowledge in the process of helping Debian. It provided me with some hope that I’ll be able to tie my technology and law skills together in a way that I will find suitably entertaining (as did various conversations where people expressed significant interest in the crossover).

Next year is in Cape Town, South Africa. It’s a long way (though I suppose no worse than Portland and I get to stay in the same time zone), and a quick look at flights indicates they’re quite expensive at the moment. The bid presentation did look pretty good though so as soon as the dates are confirmed (I believe this will happen as soon as there are signed contracts in place) I’ll take another look at flights.

In short, excellent DebConf, thanks to the organisers, lovely to see everyone I managed to speak to, apologies to those of you I didn’t manage to speak to. Hopefully see you in Cape Town next year.

Categories: Elsewhere

Dirk Eddelbuettel: RcppDE 0.1.3

Mon, 24/08/2015 - 15:09

A pure maintenance release 0.1.3 of the RcppDE package arrived on CRAN yesterday. RcppDE is a "port" of DEoptim, a popular package for derivative-free optimisation using differential optimization, to C++. By using RcppArmadillo, the code becomes a lot shorter and more legible.

This version simply fixes a typo in the vignette metadata noticed by Kurt, and updates the package in a few other spots to update it to current CRAN Repository Policy standards.

Courtesy of CRANberries, there is also a diffstat report for the most recent release.

This post by Dirk Eddelbuettel originated on his Thinking inside the box blog. Please report excessive re-aggregation in third-party for-profit settings.

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Michael Prokop: DebConf15: “Continuous Delivery of Debian packages” talk

Mon, 24/08/2015 - 14:15

At the Debian Conference 2015 I gave a talk about Continuous Delivery of Debian packages. My slides are available online (PDF, 753KB). Thanks to the fantastic video team there’s also a recording of the talk available: WebM (471MB) and on YouTube.

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Norbert Preining: Debian/TeX Live complete update

Mon, 24/08/2015 - 00:50

Triggered by all the bugs around font problems I spent my weekend instead of mountaineering with crawling through the TeX Live history for changes and fixes to dvipdfm-x. Thanks to 角藤さん for his hints, I have pulled out the changes necessary to fix Type1 support in dvipdfm-x and have reincluded them into the Debian texlive-bin package. The uploaded binaries (version 2015.20150524.37493-6) are already compiled against the new C++ ABI, see the Debian transition, so most systems will still need to wait for the update to be installable.

At the same time I did an update to the whole set of arch: all packages (texlive-base, texlive-lang, texlive-extra (version 2015.20150823-1). This was triggered by bug that seems to be caused by bad interplay between fontspec and l3 packages. Furthermore, I needed to remove the activation for fontconfig of the URW++ Base35 fonts, to ensure that fontconfig returns always the ones from the gsfonts package, instead of a mixture between TeX Live and gsfonts.

Unrelated bug fix: libpaper intergration has been fixed and should work again. So for now all the bugs are now hopefully settled and we are back to normal. What remains is trying to fix jessie which is also broken in some respects.

Updated packages

acro, animate, babel-bosnian, babel-french, babel-latin, beamer-FUBerlin, beebe, breqn, chemformula, chet, cnltx, crossrefware, dantelogo, datetime2-it-fulltext, disser, drm, dvipdfmx-def, ecclesiastic, eledform, gradstudentresume, idxcmds, l3build, mcf2graph, media9, pageslts, pdfpages, reledmac, siunitx, tcolorbox, tex4ht, texlive-docindex, texlive-scripts, udesoftec, upmethodology, xindy.

New packages

blochsphere, e-french, fitbox, nar

Enjoy.

Categories: Elsewhere

Joachim Breitner: Quickest path to a local apt repository

Sat, 22/08/2015 - 15:48

As I’m writing this, DebConf 15 is coming to an end. I spend most of my time improving the situation of the Haskell Packages in Debian, by improving the tooling and upgrading our packages to match Stackage 3.0 and build against GHC 7.10. But that is mostly of special interest (see this mail for a partial summary), so I’d like to use this post to advertise a very small and simple package I just uploaded to Debian:

During one of the discussion here I noticed that it is rather tricky to make a locally built package available to apt-get. The latest version in unstable allows one to install a debian package simply by running apt-get install on it, but in some cases, e.g. when you want a convenient way to list all packages that you made available for local use, this is insufficient.

So the usual approach is to create a local apt repository with your packages. Which is non-trivial: You can use dpkg-scanpackage, apt-ftparchive or reprepro. You need to create the directories, run the commands, add the repository to your local sources. You need to worry about signing it or setting the right options to make apt-get accept it without signing.

It is precisely this work that my new package local-apt-repository automates for you: Once it is installed, you simply drop the .deb file into /srv/local-apt-repository/ and after the next apt-get update the package can be installed like any other package from the archive.

I chose to use the advanced features that systemd provides – namely activation upon path changes – so works best with systemd as the init system.

If you want to contribute, or test it before it passes the NEW queue, check out the git repository.

Categories: Elsewhere

Christian Perrier: [LIFE] Running activities - Echappee Belle next week

Sat, 22/08/2015 - 07:47
Hello dear readers,

Next week, I'll be running the "Echappee Belle" race : 144km and 10.000 meters positive climb, in French Alps (Belledonne range, this time).

That will be, by far, my longest race ever and indeed a great challenge for me with very difficult tracks (when there are tracks).

I expect to run for about 48 hours, or even up to 55, two nights out.....or maybe less as I'm in very good shape.

You can follow me on the live tracking site. The race starts on Friday August 28th, 06:00 CET DST.

Categories: Elsewhere

Junichi Uekawa: Back to Tokyo, and it's hot.

Sat, 22/08/2015 - 02:09
Back to Tokyo, and it's hot.

Categories: Elsewhere

Norbert Preining: Work-Life Balance at Amazon

Sat, 22/08/2015 - 01:00

Having had personal contact with Amazon employees, and having read the NYT article Inside Amazon: Wrestling Big Ideas in a Bruising Workplace, I have only a few things to say:

  • Most Japanese companies have different methods, but work hours are similar, and exploitation even worse (voluntary service etc)
  • I loved one comment in the MobileRead thread on the article, link to the post:

    All you need to do is make one assumption: dishonest people will outperform honest people over the short term. Then every year Amazon’s “culling” will get rid of the honest people and keep the dishonest ones. Rinse and repeat. Soon only the sociopaths are left.

    Best supporting quote from the article: “You learn how to diplomatically throw people under the bus.”

What remains – I guess I would be a horrible performer at Amazon, and I am proud of it.

Categories: Elsewhere

Rhonda D'Vine: DebConf15

Fri, 21/08/2015 - 23:00

I tried to start to write this blog entry like I usually do: Type along what goes through my mind and see where I'm heading. This won't work out right now for various reasons, mostly because there is so much going on that I don't have the time to finish that in a reasonable time and I want to publish this today still. So please excuse me for being way more brief than I usually am, and hopefully I'll find the time to expand some things when asked or come back to that later.

Part of the reason of me being short on time is different stuff going on in my private life which requires additional attention. A small part of this is also something that I hinted in a former blog entry: I switched my job in June. I really was looking forward to this. I made them aware of what the name Rhonda means to me and it's definitely extremely nice to be addressed with female pronouns at work. And also I'm back in a system administration job which means there is an interest overlap with my work on Debian, so a win-win situation on sooo many levels!

I'm at DebConf15 since almost two weeks now. On my way here I was complimented on my outfit by a security guard at the Vienna airport which surprised me but definitely made my day. I was wearing one of these baggy hippie pants (which was sent to me by a fine lady I met at MiniDebConf Bucharest) but pulled up the leg parts to the knees so it could be perceived as a skirt instead. Since I came here I was pretty busy with taking care of DCschedule bot adjustments (like, changing topic and twittering from @DebConf at the start of the talks), helping out with the video team when I noticed there was a lack of people (which is a hint for that you might want to help with the video team in the future too, it's important for remote people but also for yourself because you can't attend multiple sessions at the same time).

And I have to repeat myself, this is the place I feel home amongst my extended family, even though I it still is sometimes for me to get to speak up in certain groups. I though believe it's more an issue of certain individuals taking up a lot of space in discussions without giving (more shy) people in the round the space to also join in. I guess it might be the time that we need a session on dominant talking patterns for next year and how to work against them. I absolutely enjoyed such a session during last year's FemCamp in Vienna which set the tone for the rest of the conference, and it was simply great.

And then there was the DebConf Poetry Night. I'm kinda disappointed with the outcome this year. It wasn't able to attract as much people anticipated, which I to some degree account to me not making people aware of it well enough, overlapping with a really great band playing at the same time in competition, and even though the place where we did it sounded like a good idea at first, it didn't had enough light for someone to read something from a book (but that was solved through smartphone lights). I know that most people did enjoy it, so it was good to do it, but I'm still a fair bit disappointed with the outcome and will try to work on improving on that grounds for next year. :)

With all this going on there unfortunately wasn't as much time as I would have liked to spend with people I haven't seen for a long time, or new people I haven't met yet. Given that this year's DebConf had an height in attendees (526 being here at certain times during the two weeks, and just today someone new arrived too, so that doesn't even have to be the final number) it makes it a bit painful to have picked up so many tasks and thus lost some chances to socialize as much as I would have liked to.

So, if you are still here and have the feeling we should have talked more, please look for me. As Bdale pointed out correctly in the New to DebConf BoF (paraphrased): When you see us DebConf old timers speaking to someone else and you feel like you don't want to disturb, please do disturb and speak to us. I always enjoyed to get to know new people. This for me always is one of the important aspects of DebConf.

Also, I am very very happy to have received feedback from different people about both my tweets and my blog, thank you a lot of that. It is really motivating to keep going.

So, lets enjoy the last few hours of DebConf!

Another last side notice: While my old name in the Debian LDAP did manage to find some wrongly displayed names in the DebConf website, like for speakers, or volunteers, it was clear to me that having it exposed through SSO.debian.org isn't really something I appreciate. So I took the chance and spoke to Luca from the DSA team right here today, and ... got it fixed. I love it! Next step is getting my gpg key exchanged, RT ticket is coming up. :)

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