Search Results: "Petr Rockai"

23 April 2009

Petr Rockai: darcs sprint 2009-04

As you might know, as part of the Haskell Hackathon 5 in Utrecht, the second darcs hacking sprint took place. Thanks to generous donations to the Darcs project, I have been able to attend. I took the overnight train from Prague on Thursday evening interestingly, we managed to accumulate about 90 minute delay in Germany, but by skipping some detours (throwing passangers out at more convenient ones) we managed to get to Utrecht on time. (Wow.) After a while of confusion, we managed to get our strippencards and find the right bus and get to the UU campus (at that time, we have already met with Thorkil, whose train was combined with mine in the middle of the night somewhere in Germany). The first thing there was to get our name tags and a round of introductions followed I was fairly surprising by (large) number of darcs hackers among the general Haskell population present at the Hackathon. Overall during the sprint, various topics have been discussed ranging from theory issues to actual implementation bits in current darcs. Some roadmapping has taken place. It was great to see all those darcs people together. More interestingly, it sort of convinced me that actually something is going on with darcs. Although most people seem to be pretty short on time, at least I got the impression that people have actual intent to keep advancing darcs, in one form or other. Also, there s been some preliminary plotting on what is the life expectancy of darcs 2, roughly. My current plan is to use darcs 2 as an implementation vehicle, because people use it in real life, for carrying out the actual work on hashed-storage. That way, we should be able to de-couple low-level repository and file access code from darcs itself, also meaning it should be reasonably easy to plug it into camp later (or maybe it turns out we instead want to remodel darcs so that we can plug camp-core in time should tell). We have done some bits of work on darcsit (gitit) migration of, although it hasn t been so much of a smooth sailing. I have even tried to set up gitit on one of my machines, but cabal-installed happstack went eventually crashing and burning instead of doing anything useful. I m stuck on that front, hoping that Eric and Gwern can get running within reasonable resource usage. I have thrown a chat with various people about hashed storage and I have explained various problems of the current darcs hashed repositories and how hashed storage addresses those. Also, I have talked with Benedikt about his filecache and we entertained some initial thoughts on how those two play together. We have also spent a while at a whiteboard with Eric discussing what needs to be fixed in sources handling: the file that lives under _darcs/prefs/sources and that keeps track of related branches of a given repository. The catch is, that when inappropriate entries get into that file, bad things can happen: darcs repeatedly waiting for a nonexistent remote machine to answer, or triggering automount a few thousand times by probing just the wrong directory. These need to be remedied and we came up with a reasonable action plan. Hope to have this in 2.3, as it should be moderately hard to fix and it has potential to sweep a fair amount of silly and obscure performance bugs. All in all, it seems to me that the important part of the sprint this time was talking to people and thinking about things. Still, I did manage to get some hashed-storage coding done (but mostly cleaning up and documenting work) during the sprint. I expect the fruit of the sprint discussions to take shape in form of code improvements in following months.

10 April 2009

Obey Arthur Liu: Google Summer of Code 2009: Debian s Shortlist

Copy of Hi folks, We have been pretty busy these past few weeks with the whole Google Summer of Code 2009 student application process.
I can say that we have this year a very good set of proposals and I d like to thank all the students and mentors for this. I am going to present to you our shortlist of projects that we would like to be funded and believe we can reasonably manage to get funded. As always, remember that the number of slots is not final yet at this point so we can t promise anything. The first preliminary slot count given today was *10* (same as last year) and we hope to get *2* more (as we did last year). This shortlist is alphabetically ordered because we don t want to reveal the current internal rankings. I am inviting you to debate what you think is cool, what is useful, what is important to Debian, maybe give us pointers to resources or people that could be helpful for the projects. We will try to alter our current rankings to reflect the zeitgeist in Debian, while taking into account the personal information that we have about each student involved. The deadline for any modification is on the 15th, so get everything in by the 14th. The final selected projects will be announced by Google April 20th, ~12 noon PDT / 19:00 UTC. We ll have another announcement then. Three proposals need or may need a mentor, I indicated it. For more information about the projects or mentoring and how to talk to us directly, scroll down past the list. Debian s Shortlist : - Aptitude Package Management History Tracking
- Automatic Debug Packages Creation and Handling
- Debbugs Web UI: Amancay Strikes Back
- Control Files Parsing/Editing Library/Qt4-Debconf Qt4-Perl bindings
- Debian-Installer Support for GNU/kFreeBSD
- KDE/Qt4 Adept 3.0 Package Manager
- Large Scientific Dataset Package Management
- MIPS N32 ABI Port
- MTD Embedded Onboard flash Partitioning and Installation
- On-demand Cloud Computing with Amazon EC2 and Eucalyptus Integration
- Port back update-manager to Debian and all Derivatives
- Debian Autobuilding Infrastructure Rewrite And the details: Aptitude Package Management History Tracking Student: Cristian Mauricio Porras Duarte, Mentor: Daniel Burrows Aptitude currently does not track actions that the user has performed beyond a single session of the program. One of the most frequent requests from users is to find out when they made a change to a package, or why a package was changed; we want to store this information and expose it in the UI in convenient locations. As a side effect, this might also provide some ability to revert past changes. Automatic Debug Packages Creation and Handling Student: Emilio Pozuelo Monfort, Mentor: Marc Brockschmidt This proposal aims at providing debug binary packages for the packages in the Debian archive in an automatic manner, moving them away from the official Debian archive to an special one. This has the benefits of providing thousands of debug packages without any work needed from the developers, for all the architectures, without bloating
the archive. Debbugs Web UI: Amancay Strikes Back Student: Diego Escalante Urrelo, Mentor: Margarita Manterola The Amancay project aims to be a new read/write web frontend to Debian s BTS; allowing DDs and contributors to easily interact with bugs via an intuitive yet powerful interface, enabling new workflows and creating new contribution opportunities like triaging while upholding reporting quality. Control Files Parsing/Editing Library/Qt4-Debconf Qt4-Perl bindings Student: Jonathan Yu, Mentor: (probably) Dominique Dumont see below This project proposes a common library for parsing and manipulating Debian Control files, including control, copyright and changelog. Main ideas include validating and parsing of these files, with both Strict and Quirks modes for the parser. The second idea is a new frontend for Debconf using Qt4 (for which Perl bindings will be written). Debian-Installer Support for GNU/kFreeBSD Student: Luca Favatella, Mentor: Aurelien Jarno GNU/kFreeBSD is currently using a hacked version of the FreeBSD installer combined with crosshurd as its own installer. While this works more or less correctly for standard installations (read: the exact same installation as in the documentation), it does not allow any changes in the installation process except the hard disk partitioning. This project is about porting debian-installer on GNU/kFreeBSD, and to a bigger extent, make debian-installer less Linux dependant. KDE/Qt4 Adept 3.0 Package Manager Student: Mateusz Marek, Mentor: NEEDS MENTOR, see below. Finish Adept 3.0, a fully integrated package manager for Qt4/KDE4. Adept is currently the only viable path to a Debian native package manager on KDE that would support modern features such as tags, indexed search or good conflict resolving. With Aptitude-gtk still in development and only available for GTK+ and (K)PackageKit having fundamental problems, Debian needs this project to stay in control of its package management on KDE after much neglect in the recent years. Large Scientific Dataset Package Management Student: Roy Flemming Hvaara, Mentor: Charles Plessy Large public datasets, like databases for bioinformatics are typically too big and too volatile to fit the traditional source/binary packaging scheme of Debian. There are some programs that are distributed in Debian, like blast and emboss, that can index specialised databases, but Debian lacks a tool to install or update the datasets they need and keep their indexing in sync. MIPS N32 ABI Port Student: Sha Liu, Mentor: Anthony Fok This project first focuses on creating a new MIPS N32 ABI port for Debian. Different from O32 and N64, N32 is an address model which has most 64-bit capabilities but using 32-bit data structures to save space and process time. A second focus will be given on making such a mipsn32el arch fully optimized for the Loongson 2F CPU which gains more and more popularity in subnotebooks/netbooks in many countries. MTD Embedded Onboard flash Partitioning and Installation Student: Per Andersson, Mentor: Wookey Many embedded devices have MTD onboard flash as persistent storage like the Kurobox Pro NAS, the Neo Freerunner, the Sheeva Plug or the OLPC. With MTD flash being so popular and with increases in capacity, support for MTD partition/installation would make Debian even more interesting to a wide range of of devices, making it one step closer to being universal. On-demand Cloud Computing with Amazon EC2 and Eucalyptus Integration Student: David Wendt Jr, Mentor: (probably) Steffen Moeller see below In many academic fields, as well as commercial industries, people use clusters to distribute tasks among multiple machines. Many times this is done by packaging a whole operating system disk image, uploading it onto the cluster, and having the cluster run it in a VM. This project intends to make it easier for Debian to distribute prepared disk images templates like they distribute CD images now, for the users to recreate or customise these templates with Debian packages and for administrators to host such clusters with Debian. Port back update-manager to Debian and all Derivatives Student: Stephan Peijnik, Mentor: Michael Vogt The project would involve taking the distribution-(Ubuntu-)specific update-manager code, analyzing it, and creating a package with just its core functionality, decoupling the distribution-specific parts and thus making the core code extensible by distribution-specific add-ons. This in turn would remove the need of porting update-manager to Debian with every upstream release. An additional optional goal would be replacing the synaptics-backend with a python-apt based one. Debian Autobuilding Infrastructure Rewrite Student: Philipp Kern, Mentor: Luk Claes Rewrite the software that currently runs the Debian autobuilding infrastructure in a way that makes it more maintainable and robust. It will use Python as its programming language and PostgreSQL for the database backend. By harmonizing buildds, many build failures can be prevented and wasteful workload on buildd volunteers can be reduced. On mentoring: Petr Rockai, the original developer of Adept has offered help to anyone willing to adopt Adept. Sune Vuorela has offered help for any Qt4 and KDE related issues. *We really need a mentor here*. The student is quite competent but Google dictates that we provide a mentor to handle student management. Dominique Dumont, although not DD, has signaled interest in mentoring this, although it hasn t been confirmed yet. Sune Vuorela has offered to help co-mentor for the Qt4-Debconf and Qt4-Perl bindings part. Steffen Moeller has signaled interest in mentoring this, although it hasn t been formally confirmed yet. Charles Plessy of the Debian Med team will provide help for use cases related issues. Eric Hammond, developer of the original vmbuilder image creation tool and maintainer of a set of Debian and Ubuntu images will provide help for Amazon EC2 and image creation issues. Chris Grzegorczyk from the Eucalyptus team will provide help for Eucalyptus and Eucalyptus/Debian integration issues. Contacting us: Considering the tight schedule, most stuff happens live on IRC: #debian-soc on You can also consult our wiki page for some additional information:
<> We have a mailing-list at:
<> Keep this discussion on while cc-ing This thread is for debian-devel primarily.

8 April 2009

Obey Arthur Liu: Google Summer of Code at Debian: Update, need mentors!

A quick update before the big one about the 2009 Google Summer of Code. I believe we had a great recruitment drive this year and we have a very good set of proposals to work with. We d like to thank everyone involved for their help. We re now ranking out student applications. I promised elsewhere that I ll send out our shortlist of projects once Google sends us our preliminary slot allocation today but I misread the thread on the -mentors list and that count will only happen on Thursday, so we ll have to wait a bit more. That shortlist would only include projects, but not individual students. The idea is to give a heads up to everyone before committing to a group of projects and students. It is very important to inform the community as it increases visibility of the students work, giving them more help and support (and also avoids duplicating existing not yet publicized work!). As far as mentors go, we should have all of our approximately 14 planned projects covered, except for 2. I m posting them here in case you could mentor or help find mentors for those projects. (The wiki pages are not really up to date, so please come on IRC and ask clarifications, see below) Finish Petr Rockai s Adept 3.0 and bring a Qt4 Package Manager to Debian, with a different interface paradigm than Aptitude-gtk.
Petr said he would provide help with the existing codebase but can t mentor. Sune Vuorela from Debian KDE is ready to help with Qt4 related issues. Build Debian tools to create Debian images for Amazon EC2 and the free Eucalyptus implementation. Packaging of the Eucalyptus hosting framework is also possible.
For this project, we already have on board to help: Charles Plessy from Debian Med, Eric Hammond, developer of the existing vmbuilder Ubuntu tool for EC2 and Chris Grzegorczyk and Rich Wolski, from the Eucalyptus team. Plenty of people to get help from. Mentoring is a great experience! See this for what it entails. If we still can t find a mentor by the end of the week, I ll blast an announcement over at debian-devel@l.d.o along with the project shortlist. In the meantime, don t forget to idle on #debian-soc on

16 January 2009

Petr Rockai: darcs 2.2.0

I am happy to announce general availability of darcs 2.2.0. Getting the release For this release, we have decided to provide two flavours, depending on the build system used:
  1. The source tarball,, which can be built using the traditional autoconf-based system. This is the fully supported version. After downloading and unpacking, you can issue:
    $ ./configure
    $ make
    and possibly
    # make install
    More detailed instructions inside the tarball (file README). Please note that we had at least one report of build failure, with quickcheck-related message. The currently best workaround, if this happens to you, is to use the cabal version of the package instead, see below.
  2. Cabalised source. You can either download a tarball from and build manually (see the build instructions in README inside the tarball), or, alternatively, you can use cabal-install to obtain a copy:
    $ cabal update
    $ cabal install darcs
    This will give you a darcs binary in ~/.cabal/bin you should probably add that to your PATH.
In addition to source tarballs, we expect binary packages for various UNIX platforms will be available in due time. For Windows users, Salvatore Insalaco has prepared a binary build, available from You just need to unpack the directory somewhere and add it to your path (if you like). Moreover, an experimental TortoiseDarcs release for darcs 2 has been made available by Kari Hoijarvi and is looking for home. It can be found at (unfortunately, at the time of this writing, the site seemed unreachable If you can help with hosting, please mail Kari.) What s New The summary of changes since version 2.1.2 (released last November) follows: And a summary of issues that have been fixed in darcs since version 2.1.2 (compiled by Thorkil Naur): 525 amend-record => darcs patches show duplicate additions
971 darcs check fails (case sensitivity on filenames)
1006 darcs check and repair do not look for adds
1043 pull => mergeAfterConflicting failed in geteff (2.0.2+)
1101 darcs send cc recipient not included in success message
1117 Whatsnew should warn on non-recorded files
1144 Add darcs send in-reply-to or header In-Reply-To: x@y.z
1165 get should print last gotten tag
1196 Asking for changes in /. of directory that doesn t exist gives changes in entire repo
1198 Reproducible mergeConflictingNons failed in geteff with ix
1199 Backup files darcs added after external merge
1223 sporadic test failure (2.1.1rc2+472)
1238 wish: darcs help setpref should list all prefs
1247 make TAGS is broken
1249 2.1.2 (+ 342 patches) local drive detection on Windows error
1272 amend-record not the same as unrecord + record
1273 renameFile: does not exist (No such file or directory)
1223 sporadic test failure (2.1.1rc2+472) I would like to thank all contributors for making this release possible. Future The next release will be 2.2.1, fixing low-risk issues found in 2.2.0, or those that have been excluded for 2.2.0 due to freeze. This release will appear in two or three weeks time, depending on circumstances. The next major release will be 2.3, due in June or July this year. The focus of this release will be new features and further work on performance. Moreover, we expect that it will use Cabal as its default build system and will make first steps towards sustainable libdarcs API.

13 January 2009

Petr Rockai: darcs 2.2.0rc1

(This post is somewhat late, the final release is in two days. However, we still need testing and reports of possible issues.) I am pleased to announce that darcs 2.2 is coming along nicely. I would like to ask everyone to give a ride to darcs 2.2, release candidate 1. This release again comes in two flavours:
  1. The source tarball,, which can be built using the traditional autoconf-based buildsystem. This is the fully supported version. After downloading and unpacking, you can issue:
    $ ./configure
    $ make
    $ ./darcs --version
    # make install
    More detailed instructions inside the tarball (file README).
  2. Cabalised source. You can either download a tarball from and build manually (see the build instructions in README inside the tarball), or, alternatively, you can use cabal-install to obtain a copy (the release candidate is now available on hackage):
    $ cabal update  
    $ cabal install darcs
    This should give you a darcs binary in ~/.cabal/bin you should probably add that to your PATH.
This is a preliminary changelog since version 2.1.2 (released last November): Preliminary list of issues that have been fixed in darcs since version 2.1.2: 1223 sporadic test failure (2.1.1rc2+472)
525 amend-record => darcs patches show duplicate additions
1247 make TAGS is broken
1273 renameFile: does not exist (No such file or directory)
1165 get should print last gotten tag
1249 2.1.2 (+ 342 patches) local drive detection on Windows error
1238 wish: darcs help setpref should list all prefs
1199 Backup files darcs added after external merge
1043 pull => mergeAfterConflicting failed in geteff (2.0.2+)
1117 Whatsnew should warn on non-recorded files
1101 darcs send cc recipient not included in success message Thanks to Thorkil Naur for compiling this list. I would like to thank all contributors developers, testers, bystanders for helping darcs get along further. It s been hard times recently for darcs, as many of you probably know. Nevertheless, we are regaining confidence in future darcs development. No way are we going to leave darcs fall by the road. I am sure that this one time, I speak for everyone in our developer and user community.

17 December 2008

Petr Rockai: farewell, adept

I am quite sad to announce that I am discontinuing Adept development for good. Since Kubuntu will be changing its default manager to KPackageKit (I wish everyone involved good luck), I have no further motivation to work on Adept at all. I have mostly done the 3.0 overhaul since Jonathan Riddell is my friend, and I like to make my friends happy. However, since this is no longer a factor, and my time is likely better invested elsewhere, I am giving up altogether. Of course, if anyone steps up for maintainership, I will happily delegate Adept to them. It is in a relatively good shape these days, I hope. I will keep the source (darcs) repositories around as long as reasonably possible. If you are interested in taking over, even despite the Adept userbase declining sharply in near future, please drop me a mail. With Adept goes also libept, a more general-purpose library for working with APT. I will be around when people need me to fix it, but won t add anything on my own. I am not even sure what is Enrico s status on libept, but probably just consider libept as good as orphaned, too. On a more personal note, this closes a long (very long) chapter in my free software life. I d like to thank everyone involved with it, there have been many of you. Moreover, this apparently cuts the few remaining ties I had to KDE development community I will miss you. well, maybe one of those days UPDATE: No, this does not mean I am no longer friends with Jonathan. I don t know why, but already two people managed to read it that way. To put it in hopefully less ambiguous words: The fact that Jonathan is my friend is no longer a factor just because he does not need Adept anymore. Hope that helps.

16 October 2008

Petr Rockai: adept 3.0 beta 4

I have released fourth beta of Adept today. For the unaware, Adept is an APT front-end for KDE: it lets you install, remove, upgrade software and such your Debian and Kubuntu boxes (and maybe on some other Debian derivatives, too). Changes since Beta 2 Since I have done beta 3 somewhat in a hurry, I have regressed the installer component badly — to point of complete unusability. However un-sound software engineering practice, the deep freeze for Kubuntu Intrepid hits today, so I have released beta 4 in rapid succession. Other than the regression fix, I have mostly reworked the paging implementation in the installer — however, the report of complete installer rewrite (hi Jonathan) is somewhat exaggerated. Sadly, the KPageWidget we have been using before turns out to be completely unsuitable for the job, so a quick rewrite probably fixed more issues than it caused (and this seems to be confirmed by early testing feedback). Moreover, this beta got a bunch of improvements to the search, including package name hits, a set of cosmetic improvements (button icons, nicer sidebar, etc.) and a button to run software-properties-kde from the Sources tab (works on Intrepid, but sadly breaks on Debian for now… will fix later. Need time, need sleep.) Where to get I have prepared binary packages. These should be now part of Debian Sid (unstable) and also of Kubuntu Intrepid. You should be able to get the new version from your distribution:
apt-get install adept
Again, as with beta 2, there is no Hardy backport, since my time is tight. If anyone is willing to do a backport please drop me a note: I will gladly publish installation instructions. Heroes of Beta 4 Jobs for Beta 5, RC and Final Mostly just testing and reporting bugs. I currently plan a beta 5 with a few fixes that have started accumulating since beta 4 already (mostly one-liner fixes with minimal risk of regressions). After that, an RC is in order and a final release (finally…). Notifier is not included. Kubuntu has an independent sort of notifier now, I believe. Maybe I’ll find time to reconcile it in 3.1 or so. Moreover, I assume that a beta 4 or a very minorly patched beta 4 will become part of Kubuntu Intrepid — there should be no major roadblocks left, so I hope everything will bode well for Intrepid. I assume that whatever becomes 3.0 final will be eventually included in Intrepid updates. And then, plans should be set forth for 3.1… Known issues The about dialog still says beta 2. Bummer. Please try to note in your reports that this is actually a beta 4 that you are using. I’ll make sure beta 5 fixes that — but it might be another week till then, or so. The Intrepid version should have that fixed, thanks to Jonathan Thomas (again).

9 September 2008

Petr Rockai: adept 3.0 beta 2

I have released second beta of Adept a few hours ago. For the unaware, Adept is an APT front-end for KDE: it lets you install, remove, upgrade software and such your Debian and Kubuntu boxes (and maybe on some other Debian derivatives, too). Changes since Alpha 6 Now, alpha 6 has been the last alpha release, therefore there are no more new features in beta 2. Most of the issues should have been resolved. I have also added a menubar, resolving a potential usability problem (and making the about box accessible, too!). There will be another beta that should fix the few remaining known issues. Please report any issues you have encountered to me (either mail, irc or Where to get I have prepared binary packages. These should be now part of Debian Sid (unstable) and also of Kubuntu Intrepid. You should be able to get the new version from your distribution:
apt-get install adept
There is no Hardy backport, since my time is tight. If anyone is willing to do a backport (you can use the stuff that is in my PPA; however, some things need updating), please drop me a note: I will gladly publish installation instructions. Heroes of Beta 2 There has been a (silent) beta 1 a while back, which introduced a couple of regressions against alpha 6 (but fixed bugs, too!). Jobs for Beta 2 Sorting through Launchpad for bugs that have been fixed is still needed, as far as I know. JontheEchidna has been working on this (and maybe some others have? Drop me a note if you worked on this and claim your fair share of fame… Sorry that I don’t keep track of that, but you know the story… too much stuff to do in too little time, all the time.) Notifier is not included. Kubuntu has an independent sort of notifier now, I believe. Maybe I’ll find time to reconcile it in 3.1 or so.

5 August 2008

Petr Rockai: adept 3.0 alpha 6

Hi, it’s that time again: new alpha version of Adept hits the block. For the unaware, Adept is an APT front-end for KDE. You can do all the cool stuff with it that the other kids can’t. Join the fun! New features since Alpha 5 (the list is a little less staggering than the last time, sorry about that, but it’s only been a week) Where to get I have again prepared binary packages, this time even more of them (a Hardy backport is included). Traditionally, in Debian, you can install alpha 6 from experimental:
apt-get install -t experimental adept
The sources.list goes:
deb experimental main
If you are on Kubuntu Intrepid, the line is:
deb intrepid main
and finally, on Kubuntu Hardy, the lines are (BUT: read below!)
deb hardy main
deb hardy main
Big fat warning: Due to somewhat unexpected difficulties, Adept requires newer APT than available in Hardy. This means, adding the above sources.list lines will upgrade your apt to a version from Intrepid, that’s also completely untested on anything resembling a Hardy installation. Be wary. Moreover, installing Adept means means KDE 4.1 for Hardy users. (This does not apply to Intrepid users, they are already on the cutting edge and no extra dangers lie this way.) (For all Kubuntu users, there are more instructions to be found on Heroes of Alpha 6 I hereby nominate the “Heroes of Alpha 6”, for their deeds that helped Adept move forward: (And a totally flirtless wink towards Blauzahl, who somehow inspired me to actually do some bugzilla sorting…) And now, it’s easy to join the ranks of these heroes — just test the new alpha version and find bugs. Immortality won’t escape your grasp. Also, please don’t forget to read the next section. Jobs for Alpha 6 Sorting through Launchpad for bugs that have been fixed in alpha 6 (compared to 2.1) would be really awesome. It is a big list and many of them are likely to need testing. (I can take care of that for the KDE bugzilla, but launchpad is a task just too daunting for me and my time possibilities, so help would be very much appreciated). Notifier is still not included. The components to test are (if you have sudo, kdesu for the rest):
sudo adept
sudo adept installer
sudo adept updater
Please give a go to all of them, report rough edges, crashes and all that, either through IRC (mornfall at freenode, oftc) or mail me-at-mornfall-dot-net or use KDE Bugzilla. Known Issues

1 August 2008

Petr Rockai: adept 3.0 alpha 5

Short introduction: Adept is an APT frontend for KDE. You can use it to search for packages, install, uninstall, upgrade, all the usual things. It’s gone through a number of changes since 2.1, which has been the default package manager on Kubuntu for some time now. What’s new since 2.1 Where to get Since compilation is still not that trivial (well, it’s 3 packages to compile and install, really, and you have to get them with darcs), I have prepared binary packages for the two main “target distributions”. In Debian, you can install alpha 5 from experimental:
apt-get install -t experimental adept
The sources.list line is:
deb experimental main
If you are on Kubuntu Intrepid, the line is
deb intrepid main
(more instructions on What (and how) to test All of the previous components (save for notifier, which is not included at all yet) have been merged into a single binary, that is adept. I have missed desktop files in this alpha (it might be a little on purpose too, as I’d like people to run the program from terminal to be able to check the debug output and possibly send it along with problem reports). If you have sudo (Kubuntu-ers do, the rest can use kdesu or similar):
sudo adept
sudo adept installer
sudo adept updater
are the magic commands. Please give a go to all of them, report rough edges, crashes and all that, either through irc (mornfall at freenode, oftc) or mail me-at-mornfall-dot-net or use KDE Bugzilla to report bugs. Missing features I have one outstanding issue on “must have for 3.0”, that being filtering packages according to their state. There is also no actual way to browse through the 19k+ packages, but might have to give for 3.0. A “browsing” mode is likely for 3.1, although still could make it for 3.0 if I get my act together on that one. We’ll see how alpha testing goes, maybe I’ll have hands full of bugs to fix and won’t get anywhere on features… Known Issues Reward For the brave, fearless testers, I unfortunately cannot promise anything else than fuzzy feeling for doing a good thing… I won’t be at aKademy nor Debconf this year, so I can’t even promise beers. Maybe next time. ; - )

12 July 2008

Petr Rockai: fast forward

Lucy left for England yesterday (OK, now it’s two days ago — last Friday). That means that I have unusual amount of free time at my hands, and yet even more things that could be done with it. But I suppose it’s time to update this little blog. It’s probably pointless to enumerate what happened, or what changed. Everything is fine and smooth over here — the wrinkles get worked out over time (with Lucy, without Lucy). Hobbies still take time and I still haven’t given up. My latest determination is to get myself a bassoon for next Christmas. (Now, that will be a year since we got Lucy a Marigaux 901, used, in great condition for a great price, lo and behold, on Austrian ebay. World is so weird sometimes…) And in the land of [LVM], I have finally started the process to merge code to improve LVM’s behaviour in presence of failed storage hardware (physical volumes gone missing). In the land of Adept, well… first things first. FOSSCamp I have visited Prague for the latest Ubuntu- (well, Canonical-) organised event, the FOSSCamp. I have met Johnatan (KUbuntu), Seli (KWin), Lidya (Amarok), Robert (Konsole), Jos (Strigi) and Inge (KOffice). See also Johnatan’s Blog (including a real blurry picture). So back to Adept — I had some hacking time over there in Prague, and I have almost brought Installer and Updater back to life for Adept 3. I unfortunately didn’t have as much time for it since then — but my current free time situation does open up some possibilities. First and foremost, I should really make a text interface to the underlying libraries for myself, maybe with fancy colourful UI, hopefully one that is comfortably close enough to apt-get and still offers advantages. Hmmmm… Intermezzo 1 Now zoom out and zoom in somewhere else, enough of coding matters. Our research group at the University had a (tool) paper accepted for ATVA 2008, meaning that I am not unlikely to visit Seoul, South Korea in October. Another piece of distant world to visit. FOSDEM Now, that reminds me… Since the last time, I have also been in Belgium — to visit FOSDEM — meeting Alasdair (of LVM) and Bart and Pino of Krita and Okular, respectively… although unfortunately, I didn’t spend nearly enough time with Pino… At least we have spend a day walking around Ghent with Bart (and Lucy, who visited Belgium with me, also having friends of her own there). Moreover, I have spent a lot of mostly productive time with Alasdair, discussing LVM2. And Belgium is nice and pretty, although I didn’t really get around to taste any beer. Maybe next time. And Antwerps were nice, too. Photos? Someday. LinuxTag And after that, I have visited Berlin again, for LinuxTag as usual — plus the accompanying LVM discussions, with Milan, Kabi and Mikul (Blek) of the Czech part of the team, and Heinz, John and of course Alasdair for the rest of the world… Also as usual, we walked around, had dinners, discussed non-work stuff, etc… a good event all in all. At LinuxTag, I have briefly seen Lidya again, as well as Ossi (whom I nearly didn’t recognise…) and Aaron who (for a change) didn’t recognise me (but to be fair, I didn’t quite stop by to chat and he’s been busy…) and Sebas, cordial as ever (and always a pleasure to meet)… reminds me of Paris two years ago, too. Intermezzo 2 Less than a month ago, I have finished my first semester of master’s study — two or three more to go (I have completed bachelor’s the semester before). Yes, I am a bachelor of computer science, or something like that, anyway, now. Or so I hope. I did not attend the whatever ceremony and I don’t really have the diploma (or maybe I do, but gods know where it is…). A short note on Debian with best intentions I am now sponsoring Trent Buck’s ?darcs packages, contributing a little on the go (making me wish that alpha buildd would make a little more progress…). With Enrico, we have uploaded new versions of wibble and libept, both of which I think make both of us fairly happy. (Although we again managed to hit a way strange compiler issue (only manifested on arm… what have I done that the gods punish me so?), as documented in Debian bug 487406…) I have packaged dzen2 and taken over haskell-mode (I am losing track of my own packages again — I really need to set up reliable watch files so I don’t miss out too many releases… apparently neither has new upstream versions, so I can sleep peacefully for a little longer). Intermezzo 3 I am not going to DebConf nor Akademy this year. That makes me a little sad, but it’s all my own fault (and laziness). Next time folks, next time. I haven’t seen K vin in aeons and he probably removed me from his memory by now… No matter, I’ll try a little harder next year, promise (oh, how many have I made to date?). Finale Nothing grandiose, just best wishes to everyone, I have to land in bed now it seems, as I am ever so sleepy. (Just So Stories, anyone?) There I go.

22 December 2007

Petr Rockai: on blogging

The last time I have blogged, few people told me that it sounds somewhat patronizing or such (especially that it may sound so to people that do not know me). Well, I have to admit that it is hard to write in a decent tone — the intention and motivation behind the text is oftentimes hard to express. Certainly, better writing skills would probably help — or choosing easier topics. But that is how I am — and afterall, you never learn much when you only do things you already know how to do. So please, dear reader, take no offense in my blog… If you know me, you can probably see through my writing and understand what I mean. If you do not and still enjoy it, the better. And if you do not, please accept my apology — but in that case, it probably was not meant for you. Yes, I know the blog is aggregated in a few places, and I will probably have to do something about this — aggregate only subsets of the blog, appropriate for each of the aggregators. But pretty please, bear with me, I am lazy and it always took me ages to fix even trivial problems.

Petr Rockai: on sharing happiness

I just wanted to say, that it is great when someone writes you just because they have good news and want to share them with you. Last night that happened to me again — an old friend of mine, Jemima, IM’d me. So thank you Jemima for that, what I said, I really meant. And let me wish you (and your little one) all good again — it cannot hurt. (And this all made me think that I have again somewhat lost contact with some of the people that are very dear to me — yes, I mean you Bart, Alex, Kevin and also you, Maks, even if you probably do not think of me that way (or you do?) … whom have I forgotten this time? Maybe Enrico — you are far away as well, these days. I just hope all of you are doing well.) (Ah, and I also miss one further person, who I have known as Helielf and met her or IRCNet very long time ago — if you read this, thanks to some bizarre coincidence, please mail me, or something… I have lost all contacts to you and I miss you. Wondering if you even remember me — who knows what nick I have used at that time? I have noticed you used the name Haruka for a while, but have no idea if that is still true. But if we never meet again, it has been a beautiful mandala, thank you.)

16 November 2007

Petr Rockai: on self-reflection

On Self-Reflection I have a need to write some things down recently, I don’t really know why or so. I have acquired a few new (and great) friends recently, mostly here in Brno. Also, I have more motivation than ever to try hard to live a good life. It has always been a hard way to follow for me, to be all those things that I find great in other people. How they can handle situations smoothly, what they know and what they can do. And it is great to see such people, and yet it is hard to not envy them. But envy not, since it is a great evil. One never knows what the other people have to go through, and it is just plain unfair to envy them. But I am drifting away from the subject at hand. What I have noticed as well, that I have changed in subtle ways, patterns of thinking. Self-reflection is somewhat cautiously sneaking into my mind. Two independent events have reminded me of that today. Recently, I have been participating in online discussion more than I have used to, especially with people I do not know, and with which I often tend to disagree, and this is putting me in a new kind of situation. And to be honest, I am not really handling it all that well. What has made me think about this was Boudewijn Rempt’s comment on the dot. He handled the task at hand so much better than myself, even if it was his ego that was in the line, that has made me actually stop and think about it. And as I have written in that thread, I admire Boudewijn greatly for that calm reaction, of which I would be almost surely not capable. So here I am, trying to learn from that. My memory is indeed very short, but I also take this writing as a way to train that. The second event was that a friend of mine (I do not know him long, but I call him a friend nevertheless, although I know not whether I actually deserve that) has told us something to the effect that one should learn. Meaning that one should learn from own mistakes, and no, I no more see the empty phrase behind those words. There is something in that, and it is a very interesting experience. Going through situations you have encountered and realize where you have made mistakes and what you could have done better. Actually admit, that even though the outcome was fairly good, that you have made some silly things. It is indeed a very interesting experience, to admit a failure when you are not pressed to by any external means. Liberating, maybe. Same goes for things long forgotten. Where you have made mistakes, even though you have been always righteous and positively convinced about always doing the right things. You may be wondering whether I have been on crack all the time, but, well, that is not the case. I cannot tell how this came about, and yes, I have realized those mistakes and again forgotten them and so on and so forth. But hey, I think it may be better this time. If only a little…

14 November 2007

Petr Rockai: looking back

Looking Back The past year has very much changed my life. A long time ago (around the beginning of this year) I have written that I have met Lucy. That happened over a year ago. In fact, it is just few weeks since it was a year. Lucy wrote me a beautiful letter at that time, picturing some of the moments in our life. I am very grateful for that letter. I am also much happier ever since I met her. Of course, there were problems (and there are problems)… None the less, life is fairly easy, and I am staggering on the path to becoming a better person. Lucy is a great help in that respect. Many things have straightened out over that year. A few got a little more wrinkled, but often due to smiles and seldom due to frowns. I have also mostly fixed the long-standing issue of a place to sleep and live in Brno, having recently moved in. I now live near the school (~15 minute walk, maybe less when in a little hurry), more or less in the city centre, with great connectivity to most of the places I need to visit. The previous place is just too remote for me. The new one is also a better building, or so I think, not a concrete-and-iron from-a-single-template building so typical of the socialist era, but solid brick building with high ceilings and thick walls. And it gives a much homelier feeling too. And what am I doing lately? Well, day job and school (both study and TA and research) take a fair amount of time, the rest I divide among Lucy, friends, learning to play the recorder, reading, writing and the many other things I (try to) do. I have even started to practice embouchure and breathing with an oboe (double) reed (and also with Lucy’s instrument). The idea is that i have the intention to get a bassoon (which is a double-reed as well) and start to learn and practice. And I also hope, that the practice from oboe will give me a head start to that. Maybe even that I could play both. I know that I won’t ever become a very good player, but I want to at least try. And I want to have some fun with it, too (it is great to be able to play an instrument, however impractical the woodwinds are, e.g. compared to guitar, which is probably much more social… one day, I may learn that too, though; wink). I still believe that with enough determination, i could become a semi-decent amateur. Call me foolish if you like, that is how I am. I have also considered blogging technicalities, and I probably will, if i find the time for that. It may also help me sorting things out. Probably need to consult the various people I work with, what they think about that, though.

22 July 2007

Petr Rockai: toolbox upgrades

In the past something-over-half-a-year (wow, time flies like crazy), i have shuffled my (virtual) toolbox fairly significantly. In the desktop department, I no longer use the full KDE desktop, only a few applications from KDE 3 (that is mostly konqueror, plus some of kdeedu). I still use amarok, although by now mostly just to manage my iPod, since it is outright laptop-hostile. Most of the time, it’s better (and much more power-efficient) to use iPod hooked into usb for power, at least as long as the music is there. For the rest, i now use the commandline players to play single albums (just music123 for most formats). For the window manager, i have opted for xmonad, after briefly using ion3 and a faint attempt at wmii (which didn’t quite work for me). Xmonad, however, works great and its simplicity is quite amazing. Despite its absolute minimalism, it is, after some getting used to, much more usable than the rest of WMs i have used. For terminal, i use urxvt, which is lighter and apparently also faster than konsole (i may reconsider that choice when KDE 4 konsole comes out). With xmonad, i don’t really need tabs anymore, i’m not sure why, but it may be related to more general change in my workflow. In the version control department, i am now using darcs for all the projects where i decide. I no longer use svk, since i no longer really know how to. Not working with it for a while, i lost the ability to use it efficiently (which possibly hints at the fact it is somewhat too complex). On the other hand, i am much happier with darcs, also since it is much more forgiving about mistakes and generally very deterministic. It requires some insight to be used efficiently i suppose, but this is mostly due to differences with more traditional systems (i believe). Today, i have finally moved my ikiwiki to darcs, which was the last thing using subversion/svk (well, i have only been able to use it through ssh and local svn for some months now, so i generally didn’t use it at all). This hopefully means that i will be able to add more content to this page and blog as well, since it is less effort now. I am still using emacs (GNU emacs 22, xemacs didn’t quite work for me when i have tried it — i have a somewhat nontrivial setup, too). I intend to try out vimpulse at some point, in addition to viper, to supersede my emacs-lisp hacks for visual line selection. I have also started working on replacing my internet-facing services, since they are running in an “emergency” (ie, not really working well) mode, after the xen system broke down completely (it was mostly un-upgradable due to fragility of xen packages and of the whole xen system — and since the setup relied on working xen for even basic internet connectivity, upgrades were extremely painful). I am migrating to a solution based on user-mode-linux, and moving all the services to a less power-hungry and less noisy machine (an oldish pentium 3 box). When this is complete, i should be able to read my private mail sanely again, since currently the spam filters don’t work and my inbox is mostly trash. This is unrelated to the xen breakdown, my mail used to be handled by a machine at a company i used to do admin work for. However, they removed my accounts (and therefore access to my mail) without a line of prior notice. I still have control over my domain at least (although there will be a problem when it gets to expire, i will have to arrange a transfer with the said company, i suppose). Morale of the story: never do that. (Yeah, and in the spirit of the post, i am still using mutt for reading mail).

24 January 2007

Petr Rockai: welcome

6.6.2004: Hello! I just started this little blog. There was this discussion on #kde-devel on devel's blogs (well, their lack) and something like planet debian or planet gnome. Clee went ahead and set up (man, this guy is fast). So it came to pass that i asked about some decent blog software; clee suggested pyblosxom, so i just installed it and it works (yay, don't you love Debian?). Now i'm setting it up to match my taste and all :).

22 January 2007

Petr Rockai: how things are

(17.1.2007) I haven't written a blog in aeons. I have been busy with life, as many of you know. For one, i have a girlfriend (her name is Lucy)... And, no matter what i have thought not so long ago, things are better than ever before. She's probably all that i have been looking for. We spend most of the weekends together (she lives and studies in western Slovakia, while i'm in the west-neighbouring Czech Republic (Moravia) -- somewhat surprizingly, this doesn't seem to be a problem so far). Anyway, that's probably boring for those of you that aren't me (ha), so to move on to other things. Work and school is busy these days (exam tomorrow (aaagh)), so i don't have much more free time than that i spend with Lucy. Despite that, i have done some cleaning-up on libept and adept codebases after importing them (with tailor) into darcs. Will blog about that separately i suppose, when i have more time and more stuff to report on. The exam tomorrow is on graph algorithms, and i should be actually studying instead of writing this, but i never change, do i? (19.1.2007) So the results of the exams will be available following monday. No idea whether i'm going to pass or not though. Anyway, i am sitting in a train to Slovakia, alone in a compartment, the window open wide, wind in hair. Sun is obscured by clouds at times, air is somewhat colder than it used to be. Maybe winter will finally arrive? Another exam is monday (same day as i get the results from yesterday's one)... Algorithms for NP hard problems. I'm still somewhat undermotivated to learn, and apart from that i should be hacking dmeventd (work stuff), working on my bachelor's thesis, learning to play a (soprano) recorder, learning russian and probably a ton of other things. Ah and adept, libept and friends need some attention too. I suppose i am a lost existence, given my total laziness. The train is speeding towards Breclav, last (and the only one apart from Brno on my route) station in Czech Republic. As usual, i intended to blog a ton of things, but can't recall of one them... That's life, i will hopefully get to blog a bit more again.

8 October 2006

Petr Rockai: power management on a linux laptop

I have been using powersave until recently, but I have gone from unhappy to fed up. I also have acpi-support and laptop-mode-tools and hell knows how they all interact. To add insult to the injury, powersave loves to crash or get stuck at times and dbus screws up at times too, which in turn screws powersave. Oh dear. So i have ditched powersave, left laptop-mode-tools and acpi-support around. And i wrote a perl script, i have called it "pm" to handle things i used powersave for. Primarily dpm (device power management) in linux, suspend to ram/disk, battery monitoring and friends. Right now it's ~250 LOC with comments, and more importantly, i know how it works. And it can do things powersave can't. So i am basically happy. It can suspend and resume pci devices (using id<->function mapping) and report their status. It has a very slim suspend wrapper, that just locks screen, syncs drives, remembers power states of pci devices and asks kernel to suspend. After resuming, it restores power states, does chvt voodoo to wake up my intel graphics and sets drive spindown timeout (something, somewhere screws this one up). I also added a "summary" output, that i run using watch on one of terminals in my screen session, that reports cpu frequency and scaling policy, system temperature, battery state (including charge/discharge rate in watts and remaining capacity in mAh), harddrive state (when spinning, also temperature and number of spinups in the drive's lifetime... if you know how to get those two without spinning up the drive, tell me). Then power states of devices (usb, ethernet, wlan, sound, modem, pcmcia, smartcard controller and isa bridge). And as a cherry on top, a list of processes and pids that have recently caused block reads from the drive (needs vm/block_dump enabled in kernel), so you can find out what caused drive spinup. That is about it, now for the catch. It works for me, it probably won't for you, at least not out of the box, unless you have same laptop as me. The pci ids of devices are hardcoded (although not hard to change near the top of the script), so is the screen lock function and probably a bunch of other things. It shouldn't be hard to make a similar script for your system using mine as a starting point though. Another thing that is missing is a nice reporter for KDE to be put on the panel or somesuch. Also, since the script is simplistic in its design, it assumes lots of things about both kernel (tested on 2.6.16 stock debian) and userspace utilities (acpi, hdparm, smartctl) and (oh, coarse-grained evilness), that you have sudo (needed for hdparm at least). Another assumption is that you have single battery and single cpu. But for all the limitations, it goes that if you are going to use a script like that, you probably know enough to extend it to multi-battery and/or multi-core situations. The script definitely needs a hacker-nature :-). So for the brave, the script is to be found on the pm page.

26 September 2006

Petr Rockai: on friendship

I have written that friends were those who kept me from going under. And that was so. And that experience makes me biased. But i believe in friendship and i believe that a man cannot stand alone. One needs someone to lean on, when times are tough. And tough times always come, sooner or later. When times are good, we tend to forget about it. I so have. But now i am reminded. And i am desperately trying not to forget. And i have learned something. Friends do not go away. They do not forget. I have mostly forgotten them for a year. I didn't need them, or so i have thought. But they were there, when i needed them. It is so easy to underestimate people. It is so easy to not give them the trust they deserve. And mistrust is a great enemy. If you do not trust, even a best friend cannot help. They may try as much as they want, but you will never find relief in them. It is too easy to spoil someone's effort to help you. If you do not want to be helped. When you are afraid to lean on someone, lest they may step aside and let you fall. Just let it go. People are good. And if they let you fall, do not blame them. Everyone has their limits and can only carry so much weight on their shoulders. No matter how much you want to help someone, when the weight is too much, you just break and both of you fall. And that is why it is important to have friends. To have more people to lean against. So the weight is not too much for them. So they are able to support you. And one has to trust each and every of them. They won't let you fall. Don't worry. Don't you worry. Make friends, it is easy. Smile. Make people feel good. Give them a little support when they are down. Help them out with little things. Talk nonsense, go out and have a beer. Trust them. I have known many people over the time. And only very few of them have let me down. And those that have not made up many times for those few. I feel so lucky. And i wish for other people to make a similar experience. Don't be discouraged if someone lets you down. People are good. That is a good belief. A good start to keep one's sanity. I hope you find yourself in these words, Elenna. Just a little bit.