Dirk Eddelbuettel: Rblpapi 'Release Candidate'

Planet Debian - lun, 07/03/2016 - 01:09

We have a made numerous changes to Rblpapi since the previous release 0.3.2 in early December. You can see the commits, or look at the ChangeLog or NEWS.Rd to get an indea of the changes. We have new functions, improved internals, bug fixes and more.

In order to facilitate more widespread testing, I have just placed source and (Windows) binaries in the ghrr drat repo from which you can install the new version simply via

drat:::add("ghrr") # if you have drat installed install.packages("Rblpapi") # uses the drat version b/c higher version number than release

Alternatively you can also do

drat:::add("ghrr") # if you have drat installed update.packages() # refresh all packages against all repos

We would appreciate wider testing, and feedback / bug reports / ... via the issue tracker. PRs with unit test suggestions would also be most welcome -- we now use RUnit and run the tests if a file ~/.R/rblpapiOptions.R exists which sets the options() values for automatic connection (see help(blpConnect)) as well as the blpUnitTests=TRUE option. This is needed to 'opt-in' as standard test setups at [Travis])(https://travis-ci.org/) or CRAN will not have access to a Bloomberg terminal.

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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Joerg Jaspert: New ftpsync release

Planet Debian - dim, 06/03/2016 - 22:36

It took nearly a year, but today a new ftpsync version got released. Most of the work for this release was done by weasel, with one new feature submitted by waldi, my work was mostly style fixes and a bit of documentation. And of course the release now.

If you run a mirror, you will find the new version at the usual place, that is the project/ftpsync/ subdirectory. You may also want to subscribe to the debian mirrors mailinglist, as the mirror team will post more information about changes in ftpsync there.

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Enrico Zini: Live preview of Markdown documentation

Planet Debian - dim, 06/03/2016 - 19:16

At work, to simplify build dependencies of DB-All.e we decided to port the documentation from LaTeX to Markdown.

Shortly after starting with the porting I resented not having a live preview of my work. I guess I got addicted to it with staticsite.

Actually, staticsite does preview interlinked Markdown files. I wonder if GitHub supports cross-linking between Markdown files in the same repo? It does, and incidentally it uses the same syntax as staticfile.

It shouldn't take long to build a different front-end on top of the staticsite engine just for this purpose. Indeed it didn't take long: here it is: mdpreview.

So, as you are editing the README.md of your project, you can now run mdpreview in the project directory, and you get live preview on your browser. If your README.md links to other documentation in your project, those links will work, too.

mdpreview uses the same themes as staticsite, so you can even tweak its appearance. And if you need to render the documentation and put it online somewhere, then staticsite can render it for you.

I experimented with it splitting staticsite's documentation into several parts, a I had great fun with it.

So, you want live preview of your project's Markdown documentation? mdpreview

When you are happy with it you can commit it to GitHub and it will show just fine.

You want it to show on your website instead? Build it with staticsite.

I'm considering merging staticsite and mdpreview somehow. Maybe mdpreview could just be a different command line front-end to staticsite's functionality. That's food for though for the next days.

Would you prefer to preview something else instead of Markdown? There is actually nothing markup specific in staticsite, so you can take this file as inspiration and implement support for the markup language of your choice in this whole toolchain. Except maybe for GitHub's website: that doesn't run on staticsite (yet).

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Jaldhar Vyas: 7DRL 2016

Planet Debian - dim, 06/03/2016 - 05:48

It's time once again for the annual 7 Day Roguelike Challenge. I know I said I wasn't going to take part again until I properly finished one of my previous entries but I've thought of an interesting and novel game mechanic that I'm eager to try out so what the hell.

If you are interested in following my progress, I will blog about it here starting from Monday and (hopefully successfully) finishing on the following Sunday.

Of course the best part of it is coming up with names. Here are this years choices:

  • letsen[terthe]crypt
  • Make Narnia Great Again
  • Thane of Groans
  • I Am The Black Wizards
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Thorsten Glaser: mksh R52c, paxmirabilis 20160306 released; PA4 paper size PDF manpages

Planet Debian - dim, 06/03/2016 - 01:00

The MirBSD Korn Shell R52c was published today as bugfix-accumulating release of low upto medium importance. Thanks to everyone who helped squashing all those bugs; this includes our bug reporters who always include reproducer testcases; you’re wonderful!

MirCPIO was also resynchronised from OpenBSD, to address the CVE-2015-{1193,1194} test cases, after a downstream (wow there are so many?) reminded us of it; thanks!
This is mostly to prevent extracting ../foo – either directly or from a symlink(7) – from actually ending up being placed in the parent directory. As such the severity is medium-high. And it has a page now – initially just a landing page / stub; will be fleshed out later.

Uploads for both should make their way into Debian very soon (these are the packages mksh and pax). Uploading backports for mksh (jessie and wheezy-sloppy) have been requested by several users, but none of the four(?) DDs asked about sponsoring them even answered at all, and the regular (current) sponsors don’t have experience with bpo, so… SOL ☹

I’ve also tweaked a bug in sed(1), in MirBSD. Unfortunately, this means it now comes with the GNUism -i too: don’t use it, use ed(1) (much nicer anyway) or perlrun(1) -p/-n…

Finally, our PDF manpages now use the PA4 paper size instead of DIN ISO A4, meaning they can be printed without cropping or scaling on both A4 and US-american “letter” paper. And a Бодун from the last announcement: we now use Gentium and Inconsolata as body text and monospace fonts, respectively. (And à propos, the website ought to be more legible due to text justification and better line spacing now.) I managed to hack this up in GNU groff and Ghostscript, thankfully. (LaTeX too) Currently there are PDF manpages for joe (jupp), mksh, and cpio/pax/tar.

And we had Grünkohl today!

Also, new console-setup package in the “WTF” APT repository since upstream managed to do actual work on it (even fixed some bugs). Read its feed if interested, as its news will not be repeated here usually. (That means, subscribe as there won’t be many future reminders in this place.)

The netboot.me service appears to be gone. I’ll not remove our images, but if someone knows what became of it drop us a message (IRC or mailing list will work just fine).

PS: This was originally written on 20160304 but opax refused to be merged in time… Happy Birthday, gecko2! In the meantime, the Street Food festival weekend provided wonderful food at BaseCamp, and headache prevented this from being finished on the fifth.

Update 06.03.2016: The pax changes were too intrusive, so I decided to only backport the fixes OpenBSD did (both those they mentioned and those silently included), well, the applicable parts of them, anyway, instead. There will be a MirCPIO release completely rebased later after all changes are merged and, more importantly, tested. Another release although not set for immediate future should bring a more sensible (and mksh-like) buildsystem for improved portability (and thus some more changes we had to exclude at first).

I’ve also cloned the halfwidth part of the FixedMisc [MirOS] font as FixedMiscHW for use with Qt5 applications, xfonts-base in the “WTF” APT repo. (Debian #809979)

tl;dr: mksh R52c (bugfix-only, low-medium); mircpio 20160306 (security backport; high) with future complete rebase (medium) upstream and in Debian. No mksh backports due to lacking a bpo capable sponsor. New console-setup in “WTF” APT repo, and mksh there as usual. xfonts-base too. netboot.me gone?

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Appnovation Technologies: Responsive Design for the End User

Planet Drupal - sam, 05/03/2016 - 17:27

We're now at the point where we're finding, at least from the UK outpost of Appnovation, that a client is not additionally requesting a responsive design aspect

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Antonio Terceiro: Debian Ruby Sprint 2016 - day 5: More Reproducible Builds, Retrospective, and A Little Bit of Tourism

Planet Debian - sam, 05/03/2016 - 17:21

Earlier today I was made aware by Holger of the results of our reproducibility efforts during the sprint. I would like to thank Lunar for pinging us about the issue, and Holger for pointing me to updated results. The figure below depicts a stacked area chart where the X axis is time and the green area is reproducible packages. Red is packages that fail to build, and Orange are unreproducible packages

I was able to book accommodation for the sprint attendees very close to both my place and the sprint venue, what was very useful but also had this downside of them not being able to see much of city. As the final day of the sprint was getting closer, we decided to have a different lunch to allow them to see one of the most famous local landmarks, the botanical gardens.

So we headed down to the botanical gardens, grabbed a few items for lunch at the park coffee shop, and set out to visit this very beautiful place. I have to say that there is the place were I usually take every visitor I have. We were joined by Gioavani who had just arrived for the the MiniDebconf on the following weekend.

The final lists of accomplishments of the day was again very impressive

  • r10k 2.1.1-2
  • run massive update on team repositories
    • bump Standards-Version
    • fix Vcs-* fields
    • drop version in gem2deb build-dependency
    • set debhelper compatibility level to 9
    • update the default ruby-tests.rake
  • day 4 report
  • uploaded ruby-faraday-middleware-multi-json 0.0.6-2
  • uploaded ruby-powerpack 0.1.1-2
  • uploaded ruby-contracts 0.13.0-1
  • uploaded ruby-chef-config 12.7.2-1 (NEW)
  • uploaded ruby-foreigner #808530 and asked it removal from the NEW queue (was already ROMed)
  • filled for RM ruby-opengraph-parser (#816752)
  • new how-can-i-help version developed and uploaded
  • uploaded ruby-romkan to unstable (from exp)
  • uploaded ruby-rinku to unstable (from exp)
  • uploaded ruby-ole to unstable (from exp)
  • uploaded ruby-net-ldap to unstable (from exp)
  • uploaded ruby-rack-mobile-detect to unstable (from exp)
  • uploaded gem2deb 0.28 to help with reproducible builds: filenames are now sorted
  • uploaded rails 2: with packaging improvements
    • run unit tests during the build and on CI
    • apply upstream patch to fix ActiveRecord breakage under Ruby 2.3
  • pushed a ton of tags for existing uploads
  • merged improvements to the team master repository
    • review/cleanup the contents of the repository
    • improved helper scripts to automate the workflow (upload, build, new-upstream, etc)
  • followed up on ruby2.3 transition, filed #816698 against subversion because of ftbfs on mips, mipsel
  • put ruby-cocoon into a better state
  • uploaded ruby-plist
  • gem2deb: gem2tgz will now create foo.gemspec (easier to patch) instead of metadata.yml
  • gemwatch: ditto
  • close #794139 jekyll bug (unreproducible)
  • close #798934 ruby-ffi-rzmq bug (unreproducible)
  • closed ftbfs #816586 #800057 #784699 as unreproducible
  • reassigned #760952 #680297 to ruby2.3 (from ruby2.2)
  • investigated how to list packages with non-buildd-binary uploads
  • ScottK has removed ruby2.1 from unstable!

By the end of the afternoon I asked everyone to fill out a simple retrospective list, what we can use later to make future sprints better and better. Below are the results we got.

What was good:

  • restricted room hours actually made for a nice rhythm (did not apply for a long time…)
  • very good food
  • very cheap food!
  • longer period makes the effort of travel more worthwhile
  • many participants and longer sprint than usual allowing more work to be done
  • good preparation with clear goals, make the sprint usefull
  • patience with the less experienced participants
  • RFS very fast
  • Antônio is an excellent host
  • You all are so helpful
  • great dinners

What could be better:

  • room too close to the street, too much vehicle noise, but sometimes nice music
  • more coffee ^W meat
  • could know more portugues so ordering food would have been easier
  • debian infra could have not been down during the sprint

The night ended at Bar do Alemão (“The German’s Bar”). Both their beer and their food are very good, but I don’t have enough elements to vouch for their authenticity. :) We were joined by Giovani (who we also met earlier in the botanic gardens), and by Paulo and Daniel who are organizing the MiniDebconf.

And that is the end of this year’s Debian Ruby team sprint. I hope we do it all over again next year.

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Dirk Eddelbuettel: gunsales 0.1.1

Planet Debian - sam, 05/03/2016 - 15:44

A minor update to our recently released gunsales package is now on the CRAN network. The changes are completely internal and deal with automagic discovery of the X-13ARIMA-SEATS program via our associated x13binary package. More precisely, we let Solaris and the Windows old-release builds fail more gracefully. Others, ie current Windows builds, OS X and Linux, are entirely unaffected in their functionality. For simplicity, all examples now have an \dontrun{} wrapper, and the vignette makes its code conditional on the platform it is running on.

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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Drupal Bits at Web-Dev: Look Ma, No Hands Drupal Deployment

Planet Drupal - sam, 05/03/2016 - 13:36

This presentation was given at the 2016 Florida Drupalcamp in Orlando on 5/05/2016. It covers my experience and recommendations for how to do continuous integration or continuous deployment with Drupal 7 websites and the role played by hook_update_N() to orchestrate code and configuration changes with releases.

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Lunar: Reproducible builds: week 44 in Stretch cycle

Planet Debian - sam, 05/03/2016 - 12:54

What happened in the reproducible builds effort between February 21th and February 27th:

Toolchain fixes

Didier Raboud uploaded pyppd/1.0.2-4 which makes PPD generation deterministic.

Emmanuel Bourg uploaded plexus-maven-plugin/1.3.8-10 which sorts the components in the components.xml files generated by the plugin.

Guillem Jover has implemented stable ordering for members of the control archives in .debs.

Chris Lamb submitted another patch to improve reproducibility of files generated by cython.

Packages fixed

The following packages have become reproducible due to changes in their build dependencies: dctrl-tools, debian-edu, dvdwizard, dymo-cups-drivers, ekg2, epson-inkjet-printer-escpr, expeyes, fades, foomatic-db, galternatives, gnuradio, gpodder, gutenprint icewm, invesalius, jodconverter-cli latex-mk, libiio, libimobiledevice, libmcrypt, libopendbx, lives, lttnganalyses, m2300w, microdc2, navit, po4a, ptouch-driver, pxljr, tasksel, tilda, vdr-plugin-infosatepg, xaos.

The following packages became reproducible after getting fixed:

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


The reproducibly tests for Debian now vary the provider of /bin/sh between bash and dash. (Reiner Herrmann)

diffoscope development

diffoscope version 50 was released on February 27th. It adds a new comparator for PostScript files, makes the directory tests pass on slower hardware, and line ordering variations in .deb md5sums files will not be hidden anymore.

Version 51 uploaded the next day re-added test data missing from the previous tarball.

diffoscope is looking for a new primary maintainer.

Package reviews

87 reviews have been removed, 61 added and 43 updated in the previous week.

New issues: captures_shell_variable_in_autofoo_script, varying_ordering_in_data_tar_gz_or_control_tar_gz.

30 new FTBFS have been reported by Chris Lamb, Antonio Terceiro, Aaron M. Ucko, Michael Tautschnig, and Tobias Frost.


The release team reported on their discussion about the topic of rebuilding all of Stretch to make it self-contained (in respect to reproducibility).

Christian Boltz is hoping someone could talk about reproducible builds at the openSUSE conference happening June 22nd-26th in Nürnberg, Germany.

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Martín Ferrari: Serendipity

Planet Debian - sam, 05/03/2016 - 10:59

So I was reading G+, and saw there a post by Bernd Zeimetz about some "marble machine". Which turns out to be a very cool device that is programmed to play a single tune, and it is just mesmerising to watch:

Youtube video

So, naturally, I click through to see if there is more music made with this machine. It turns out the machine has been on the making for a while, and the first complete song (the one embedded above) was released only a few days ago. It is obviously porn for nerds, and Wired had already posted an article about it.

So instead I found a band called like the machine: Wintergatan, which sounds pretty great. It took me a while to realise the guy who built the machine is one of the members of the band. They even have a page collecting all the videos about the machine.

Youtube video

After a while, and noticing the suggestions from Youtube, I realise that two of the members of Wintergatan were previously in Detektivbyrån, which is another band I love, and about which I wrote a post on this very blog, 7.5 years ago!1. So the sad news is that Detektivbyran disbanded, the good news is that this guy keeps making great music, now with insane machines.

Youtube video

I only discovered Detektivbyran in the first place thanks to an article the -now sadly defunct- Coilhouse Magazine.

I find this 8-year long loop that closes unexpectedly during a late-night idle browsing session pretty amusing.

  1. I keep telling my friends that I was a hipster before it was cool to do so... ↩


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Drupal Bits at Web-Dev: D7: Make a Custom Site Deploy Module with One Drush Command

Planet Drupal - sam, 05/03/2016 - 03:09

Thanks to the writing and efforts of Dcycle, Befused and others, there is a lot of good information out there on why and how to use a custom deploy module in Drupal 7 to manage the deployments of code and settings on your websites.  They describe them pretty clearly and make it a simple process to copy and paste  bits of code to assemble your own custom deploy module.  What could be wasier than that?  How about 'drush site-deploy-init'. That one command will build a site_deploy module for you inside modules/custom.  Of course to get that one command, you have to  'drush en hook_update_deploy_tools' first.

Hook Update Deploy Tools gives you a lot of power to implement your deploy strategy and it plays nicely with an existing custom deploy module or the module site_deploy that it creates when you 'drush site-deploy-init'.  The reason they get along so well is that hook_update_deploy_tools can be made aware of your custom deploy module(s). For example when you use hook_update_deploy tools to export a Rule, it exports it to your custom deploy module... or your custom Rules Feature.  When you ask it to import your Rule, it knows where to look for the import file.  There is power in contrib modules being aware of custom modules.

For the full list of all the methods that Hook Update Deploy Tools makes available, check the module page as the list is continuously growing.  Here is the list as of today.

  • Enable, Disable, Uninstall Modules

  • Revert Features

  • Delete Fields

  • Update node properties and simple field values

  • Update node aliases

  • Set Drupal variables {alter site config}

  • Create / update Menus from menu import file

  • Create / update rules from a rule import file

  • Export rules with Drush

  • Messages and logging


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Chapter Three: Why I Recommend Acquia for Drupal 8

Planet Drupal - sam, 05/03/2016 - 01:15

I am often asked to make a hosting partner recommendation for our customer's Drupal sites. I try to keep an open mind about the different providers and their individual strengths and weaknesses, but lately I've noticed that the same recommendation keeps coming up at the top of my list.

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Stanford Web Services Blog: Announcing Stanford Drupal Camp 2016!

Planet Drupal - sam, 05/03/2016 - 00:54

We are excited to announce that registration and session proposals are now open for Stanford Drupal Camp 2016!

Register now for the seventh Annual Stanford Drupal Camp April 1-2, 2016 at the Stanford Law School.


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OSTraining: How to Add Barcodes to a Drupal POS System

Planet Drupal - ven, 04/03/2016 - 23:15

When one OSTraining member asked about adding barcodes to a Drupal 7 site for use as part of a Point-of-sale (POS) system.

We never realised just how complex this could be. While Drupal is well known for it's diverse module collection several barcode modules are available. However as need for this kind of system has reduced over the years maintenance of these modules has started to waver.

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Matthew Saunders: Drupal Association Elections 2016 - Reasons You Should Vote For Me

Planet Drupal - ven, 04/03/2016 - 22:40

When deciding on Board Positions for a non-profit like the Drupal Association, I try to be as logical as I can in determining who might be the best choice. A focus on skills, experience, and board needs helps me winnow down the field. As we get closer to voting in the election, it seemed like I should underline my skill set using this lens.

Reason 1
  • Has the candidate had experience working in the non-profit space?
  • Has the candidate had board experience?
  • Does the candidate have educational background that supports the board's needs?
  • Does the candidate have work experience that supports the board's needs?

My background supports this.

  • Board of Directors for Drupal Association
  • Board of Directors for Crown Pointe Academy
  • Policy Committee for Crown Pointe Academy
  • 8 years of nonprofit management experience including grant making and board management
  • 2 University programs in non-profit management - one certification and a Masters Degree
drupaldrupal association election 2016votematthews
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