Search Results: "christine"

16 August 2020

Enrico Zini: Historical links

Saint Guinefort was a dog who lived in France in the 13th century, worshipped through history as a saint until less than a century ago. The recurrence is soon, on the 22th of August. Many think middle ages were about superstition, and generally a bad period. Black Death, COVID, and Why We Keep Telling the Myth of a Renaissance Golden Age and Bad Middle Ages tells a different, fascinating story. Another fascinating middle age story is that of Christine de Pizan, author of The Book of the City of Ladies. This is a very good lecture about her (in Italian): Come pensava una donna nel Medioevo? 2 - Christine de Pizan. You can read some of her books at the Memory of the World library. If you understand Italian, Alessandro Barbero gives fascinating lectures. You can find them index in a timeline, or in a map. Still from around the middle ages, we get playing cards: see Playing Cards Around the World and Through the Ages. If you want to go have a look in person, and you overshoot with your time machine, here's a convenient route planner for antique Roman roads. View all historical links that I have shared.

13 August 2017

Enrico Zini: Consensually doing things together?

On 2017-08-06 I have a talk at DebConf17 in Montreal titled "Consensually doing things together?" (video). Here are the talk notes. Abstract At DebConf Heidelberg I talked about how Free Software has a lot to do about consensually doing things together. Is that always true, at least in Debian? I d like to explore what motivates one to start a project and what motivates one to keep maintaining it. What are the energy levels required to manage bits of Debian as the project keeps growing. How easy it is to say no. Whether we have roles in Debian that require irreplaceable heroes to keep them going. What could be done to make life easier for heroes, easy enough that mere mortals can help, or take their place. Unhappy is the community that needs heroes, and unhappy is the community that needs martyrs. I d like to try and make sure that now, or in the very near future, Debian is not such an unhappy community. Consensually doing things together I gave a talk in Heidelberg. Valhalla made stickers Debian France distributed many of them. There's one on my laptop. Which reminds me of what we ought to be doing. Of what we have a chance to do, if we play our cards right. I'm going to talk about relationships. Consensual relationships. Relationships in short. Nonconsensual relationships are usually called abuse. I like to see Debian as a relationship between multiple people. And I'd like it to be a consensual one. I'd like it not to be abuse. Consent From wikpedia:
In Canada "consent means the voluntary agreement of the complainant to engage in sexual activity" without abuse or exploitation of "trust, power or authority", coercion or threats.[7] Consent can also be revoked at any moment.[8] There are 3 pillars often included in the description of sexual consent, or "the way we let others know what we're up for, be it a good-night kiss or the moments leading up to sex." They are:
  • Knowing exactly what and how much I'm agreeing to
  • Expressing my intent to participate
  • Deciding freely and voluntarily to participate[20]
Saying "I've decided I won't do laundry anymore" when the other partner is tired, or busy doing things. Is different than saying "I've decided I won't do laundry anymore" when the other partner has a chance to say "why? tell me more" and take part in negotiation. Resources: Relationships Debian is the Universal Operating System. Debian is made and maintained by people. The long term health of debian is a consequence of the long term health of the relationship between Debian contributors. Debian doesn't need to be technically perfect, it needs to be socially healthy. Technical problems can be fixed by a healty community. graph showing relationship between avoidance, accomodation, compromise, competition, collaboration The Thomas-Kilmann Conflict Mode Instrument: source png. Motivations Quick poll: What are your motivations to be in a relationship? Which of those motivations are healthy/unhealthy? "Galadriel" (noun, by Francesca Ciceri): a task you have to do otherwise Sauron takes over Middle Earth See: http://blog.zouish.org/nonupdd/#/22/1 What motivates me to start a project or pick one up? What motivates me to keep maintaning a project? What motivates you? What's an example of a sustainable motivation? Is it really all consensual in Debian? Energy Energy that thing which is measured in spoons. The metaphore comes from people suffering with chronic health issues:
"Spoons" are a visual representation used as a unit of measure used to quantify how much energy a person has throughout a given day. Each activity requires a given number of spoons, which will only be replaced as the person "recharges" through rest. A person who runs out of spoons has no choice but to rest until their spoons are replenished.
For example, in Debian, I could spend: What is one person capable of doing? Have reasonable expectations, on others: Have reasonable expectations, on yourself: Debian is a shared responsibility When spoons are limited, what takes more energy tends not to get done As the project grows, project-wide tasks become harder Are they still humanly achievable? I don't want Debian to have positions that require hero-types to fill them Dictatorship of who has more spoons: Perfectionism You are in a relationship that is just perfect. All your friends look up to you. You give people relationship advice. You are safe in knowing that You Are Doing It Right. Then one day you have an argument in public. You don't just have to deal with the argument, but also with your reputation and self-perception shattering. One things I hate about Debian: consistent technical excellence. I don't want to be required to always be right. One of my favourite moments in the history of Debian is the openssl bug Debian doesn't need to be technically perfect, it needs to be socially healthy, technical problems can be fixed. I want to remove perfectionism from Debian: if we discover we've been wrong all the time in something important, it's not the end of Debian, it's the beginning of an improved Debian. Too good to be true There comes a point in most people's dating experience where one learns that when some things feel too good to be true, they might indeed be. There are people who cannot say no: There are people who cannot take a no: Note the diversity statement: it's not a problem to have one of those (and many other) tendencies, as long as one manages to keep interacting constructively with the rest of the community Also, it is important to be aware of these patterns, to be able to compensate for one's own tendencies. What happens when an avoidant person meets a narcissistic person, and they are both unaware of the risks? Resources: Note: there are problems with the way these resources are framed: Red flag / green flag http://pervocracy.blogspot.ca/2012/07/green-flags.html Ask for examples of red/green flags in Debian. Green flags: Red flags: Apologies / Dealing with issues I don't see the usefulness of apologies that are about accepting blame, or making a person stop complaining. I see apologies as opportunities to understand the problem I caused, help fix it, and possibly find ways of avoiding causing that problem again in the future. A Better Way to Say Sorry lists a 4 step process, which is basically what we do when in bug reports already: 1, Try to understand and reproduce the exact problem the person had. 2. Try to find the cause of the issue. 3. Try to find a solution for the issue. 4. Verify with the reporter that the solution does indeed fix the issue. This is just to say
My software ate
the files
that where in
your home directory and which
you were probably
needing
for work Forgive me
it was so quick to write
without tests
and it worked so well for me
(inspired by a 1934 poem by William Carlos Williams) Don't be afraid to fail Don't be afraid to fail or drop the ball. I think that anything that has a label attached of "if you don't do it, nobody will", shouldn't fall on anybody's shoulders and should be shared no matter what. Shared or dropped. Share the responsibility for a healthy relationship Don't expect that the more experienced mates will take care of everything. In a project with active people counted by the thousand, it's unlikely that harassment isn't happening. Is anyone writing anti-harassment? Do we have stats? Is having an email address and a CoC giving us a false sense of security?
When you get involved in a new community, such as Debian, find out early where, if that happens, you can find support, understanding, and help to make it stop. If you cannot find any, or if the only thing you can find is people who say "it never happens here", consider whether you really want to be in that community.
(from http://www.enricozini.org/blog/2016/debian/you-ll-thank-me-later/)
There are some nice people in the world. I mean nice people, the sort I couldn t describe myself as. People who are friends with everyone, who are somehow never involved in any argument, who seem content to spend their time drawing pictures of bumblebees on flowers that make everyone happy. Those people are great to have around. You want to hold onto them as much as you can. But people only have so much tolerance for jerkiness, and really nice people often have less tolerance than the rest of us. The trouble with not ejecting a jerk whether their shenanigans are deliberate or incidental is that you allow the average jerkiness of the community to rise slightly. The higher it goes, the more likely it is that those really nice people will come around less often, or stop coming around at all. That, in turn, makes the average jerkiness rise even more, which teaches the original jerk that their behavior is acceptable and makes your community more appealing to other jerks. Meanwhile, more people at the nice end of the scale are drifting away.
(from https://eev.ee/blog/2016/07/22/on-a-technicality/) Give people freedom If someone tries something in Debian, try to acknowledge and accept their work. You can give feedback on what they are doing, and try not to stand in their way, unless what they are doing is actually hurting you. In that case, try to collaborate, so that you all can get what you need. It's ok if you don't like everything that they are doing. I personally don't care if people tell me I'm good when I do something, I perceive it a bit like "good boy" or "good dog". I rather prefer if people show an interest, say "that looks useful" or "how does it work?" or "what do you need to deploy this?" Acknowledge that I've done something. I don't care if it's especially liked, give me the freedom to keep doing it. Don't give me rewards, give me space and dignity. Rather than feeding my ego, feed by freedom, and feed my possibility to create.

19 March 2016

Petter Reinholdtsen: UsingQR - "Electronic" paper invoices using JSON and QR codes

Back in 2013 I proposed a way to make paper and PDF invoices easier to process electronically by adding a QR code with the key information about the invoice. I suggested using vCard field definition, to get some standard format for name and address, but any format would work. I did not do anything about the proposal, but hoped someone one day would make something like it. It would make it possible to efficiently send machine readable invoices directly between seller and buyer. This was the background when I came across a proposal and specification from the web based accounting and invoicing supplier Visma in Sweden called UsingQR. Their PDF invoices contain a QR code with the key information of the invoice in JSON format. This is the typical content of a QR code following the UsingQR specification (based on a real world example, some numbers replaced to get a more bogus entry). I've reformatted the JSON to make it easier to read. Normally this is all on one long line:
 
 "vh":500.00,
 "vm":0,
 "vl":0,
 "uqr":1,
 "tp":1,
 "nme":"Din Leverand r",
 "cc":"NO",
 "cid":"997912345 MVA",
 "iref":"12300001",
 "idt":"20151022",
 "ddt":"20151105",
 "due":2500.0000,
 "cur":"NOK",
 "pt":"BBAN",
 "acc":"17202612345",
 "bc":"BIENNOK1",
 "adr":"0313 OSLO"
 
The interpretation of the fields can be found in the format specification (revision 2 from june 2014). The format seem to have most of the information needed to handle accounting and payment of invoices, at least the fields I have needed so far here in Norway. Unfortunately, the site and document do not mention anything about the patent, trademark and copyright status of the format and the specification. Because of this, I asked the people behind it back in November to clarify. Ann-Christine Savlid (ann-christine.savlid (at) visma.com) replied that Visma had not applied for patent or trademark protection for this format, and that there were no copyright based usage limitations for the format. I urged her to make sure this was explicitly written on the web pages and in the specification, but unfortunately this has not happened yet. So I guess if there is submarine patents, hidden trademarks or a will to sue for copyright infringements, those starting to use the UsingQR format might be at risk, but if this happen there is some legal defense in the fact that the people behind the format claimed it was safe to do so. At least with patents, there is always a chance of getting sued... I also asked if they planned to maintain the format in an independent standard organization to give others more confidence that they would participate in the standardization process on equal terms with Visma, but they had no immediate plans for this. Their plan was to work with banks to try to get more users of the format, and evaluate the way forward if the format proved to be popular. I hope they conclude that using an open standard organisation like IETF is the correct place to maintain such specification. Update 2016-03-20: Via Twitter I became aware of some comments about this blog post that had several useful links and references to similar systems. In the Czech republic, the Czech Banking Association standard #26, with short name SPAYD, uses QR codes with payment information. More information is available from the Wikipedia page on Short Payment Descriptor. And in Germany, there is a system named BezahlCode, (specification v1.8 2013-12-05 available as PDF), which uses QR codes with URL-like formatting using "bank:" as the URI schema/protocol to provide the payment information. There is also the ZUGFeRD file format that perhaps could be transfered using QR codes, but I am not sure if it is done already. Last, in Bolivia there are reports that tax information since november 2014 need to be printed in QR format on invoices. I have not been able to track down a specification for this format, because of my limited language skill sets.

8 September 2014

Jaldhar Vyas: Debconf 14 - Days 1 and 2

Unfortunately I was not able to attend debconf this year but thanks to the awesome video team the all the talks are available for your viewing pleasure. In order to recreate an authentic Portland experience, I took my laptop into the shower along with a vegan donut and had my children stand outside yelling excerpts from salon.com in whiny Canadianesque accents. Here are some notes I took as I watched the talks. Welcome Talk
Debian in the Dark Ages of Free software - Stefan Zacchiroli Weapons of the Geek - Gabriella Coleman bugs.debian.org -- Database Ho! - Don Armstrong Grub Ancient and Modern - Colin and Watson One year of fedmsg in Debian - Nicolas Dandrimont Coming of Age: My Life with Debian - Christine Spang Status report of the Debian Printing Team - Didier Raboud

7 May 2014

Mario Lang: Planet bug: empty alt tags for hackergotchis

There is a strange bug in Planet Debian I am seeing since I joined. It is rather minor, but since it is an accessibility bug, I'd like to mention it here. I have written to the Planet Debian maintainers, and was told to figure it out myself. This is a pattern, accessibility is considered wishlist, apparently. And the affected people are supposed to fix it on their own. It is better if I don't say anything more about that attitude.
The Bug On Planet Debian, only some people have an alt tag for their hackergotchi, while all the configured entries look similar. There is no obvious difference in the configuration, but still, only some users here have a proper alt tag for their hackergotchi. Here is a list:
  • Dirk Eddelbuettel
  • Steve Kemp
  • Wouter Verhelst
  • Mehdi (noreply@blogger.com)
  • Andrew Pollock
  • DebConf Organizers
  • Francois Marier
  • The MirOS Project (tg@mirbsd.org)
  • Paul Tagliamonte
  • Lisandro Dami n Nicanor P rez Meyer (noreply@blogger.com)
  • Joey Hess
  • Chris Lamb
  • Mirco Bauer
  • Christine Spang
  • Guido G nther
These people/organisations currently displayed on Planet Debian have a proper alt tag for their hackergotchi. All the other members have none. In Lynx, it looks like the following:
hackergotchi for
And for those where it works, it looks like:
hackergotchi for Dirk Eddelbuettel
Strange, isn't it? If you have any idea why this might be happening, let me know, or even better, tell Planet Debian maintainers how to fix it. P.S.: Package planet-venus says it is a rewrite of Planet, and Planet can be found in Debian as well. I don't see it in unstable, maybe I am blind? Or has it been removed recently? If so, the package description of planet-venus is wrong.

30 April 2014

Christine Spang: becoming a better speaker

Last week, in the spirit of always getting better, I asked Twitter how to practice saying "um" less while speaking. Here's what I learned. Most people suggested to practice intentionally inserting pauses instead of saying "um". Various strategies include voice acting classes, having a friend aid with a buzzer (presumably to help you notice), and to record practice sessions as well as the real deal. Nagle suggested that meditation helped him, which makes sense to me as I've experienced meditation helping me be more mindful in many different areas of my life, including mundane things like noticing that I've touched something that's probably not that clean and remembering not to touch my face until I wash them. Wilfully directing mindfulness toward noticing how I speak is something I'm really stoked about, though it's easy to get swept away in a default "performance mode" in front of a crowd. Hendrick pointed out that Cognitive Behavioural Therapy is the principle behind changing speech behaviour and is a great starting point for more research. This is going to be really useful next time I'm practicing for a talk! Thanks @zmagg, @hendricklee, @bcrypt, @ebroder, @mscain, and @nagle5000 for playing. :) (original Twitter thread)

14 April 2014

Christine Spang: PyCon 2014 retrospective

PyCon 2014 happened. (Sprints are still happening.) This was my 3rd PyCon, but my first year as a serious contributor to the event, which led to an incredibly different feel. I also came as a person running a company building a complex system in Python, and I loved having the overarching mission of what I'm building driving my approach to what I chose to do. PyCon is one of the few conferences I go to where the feeling of acceptance and at-homeness mitigates the introvert overwhelm at nonstop social interaction. It's truly a special event and community. Here are some highlights: I didn't get to go to a lot of talks in person this year since my personal schedule was so full, but the PyCon video team is amazing as usual, so I'm looking forward to checking out the archive. It really is a gift to get the videos up while energy from the conference is still so high and people want to check out things they missed and share the talks they loved. Thanks to everyone, hugs, peace out, et cetera!

10 April 2014

Christine Spang: a tuturial about search

Today I gave a tutorial at PyCon 2014 entitled Search 101: An Introduction to Information Retrieval. It was an experiment of sorts: the first workshop I've run primarily by myself, my first tutorial at PyCon, my first paid teaching gig. It was an opportunity to take some of the lessons I learned from teaching the Boston Python Workshop and apply them to a new situation. The material itself is a distillation of many hours of frustration with the documentation for various open source search engine libraries, frustration that they didn't tell me where to start or about the big picture, they just jumped straight into the details. Here's what worked: Here's what caused problems: Intermediate students are a different crowd than beginners. There was less of an air of discovery in the room, though I organized the class around open-ended tasks. Since the material allowed for folks to take it in the direction of their interest, I found it a bit difficult to gauge whether people were following or not. Overall though, everyone was attentive and studious. I had fun. Ruben and Stuart, the PyCon tutorial organizers, had logistics running super smoothly, AV, lunch, everything. Thanks for that you guys, you rock. :) And thanks as well to my helpers: Leo, the tutorial host, Eben, my TA, and Roberto, on AV. It's impossible to pay adequate attention to 20+ people as a single person, couldn't have done a decent job without y'all. ;)

22 March 2014

Richard Hartmann: Lenovo X1 Carbon

Christine's accidential blog spam on planet.d.o just now gave me the chance to re-read the comments in her post. The state from back then is still the current state on up-to-date Debian unstable: The last item has the most impact on me. The need to tether when you have a dedicated SIM card, built-in modem, and good antennas in your laptop is... infuriating. Especially as it's working as intended on Windows. As an added benefit, even though I saved the PIN in network manager, it asks me for the PIN every time I log in and every time after hibernating. For a device which I can't use in the first place. Argh!

Christine Spang: Debian on an X1 Carbon

Installing fresh hot Debian 7.0 on a shiny new ThinkPad X1 Carbon laptop turns out to be easy as cake. You just need to make sure to grab the wifi firmware from unstable instead of the all-in-one firmware tarballs, which contain a version that is missing a couple required files.
wget http://cdimage.debian.org/debian-cd/7.0.0/multi-arch/iso-cd/debian-7.0.0-amd64-i386-netinst.iso
dd if=debian-7.0.0-amd64-i386-netinst.iso of=/dev/sdb
(Make sure /dev/sdb is really the usb stick you want to overwrite with the installer!)
wget http://ftp.us.debian.org/debian/pool/non-free/f/firmware-nonfree/firmware-iwlwifi_0.38_all.deb
And put that on a second usb stick for the installer to load the firmware off of. As far as I can tell, everything works. (Did not mess around with the fingerprint reader, don't care.)

Christine Spang: Donate to OpenHatch

I just donated $500 to OpenHatch. Here's why you should donate too:
  1. Diversity in open source matters. We can't keep making the software the world runs on without involving people of all sorts, from all backgrounds.
  2. OpenHatch is run by community members who I've known for years and trust. They care about data-driven effectiveness and are always getting better at what they do.
  3. A rising tide floats all boats. More contributors == more awesome.
  4. If you donate before December 24th, your donation makes twice the difference.
Diversity and education initiatives are the reason I'm a part of the free and open source software community today. (Thanks, Debian Women.) You don't have to donate $500 to make a difference. $5, $10, $25 from a hundred people all adds up. Please join me in supporting OpenHatch today.

15 October 2013

Daniel Pocock: Debian Outreach Program for Women 2013

Debian's Outreach Program for Women (OPW) is underway. This is a huge thing and not just something that female developers need to be concerned with. Untapped potential Many computer science schools see about twenty percent of places occupied by female students. In the Debian community, however, about one percent of developers are female. As there are about one thousand male developers, this suggests there are another one hundred potential female developers and contributors out there who are not aware of the fact that they could be part of Debian. Finding these people and helping them fulfil their potential makes the project better for everybody. Women are heavy lifters People should not assume that these women are going to need their hands held. When the Jitsi project recently moved to Github, the Github repository reports made the surprise revelation that Yana is the top contributor - by a fifty percent margin. Will women save the world this week? It is not just in software engineering that women have significant potential. As the men running the US bumble around with their high-stakes game of chicken, it is notable that last week the US Federal Reserve appointed their first female chairman, Janet Yellen. It is unlikely that her first meeting with female IMF boss Christine Lagarde would have satisfied stereotypes about casual gossip or shopping; more likely, they would be contemplating how to save the world economy if rogue congressmen push the US into default - a possibility that is no longer just an outlier. Integrating financial software in Debian With that in mind, one of the projects I've offered to mentor under OPW involves creating further integration between free software for finance and accounting on Debian. Several applicants have already contact me about this. Fundraising to support OPW 2013 Debian is currently raising funds to support this program. The project administrators are hopefully going to provide more details soon about how funding will be allocated and how many projects will proceed.

14 October 2013

Bits from Debian: Ada Lovelace Day: meet some of the "women behind Debian"!

Today is Ada Lovelace Day:
"Ada Lovelace Day is about sharing stories of women - whether engineers, scientist, technologists or mathematicians - who have inspired you to become who you are today. The aim is to create new role models for girls and women in these male-dominated fields by raising the profile of other women in STEM". source
To celebrate, we asked to some of the "women behind Debian" to share their stories with us. Enjoy! Alt Ada Lovelace portrait Ana Guerrero Lopez (ana) Who are you? I'm a 30-something years old geek. I'm from Andalusia, Spain but live in France. What do you do in Debian? I work mostly on my packages, in sponsoring new people's packages and in this very blog you're reading now. I also maintain an unofficial Google+ page about Debian. At $PAID job, I work in an internal Debian distribution so from time to time, I get the opportunity to contribute back some of the stuff we do there. How and why did you start contributing to Debian? I started using Debian around 2003 switching from Mandrake. I was a happy Debian user when the Debian Women project started in the summer 2004. When I saw the project announced, I asked myself why I wasn't contributing to Debian and the rest is history... in a couple of weeks it'll be my 7 years DD-versary! If for some reason you want a longer reply to this question, read here. Beatrice Who are you? I am a PhD student with a degree in Biology. I am a computer fan since my first C64 and I am a self-taught computer geek wanna-be. And I am a bug fan - not software bugs, real bugs :) What do you do in Debian? I work on translations - doing the translation work itself, but also reviewing other translators' work and helping in coordinating the translation effort. How and why did you start contributing to Debian? I started using Linux because I liked the idea of an open source operative system based on collaboration and I began reviewing open source software translations. Since my first Linux system was Debian Potato and I sticked to Debian ever since, it only seemed natural to focus my translation work on Debian. Christine Caulfield Who are you? My name is Christine Caulfield. My day job is principal software engineer at Red Hat working on the cluster infrastructure components corosync & pacemaker. Outside computing I'm a musician and sound engineer. I play violin with lots of technology attached, and love avant garde music. What do you do in Debian? I'm not that active on Debian any more due to pressure of time, and maturity of the packages I work on. I currently maintain the, little-used, DECnet userspace packages and the, even less used I suspect, mopd bootloader. I used to maintain lvm2 for a while but dropped that a few years ago. How and why did you start contributing to Debian? My initial reasons for joining Debian were slightly selfish, to find a home for the DECnet project that I was heavily involved in at the time. I was a keep Debian user and people wanted a distribution where the software was easy to set up. DECnet is quite complicated for users to configure, being a totally independant networking stack to IP and so OS support is needed. Debian seemed like the logical place to make this happen. As mentioned above I got quite involved for a time and maintained other packages too. I picked up lvm2 because I was on the lvm2 dev team at work in Red Hat and as it was a new package at that time I seemed a logical choice. Elena Grandi (valhalla) Who are you? I'm a 30-something years old geek and Free Software enthusiast from Italy. What do you do in Debian? I'm currently maintaining a few packages (2 python modules and a python program) as a sponsored uploader; I'm also slowly looking around for other things to do (by preference technical, but not limited to packaging), with the aim to spend more time contributing to Debian. How and why did you start contributing to Debian? For a while I had being distro-hopping between "fun" distributions (the ones that break now and then) on the desktop while using Debian stable on the home server and in chroots. I was already doing marginal contributions to those distributions, where finding stuff that was missing was easy, but my perception as a stable user was that Debian was already working fine and probably didn't really need any help. Then I started to socialize on IRC with some DDs and DMs, and realized that my perception was superficial and that in reality there were dark holes in the depths of the archive where Evil festered and prospered and... ok, sorry, I got carried away :) Anyway, since I was actually using Debian more and more I decided to start contributing: I read documentation, I attended the useful IRC sessions on #debian-women and decided that it was probably best not to add new stuff, but look for things that I used and that needed help. Then nothing happened for a while, because finding stuff that doesn't work is hard (at least on my mostly textual systems). Then one day I was trying to write a python script that needed to verify gpg signed messages; it had to run on my Debian server, so I was trying to use python-pyme and its documentation was painful to use, while I remembered an earlier attempt using python-gnupg that was much more pythonic, but not available in Debian. In a fit of anger I decided to forgo all of my good intentions and actually add a new package: I checked the sources for problems, packaged, sent it to mentors@d-o, got reviews, fixed problems, resent and finally got sponsored and well, everything started. Francesca Ciceri (madamezou) Who are you? I'm Francesca, a 30-something Italian graduated in Social Sciences. What do you do in Debian? I'm a (non uploading) Debian Developer since 2011 and have been DPN editor, press officer, webmaster for www.debian.org and translator for the Italian l10n team. Recently, due to time constraints, I had to reduce my involvement and now only work on two things: writing/editing articles for bits.debian.org together with Ana Guerrero, and creating subtitles for the DebConf talks, in the DebConf Subs team. How and why did you start contributing to Debian? Basically thanks to the sudden abundance of free time - due to an health problem - and the desire to give something back to this wonderful operating system. After that, I found out that Debian is not only a great OS but also a very special community. Today, some of my dearest friends are people I met through Debian. :) Laura Arjona Who are you? I live in Madrid (Spain), and work as IT Assistant in the Technical University of Madrid (UPM). I'm married and I have a 4-years-old son. What do you do in Debian? In 2012 I started to clean spam and to translate Debian web pages into Spanish. I also follow the work of the web and publicity team, I hope I'll get more involved there too. And of course, I'm in Debian Women :) How and why did you start contributing to Debian? I'm using Debian at work since 2007 (servers), and in my desktops since 2010. I like very much that it is a community distro and I wanted to participate. I was already doing translations in other (small) free software projects, so I began here too. The Debian-Women list, the planet, and people in identi.ca helped me to learn a lot and feel part of the community even when I was not contributing yet. M nica Ram rez Arceda (monica) Who are you? My name is M nica Ram rez Arceda and I am an enthusiast of free software and sharing knowledge cultures: for me it's a kind of philosophy of life. I studied Maths a long time ago but ended up working as a developer for some years. Now I'm working as an IT teacher. What do you do in Debian? Debian is a huge project, so you can help in various scopes. Mainly, I work on packaging, fixing wnpp bug inconsistencies in BTS and helping in spam cleaning of the mailing lists. But I also enjoy doing some non-technical work from time to time: the project I am just now involved is organizing, with the rest of Debian Catalan community, a local team to propose Barcelona as the venue for a minidebconf where all the speakers will be women. How and why did you start contributing to Debian? In 2000 I discovered Free Software world and I fell deeply in love with its philosophy. Since then, I've been trying to do my best in different activities, like spreading the word, giving free courses, helping collectives and friends in technical stuff (from installing Debian to developing some helping apps for them)... but two years ago I was looking forward to join a free software project and I decided to try Debian, since it has been my first and only distro in my day-to-day life for about ten years. So, I wanted to give back Debian all what it had offered to me, but.... I thought I couldn't (hey, Debian is for real hackers, not for you little ant!), but I started to adopt some orphaned packages, do some QA uploads, fix some RC bugs, talk with some Debian Developers that helped me and encouraged me more than I expected, I traveled to my first Debconf... And one thing takes you to the other, and on March 2012 I became a DD. Now, I'm glad to see that everything that frightened me is not so scary :-)

18 December 2012

Petter Reinholdtsen: Ledger - double-entry accounting using text based storage format

A few days ago I came across a blog post from Joey Hess describing ledger and hledger, a text based system for double-entry accounting. I found it interesting, as I am involved with several organizations where accounting is an issue, and I have not really become too friendly with the different web based systems we use. I find it hard to find what I look for in the menus and even harder try to get sensible data out of the systems. Ledger seem different. The accounting data is kept in text files that can be stored in a version control system, and there are at least five different implementations able to read the format. An example entry look like this, and is simple enough that it will be trivial to generate entries based on CVS files fetched from the bank:
2004-05-27 Book Store
      Expenses:Books                 $20.00
      Liabilities:Visa
The concept seemed interesting enough for me to check it out and look for others using it. I found blog posts from Christine Spang, Pete Keen, Andrew Cantino and Ronald Ip describing how they use it, as well as a post from Bradley M. Kuhn at the Software Freedom Conservancy. All seemed like good recommendations fitting my need. The ledger package is available in Debian Squeeze, while the hledger package only is available in Debian Sid. As I use Squeeze, ledger seemed the best choice to get started. To get some real data to test on, I wrote a web scraper for LODO, the accounting system used by the NUUG association, and started to play with the data set. I'm not really deeply into accounting, but I am able to get a simple balance and accounting status for example using the "ledger balance" command. But I will have to gather more experience before I know if the ledger way is a good fit for the organisations I am involved in.

21 March 2012

Axel Beckert: Tools for CLI Road Warriors: Remote Shells

Most of my private online life happens on netbooks and besides the web browser, SSH is my most used program especially on netbooks. Accordingly I also have hosts on the net to which I connect via SSH. My most used program there is GNU Screen. So yes, for things like e-mail, IRC, and Jabber I connect to a running screen session on some host with a permanent internet connection. On those hosts there is usually one GNU Screen instance running permanently with either mutt or irssi (which is also my Jabber client via a Bitlbee gateway). But there are some other less well-known tools which I regard as useful in such a setup. The following two tools can both be seen as SSH for special occassions. autossh I already blogged about autossh, even twice, so I ll just recap the most important features here: autossh is a wrapper around SSH which regularily checks via two tunnels connect to each other on the remote side if the connection is still alive, and if not, it kills the ssh and starts a new one with the same parameters (i.e. tunnels, port forwardings, commands to call, etc.). It s quite obvious that this is perfect to be combined with screen s -R and -d options. I use autossh so often that I even adopted its Debian package. mosh Since last week there s a new kid in town^WDebian Unstable: mosh targets the same problems as autossh (unreliable networks, roaming, suspending the computer, etc.) just with a completely different approach which partially even obsoletes the usage of GNU Screen or tmux: While mosh uses plain SSH for authentication, authorization and key exchange the final connection is an AES-128 encrypted UDP connection on a random port and is independent of the client s IP address. This allows mosh to have the following advantages: The connection stays even if you re switching networks or suspending your netbook. So if you re just running a single text-mode application you don t even need GNU Screen or tmux. (You still do if you want the terminal multiplexing feature of GNU Screen or tmux.) Another nice feature, especially on unreliable WLAN connections or laggy GSM or UMTS connections is mosh s output prediction based on its input (i.e. what is typed). Per line it tries to guess which server reaction a key press would cause and if it detects a lagging connection, it shows the predicted result underlined until it gets the real result from the server. This eases writing mails in a remote mutt or chatting in a remote irssi, especially if you noticed that you made a typo, but can t remember how many backspaces you would have to type to fix it. Mosh needs to be installed on both, client and server, but the server is only activated via SSH, so it has no port open unless a connection is started. And despite that (in Debian) mosh is currently just available in Unstable, the package builds fine on Squeeze, too. There s also an PPA for Ubuntu and of course you can also get the source code, e.g. as git checkout from GitHub. mosh is still under heavy development and new features and bug fixes get added nearly every day. Thanks to Christine Spang for sponsoring and mentoring Keith s mosh package in Debian.

11 February 2012

Stefano Zacchiroli: mutt-notmuch 0.2

My mutt-notmuch hack seems to be a quite popular way to integrate Mutt with notmuch. As a nice consequence, my (indexed!) inbox attracts patches from mutt-notmuch users eager to improve it. Collecting some of them, I've just tagged mutt-notmuch 0.2 with the following changes: Many thanks to Scott Barker, Christine Spang, David Newgas, and Ryan Kavanagh for the above patches. While I was at it, I've also moved mutt-notmuch repository to Gitorious. Git self-hosting is nice, but either you move to something like gitolite (which I didn't have time to setup and tune ATM) or you're stuck without merge requests which are quite nice. (Why not Github? Because.) If you're using mutt-notmuch you might also be interested in the discussion of libnotmuch support in mutt. I'd love to see that landing in mutt and be able to throw away mutt-notmuch entirely, but that seems a bit premature as of yet.

2 September 2011

Asheesh Laroia: Debian bug squashing party at SIPB, MIT


(Photo credit: Obey Arthur Liu; originally on Picasa, license.) Three weekends ago, I participated in a Debian bug squashing party. It was more fun than I had guessed! The event worked: we squashed bugs. Geoffrey Thomas (geofft) organized it as an event for MIT's student computing group, SIPB. In this post, I'll review the good parts and the bad. I'll conclude with beaming photos of my two mentees and talk about the bugs they fixed. So, the good:

The event was a success, but as always, there are some things that could have gone more smoothly. Here's that list: Still, it turned out well! I did three NMUs, corresponding to three patches submitted for release-critical bugs by my two mentees. Those mentees were: Jessica enjoying herself Jessica McKellar is a software engineer at Ksplice Oracle and a recent graduate of MIT's EECS program. She solved three release-critical bugs. This was her first direct contribution to Debian. In particular: Jessica has since gotten involved in the Twisted project's personal package archive. Toward the end of the sprint, she explained, "I like fixing bugs. I will totally come to the next bug squashing party." Noah grinning Noah Swartz is a recent graduate of Case Western Reserve University where he studied Mathematics and played Magic. He is an intern at the MIT Media Lab where he contributes to DoppelLab in Joe Paradiso's Responsive Environments group. This was definitely his first direct contribution to Debian. It was also one of the most intense command-line experiences he has had so far. Noah wasn't originally planning to come, but we were having lunch together before the hackathon, and I convinced him to join us. Noah fixed #625177, a fails-to-build-from-source (FTBFS) bug in nslint. The problem was that "-Wl" was instead written in all lowercase in the debian/rules file, as "-wl". Noah fixed that, making sure the package properly built in pbuilder, and then spent some quality time with lintian figuring out the right way to write a debian/changelog. That's a wrap! We'll hopefully have one again in a few months, and before that, I hope to write up a guide so that we run things even more smoothly next time.

15 June 2011

Christian Perrier: So, what happened with Kikithon?

I mentioned this briefly yesterday, but now I'll try to summarize the story of a great surprise and a big moment for me. All this started when my wife Elizabeth and my son Jean-Baptiste wanted to do something special for my 50th birthday. So, it indeed all started months ago, probably early March or something (I don't yet have all the details). Jean-Baptiste described this well on the web site, so I won't go again into details, but basically, this was about getting birthday wishes from my "free software family" in, as you might guess, as many languages as possible. Elizabeth brought the original idea and JB helped her by setting up the website and collecting e-mail addresses of people I usually work with: he grabbed addresses from PO files on Debian website, plus some in his own set of GPG signatures and here we go. And then he started poking dozens of you folks in order to get your wishes for this birthday. Gradually, contributions accumulated on the website, with many challenges for them: be sure to get as many people as possible, poking and re-poking all those FLOSS people who keep forgetting things... It seems that poking people is something that's probably in the Perrier's genes! And they were doing all this without me noticing. As usually in Debian, releasing on time is a no-no. So, it quickly turned out that having everything ready by April 2nd wouldn't be possible. So, their new goal was offering this to me on Pentecost Sunday, which was yesterday. And...here comes the gift. Aha, this looks like a photo album. Could it be a "50 years of Christian" album? But, EH, why is that pic of me, with the red Debconf5 tee-shirt (that features a world map) and a "bubulle" sign, in front of the book? But, EH EH EH, what the .... are doing these word by H0lger, then Fil, then Joey doing on the following pages? And only then, OMG, I discover the real gift they prepared. 106, often bilingual, wishes from 110 people (some were couples!). 18 postcards (one made of wood). 45 languages. One postcard with wishes from nearly every distro representatives at LinuxTag 2011. Dozens of photos from my friends all around the world. All this in a wonderful album. I can't tell what I said. Anyway, JB was shooting a video, so...we'll see. OK, I didn't cry...but it wasn't that far and emotion was really really intense. Guys, ladies, gentlemen, friends....it took me a while to realize what you contributed to. It took me the entire afternoon to realize the investment put by Elizabeth and JB (and JB's sisters support) into this. Yes, as many of you wrote, I have an awesome family and they really know how to share their love. I also have an awesome virtual family all around the world. Your words are wholeheartedly appreciated and some were indeed much much much appreciated. Of course, I'll have the book in Banja Luka so that you can see the result. I know (because JB and Elizabeth told me) that many of you were really awaiting to see how it would be received (yes, that includes you, in Germany, who I visited in early May!!!). Again, thank you so much for this incredible gift. Thank you Holger Levsen, Phil Hands, Joey Hess, Lior Kaplan, Martin Michlmayr, Alberto Gonzalez Iniesta, Kenshi "best friend" Muto, Praveen Arimbrathodiyil, Felipe Augusto van de Wiel, Ana Carolina Comandulli (5 postcards!), Stefano Zacchiroli (1st contribution received by JB, of course), Gunnar Wolf, Enriiiiiico Zini, Clytie Siddall, Frans Pop (by way of Clytie), Tenzin Dendup, Otavio Salvador, Neil McGovern, Konstantinos Margaritis, Luk Claes, Jonas Smedegaard, Pema Geyleg, Meike "sp tzle queen" Reichle, Alexander Reichle-Schmehl, Torsten Werner, "nette BSD" folks, CentOS Ralph and Brian, Fedora people, SUSE's Jan, Ubuntu's Lucia Tamara, Skolelinux' Paul, Rapha l Hertzog, Lars Wirzenius, Andrew McMillan (revenge in September!), Yasa Giridhar Appaji Nag (now I know my name in Telugu), Amaya Rodrigo, St phane Glondu, Martin Krafft, Jon "maddog" Hall (and God save the queen), Eddy Petri or, Daniel Nylander, Aiet Kolkhi, Andreas "die Katze geht in die K che, wunderbar" Tille, Paul "lets bend the elbow" Wise, Jordi "half-marathon in Banja Luka" Mallach, Steve "as ever-young as I am" Langasek, Obey Arthur Liu, YAMANE Hideki, Jaldhar H. Vyas, Vikram Vincent, Margarita "Bronx cross-country queen" Manterola, Patty Langasek, Aigars Mahinovs (finding a pic *with* you on it is tricky!), Thepittak Karoonboonyanan, Javier "nobody expects the Spanish inquisition" Fern ndez-Sanguino, Varun Hiremath, Moray Allan, David Moreno Garza, Ralf "marathon-man" Treinen, Arief S Fitrianto, Penny Leach, Adam D. Barrat, Wolfgang Martin Borgert, Christine "the mentee overtakes the mentor" Spang, Arjuna Rao Chevala, Gerfried "my best contradictor" Fuchs, Stefano Canepa, Samuel Thibault, Eloy "first samba maintainer" Par s, Josip Rodin, Daniel Kahn Gillmor, Steve McIntyre, Guntupalli Karunakar, Jano Gulja , Karolina Kali , Ben Hutchings, Matej Kova i , Khoem Sokhem, Lisandro "I have the longest name in this list" Dami n Nicanor P rez-Meyer, Amanpreet Singh Alam, H ctor Or n, Hans Nordhaugn, Ivan Mas r, Dr. Tirumurti Vasudevan, John "yes, Kansas is as flat as you can imagine" Goerzen, Jean-Baptiste "Piwet" Perrier, Elizabeth "I love you" Perrier, Peter Eisentraut, Jesus "enemy by nature" Climent, Peter Palfrader, Vasudev Kamath, Miroslav "Chicky" Ku e, Mart n Ferrari, Ollivier Robert, Jure uhalev, Yunqiang Su, Jonathan McDowell, Sampada Nakhare, Nayan Nakhare, Dirk "rendez-vous for Chicago marathon" Eddelbuettel, Elian Myftiu, Tim Retout, Giuseppe Sacco, Changwoo Ryu, Pedro Ribeoro, Miguel "oh no, not him again" Figueiredo, Ana Guerrero, Aur lien Jarno, Kumar Appaiah, Arangel Angov, Faidon Liambotis, Mehdi Dogguy, Andrew Lee, Russ Allbery, Bj rn Steensrud, Mathieu Parent, Davide Viti, Steinar H. Gunderson, Kurt Gramlich, Vanja Cvelbar, Adam Conrad, Armi Be irovi , Nattie Mayer-Hutchings, Joerg "dis shuld be REJECTed" Jaspert and Luca Capello. Let's say it gain:

13 June 2011

Christian Perrier: So, what happened with Kikithon?

I mentioned this briefly yesterday, but now I'll try to summarize the story of a great surprise and a big moment for me. All this started when my wife Elizabeth and my son Jean-Baptiste wanted to do something special for my 50th birthday. So, it indeed all started months ago, probably early March or something (I don't yet have all the details). Jean-Baptiste described this well on the web site, so I won't go again into details, but basically, this was about getting birthday wishes from my "free software family" in, as you might guess, as many languages as possible. Elizabeth brought the original idea and JB helped her by setting up the website and collecting e-mail addresses of people I usually work with: he grabbed addresses from PO files on Debian website, plus some in his own set of GPG signatures and here we go. And then he started poking dozens of you folks in order to get your wishes for this birthday. Gradually, contributions accumulated on the website, with many challenges for them: be sure to get as many people as possible, poking and re-poking all those FLOSS people who keep forgetting things... It seems that poking people is something that's probably in the Perrier's genes! And they were doing all this without me noticing. As usually in Debian, releasing on time is a no-no. So, it quickly turned out that having everything ready by April 2nd wouldn't be possible. So, their new goal was offering this to me on Pentecost Sunday, which was yesterday. And...here comes the gift. Aha, this looks like a photo album. Could it be a "50 years of Christian" album? But, EH, why is that pic of me, with the red Debconf5 tee-shirt (that features a world map) and a "bubulle" sign, in front of the book? But, EH EH EH, what the .... are doing these word by H0lger, then Fil, then Joey doing on the following pages? And only then, OMG, I discover the real gift they prepared. 106, often bilingual, wishes from 110 people (some were couples!). 18 postcards (one made of wood). 45 languages. One postcard with wishes from nearly every distro representatives at LinuxTag 2011. Dozens of photos from my friends all around the world. All this in a wonderful album. I can't tell what I said. Anyway, JB was shooting a video, so...we'll see. OK, I didn't cry...but it wasn't that far and emotion was really really intense. Guys, ladies, gentlemen, friends....it took me a while to realize what you contributed to. It took me the entire afternoon to realize the investment put by Elizabeth and JB (and JB's sisters support) into this. Yes, as many of you wrote, I have an awesome family and they really know how to share their love. I also have an awesome virtual family all around the world. Your words are wholeheartedly appreciated and some were indeed much much much appreciated. Of course, I'll have the book in Banja Luka so that you can see the result. I know (because JB and Elizabeth told me) that many of you were really awaiting to see how it would be received (yes, that includes you, in Germany, who I visited in early May!!!). Again, thank you so much for this incredible gift. Thank you Holger Levsen, Phil Hands, Joey Hess, Lior Kaplan, Martin Michlmayr, Alberto Gonzalez Iniesta, Kenshi "best friend" Muto, Praveen Arimbrathodiyil, Felipe Augusto van de Wiel, Ana Carolina Comandulli (5 postcards!), Stefano Zacchiroli (1st contribution received by JB, of course), Gunnar Wolf, Enriiiiiico Zini, Clytie Siddall, Frans Pop (by way of Clytie), Tenzin Dendup, Otavio Salvador, Neil McGovern, Konstantinos Margaritis, Luk Claes, Jonas Smedegaard, Pema Geyleg, Meike "sp tzle queen" Reichle, Alexander Reichle-Schmehl, Torsten Werner, "nette BSD" folks, CentOS Ralph and Brian, Fedora people, SUSE's Jan, Ubuntu's Lucia Tamara, Skolelinux' Paul, Rapha l Hertzog, Lars Wirzenius, Andrew McMillan (revenge in September!), Yasa Giridhar Appaji Nag (now I know my name in Telugu), Amaya Rodrigo, St phane Glondu, Martin Krafft, Jon "maddog" Hall (and God save the queen), Eddy Petri or, Daniel Nylander, Aiet Kolkhi, Andreas "die Katze geht in die K che, wunderbar" Tille, Paul "lets bend the elbow" Wise, Jordi "half-marathon in Banja Luka" Mallach, Steve "as ever-young as I am" Langasek, Obey Arthur Liu, YAMANE Hideki, Jaldhar H. Vyas, Vikram Vincent, Margarita "Bronx cross-country queen" Manterola, Patty Langasek, Aigars Mahinovs (finding a pic *with* you on it is tricky!), Thepittak Karoonboonyanan, Javier "nobody expects the Spanish inquisition" Fern ndez-Sanguino, Varun Hiremath, Moray Allan, David Moreno Garza, Ralf "marathon-man" Treinen, Arief S Fitrianto, Penny Leach, Adam D. Barrat, Wolfgang Martin Borgert, Christine "the mentee overtakes the mentor" Spang, Arjuna Rao Chevala, Gerfried "my best contradictor" Fuchs, Stefano Canepa, Samuel Thibault, Eloy "first samba maintainer" Par s, Josip Rodin, Daniel Kahn Gillmor, Steve McIntyre, Guntupalli Karunakar, Jano Gulja , Karolina Kali , Ben Hutchings, Matej Kova i , Khoem Sokhem, Lisandro "I have the longest name in this list" Dami n Nicanor P rez-Meyer, Amanpreet Singh Alam, H ctor Or n, Hans Nordhaugn, Ivan Mas r, Dr. Tirumurti Vasudevan, John "yes, Kansas is as flat as you can imagine" Goerzen, Jean-Baptiste "Piwet" Perrier, Elizabeth "I love you" Perrier, Peter Eisentraut, Jesus "enemy by nature" Climent, Peter Palfrader, Vasudev Kamath, Miroslav "Chicky" Ku e, Mart n Ferrari, Ollivier Robert, Jure uhalev, Yunqiang Su, Jonathan McDowell, Sampada Nakhare, Nayan Nakhare, Dirk "rendez-vous for Chicago marathon" Eddelbuettel, Elian Myftiu, Tim Retout, Giuseppe Sacco, Changwoo Ryu, Pedro Ribeoro, Miguel "oh no, not him again" Figueiredo, Ana Guerrero, Aur lien Jarno, Kumar Appaiah, Arangel Angov, Faidon Liambotis, Mehdi Dogguy, Andrew Lee, Russ Allbery, Bj rn Steensrud, Mathieu Parent, Davide Viti, Steinar H. Gunderson, Kurt Gramlich, Vanja Cvelbar, Adam Conrad, Armi Be irovi , Nattie Mayer-Hutchings, Joerg "dis shuld be REJECTed" Jaspert and Luca Capello. Let's say it gain:

18 March 2011

Christine Spang: on transparency

I found the following quote from Stefano's DPL platform interesting:
When faced with the dilemma, I've favored ditching some DPL tasks and communicating or taking notes about the others, instead of the other way around.
It takes someone who really knows Debian to realize that sometimes communicating about what's being done is more important than doing more.

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