gregoa's blog
random musings about computers, life, and everything

2021-01-01 00:01:17 +0100
high noon 2020

high noon in 2020, from my webcam's point of view:

permalink | tags: misc
2020-01-01 00:05:05 +0100
high noon 2019

high noon in 2019, from my webcam's point of view:

permalink | tags: misc
2019-12-24 00:25:00 +0100
european train systems

I plan to go to two upcoming debian/FLOSS events, & I'd rather go by train than by plane or car. & that's quite difficult, in central europe, in 2020.

the events I want to go to are:

  • FOSDEM, the "free & open source developers' european meeting", the probably hugest FLOSS conference in europe, held in bruxelles, belgium; with a MiniDebCamp before.
  • SnowCamp, a small cosy DIY MiniDebCamp in laveno-mombello, italy.

now what about the trains? bruxelles is the capital of europe, & laveno-mombello is just approx. 400 km from here (i.e. closer than the capital of my country). still, no train company would sell my a ticket to these destinations.

no train company? well that's slightly exaggerated. for one of the destinations (bruxelles), one company (DB) would sell me a ticket, if I trick the web interface into showing me the connection I want by adding some 'via' entries with appropriate durations. ÖBB fails because it doesn't sell thalys tickets, & also no ICE tickets, for the last leg. – so either DB with some trickery, or ÖBB plus either thalys or DB, & hope that there are no delays.
ÖBB is also very proud of their new nightjet connection to bruxelles (from vienna & innsbruck), starting in january 2020. what they don't announce widely is that this train goes only 2 times per week. (of course not the days I need.)

for the trip to laveno-mombello I could either go via verona/milano & buy a ticket from ÖBB until verona & a ticket (actually three) from trenitalia for the rest; or go via switzerland & buy a ticket from ÖBB until bellinzona, a ticket from SBB for the 10+ minutes to cadenazzo, & a ticket from trenord from cadenazzo until laveno-mombello. (that's already the summary; neither ÖBB nor DB nor SBB nor trenitalia nor trenord would sell me a ticket for the whole journey. trenitalia also doesn't know cadenazzo, btw. ÖBB would also sell me a ticket to cadenazzo, it's just roughly 100 EUR more expensive than the sparschiene-ticket to bellinzona.)
two years ago I did the former; & 8 of the 8 trains were delayed on departure or arrival or both. obviously the trip with its three changes per direction took almost twice the time of just taking the car.
last year, a friendly soul picked me up with their car after one train trip, & probably we'll do it the same way again this year.

so what is it that I want to say?

first of all I'm looking forward to the MiniDebCamp+FOSDEM & to SnowCamp, & I thought I should promote those events a bit more :)

& second, the state of train companies in europe is a big FAIL:

  • ÖBB & DB on the one hand, & trenitalia on the other hand have some fight since a couple of years; they don't even list each others' train connections in their respective online schedule, let alone offer tickets; & there are also less&less connections on the münchen/innsbruck/verona route;
  • ÖBB (in its terrible new app/website) happily shows connections for which they then don't sell tickets ("attention: ticket only covers part of the journey");
  • SBB & DB happily let you spend lots of time in their online ticket webapps, & then are very sorry in the end that they can't sell you the ticket you've clicked together;
  • I'm aware that there are still "national" train companies, & that there are still so-called "borders" between so-called "nation states" but frankly, I don't care about either;
  • mostly because those virtual lines on the maps have no significance to me; but also practically because in a part of the world where there are so many of them close to each other it's just ridiculous that they have any practical impact on travelling by public transport (remember, going to laveno-mombello via the "west route" I go through austria, liechtenstein, switzerland, & italy; for just roughly 400km);
  • I mean there's schengen, & at least until 2015 noone asked for any passports on these routes; still the train companies have the tunnel vision of their "national" territory;
  • I don't want to spend literally hours on more or less (typically more) broken train company websites to find out about possible connections & typically find no possible tickets for those connections;
  • if I want to go from A to B in europe, I want to go to one website & just buy the <insert-appropriate-adjective-here> ticket there;
  • either one of the legacy national ones or a combined european train system website (btw, rail_dot_eu & train_dot_eu are both squatted);
  • & don't tell my about etc., they don't know about half of the existing connections;
  • interim summary: can I please just buy a train ticket? could you please just take my money?;
  • in the end this is a political question. the EU has regulated roaming mostly successfully (crossing the swiss border: calls 2 EUR/min. out, 1 EUR/min. in, sms: 0.4 EUR, data: 1.5 EUR/100kb (!));
  • it's about time that the EU regulates "cross-border" train travel as well;
  • & I'm not talking about prices, I JUST WANT TO BUY A TICKET FROM A TO B ON ONE WEBSITE; pretty please; in europe; in 2020.

ok, end of rant.
& I'm looking forward to the aforementioned events, even if it's a major pain to sort out the transportation to get there.
(could we have teleportation please? the quantum physicists say no. too bad.)

update 2020-01-06: for the trip to bruxelles, I ended up buying a nightjet ticket from ÖBB, & a thalys ticket directly from thalys. let's hope I don't miss a connection …

permalink | tags: computer, planetdebian | 6 comments
2019-12-23 23:24:44 +0100
init system GR

finally – the third call for vote has already gone out – I took the time to cast my vote in the debian init system GR (General Resolution), the vote of debian members about the project's further course with regard to init systems.

for those you care about others' opinions before the poll closes: I voted H > G = D > F = E > FD > B > A, & here's why (note that I don't claim that this is necessarily 100% logically consistent):

  • H is a combination of guillem's principles, which I share, & ian's rather detailed guidance on how to proceed in the spirit of enabling a compromise & make progress together. that makes most sense to me.
  • G is guillem's proposal with his original principles & a short guidance section that explains why no more detailled guidance makes sense. on the one hand, I prefer more guidance in order to help e.g. the policy editors (that's why I ranked H higher), on the other hand, I still agree with the text & think that it could work, at least if we concentrate on cooperation.
  • D is ian's proposal with the detailed processes; since I liked them in option H, I still like them even without the principles, just a bit less :)
  • why did I rank G & D equally? I guess that was basically my gut telling me to do so … in any way, I prefer H & G & D clearly more than the other options:
  • F & E are the "extreme" positions in this vote ("focus on sytemd" vs. "all init systems must work"). I'm not a big fan of of either of them, as I favour a future which gives everyone their space within debian. still I ranked them over FD (further discussion) because a clear direction seems more useful to me than dragging this discussion on. & I ranked them equally because personally I could live with both of them (yes, init systems are not a matter totally close to my heart …).
  • B & A ended up below FD in my ballot (i.e. "better no result than this one") because I don't see what new they would bring to the ballot, not already covered in the other options; I find them a bit hard to read (as in "what consequences would they really have?"); & I much dislike the mingling of NMUs (non-maintainer uploads) with a GR about init systems in option A.

finally, thanks to all the people who worked hard to prepare this GR & did the work to come up with the various options; let's see if I change my vote (& this blog post) in the remaining days; & in any case, we'll soon (after Friday 2019-12-27 23:59:59 UTC) see the results, first on the secretary's voting page & on the debian-vote mailing list.

permalink | tags: computer, planetdebian
2019-01-01 01:04:45 +0100
high noon 2018

this was 2018, from my webcam's point of view:

permalink | tags: misc
2018-12-16 19:32:35 +0100
RC bugs 2018/49-50

as mentioned in my last blog post, I attended the Bug Squashing Party in bern two weeks ago. I think alltogether we were quite productive, as seen on the list of usertagged bugs. – here's my personal list of release-critical bugs that I touched at the BSP or afterwards:

  • #860523 – python-dogtail: "python-dogtail: /bin/sniff fails to start on a merged-/usr system"
    apply patch found in the BTS, QA upload
  • #873997 – src:openjpeg2: "FTBFS with Java 9 due to -source/-target only"
    apply patch from the BTS, upload to DELAYED/5
  • #879624 – xorg: "xorg: After upgrade to buster: system doesnt start x-server anymore but stop reacting"
    lower severity
  • #884658 – dkms: "dkms: Should really depends on dpkg-dev for dpkg-architecture"
    add a comment to the bug log
  • #886120 – ctpp2: "makes ctpp2 randomly FTBFS, syntax errors, hides problems"
    apply patch from the BTS, upload to DELAYED/5
  • #886836 – libgtkmm-2.4-dev,libgtkmm-2.4-doc: "libgtkmm-2.4-dev,libgtkmm-2.4-doc: both ship usr/share/doc/libgtkmm-2.4-dev/examples/*"
    propose a patch
  • #887602 – dia: "dia: Detect freetype via pkg-config"
    add patch from upstream merge request, upload to DELAYED/5
  • #890595 – phpmyadmin: "phpmyadmin: warnings when running under php 7.2, apparently fixed by new upstream series 4.7.x"
    prepare a debdiff
  • #892121 – src:libxml-saxon-xslt2-perl: "libxml-saxon-xslt2-perl FTBFS with libsaxonhe-java"
    upload with patch from racke (pkg-perl)
  • #892444 – src:ttfautohint: "ttfautohint: Please use 'pkg-config' to find FreeType 2"
    add patch from Hilko Bengen in BTS, upload to DELAYED/5, then fixed in a maintainer upload
  • #898752 – src:node-webpack: "node-webpack: FTBFS and autopkgtest failure on 32-bit"
    apply proposal from BTS, upload to DELAYED/5
  • #900395 – xserver-xorg-input-all: "xserver-xorg-input-all: keyboard no longer working after dist-upgrade"
    downgrade and tag moreinfo
  • #906187 – facter-dev: "facter-dev: missing Depends: libfacter3.11.0 (= ${binary:Version})"
    add missing Depends, upload to DELAYED/5
  • #906977 – src:parley: "parley: FTBFS in buster/sid ('QItemSelection' does not name a type)"
    add patch from upstream git, upload to DELAYED/5
  • #907975 – libf2fs-format-dev: "libf2fs-format-dev: missing Breaks+Replaces: libf2fs-dev (<< 1.11)"
    add missing Breaks+Replaces, upload to DELAYED/5
  • #908147 – cups-browsed: "restarting cups-browsed deleted print jobs"
    try to reproduce
  • #911324 – carton: "carton: Carton fails due to missing Menlo::CLI::Compat dependency"
    package missing new dependencies and depend on them (pkg-perl)
  • #912046 – ebtables: "ebtables provides the same executables as iptables packages without using alternatives"
    add a comment to the bug log
  • #912380 – man-db: "endless looping, breaks dpkg"
    add a comment to the bug log
  • #912685 – src:net-snmp: "debian/rules is not binNMU safe"
    add a comment to the bug log
  • #913179 – libprelude: "libprelude: FTBFS with glibc 2.28; cherrypicked patches attached"
    take patch from BTS, upload to DELAYED/10
  • #915297 – src:libtest-bdd-cucumber-perl: "libtest-bdd-cucumber-perl: FTBFS: README.pod: No such file or directory"
    remove override from debian/rules (pkg-perl)
  • #915806 – src:jabref: "jabref FTBFS"
    add build-dep and jar to classpath (pkg-java)
permalink | tags: computer, planetdebian
2018-11-30 20:12:50 +0100
RC bugs 2018/01-48

I just arrived at the Bug Squashing Party in bern. – a good opportunity to report the RC bugs I've touched so far this year (not that many …):

  • #750732 – src:libanyevent-perl: "libanyevent-perl: Intermittent build failures on various architectures"
    disable a test (pkg-perl)
  • #862678 – src:pidgin: "Switch from network-manager-dev to libnm-dev"
    propose patch, later uploaded by maintainer
  • #878550 – src:liblog-dispatch-filerotate-perl: "liblog-dispatch-filerotate-perl: missing (build) dependency on libparams-validate-perl"
    add missing (build) dependency, upload to DELAYED/5
  • #882618 – libdbix-class-schema-loader-perl: "libdbix-class-schema-loader-perl: Test failures"
    apply patch from ntyni (pkg-perl)
  • #884626 – src:liblinux-dvb-perl: "liblinux-dvb-perl FTBFS with linux-libc-dev 4.14.2-1"
    upload with fix from knowledgejunkie (pkg-perl)
  • #886044 – src:syncmaildir: "syncmaildir: Depends on gconf"
    propose a patch
  • #886355 – src:libpar-packer-perl: "libpar-packer-perl: frequent parallel FTBFS"
    disable parallel building (pkg-perl)
  • #890905 – src:jabref: "jabref: doesn't build/run with default-jdk/-jre"
    try to come up with a patch (pkg-java)
  • #892275 – redshift: "redshift: Unable to connect to GeoClue."
    investigate and downgrade
  • #892392 – src:aqemu: "aqemu: build-depends on GCC 6"
    propose a patch
  • #893251 – jabref: "jabref: doesn't start with liblog4j2-java 2.10.0-1"
    use versioned (build) dependency (pkg-java)
  • #894626 – libsnmp-perl: "libsnmp-perl: undefined symbol: netsnmp_ds_toggle_boolean"
    propose a patch
  • #894727 – libgit-repository-perl: "libgit-repository-perl: FTBFS: t/10-new_fail.t broke with new git"
    add patch from upstream pull request (pkg-perl)
  • #895697 – src:libconfig-model-tester-perl: "libconfig-model-tester-perl FTBFS: Can't locate Module/ in @INC"
    add missing build dependency (pkg-perl)
  • #896502 – libxml-structured-perl: "libxml-structured-perl: missing dependency on libxml-parser-perl"
    add missing (build) dependency (pkg-perl)
  • #896534 – libnetapp-perl: "libnetapp-perl: missing dependency on libnet-telnet-perl"
    add missing dependency (pkg-perl)
  • #896537 – libmoosex-mungehas-perl: "libmoosex-mungehas-perl: missing dependency on libtype-tiny-perl | libeval-closure-perl"
    add missing dependency (pkg-perl)
  • #896538 – libmonitoring-livestatus-class-perl: "libmonitoring-livestatus-class-perl: missing dependency on libmodule-find-perl"
    add missing dependency, upload to DELAYED/5
  • #896539 – libmodule-install-trustmetayml-perl: "libmodule-install-trustmetayml-perl: missing dependency on libmodule-install-perl"
    add missing (build) dependency (pkg-perl)
  • #896540 – libmodule-install-extratests-perl: "libmodule-install-extratests-perl: missing dependency on libmodule-install-perl"
    add missing (build) dependency (pkg-perl)
  • #896541 – libmodule-install-automanifest-perl: "libmodule-install-automanifest-perl: missing dependency on libmodule-install-perl"
    add missing (build) dependency (pkg-perl)
  • #896543 – liblwp-authen-negotiate-perl: "liblwp-authen-negotiate-perl: missing dependency on libwww-perl"
    add missing dependency, upload to DELAYED/5
  • #896549 – libhtml-popuptreeselect-perl: "libhtml-popuptreeselect-perl: missing dependency on libhtml-template-perl"
    add missing dependency, upload to DELAYED/5
  • #896551 – libgstreamer1-perl: "libgstreamer1-perl: Typelib file for namespace 'Gst', version '1.0' not found"
    add missing (build) dependencies (pkg-perl)
  • #897724 – src:collectd: "collectd: ftbfs with GCC-8"
    pass a compiler flag, upload to DELAYED/5
  • #898198 – src:libnet-oauth-perl: "FTBFS (test failures, also seen in autopkgtests) with libcrypt-openssl-rsa-perl >= 0.30-1"
    add patch (pkg-perl)
  • #898561 – src:libmarc-transform-perl: "libmarc-transform-perl: FTBFS with libyaml-perl >= 1.25-1 (test failures)"
    apply patch provided by YAML upstream (pkg-perl)
  • #898977 – libnet-dns-zonefile-fast-perl: "libnet-dns-zonefile-fast-perl: FTBFS: You are missing required modules for NSEC3 support"
    add missing (build) dependency (pkg-perl)
  • #900232 – src:collectd: "collectd: FTBFS: sed: can't read /usr/lib/pkgconfig/OpenIPMIpthread.pc: No such file or directory"
    propose a patch, later upload to DELAYED/2
  • #901087 – src:libcatalyst-plugin-session-store-dbi-perl: "libcatalyst-plugin-session-store-dbi-perl: FTBFS: Base class package "Class::Data::Inheritable" is empty."
    add missing (build) dependency (pkg-perl)
  • #901807 – src:libmath-gsl-perl: "libmath-gsl-perl: incompatible with GSL >= 2.5"
    apply patches from ntyni and tweak build (pkg-perl)
  • #902192 – src:libpdl-ccs-perl: "libpdl-ccs-perl FTBFS on architectures where char is unsigned"
    new upstream release (pkg-perl)
  • #902625 – libmath-gsl-perl: "libmath-gsl-perl: needs a versioned dependency on libgsl23 (>= 2.5) or so"
    make build dependency versioned (pkg-perl)
  • #903173 – src:get-flash-videos: "get-flash-videos: FTBFS in buster/sid (dh_installdocs: Cannot find "README")"
    fix name in .docs (pkg-perl)
  • #903178 – src:libclass-insideout-perl: "libclass-insideout-perl: FTBFS in buster/sid (dh_installdocs: Cannot find "CONTRIBUTING")"
    fix name in .docs (pkg-perl)
  • #903456 – libbio-tools-phylo-paml-perl: "libbio-tools-phylo-paml-perl: fails to upgrade from 'stable' to 'sid' - trying to overwrite /usr/share/man/man3/Bio::Tools::Phylo::PAML.3pm.gz"
    upload package fixed by carandraug (pkg-perl)
  • #904737 – src:uwsgi: "uwsgi: FTBFS: unable to build gccgo plugin"
    update build dependencies, upload to DELAYED/5
  • #904740 – src:libtext-bidi-perl: "libtext-bidi-perl: FTBFS: 'fribidi_uint32' undeclared"
    apply patch from CPAN RT (pkg-perl)
  • #904858 – src:libtickit-widget-tabbed-perl: "libtickit-widget-tabbed-perl: Incomplete debian/copyright?"
    fix d/copyright (pkg-perl)
  • #905614 – src:license-reconcile: "FTBFS: Failed test 'no warnings' with libsoftware-license-perl 0.103013-2"
    apply patch from Felix Lechner (pkg-perl)
  • #906482 – src:libgit-raw-perl: "libgit-raw-perl: FTBFS in buster/sid (failing tests)"
    patch test (pkg-perl)
  • #908323 – src:libgtk3-perl: "libgtk3-perl: FTBFS: t/overrides.t failure"
    add patch and versioned (build) dependency (pkg-perl)
  • #909343 – src:libcatalyst-perl: "libcatalyst-perl: fails to build with libmoosex-getopt-perl 0.73-1"
    upload new upstream release (pkg-perl)
  • #910943 – libhtml-tidy-perl: "libhtml-tidy-perl: FTBFS (test failures) with tidy-html5 5.7"
    add patch (pkg-perl)
  • #912039 – src:libpetal-utils-perl: "libpetail-utils-perl: FTBFS: Test failures"
    add missing build dependency (pkg-perl)
  • #912045 – src:mb2md: "mb2md: FTBFS: Test failures"
    add missing build dependency (pkg-perl)
  • #914288 – src:libpgplot-perl: "libpgplot-perl: FTBFS and autopkgtest fail with new giza-dev: test waits for input"
    disable interactive tests (pkg-perl)
  • #915096 – src:libperl-apireference-perl: "libperl-apireference-perl: Missing support for perl 5.28.1"
    add support for perl 5.28.1 (pkg-perl)

let's see how the weekend goes.

permalink | tags: computer, planetdebian | 1 comment
2018-10-06 22:36:53 +0200
long night of museums 2018

after being lazy for a couple of years today I took the opportunity on a warm (= föhny) autumn evening to visit a few places at this year's lange nacht der museen. it was fun but I'm not 100% convinced about the event (or my preparation for it): the big houses are crowded & the small ones don't offer a lot. – anyway: here's what I've seen:

  1. fotoforum west
  2. taxispalais kunsthalle tirol
  3. not (ausstellung der youngcaritas)
  4. audioversum
  5. inn situ (= btv fo.ku.s)
  6. landesmuseum ferdinandeum
  7. neue galerie der tiroler künstler*schaft
  8. hofburg (ausstellung "guernica")
permalink | tags: misc
2018-04-19 20:21:41 +0200
10 years + 1 day

yesterday 10 years ago I became a Debian Developer.
& I still feel that I belong to this community.
& it took me one more day to write this tiny blog post about it.
so tonight I can celebrate 10 years plus 1 day :)

permalink | tags: personal, planetdebian | 1 comment
2018-03-01 23:08:22 +0100
trains & snow

last weekend I attended the Debian SnowCamp at the lago maggiore in north-western italy, a small DIY hacking & socialising Debian meeting in the tradion of Debian SunCamp. – some impressions:


I wasn't aware of how tedious it can be to travel less than 500 kilometers into a neighbouring country by train in 2018. first of all, no train company would sell me a ticket from innsbruck to laveno-mombello, so innsbruck–verona from öbb & verona–laveno-mombello from trenitalia it was.

from the eight trains (yes, 3 changes per direction) exactly 0 had no delays at departure or arrival or both. in the end I "only" lost one connection. – & one direction from-door-to-door took roughly 9 hours.


the ostello casa rossa was lovely (& might be even more lovely with warmer temperature which would allow for longer stays in the garden), & the food at the ristorante concordia was mostly excellent. trying new local specialties (like the pizzoccheri) is always fun. & no lunch or dinner lasted shorter than 2 hours.


unsurprisingly, my work was mostly focussed on Debian Perl Group stuff. we managed to move our repos from alioth to salsa during the weekend, which involved not only importing ~3500 repositories but also e.g. recreating our .mrconfig setup.

in practice it didn't help alot for my contributions that I was at SnowCamp as the others were not there, & coordination happened via IRC (unlike a team sprint); but at least I had more people who listened to my shouts of joy or frustration than what I would have had at home :)


  • on my way back I even had snow while waiting at the delayed train in the unexciting station of laveno-mombello.
  • mille grazie to elena & friends for the perfect organisation!
  • if you speak german: the respective volume of my archäologie des alltags (also contains links to tweets with photos).
  • I see quite some potential for other Debian *Camps, maybe even longer & with more pre-planned team sprints under one roof (or in one garden) …
permalink | tags: computer, planetdebian

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