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Stefano Zacchiroli: Shuttleworth Foundation Flash Grant

Planet Debian - Fri, 05/12/2014 - 16:51
Shuttleworth Foundation Flash Grant

I'm glad to announce that I've been awarded a 5,000 USD "Flash Grant" by the Shuttleworth Foundation.

Flash grants are an interesting funding model, which I've just learned about. You don't need to apply for them. Rather, you get nominated by current fellows, and then selected and approached by the foundation for funding. The grant amount is smaller than actual fellowships, but it comes with very few strings attached: furthering open knowledge (which is the foundation's core mission) and being transparent about how you use the money.

I'm lucky enough to already have a full-time job to pay my bills, and I do my Free Software activism mostly in my spare time. So I plan to use the money not to pay my bills, but rather to boost the parts of my Free Software activities that could benefit from some funding. I don't have a fully detailed budget yet but, tentatively: some money will go to fund Debsources development (by others), some into promoting my thoughts on the dark ages of Free Software, and maybe some into helping the upcoming release of Debian. I'll provide a public report at the end of the funding period (~6 months from now).

I'd like to thank the Shuttleworth Foundation for the grant and foundation's fellow Jonas Öberg for making this possible.

Categories: Elsewhere

Michal Čihař: Weblate 2.1

Planet Debian - Fri, 05/12/2014 - 15:25

Weblate 2.1 has been released today. It comes with native Mercurial support, user interface cleanup and various other fixes.

Full list of changes for 2.1:

  • Added support for Mercurial repositories.
  • Replaced Glyphicon font by Awesome.
  • Added icons for social authentication services.
  • Better consistency of button colors and icons.
  • Documentation improvements.
  • Various bugfixes.
  • Automatic hiding of columns in translation listing for small screens.
  • Changed configuration of filesystem paths.
  • Improved SSH keys handling and storage.
  • Improved repository locking.
  • Customizable quality checks per source string.

You can find more information about Weblate on http://weblate.org, the code is hosted on Github. If you are curious how it looks, you can try it out on demo server. You can login there with demo account using demo password or register your own user. Ready to run appliances will be soon available in SUSE Studio Gallery.

Weblate is also being used https://hosted.weblate.org/ as official translating service for phpMyAdmin, Gammu, Weblate itself and others.

If you are free software project which would like to use Weblate, I'm happy to help you with set up or even host Weblate for you.

Further development of Weblate would not be possible without people providing donations, thanks to everybody who have helped so far!

Filed under: English phpMyAdmin SUSE Weblate | 0 comments | Flattr this!

Categories: Elsewhere

Creative Juices: I Survived Drupalgeddon: How Hackers Took Over My Site, What I Did About It, And How You Can Stay Safe

Planet Drupal - Fri, 05/12/2014 - 14:32
I Survived Drupalgeddon: How Hackers Took Over My Site, What I Did About It, And How You Can Stay Safe Fri, 12/05/2014 - 08:32 matt
Categories: Elsewhere

InternetDevels: What’s new in Drupal 8?

Planet Drupal - Fri, 05/12/2014 - 13:45

If you stop, you loose. This rule works always, especially speaking about IT industry. Those, who work with Drupal for a long time, probably remember how hard it was to switch from Drupal 6 to its 7th version. Seems, that it all took place not so long ago, but official release of Drupal 8 took place recently…

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Categories: Elsewhere

Enrico Zini: the-smell-of-email

Planet Debian - Fri, 05/12/2014 - 11:51
The smell of email

This was written in response to a message with a list of demotivating behaviours in email interactions, like fingerpointing, aggressiveness, resistance when being called out for misbehaving, public humiliation for mistakes, and so on

There are times when I stumble on an instance of the set of things that were mentioned, and I think "ok, today I feel like doing some paid work rather than working on Debian".

If another day I wake up deciding to enjoy working on Debian, which I greatly do, I try and make sure that I can focus on bits of Debian where I don't stumble on any instances of the set of things that were mentioned.

Then I stumble on Gregor's GDAC and I feel like I'd happily lose one day of pay right now, and have fun with Debian.

I feel like Debian is this big open kitchen populated by a lot of people:

  • some dump shit
  • some poke the shit with a stick, contributing to the spread of the smell
  • some carefully clean up the shit, which in the short term still contributes to the smell, but makes things better in the long term
  • some prepare and cook, making a nice smell of food and NOMs
  • some try out the food and tell us how good it was

I have fun cooking and tring out the food. I have fun being around people who cook and try out the food.

The fun in the kitchen seems to be correlated to several things, one of which is that it seems to be inversely proportional to the stink.

I find this metaphore interesting, and I will start thinking about the smell of a mailing list post. I expect it should put posts into perspective, I expect I will develop an instinct for it, so that I won't give a stinky post the same importance of a post that smells of food.

I also expect that the more I learn to tell the smell of food from the smell of shit, the more I can help cleaning it, and the more I can help telling people who repeatedly contribute to the stink to please try cooking instead, or failing that, just try and stay out of the kitchen.

Categories: Elsewhere

Michael Meskes: Conferences in Q4

Planet Debian - Fri, 05/12/2014 - 10:00

Together with members of almost all credativ offices world-wide I travelled to Madrid in October to attend PGConf Europe, the most important European PostgreSQL event. The conference, as usual, was greatly organized and had a lot of interesting presentations and thus, was rightfully sold-out. It again brought together a lot of the PostgreSQL community. 

My non-technical presentation about whether Open Source is a blessing or a curse attracted a sizeable audience despite starting early. Also we got into a good discussion about some of the points raised which again showed that Open Source in general and PostgreSQL in particular are more and more considered because of their strategic importance.

Then in November I was invited to do a presentation at Open Source India Days 2014 in Bangalore or as it nowadays is called again Bengaluru. I was able to conveniently combine the trip to the conference with a scheduled visit to our office there.

The conference was a very pleasant surprise. Despite being called the largest Open-Source conference in Asia I never made it there before. And, frankly, I was impressed about the size. Maybe not so surprisingly the conference was dominated by presentations about cloud solutions and technology.

I, however, talked about the importance of community for businesses in particular pointing to Debian and PostgreSQL as very successful community projects. And again a large audience listened ini showing again the interest in strategic aspects of Open Source. Due to time constraints we weren't able to do a discussion during the presentation, or even allow questions/answers at the end, but a lot of people caught me afterwards to discuss points or make valuable remarks.

Both events are very worthy entries for next year's schedule.

Categories: 
Categories: Elsewhere

Russell Coker: BTRFS Status Dec 2014

Planet Debian - Fri, 05/12/2014 - 09:09

My last problem with BTRFS was in August [1]. BTRFS has been running mostly uneventfully for me for the last 4 months, that’s a good improvement but the fact that 4 months of no problems is noteworthy for something as important as a filesystem is a cause for ongoing concern.

A RAID-1 Array

A week ago I had a minor problem with my home file server, one of the 3TB disks in the BTRFS RAID-1 started giving read errors. That’s not a big deal, I bought a new disk and did a “btrfs replace” operation which was quick and easy. The first annoyance was that the output of “btrfs device stats” reported an error count for the new device, it seems that “btrfs device replace” copies everything from the old disk including the error count. The solution is to use “btrfs device stats -z” to reset the count after replacing a device.

I replaced the 3TB disk with a 4TB disk (with current prices it doesn’t make sense to buy a new 3TB disk). As I was running low on disk space I added a 1TB disk to give it 4TB of RAID-1 capacity, one of the nice features of BTRFS is that a RAID-1 filesystem can support any combination of disks and use them to store 2 copies of every block of data. I started running a btrfs balance to get BTRFS to try and use all the space before learning from the mailing list that I should have done “btrfs filesystem resize” to make it use all the space. So my balance operation had configured the filesystem to configure itself for 2*3TB+1*1TB disks which wasn’t the right configuration when the 4TB disk was fully used. To make it even more annoying the “btrfs filesystem resize” command takes a “devid” not a device name.

I think that when BTRFS is more stable it would be good to have the btrfs utility warn the user about such potential mistakes. When a replacement device is larger than the old one it will be very common to want to use that space. The btrfs utility could easily suggest the most likely “btrfs filesystem resize” to make things easier for the user.

In a disturbing coincidence a few days after replacing the first 3TB disk the other 3TB disk started giving read errors. So I replaced the second 3TB disk with a 4TB disk and removed the 1TB disk to give a 4TB RAID-1 array. This is when it would be handy to have the metadata duplication feature and copies= option of ZFS.

Ctree Corruption

2 weeks ago a basic workstation with a 120G SSD owned by a relative stopped booting, the most significant errors it gave were “BTRFS: log replay required on RO media” and “BTRFS: open_ctree failed”. The solution to this is to run the command “btrfs-zero-log”, but that initially didn’t work. I restored the system from a backup (which was 2 months old) and took the SSD home to work on it. A day later “btrfs-zero-log” worked correctly and I recovered all the data. Note that I didn’t even try mounting the filesystem in question read-write, I mounted it read-only to copy all the data off. While in theory the filesystem should have been OK I didn’t have a need to keep using it at that time (having already wiped the original device and restored from backup) and I don’t have confidence in BTRFS working correctly in that situation.

While it was nice to get all the data back it’s a concern when commands don’t operate consistently.

Debian and BTRFS

I was concerned when the Debian kernel team chose 3.16 as the kernel for Jessie (the next Debian release). Judging by the way development has been going I wasn’t confident that 3.16 would turn out to be stable enough for BTRFS. But 3.16 is working reasonably well on a number of systems so it seems that it’s likely to work well in practice.

But I’m still deploying more ZFS servers.

The Value of Anecdotal Evidence

When evaluating software based on reports from reliable sources (IE most readers will trust me to run systems well and only report genuine bugs) bad reports have a much higher weight than good reports. The fact that I’ve seen kernel 3.16 to work reasonably well on ~6 systems is nice but that doesn’t mean it will work well on thousands of other systems – although it does indicate that it will work well on more systems than some earlier Linux kernels which had common BTRFS failures.

But the annoyances I had with the 3TB array are repeatable and will annoy many other people. The ctree coruption problem MIGHT have been initially caused by a memory error (it’s a desktop machine without ECC RAM) but the recovery process was problematic and other users might expect problems in such situations.

Related posts:

  1. BTRFS Status March 2014 I’m currently using BTRFS on most systems that I can...
  2. BTRFS Status April 2014 Since my blog post about BTRFS in March [1] not...
  3. BTRFS Status July 2014 My last BTRFS status report was in April [1], it...
Categories: Elsewhere

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