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

entries from December 2014

2014-12-24 16:23:31 +0100
GDAC 2014/24

the last year hasn't been an easy one for debian. we've seen lots of fights, unproductive discussions, & in general behaviour which contributed to what enrico in his brilliant blog post called the "stink in the kitchen". people's feelings were hurt, some became less active, others resigned from a specific position or retired completely.

it happened to me as well that reading through threads full of trolling, aggressiveness, finger-pointing, unrespectful or abusive behaviour, etc. made me frustrated, or sad, or angry, or all kinds of other negative feelings.

but then I usually told myself: this is not the debian project as I know it; this is only a small part – a part which urgently needs improvement! –; but if we only look at it alone, our picture of debian at large is distorted.

the much bigger part of the debian life I know doesn't happen on this handful of high-profile mailing lists; it happens on dozens of specialized mailing lists, in many small IRC channels, in the BTS, & in in-person meetings. – & what I see there is most of the time constructive, collaborative, respectful communication, & committed, helpful, funny, awesome people.

the idea of this advent calendar was to give examples of some of my recent experiences which demonstrate what the bright side of debian is in my opinion & what contributes to my fun in debian. with the aim of sharing my impression that the proverbial "stink" is, if we take a step back, only one piece of the bigger picture, & that we shouldn't let ourselves get demotivated by only staring at this puzzle piece. – thanks to all the awesome contributors for polishing existing & adding new shiny puzzle pieces to our common picture every day!

finally: thanks for reading this series of posts, & especially thank you to all who provided positive feedback – this in turn motivated me to follow through!

& now: back to work, & don't forget to help cleaning the kitchen :)


this posting is part of GDAC (gregoa's debian advent calendar), a project to show the bright side of debian & why it's fun for me to contribute.

permalink | tags: computer, planetdebian |
2014-12-23 22:15:13 +0100
GDAC 2014/23

when I think about debian, one term that comes to my mind is "quality". of course it can be annoying when the ftp-masters REJECT a new package or when potential sponsors nit-pick on packaging details but in general this all leads to our excellent software quality. & yes, I've also seen less-than-excellent packages when working on RC bugs but I still believe that as a whole we strive to Do Things Right™. - thanks to all mentors, QA people, ftp-masters, & diligent package maintainers!


this posting is part of GDAC (gregoa's debian advent calendar), a project to show the bright side of debian & why it's fun for me to contribute.

permalink | tags: computer, planetdebian |
2014-12-22 23:04:47 +0100
GDAC 2014/22

today I read about a nice & successful example that shows that a debian derivative works best by contributing back to debian & working on debian directly. - great to see again that debian is at the center of a whole ecosystem, & thanks to the grml team!


this posting is part of GDAC (gregoa's debian advent calendar), a project to show the bright side of debian & why it's fun for me to contribute.

permalink | tags: computer, planetdebian |
2014-12-21 22:32:05 +0100
GDAC 2014/21

today I got two private mails from fellow DDs; both were personal messages & a pleasure to read. but what I also realized is that both emails were encrypted. which reminded me how hard it is to communicate securely with most people, & how easy it is with debian people. – & this is something we can be proud of!


this posting is part of GDAC (gregoa's debian advent calendar), a project to show the bright side of debian & why it's fun for me to contribute.

permalink | tags: computer, planetdebian |
2014-12-20 22:56:15 +0100
GDAC 2014/20

today seen on IRC: a maintainer was surprised & happy that their package had migrated to testing without having filed an unblock request. once again an example of the awesome work of the release team which pro-actively unblocked the package. – a big thank you to the members of the release team!


this posting is part of GDAC (gregoa's debian advent calendar), a project to show the bright side of debian & why it's fun for me to contribute.

permalink | tags: computer, planetdebian |
2014-12-19 20:07:05 +0100
GDAC 2014/19

yesterday I learned that I can go to FOSDEM in early 2015 because a conflicting event was cancelled. that makes me happy because FOSDEM is great for seeing other debian folks, & especially for meeting friends.


this posting is part of GDAC (gregoa's debian advent calendar), a project to show the bright side of debian & why it's fun for me to contribute.

permalink | tags: computer, planetdebian |
2014-12-18 23:01:30 +0100
GDAC 2014/18

what constantly fascinates me in debian is that people sit at home, have an idea, work on it, & then suddenly present it to an unexpecting public; all without prior announcements or discussions, & totally apart from any hot discussion-de-jour. the last example I encountered & tried out just now is the option to edit source packages online & submit patches. - I hope we as a project can keep up with this creativity!


this posting is part of GDAC (gregoa's debian advent calendar), a project to show the bright side of debian & why it's fun for me to contribute.

permalink | tags: computer, planetdebian |
2014-12-17 23:30:08 +0100
GDAC 2014/17

my list of IRC channels (& the list of people I'm following on micro-blogging platforms) has a heavy debian bias. a thing I noticed today is that I had read (or at least: seen) messages in 6 languages (English, German, Castilian, Catalan, French, Italian). – thanks guys for the free language courses :) (& the opportunity to at least catch a glimpse into other cultures)


this posting is part of GDAC (gregoa's debian advent calendar), a project to show the bright side of debian & why it's fun for me to contribute.

permalink | tags: computer, planetdebian |
2014-12-16 23:46:58 +0100
GDAC 2014/16

today I met with a young friend (attending the final year of technical high school) for coffee. he's exploring free software since one or two years, & he's running debian jessie on his laptop since some time. it's really amazing to see how exciting this travel into the free software cosmos is for him; & it's good to see that linux & debian are not only appealing to greybeards like me :)


this posting is part of GDAC (gregoa's debian advent calendar), a project to show the bright side of debian & why it's fun for me to contribute.

permalink | tags: computer, planetdebian | 1 comment |
2014-12-15 22:58:17 +0100
GDAC 2014/15

nothing exciting today in my debian life. just yet another nice example of collaboration around an RC bug where the bug submitter, the maintainer & me investigated via the BTS, & the maintainer also got support on IRC from others. – now we just need someone to come up with an actual fix for the problem :)


this posting is part of GDAC (gregoa's debian advent calendar), a project to show the bright side of debian & why it's fun for me to contribute.

permalink | tags: computer, planetdebian |
2014-12-14 22:27:37 +0100
GDAC 2014/14

I just got a couple of mails from the BTS. like almost every day, several times per day. now it made me realize how much I like the BTS, & how happy I am that it works so well & even gets new features. – thanks to the BTS maintainers for their continuous work!


this posting is part of GDAC (gregoa's debian advent calendar), a project to show the bright side of debian & why it's fun for me to contribute.

permalink | tags: computer, planetdebian |
2014-12-14 17:01:21 +0100
RC bugs 2014/49-50

it's getting harder to find "nice" RC bugs, due to the efforts of various bug hunters & the awesome auto-removal-from-testing feature. – anyway, here's the list of bugs I worked on in the last 2 weeks:

  • #766740 – gamera: "gamera FTBFS on arm64, testsuite failure."
    sponsor maintainer upload
  • #766773 – irssi-plugin-xmpp: "irssi-plugin-xmpp: /query <JID> fails with "Irssi: critical query_init: assertion 'query->name != NULL' failed""
    add some speculation to the bug report, request binNMU after submitter's confirmation, close this bug afterwards
  • #768127 – dhelp: "Fails to build the index when invalid UTF-8 is met"
    apply patch from Daniel Getz, upload to DELAYED/5
  • #770672 – src:gnome-packagekit: "gnome-packagekit: FTBFS without docbook: reference to entity "REFENTRY" for which no system identifier could be generated"
    provide information, ask for clarification, severity lowered by maintainer
  • #771496 – dpkg-cross: "overwrites user changes to configuration file /etc/dpkg-cross/cross-compile on upgrade (violates 10.7.3)"
    tag confirmed and add information, later downgraded by maintainer, then set back to RC by submitter …
  • #771500 – darcsweb: "darcsweb: postinst uses /usr/share/doc content (Policy 12.3): /usr/share/doc/darcsweb/examples/darcsweb.conf"
    install config sample into /usr/share/<package>, upload to DELAYED/5
  • #771501 – pygopherd: "pygopherd: postinst uses /usr/share/doc content (Policy 12.3): /usr/share/doc/pygopherd/examples/gophermap"
    sponsor NMU from Cameron Norman, upload to DELAYED/5
  • #771727 – fex: "fex: postinst uses /usr/share/doc content (Policy 12.3)"
    propose patch, installing config templates under /usr/share/<package>, upload to DELAYED/5 later, patch then integrated into maintainer upload
  • #772005 – libdevice-cdio-perl: "libdevice-cdio-perl: Debian patch causes Perl crashes in Device::Cdio::ISO9660::IFS's readdir: "Error in `/usr/bin/perl': realloc(): invalid next size: 0x0000000001f05850""
    reproduce the bug (pkg-perl)
  • #772159 – ruby-moneta: "ruby-moneta: leaves mysqld running after build"
    apply patch from Colin Watson, upload to DELAYED/2
permalink | tags: computer, planetdebian |
2014-12-13 21:48:35 +0100
GDAC 2014/13

not sure if it it's me or debian but today was a quiet day. time to look back & see what has happened this year … & this brings up memories of this year's & earlier debconfs, with their pkg-perl BOFs & their outdoor hacklabs. – looking through these photos of past events makes me grateful, both to the tireless organizers of debconf, & to the people who can share a bench with me for hours :)


this posting is part of GDAC (gregoa's debian advent calendar), a project to show the bright side of debian & why it's fun for me to contribute.

permalink | tags: computer, planetdebian |
2014-12-12 19:12:12 +0100
GDAC 2014/12

debian is again taking part in the OPW, & this afternoon I happened to read the backlog of the first weekly IRC meeting (in #debian-qa) between the mentors & the mentee for one of the projects. it was great to see that the participant's first patch is already merged & deployed, & that she closed her first bug report & is really getting into this debian world. – yay to great mentoring & increasing diversity!


this posting is part of GDAC (gregoa's debian advent calendar), a project to show the bright side of debian & why it's fun for me to contribute.

permalink | tags: computer, planetdebian |
2014-12-11 21:45:07 +0100
GDAC 2014/11

is enthusiasm contagious? I think so. a recent example: another advent posting. – ¬°gracias!


this posting is part of GDAC (gregoa's debian advent calendar), a project to show the bright side of debian & why it's fun for me to contribute.

permalink | tags: computer, planetdebian | 2 comments |
2014-12-10 22:28:52 +0100
GDAC 2014/10

debian has a bigger role than "just" providing a free operating system to our users (& derivatives), it's also an important player in the free software world at large. a recent indication of this is the composition of the FSF's High Priority Projects Committee: if I'm counting correctly, there are two active & one former DDs listed as members; oh, & the contact person is yet another DD :) – great to see many debianistas active all around!


this posting is part of GDAC (gregoa's debian advent calendar), a project to show the bright side of debian & why it's fun for me to contribute.

permalink | tags: computer, planetdebian |
2014-12-09 21:37:18 +0100
GDAC 2014/9

today, I again had a pleasant experience around an RC bug, featuring a diligent patch submitter, & a maintainer showing his appreciation for the help. – motivating!


this posting is part of GDAC (gregoa's debian advent calendar), a project to show the bright side of debian & why it's fun for me to contribute.

permalink | tags: computer, planetdebian |
2014-12-08 21:49:20 +0100
GDAC 2014/8

today, a pkg-perl member who was not very active for the last 2 or so years "re-appeared", & together we prepared & uploaded a new package. – always good to see people coming back!


this posting is part of GDAC (gregoa's debian advent calendar), a project to show the bright side of debian & why it's fun for me to contribute.

permalink | tags: computer, planetdebian |
2014-12-07 17:48:17 +0100
GDAC 2014/7

creating a free operating system in general & fixing bugs in particular is a collaborative effort. today's example is bug report #766773 (& friends) which involved communication in the BTS & on IRC between the bug submitter, the maintainer of a related package, the release team, & me as a bug triager. & 2.5 hours later, another block for the jessie release is gone. – thanks everybody for yet another pleasant collaboration experience!


this posting is part of GDAC (gregoa's debian advent calendar), a project to show the bright side of debian & why it's fun for me to contribute.

permalink | tags: computer, planetdebian |
2014-12-06 23:07:13 +0100
GDAC 2014/6

positive feedback is motivating (probably not only) for me. a recent example showing that our work on creating a great operating system is appreciated was sent to the debian-project list yesterday. – thanks!


this posting is part of GDAC (gregoa's debian advent calendar), a project to show the bright side of debian & why it's fun for me to contribute.

permalink | tags: computer, planetdebian | 2 comments |
2014-12-05 22:48:18 +0100
GDAC 2014/5

today I had a short chat with a fellow DD living in a neighbouring country. nothing spectacular in itself; but it reminded me again that debian is more than creating an operating system together for me – it's also about a couple of friendships that grow out of it & which are dear to me.


this posting is part of GDAC (gregoa's debian advent calendar), a project to show the bright side of debian & why it's fun for me to contribute.

permalink | tags: computer, planetdebian |
2014-12-04 22:43:48 +0100
GDAC 2014/4

I'm reading planet debian since many years, & I still enjoy it. I like the mixture of personal thoughts/stories & insightful technical tips. – today's recommendation: Don't ask your questions in private. very much agreed.


this posting is part of GDAC (gregoa's debian advent calendar), a project to show the bright side of debian & why it's fun for me to contribute.

permalink | tags: computer, planetdebian |
2014-12-03 19:03:48 +0100
GDAC 2014/3

as russ wrote some weeks ago in an excellent mail to debian-vote, upstreams are the raison d'être for linux distributions. my experience in collaborating with upstream authors is mostly very positive, the most recent example from today being #728345. Рthanks to all upstream authors for their passion in writing software & sharing it. & for caring about it later as well!


this posting is part of GDAC (gregoa's debian advent calendar), a project to show the bright side of debian & why it's fun for me to contribute.

permalink | tags: computer, planetdebian |
2014-12-02 17:51:14 +0100
GDAC 2014/2

after the GR is before the GR. the next one is about limiting the term of TC members. & it's a pleasure for me to watch how the proponents of different variants & other interested people work together most constructively in order to prepare the best possible ballot for the voters. – hat tip to everyone involved!


this posting is part of GDAC (gregoa's debian advent calendar), a project to show the bright side of debian & why it's fun for me to contribute.

permalink | tags: computer, planetdebian |
2014-12-01 23:01:38 +0100
GDAC 2014/1

this morning I received no less than two private "thank you" mails from fellow debian contributors. – thanks guys, this made a good start into the week!


this posting is part of GDAC (gregoa's debian advent calendar), a project to show the bright side of debian & why it's fun for me to contribute.

permalink | tags: computer, planetdebian | 3 comments |

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