Search Results: "mester"

17 March 2022

Gunnar Wolf: Speaking about the OpenPGP WoT on LibrePlanet this Saturday

So, LibrePlanet, the FSF s conference, is coming! I much enjoyed attending this conference in person in March 2018. This year I submitted a talk again, and it got accepted of course, given the conference is still 100% online, I doubt I will be able to go 100% conference-mode (I hope to catch a couple of other talks, but well, we are all eager to go back to how things were before 2020!)

Anyway, what is my talk about? My talk is titled Current challenges for the OpenPGP keyserver network. Is there a way forward?. The abstract I submitted follows:
Many free projects use OpenPGP encryption or signatures for various important tasks, like defining membership, authenticating participation, asserting identity over a vote, etc. The Web-of-Trust upon which its operation is based is a model many of us hold dear, allowing for a decentralized way to assign trust to the identity of a given person. But both the Web-of-Trust model and the software that serves as a basis for the above mentioned uses are at risk due to attacks on the key distribution protocol (not on the software itself!) With this talk, I will try to bring awareness to this situation, to some possible mitigations, and present some proposals to allow for the decentralized model to continue to thrive towards the future.
I am on the third semester of my PhD, trying to somehow keep a decentralized infrastructure for the OpenPGP Web of Trust viable and usable for the future. While this is still in the early stages of my PhD work (and I still don t have a solution to present), I will talk about what the main problems are and will sketch out the path I intend to develop. What is the relevance? Mainly, I think, that many free software projects use the OpenPGP Web of Trust for their identity definitions Are we anachronistic? Are we using tools unfit for this century? I don t think so. I think we are in time to fix the main sore spots for this great example of a decentralized infrastructure.

When is my talk scheduled? This Saturday, 2022.03.19, at
GMT / UTC time
19:25 20:10
Conference schedule time (EDT/GMT-4)
15:25 16:10
Mexico City time (GMT-6)
13:25 14:10

How to watch it? The streams are open online. I will be talking in the Saturn room, feel free to just appear there and watch! The FSF asks people to [register for the conference]( beforehand, in order to be able to have an active participation (i.e. ask questions and that). Of course, you might be interested in other talks take a look at the schedule! LibrePlanet keeps a video archive of their past conferences, and this talk will be linked from there. Of course, I will link to the recording once it is online. Update: As of 2022.03.30, LibrePlanet has posted the videos for all of their talks, all linked from the program. And of course, for convenience, I copied the talk over here: Current challenges for the OpenPGP keyserver network. Is there a way forward?

10 January 2022

Louis-Philippe V ronneau: Grading using the Wacom Intuos S

I've been teaching economics for a few semesters already and, slowly but surely, I'm starting to get the hang of it. Having to deal with teaching remotely hasn't been easy though and I'm really hoping the winter semester will be in-person again. Although I worked way too much last semester1, I somehow managed to transition to using a graphics tablet. I bought a Wacom Intuos S tablet (model CTL-4100) in late August 2021 and overall, I have been very happy with it. Wacom Canada offers a small discount for teachers and I ended up paying 115 CAD (~90 USD) for the tablet, an overall very reasonable price. Unsurprisingly, the Wacom support on Linux is very good and my tablet worked out of the box. The only real problem I had was by default, the tablet sometimes boots up in Android mode, making it unusable. This is easily solved by pressing down on the pad's first and last buttons for a few seconds, until the LED turns white. The included stylus came with hard plastic nibs, but I find them too slippery. I eventually purchased hard felt nibs, which increase the friction and makes for a more paper-like experience. They are a little less durable, but I wrote quite a fair bit and still haven't gone through a single one yet. Learning curve Learning how to use a graphical tablet took me at least a few weeks! When writing on a sheet of paper, the eyes see what the hand writes directly. This is not the case when using a graphical tablet: you are writing on a surface and see the result on your screen, a completely different surface. This dissociation takes a bit of practise to master, but after going through more than 300 pages of notes, it now feels perfectly normal. Here is a side-by-side comparison of my very average hand-writing2:
  1. on paper
  2. using the tablet, the first week
  3. using the tablet, after a couple of months
Comparison of my writing, on paper, using the tablet and using the tablet after a few weeks I still prefer the result of writing on paper, but I think this is mostly due to me not using the pressure sensitivity feature. The support in xournal wasn't great, but now that I've tried it in xournalpp (more on this below), I think I will be enabling it in the future. The result on paper is also more consistent, but I trust my skills will improve over time. Pressure sensitivity on vs off Use case The first use case I have for the tablet is grading papers. I've been asking my students to submit their papers via Moodle for a few semesters already, but until now, I was grading them using PDF comments. The experience wasn't great3 and was rather slow compared to grading physical copies. I'm also a somewhat old-school teacher: I refuse to teach using slides. Death by PowerPoint is real. I write on the blackboard a lot4 and I find it much easier to prepare my notes by hand than by typing them, as the end result is closer to what I actually end up writing down on the board. Writing notes by hand on sheets of paper is a chore too, especially when you revisit the same materiel regularly. Being able to handwrite digital notes gives me a lot more flexibility and it's been great. So far, I have been using xournal to write notes and grade papers, and although it is OK, it has a bunch of quirks I dislike. I was waiting for xournalpp to be packaged in Debian, and it now is5! I'm looking forward to using it next semester. Towards a better computer monitor I have also been feeling the age of my current computer monitor. I am currently using an old 32" 1080p TV from LG and up until now, I had been able to deal with the drawbacks. The colors are pretty bad and 1080p for such a large display isn't great, but I got used to it. What I really noticed when I started using my graphics tablet was the input lag. It's bad enough that there's a clear jello effect when writing and it eventually gives me a headache. It's so bad I usually prefer to work on my laptop, which has a nicer but noticeably smaller panel. I'm currently looking to replace this aging TV6 by something more modern. I have been waiting out since I would like to buy something that will last me another 10 years if possible. Sadly, 32" high refresh rate 4K monitors aren't exactly there yet and I haven't found anything matching my criteria. I would probably also need a new GPU, something that is not easy to come by these days.

  1. I worked at two colleges at the same time, teaching 2 different classes (one of which I was giving for the first time...) to 6 groups in total. I averaged more than 60h per week for sure.
  2. Yes, I only write in small caps. Students love it, as it's much easier to read on the blackboard.
  3. Although most PDF readers support displaying comments, some of my more clueless students still had trouble seeing them and I had to play tech support more than I wanted.
  4. Unsurprisingly, my students also love it. One of the most common feedback I get at the end of the semester is they hate slides too and are very happy I'm one of the few teachers who writes on the board.
  5. Many thanks to Barak A. Pearlmutter for maintaining this package.
  6. It dates back from 2010, when my mom replaced our old CRT by a flat screen. FullHD TVs were getting affordable and I wasn't sad to see our tiny 20-something inches TV go. I eventually ended up with the LG flatscreen a few years later when I moved out in my first apartment and my mom got something better.

11 December 2021

Molly de Blanc: Applications

The first time I applied for grad school it was a bit of a lark. I was serious about it, I wanted to go, I had goals, and I am happy to be here now. However, it was a little fun. I took a white paper and crisped it up with the help of some friends who read it and provided comments. I wrote a personal statement, got some letters of recommendation, and generally felt pretty good about the process. It wasn t stressful. The second time I applied to grad school it was a slog. For several weeks I gave up most of my free time to application writing and when I wasn t working on applications I thought about how I ought to be doing something about it. Applications are due while you re coming up on the end of your semester or end of the year push at work or both! There just isn t enough time for everything. I think even applying for grad school qualifies you to attend. Here are some things I learned in the application process. Note, I haven t gotten in anywhere (yet), so we ll see how it pans out. You have to do a lot of research. This changes by field, school, and even individual faculty preference. Some possible mentors / advisors like to talk with prospective students ahead of time. On two of my applications I was explicitly asked who I spoke with in the department. On others I was asked to list faculty (in order of preference even!) that I would be interested in working with. Some schools requested in essays to list faculty. In general, it s considered important to explain why a particular school: what about that school attracts you? What resources do they have that you want to take advantage of? What research that they are doing interests you? Faculty profiles and department websites are useful for this, but far from complete. A co-worker suggested I contact someone who, based on their profile, I shared no research interests with. However, we talked and it turns out we had things in common! In general, colleagues, peers, other academics, and friends were the best resource I had for investigating schools and potential faculty. I also went to some Q&A sessions / office hours run by schools / departments / labs. Some really cool people wrote blog posts and / or Tweets soliciting grad students. These are great. Sometimes the people you want to work with aren t taking grad students. Most schools I looked at did not maintain lists of who is taking on grad students starting in the fall, but I think two did. Sometimes I contacted people and got back Sorry, not taking on anyone this year. Try $OtherProfessor. This was actually really helpful! But, it s a downer to learn you re not going to get to work with one of your academic heroes because the timing is wrong. It s expensive and waivers might not help. Most applications in the US cost about $100 (USD). In some fields it s recommended you apply to 8-10 schools. That s a lot of money. I think everywhere I applied had a waiver you could apply for, but I generally didn t qualify. Some waivers require you to submit days to weeks ahead of the deadline. Others require that you participate in certain professional organizations, student organizations, or live locally to the school. These might be less useful than you were hoping. Everyone says your writing sample matters, but only five people will read it. This is what I was told anyway. I was told that my writing sample (which was 20 pages!) will probably only be read by faculty who are thinking of taking me on as an advisee. Someone else might pick it up and read it out of curiosity. I was told stories about how the right writing sample turned eh, maybe candidates into enthusiastic yeses. Everyone says letters of recommendation matter and it s extremely frustrating. My recommenders are all amazing people I have so much respect and admiration for it s wild. They re people I want to be like in my academic career. They also all got their letters in the day they were due. I had a moment where I genuinely thought I was just not going to go to grad school because of how close the deadline was. I ve been told that a great letter matters a lot, but meh letters don t hold you back as much as it sounds like they will. I ve been told that where a recommender is affiliated matters a lot. My personal statement radically changed based on school / program. Two of the schools I applied to had very specific requirements for their personal statements. Other schools wanted me to mostly talk about my research interests. One school had a 350 word personal statement, but a 1,000 word research statement. I wrote a research statement and a personal statement and then used them as the basis for what I submitted to different schools. Each application ended up with something pretty different, and not just because I talked about why each program was exciting to me in different ways. I also applied to different kinds of programs, and presented myself a differently depending on the program s focus and the faculty. For the more social science heavy programs I emphasized the empirical research I did, while for others I leaned more heavily on my philosophical background and theoretical interests. Oh, also, I was told to not use contractions. Getting rid of them in all my materials was super tedious. Diversity Statements are becoming more common. A few of my schools had diversity statements either required or optional. The purpose of these, I was told, is not to play some sort of marginalization Olympics, but to show that you can talk about diversity (and equity and inclusion, etc) without being offensive. It s just as valid to write about your own disability as the disability of a parent (though, ask their permission first). Triple check what s required. I made spreadsheets about what each school required. For example, some people wanted official transcripts, some unofficial. Some places required essays rather than generic personal statements, and I needed to build in enough time to manage that. Ask your friends to help. I hate asking for help, but applying for grad school made me shameless. I asked anyone I could to read over materials, proofread, or just talk with me about what I was writing. People picked up on things like you used the word technology five times in this one sentence and it looks real weird. Some schools have projects where current grad students will even look over materials!

15 May 2021

Utkarsh Gupta: Hello, Canonical! o/

Today marks the 90th day of me joining Canonical to work on Ubuntu full-time! So since it s been a while already, this blog post is long due. :)

The News
I joined Canonical, this February, to work on Ubuntu full-time! \o/
Those who know, they know that this is really very exciting for me because Canonical has been a dream company for me, for real (more about this below!). And hey, this is my first job, ever, so all the more reason to be psyched about, isn t it? ^_^ P.S. Keep reading and we ll meet my squad really sooon!

The Story Being an undergrad student (batch 2017-2021), I ve been slightly worried during my last two semesters, naturally, thinking about how s it all gonna pan out and what will I be doing, et al, because I ve been seeing all my friends and batchmates getting placed in companies or going for masters or at least having some sort of plans for their future and I, on the other hand, was hopelessly clueless. :D Well, to be fair, I did Google Summer of Code twice, in 2019 and 2020, became a Debian Developer in 2019, been a part of GCI and Outreachy, contributed to over dozens of open-source projects, et al, et al. So I wasn t all completely hopeless but for sure was completely clueless , heh. And for full disclosure, I was only slightly panicking because firstly, I did get placed in several companies and secondly, I didn t really need a job immediately since I was already getting paid to work on Debian stuff by Freexian, which was good enough. :)
(and honestly, Freexian has my whole heart! - more on that later sometime.) But that s not the point. I was still confused and worried and my mom & dad, more so than anyone. Ugh. We were all figuring out and she asked me places that I was interested to work in. And whilst I wasn t clear about things I wanted to do (and still am!) but I was (very) clear about this and so I told her about Canonical and also did tell her that it s a bit too ambitious for me to think about it now so I ll probably apply after some experience or something. and as they say, the world works in mysterious ways and well, it did for me! So back during the Ruby sprints (Feb 20), Kanashiro, the guy ( ), mentioned that his team was hiring and has a vacant position but I won t be eligible since I was still in my junior year. It was since then I ve been actively praying for Cronus, the god of time, to wave his magic wand and align it in such a way that the next opening should be somewhere near my graduation. And guess what? IT HAPPENED! 9 months later, in November 20, Kanashiro told me his team is hiring yet again and that I could apply this time! Without much (since there was some ) delay, I applied and started asking all sorts of questions to Kanashiro. No words are enough for him, he literally helped me throughout the process; from referring me to answering all sorts of doubts I had! And roughly after 2 months of interviewing, et al, my ambitious dream did come true and I finalyyyy signed my contract! \o/
(the interview process and what went on during those 10 weeks is a story for later ;))

The Server Team! \o This position, which I didn t mention earlier, was for the Server Team which is a team of 15 people, working to make Ubuntu server the best! And as I tweeted sometime back, the team is absolutely lovely, super kind, and consists of the best of teammates one could possibly ask for! Here s a quick sneak peek into our weekly team meeting. Thanks to Rafael for taking such a lovely picture. And yes, the cat Luna is a part of our squad! And oh, did I mention that we re completely remote and distributed?
FUN FACT: Our team covers all the TZs, that is, at any point of time (during weekdays), you ll find someone or the other from the team around! \o/ Anyway, our squad, managed by Rick is divided into two halves: Squeaky Wheels and Table Flip. Cool names, right?
Squeaky Wheels does the distro side of stuff and consists of Christian, Andreas, Rafael, Robie, Bryce, Sergio, Kanashiro, Athos, and now myself as well! And OTOH, Table Flip consists of Dan, Chad, Paride, Lucas, James, and Grant. Even though I interact w/ Squeaky Wheels more (basically daily), each of my teammates is absolutely lovely and equally awesome! Whilst I ll talk more about things here in the upcoming months, this is it for now! If there s anything, in particular, you d like to know more about, let me know! And lastly, here s us vibing our way through, making Ubuntu server better, cause that s how we roll!
Until next time.
:wq for today.

1 January 2021

Utkarsh Gupta: FOSS Activites in December 2020

Here s my (fifteenth) monthly update about the activities I ve done in the F/L/OSS world.

This was my 24th month of contributing to Debian. I became a DM in late March last year and a DD last Christmas! \o/ Amongs a lot of things, this was month was crazy, hectic, adventerous, and the last of 2020 more on some parts later this month.
I finally finished my 7th semester (FTW!) and moved onto my last one! That said, I had been busy with other things but still did a bunch of Debian stuff Here are the following things I did this month:

Uploads and bug fixes:

Other $things:
  • Attended the Debian Ruby team meeting.
  • Mentoring for newcomers.
  • FTP Trainee reviewing.
  • Moderation of -project mailing list.
  • Sponsored golang-github-gorilla-css for Fedrico.

Debian (E)LTS
Debian Long Term Support (LTS) is a project to extend the lifetime of all Debian stable releases to (at least) 5 years. Debian LTS is not handled by the Debian security team, but by a separate group of volunteers and companies interested in making it a success. And Debian Extended LTS (ELTS) is its sister project, extending support to the Jessie release (+2 years after LTS support). This was my fifteenth month as a Debian LTS and sixth month as a Debian ELTS paid contributor.
I was assigned 26.00 hours for LTS and 38.25 hours for ELTS and worked on the following things:

LTS CVE Fixes and Announcements:
  • Issued DLA 2474-1, fixing CVE-2020-28928, for musl.
    For Debian 9 Stretch, these problems have been fixed in version 1.1.16-3+deb9u1.
  • Issued DLA 2481-1, fixing CVE-2020-25709 and CVE-2020-25710, for openldap.
    For Debian 9 Stretch, these problems have been fixed in version 2.4.44+dfsg-5+deb9u6.
  • Issued DLA 2484-1, fixing #969126, for python-certbot.
    For Debian 9 Stretch, these problems have been fixed in version 0.28.0-1~deb9u3.
  • Issued DLA 2487-1, fixing CVE-2020-27350, for apt.
    For Debian 9 Stretch, these problems have been fixed in version 1.4.11. The update was prepared by the maintainer, Julian.
  • Issued DLA 2488-1, fixing CVE-2020-27351, for python-apt.
    For Debian 9 Stretch, these problems have been fixed in version 1.4.2. The update was prepared by the maintainer, Julian.
  • Issued DLA 2495-1, fixing CVE-2020-17527, for tomcat8.
    For Debian 9 Stretch, these problems have been fixed in version 8.5.54-0+deb9u5.
  • Issued DLA 2488-2, for python-apt.
    For Debian 9 Stretch, these problems have been fixed in version 1.4.3. The update was prepared by the maintainer, Julian.
  • Issued DLA 2508-1, fixing CVE-2020-35730, for roundcube.
    For Debian 9 Stretch, these problems have been fixed in version 1.2.3+dfsg.1-4+deb9u8. The update was prepared by the maintainer, Guilhem.

ELTS CVE Fixes and Announcements:

Other (E)LTS Work:
  • Front-desk duty from 21-12 until 27-12 and from 28-12 until 03-01 for both LTS and ELTS.
  • Triaged openldap, python-certbot, lemonldap-ng, qemu, gdm3, open-iscsi, gobby, jackson-databind, wavpack, cairo, nsd, tomcat8, and bountycastle.
  • Marked CVE-2020-17527/tomcat8 as not-affected for jessie.
  • Marked CVE-2020-28052/bountycastle as not-affected for jessie.
  • Marked CVE-2020-14394/qemu as postponed for jessie.
  • Marked CVE-2020-35738/wavpack as not-affected for jessie.
  • Marked CVE-2020-3550 3-6 /qemu as postponed for jessie.
  • Marked CVE-2020-3550 3-6 /qemu as postponed for stretch.
  • Marked CVE-2020-16093/lemonldap-ng as no-dsa for stretch.
  • Marked CVE-2020-27837/gdm3 as no-dsa for stretch.
  • Marked CVE-2020- 13987, 13988, 17437 /open-iscsi as no-dsa for stretch.
  • Marked CVE-2020-35450/gobby as no-dsa for stretch.
  • Marked CVE-2020-35728/jackson-databind as no-dsa for stretch.
  • Marked CVE-2020-28935/nsd as no-dsa for stretch.
  • Auto EOL ed libpam-tacplus, open-iscsi, wireshark, gdm3, golang-go.crypto, jackson-databind, spotweb, python-autobahn, asterisk, nsd, ruby-nokogiri, linux, and motion for jessie.
  • General discussion on LTS private and public mailing list.

Other $things! \o/

Bugs and Patches Well, I did report some bugs and issues and also sent some patches:
  • Issue #44 for github-activity-readme, asking for a feature request to set custom committer s email address.
  • Issue #711 for git2go, reporting build failure for the library.
  • PR #89 for rubocop-rails_config, bumping RuboCop::Packaging to v0.5.
  • Issue #36 for rubocop-packaging, asking to try out mutant :)
  • PR #212 for cucumber-ruby-core, bumping RuboCop::Packaging to v0.5.
  • PR #213 for cucumber-ruby-core, enabling RuboCop::Packaging.
  • Issue #19 for behance, asking to relax constraints on faraday and faraday_middleware.
  • PR #37 for rubocop-packaging, enabling tests against ruby3.0! \o/
  • PR #489 for cucumber-rails, bumping RuboCop::Packaging to v0.5.
  • Issue #362 for nheko, reporting a crash when opening the application.
  • PR #1282 for paper_trail, adding RuboCop::Packaging amongst other used extensions.
  • Bug #978640 for nheko Debian package, reporting a crash, as a result of libfmt7 regression.

Misc and Fun Besides squashing bugs and submitting patches, I did some other things as well!
  • Participated in my first Advent of Code event! :)
    Whilst it was indeed fun, I didn t really complete it. No reason, really. But I ll definitely come back stronger next year, heh! :)
    All the solutions thus far could be found here.
  • Did a couple of reviews for some PRs and triaged some bugs here and there, meh.
  • Also did some cloud debugging, not so fun if you ask me, but cool enough to make me want to do it again! ^_^
  • Worked along with pollo, zigo, ehashman, rlb, et al for puppet and puppetserver in Debian. OMG, they re so lovely! <3
  • Ordered some interesting books to read January onward. New year resolution? Meh, not really. Or maybe. But nah.
  • Also did some interesting stuff this month but can t really talk about it now. Hopefully sooooon.

Until next time.
:wq for today.

30 March 2020

Louis-Philippe V ronneau: Using Zoom's web client on Linux

TL;DR: The zoom meeting link you have probably look like this:
To use the web client, use this instead:
Avant-propos Like too many institutions, the school where I teach chose to partner up with Zoom. I wasn't expecting anything else, as my school's IT department is a Windows shop. Well, I guess I'm still a little disappointed. Although I had vaguely heard of Zoom before, I had never thought I'd be forced to use it. Lucky for me, my employer decided not to force us to use it. To finish the semester, I plan to record myself and talk with my students on a Jitsi Meet instance. I will still have to attend meetings on Zoom though. I'm well aware of Zoom's bad privacy record and I will not install their desktop application. Zoom does offer a web client. Sadly, on Linux you need to jump through hoops to be able to use it. Using Zoom's web client on Linux Zoom's web client apparently works better on Chrome, so I decided to use Chromium. Without already having the desktop client installed on your machine, the standard procedure to use the web client would be:
  1. Open the link to the meeting in Chromium
  2. Click on the "download & run Zoom" link showed on the page
  3. Click on the "join from your browser" link that then shows up
Sadly, that's not what happens on Linux. When you click on the "download & run Zoom" link, it brings you to a page with instructions on how to install the desktop client on Linux. You can thwart that stupid behavior by changing your browser's user agent to make it look like you are using Windows. This is the UA string I've been using:
Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 10.0; Win64; x64) AppleWebKit/537.36 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/80.0.3987.149 Safari/537.36
With that, when you click on the "download & run Zoom" link, it will try to download a .exe file. Cancel the download and you should now see the infamous "join from your browser" link. Upon closer inspection, it seem you can get to the web client by changing the meeting's URL. The zoom meeting link you have probably look like this:
To use the web client, use this instead:
Jitsi Meet Puppet Module I've been playing around with Jitsi Meet quite a bit recently and I've written a Puppet module to install and configure an instance! The module certainly isn't perfect, but should wield a working Jitsi instance. If you already have a Puppet setup, please give it a go! I'm looking forward receiving feedback (and patches) to improve it.

11 March 2020

Rapha&#235;l Hertzog: Keeping Debian 8 Jessie alive for longer than 5 years

Just like we did for Debian 7 Wheezy, some of the paid Debian LTS contributors will continue to maintain Debian 8 Jessie after its 5 years of support as part of Freexian s Extended LTS service. This service works differently than regular LTS: Some packages will not be supported: If you expect to have Debian 8 servers/devices running after June 30th 2020, and would like to have security updates for them, please get in touch with us. We re building a list of potential sponsors right now and we expect to provide cost estimations at the end of the month.

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9 October 2017

Gunnar Wolf: Achievement unlocked - Made with Creative Commons translated to Spanish! (Thanks, @xattack!)

I am very, very, very happy to report this And I cannot believe we have achieved this so fast: Back in June, I announced I'd start working on the translation of the Made with Creative Commons book into Spanish. Over the following few weeks, I worked out the most viable infrastructure, gathered input and commitments for help from a couple of friends, submitted my project for inclusion in the Hosted Weblate translations site (and got it approved!) Then, we quietly and slowly started working. Then, as it usually happens in late August, early September... The rush of the semester caught me in full, and I left this translation project for later For the next semester, perhaps... Today, I received a mail that surprised me. That stunned me. 99% of translated strings! Of course, it does not look as neat as "100%" would, but there are several strings not to be translated. So, yay for collaborative work! Oh, and FWIW Thanks to everybody who helped. And really, really, really, hats off to Luis Enrique Amaya, a friend whom I see way less than I should. A LIDSOL graduate, and a nice guy all around. Why to him specially? Well... This has several wrinkles to iron out, but, by number of translated lines: ...Need I say more? Luis, I hope you enjoyed reading the book :-] There is still a lot of work to do, and I'm asking the rest of the team some days so I can get my act together. From the mail I just sent, I need to:
  1. Review the Pandoc conversion process, to get the strings formatted again into a book; I had got this working somewhere in the process, but last I checked it broke. I expect this not to be too much of a hurdle, and it will help all other translations.
  2. Start the editorial process at my Institute. Once the book builds, I'll have to start again the stylistic correction process so the Institute agrees to print it out under its seal. This time, we have the hurdle that our correctors will probably hate us due to part of the work being done before we had actually agreed on some important Spanish language issues... which are different between Mexico, Argentina and Costa Rica (where translators are from). Anyway This sets the mood for a great start of the week. Yay!
Screenshot from 2017-10-08 20-55-30.png103.1 KB

29 August 2017

Sean Whitton: Nourishment

This semester I am taking JPN 530, Haruki Murakami and the Literature of Modern Japan . My department are letting me count it for the Philosophy Ph.D., and in fact my supervisor is joining me for the class. I have no idea what the actual class sessions will be like first one this afternoon and I m anxious about writing a literature term paper. But I already know that my weekends this semester are going to be great because I ll be reading Murakami s novels. What s particularly wonderful about this, and what I wanted to write about, is how nourishing I find reading literary fiction to be. For example, this weekend I read
This was something sure to be crammed full of warm secrets, like an antique clock built when peace filled the world. Potentiality knocks at the door of my heart.
and I was fed for the day. All my perceived needs dropped away; that s all it takes. This stands in stark contrast to reading philosophy, which is almost always draining rather than nourishing even philosophy I really want to read. Especially having to read philosophy at the weekend. (quotation is from On Seeing the 100% Perfect Girl on a Beautiful April Morning)

31 March 2017

Gunnar Wolf: Cannot help but sharing a historic video

People that know me know that I do whatever I can in order to avoid watching videos online if there's any other way to get to the content. It may be that I'm too old-fashioned, or that I have low attention and prefer to use a media where I can quickly scroll up and down a paragraph, or that I feel the time between bits of content is just a useless transition or whatever... But I bit. And I loved it. A couple of days ago, OS News featured a post titled From the AT&T Archives: The UNIX Operating System. It links to a couple of videos in AT&T's Youtube channel. I watched
AT&T Archives: The UNIX Operating System
, an amazing historic evidence: A 27 minute long documentary produced in 1981 covering... What is Unix. Why Unix is so unique, useful and friendly. What's the big deal about it? That this document shows first-hand that we are not repeating myths we came up with along the way: The same principles of process composition, of simplicity and robustness, but spoken directly by many core actors of the era Brian Kernighan (who drove a great deal of the technical explanation), Alfred Aho, Dennis Ritchie, Ken Thompson... And several more I didn't actually catch the names of. Of course, the video includes casual shots of life at AT&T, including lots of terminals (even some of which are quite similar to the first ones I used here in Mexico, of course), then-amazing color animation videos showing the state of the art of computer video 35 years ago... A delightful way to lose half an hour of productivity. And a bit of material that will surely find its way into my classes for some future semester :) [ps] Yes, I don't watch videos in Youtube. I don't want to enable its dirty Javascript. So, of course, I use the great Youtube-dl tool. I cannot share the video file itself here due to Youtube's service terms, but Youtube-dl is legal and free.

31 December 2016

Sean Whitton: Burkeman on time management

Burkeman: Why time management is ruining our lives Over the past semester I ve been trying to convince one graduate student and one professor in my department to use Inbox Zero to get a better handle on their e-mail inboxes. The goal is not to be more productive. The two of them get far more academic work done than I do. However, both of them are far more stressed than I am. And in the case of the graduate student, I have to add items to my own to-do list to chase up e-mails that I ve sent him, which only spreads this stress and tension around. The graduate student sent me this essay by Oliver Burkeman about how these techniques can backfire, creating more stress, tension and anxiety. It seems to me that this happens when we think of these techniques as having anything to do with productivity. Often people will say use this technique and you ll be less stressed, more productive, and even more productive because you re less stressed. Why not just say use this technique and you ll be less anxious and stressed ? This is a refusal to treat lower anxiety as merely a means to some further end. People can autonomously set their own ends, and they ll probably do a better job of this when they re less anxious. Someone offering a technique to help with their sense of being overwhelmed need not tell them what to do with their new calm. It might be argued that this response to Burkeman fails to address the huge sense of obligation that an e-mail inbox can generate. Perhaps the only sane response to this infinite to-do list is to let it pile up. If we follow a technique like Inbox Zero, don t we invest our inbox with more importance than it has? Like a lot of areas of life, the issue is that the e-mails that will advance truly valuable projects and relationships, projects of both ourselves and of others, are mixed in with reams of stuff that doesn t matter. We face this situation whenever we go into a supermarket, or wonder what to do during an upcoming vacation. In all these situations, we have a responsibility to learn how to filter the important stuff out, just as we have a responsibility to avoid reading celebrity gossip columns when we are scanning through a newspaper. Inbox Zero is a technique to do that filtering in the case of e-mail. Just letting our inbox pile up is an abdication of responsibility, rather than an intelligent response to a piece of technology that most of the world abuses.

30 December 2016

Shirish Agarwal: Mausaji, Samosaji


Mausaji, Never born Never died, Always in the heart.

Dear Friends, I have shared a few times that I had a privileged childhood. I never had led a hand-to-mouth existence but more than that I was privileged to have made the acquaintance of Jaipur wale Mausaji while I was very young. I have been called miserly by my cousin sisters whenever they write letters to me and I don t answer simply because whatever I feel for them, words feel inadequate and meaningless. The same thing applies in this as well. I am sharing few bits here as there are too many memories of a golden past which will not let me go till I have shared a few of them. First let me start by sharing the relation I had with him. By relation he was my mother s-sister s husband. In English, he would probably be termed as Maternal Uncle although he was much more than that. My one of the first remembrances of him was during Madhu Didi s Shaadi (marriage). Madhu Didi is uncle s daughter and I would have been a impish 4-5 year old at the time. This was the first time I was gonna be part of The Great North Indian Wedding and I didn t know what was in store for me as I had grown in Pune. I remember finishing my semester tests and mummy taking me to Pune Station. I was just excited that I would be travelling somewhere and had no clue what would be happening. We landed in Agra, took another train and landed in Jaipur in the middle of the night at their home at Sangram Colony. While I had known few of the cousins, I was stumped to see so many cousins jumping out of everywhere. The look on my face was one of stupefaction and surprise . The only thing which would closely resemble that would be Bilbo s 111st Birthday party in Lord of the Rings (Part 1). In fact, by a curious quirk/twist of fate, I came to know of a Naniji or somebody like that who by relation was far elder to me, while she was either my age or below my age. As was customary, had to bow down sheepishly. As a somewhat alone boy, to be thrown in this rambunctious bunch and be the babe in the woods, I was quickly chopped and eaten up but had no complaints. I would get into trouble onto a drop of a hat. While Mausiji would threaten me, Mausaji would almost always defend me. While Mausiji could see through me, the twinkle in Mausaji s eyes used to tell me that while he knew what I was upto, for reasons unknown, he would always defend me. Mausaji s Sangram Colony s house became my cricket ground, football ground and all and any ground to play and be. Mausaji and his brothers used to live near each other and the lane they had, had hardly any vehicles on it, so all the cousins could play all they want with me being the longest, perhaps unconsciously trying either to make for lost time or knowing/unknowing this was too good to last. Today s Pokemon generation might not be able to get it but that s alright. They also had a beautiful garden where Mausiji used to grow vegetables. While playing, we sometimes used to hurt her veggies (unconsciously) or just have shower with the garden hose. Mausaji used to enjoy seeing our antics. One of the relatives even had a dog who used to join in the fun sometimes. When mummy and Mausiji expressed concern about the dog biting, Mausaji would gently brush it aside. One of the other things in Didi s marriage is we got a whole lot of sweets. While Mausiji tried to keep us in check with sweets, both Manish Bhaiya and Mausaji used to secrete sweets from time to time. When I was hungry and used to steal food (can t wait till the appointed time) either Bhaiya or Mausaji would help me with the condition I would have to take the blame if and when we got caught as we invariably did. Mausaji s house had a basement where all the secreted sweets and food used to get in. Both me and Manish Bhaiya would be there and we would have a riot in ourselves. We would enjoy the adrenaline when we were stealing the food. As I was pretty young, I was crazy about the Tom and Jerry cartoons that used to come on Television that time. I and Bhaiya used to act like Jerry and/or his cronies while Mausiji would invariably be the Tom with Mausaji all-knowing about it but acting as a mere bystander. I remember him egging me for many of the antics I would do and get in trouble in but as shared would also be defended by him. The basement was also when I was becoming a teenager where Manish Bhaiya showed me his collection and we had a heart-to-heart about birds and bees. While whatever little I had known till that time was from school-friends and my peers at school and I didn t know what was right or wrong. Bhaiya clarified lot of things, concepts which I was either clueless or confused about. When I look back now, it is possible that Mausaji might have instructed Bhaiya to be my tutor as I used to be somewhat angry and lash out by the confusing times. As we used to go there for part of holidays, I remember doing all sorts of antics to make sure I would get an extra day, an extra hour to be there. I never used to understand why we had to go to meet the other relatives when all the fun I could have was right there only, couldn t Mummy know/see that I used to enjoy the most here. Mausaji was a clothier as we understand the term today and a gentleman to the core. He was the co-owner of Rajputana Cloth Store in Jaipur. Many VIP s as well as regular people used to visit him for getting clothes designed and stitched under his watchful eyes. I never saw him raise his voice against any of the personnel working under him and used to be a thorough gentleman to one and all. Later, as I grew up I came to know and see that people would phone up and just ask him to do the needful. He would get the right cloth, stitch it right and people used to trust him for that. He was such an expert on cloth and type of clothes, that by mere touch he could talk/share about what sort of cloth it is. One of his passions was driving and from the money he had saved, he had got an Ambassador Car. Every day or every other day or whenever he felt like it, he used to take either the gang or me with mummy or me with anybody else. Each ride used to be an adventure in itself, with a start beginning and an end. I always used to watch out for the car-rides as I knew we would get sweets or something as well as he would regale us with stories about a place here and there. There was a childlike curiosity and interest in him which was infectious to one and all. The only weakness that he had was he liked to drink wine once in a while. When I was a kid, I was never able to give him company, only few years back, for the first time I was able to share wine with him which was also a memory I treasure. Those who know him closely knew the many up and downs that he went through, but as a gentleman he never let on the hurts he had or didn t curse his fate or anything else that we do when things go bad from our perspective. While there is much to write about him, it will not accomplish anything that is not known about him. I ll add with the private joke that was between him and me. When I was little, I used to call him Mausaji, Samosaji for a) I liked Samosa and b) Samosa has a bit thick skin outside and underneath it s all gravy. In reality though, he was butter all the way. I miss you Mausaji and wish I could turn the clock back and come with Mummy to visit both Mausiji and you. I hope your new journey takes you to even further heights than this life. Savouring the memories mummy and I, hope we meet you again in some new Avataar
Filed under: Miscellenous Tagged: #antics, #growing up, #holidays, #Manish Bhiaya, #Mausaji, #Sangram Colony

22 October 2016

Matthieu Caneill: Debugging 101

While teaching this semester a class on concurrent programming, I realized during the labs that most of the students couldn't properly debug their code. They are at the end of a 2-year cursus, know many different programming languages and frameworks, but when it comes to tracking down a bug in their own code, they often lacked the basics. Instead of debugging for them I tried to give them general directions that they could apply for the next bugs. I will try here to summarize the very first basic things to know about debugging. Because, remember, writing software is 90% debugging, and 10% introducing new bugs (that is not from me, but I could not find the original quote). So here is my take at Debugging 101. Use the right tools Many good tools exist to assist you in writing correct software, and it would put you behind in terms of productivity not to use them. Editors which catch syntax errors while you write them, for example, will help you a lot. And there are many features out there in editors, compilers, debuggers, which will prevent you from introducing trivial bugs. Your editor should be your friend; explore its features and customization options, and find an efficient workflow with them, that you like and can improve over time. The best way to fix bugs is not to have them in the first place, obviously. Test early, test often I've seen students writing code for one hour before running make, that would fail so hard that hundreds of lines of errors and warnings were outputted. There are two main reasons doing this is a bad idea: I recommend to test your code (compilation and execution) every few lines of code you write. When something breaks, chances are it will come from the last line(s) you wrote. Compiler errors will be shorter, and will point you to the same place in the code. Once you get more confident using a particular language or framework, you can write more lines at once without testing. That's a slow process, but it's ok. If you set up the right keybinding for compiling and executing from within your editor, it shouldn't be painful to test early and often. Read the logs Spot the places where your program/compiler/debugger writes text, and read it carefully. It can be your terminal (quite often), a file in your current directory, a file in /var/log/, a web page on a local server, anything. Learn where different software write logs on your system, and integrate reading them in your workflow. Often, it will be your only information about the bug. Often, it will tell you where the bug lies. Sometimes, it will even give you hints on how to fix it. You may have to filter out a lot of garbage to find relevant information about your bug. Learn to spot some keywords like error or warning. In long stacktraces, spot the lines concerning your files; because more often, your code is to be blamed, rather than deeper library code. grep the logs with relevant keywords. If you have the option, colorize the output. Use tail -f to follow a file getting updated. There are so many ways to grasp logs, so find what works best with you and never forget to use it! Print foobar That one doesn't concern compilation errors (unless it's a Makefile error, in that case this file is your code anyway). When the program logs and output failed to give you where an error occured (oh hi Segmentation fault!), and before having to dive into a memory debugger or system trace tool, spot the portion of your program that causes the bug and add in there some print statements. You can either print("foo") and print("bar"), just to know that your program reaches or not a certain place in your code, or print(some_faulty_var) to get more insights on your program state. It will give you precious information.
stderr >> "foo" >> endl;
my_db.connect(); // is this broken?
stderr >> "bar" >> endl;
In the example above, you can be sure it is the connection to the database my_db that is broken if you get foo and not bar on your standard error. (That is an hypothetical example. If you know something can break, such as a database connection, then you should always enclose it in a try/catch structure). Isolate and reproduce the bug This point is linked to the previous one. You may or may not have isolated the line(s) causing the bug, but maybe the issue is not always raised. It can depend on many other things: the program or function parameters, the network status, the amount of memory available, the decisions of the OS scheduler, the user rights on the system or on some files, etc. More generally, any assumption you made on any external dependency can appear to be wrong (even if it's right 99% of the time). According to the context, try to isolate the set of conditions that trigger the bug. It can be as simple as "when there is no internet connection", or as complicated as "when the CPU load of some external machine is too high, it's a leap year, and the input contains illegal utf-8 characters" (ok, that one is fucked up; but it surely happens!). But you need to reliably be able to reproduce the bug, in order to be sure later that you indeed fixed it. Of course when the bug is triggered at every run, it can be frustrating that your program never works but it will in general be easier to fix. RTFM Always read the documentation before reaching out for help. Be it man, a book, a website or a wiki, you will find precious information there to assist you in using a language or a specific library. It can be quite intimidating at first, but it's often organized the same way. You're likely to find a search tool, an API reference, a tutorial, and many examples. Compare your code against them. Check in the FAQ, maybe your bug and its solution are already referenced there. You'll rapidly find yourself getting used to the way documentation is organized, and you'll be more and more efficient at finding instantly what you need. Always keep the doc window open! Google and Stack Overflow are your friends Let's be honest: many of the bugs you'll encounter have been encountered before. Learn to write efficient queries on search engines, and use the knowledge you can find on questions&answers forums like Stack Overflow. Read the answers and comments. Be wise though, and never blindly copy and paste code from there. It can be as bad as introducing malicious security issues into your code, and you won't learn anything. Oh, and don't copy and paste anyway. You have to be sure you understand every single line, so better write them by hand; it's also better for memorizing the issue. Take notes Once you have identified and solved a particular bug, I advise to write about it. No need for shiny interfaces: keep a list of your bugs along with their solutions in one or many text files, organized by language or framework, that you can easily grep. It can seem slightly cumbersome to do so, but it proved (at least to me) to be very valuable. I can often recall I have encountered some buggy situation in the past, but don't always remember the solution. Instead of losing all the debugging time again, I search in my bug/solution list first, and when it's a hit I'm more than happy I kept it. Further reading degugging Remember this was only Debugging 101, that is, the very first steps on how to debug code on your own, instead of getting frustrated and helplessly stare at your screen without knowing where to begin. When you'll write more software, you'll get used to more efficient workflows, and you'll discover tools that are here to assist you in writing bug-free code and spotting complex bugs efficiently. Listed below are some of the tools or general ideas used to debug more complex software. They belong more to a software engineering course than a Debugging 101 blog post. But it's good to know as soon as possible these exist, and if you read the manuals there's no reason you can't rock with them! Don't hesitate to comment on this, and provide your debugging 101 tips! I'll be happy to update the article with valuable feedback. Happy debugging!

28 September 2016

Sean Whitton: 'Do you really need to do that?'

A new postdoc student arrived at our department this semester, and after learning that he uses GNU/Linux for all his computing, I invited him along to TFUG. During some of our meetings people asked how could I do X on my GNU/Linux desktop? and, jokingly, the postdoc would respond the answer to your question is do you really need to do that? Sometimes the more experienced GNU/Linux users at the table would respond to questions by suggesting that the user should simply give up on doing X, and the postdoc would slap his thigh and laugh and say see? I told you that s the answer! The phenomenon here is that people who have at some point made a commitment to at least try to use GNU/Linux for all their computing quickly find that they have come to value using GNU/Linux more than they value engaging in certain activities that only work well/at all under a proprietary operating system. I think that this is because they get used to being treated with respect by their computer. And indeed, one of the reasons I ve almost entirely given up on computer gaming is that computer games are non-free software. Are you sure you need to do that? starts sounding like a genuine question rather than simply a polite way of saying that what someone wants to do can t be achieved. I suggest that this is a blessing in disguise. The majority of the things that you can only do under a proprietary operating system are things that it would be good for you if you were to switch them out for other activities. I m not suggesting that switching to a GNU/Linux is a good way to give up on the entertainment industry. It s a good way of moderating your engagement with the entertainment industry. Rather than logging onto Netflix, you might instead pop in a DVD of a movie. You can still engage with contemporary popular culture, but the technical barriers give you an opportunity to moderate your consumption: once you ve finished watching the movie, the software won t try to get you to watch something else by making a calculation as to what you re most likely to assent to watching next based on what you ve watched before. For this behaviour of the Netflix software is just another example of non-free software working against its user s interests: watching a movie is good for you, but binge-watching a TV series probably isn t. In cases like this, living in the world of Free Software makes it easier to engage with media healthily.

21 June 2016

Gunnar Wolf: Relax and breathe...

Time passes. I had left several (too many?) pending things to be done un the quiet weeks between the end of the lective semestre and the beginning of muy Summer trip to Winter. But Saturday gets closer every moment... And our long trip to the South begins. Among many other things, I wanted to avance with some Deb an stuff - both packaging and WRT keyring analysis. I want to contacto some people I left pending interactions with, but honestly, that will only come face to face un Capetown. As to "real life", I hace too many pending issues at work to even begin with; I hope to get some time at South frica todo do some decent UNAM sysadmining. Also, I want to play the idea of using Git for my students' workflow (handing in projects and assignments, at least)... This can be interesting to talk with the Deb an colleagues about, actually. As a Masters student, I'm making good advances, and will probably finish muy class work next semester, six months ahead of schedule, but muy thesis work so far has progressed way slower than what I'd like. I have at least a better defined topic and approach, so I'll start the writing phase soon. And the personal life? Family? I am more complete and happy than ever before. My life su completely different from two years ago. Yes, that was obvious. But it's also the only thing I can come up with. Having twin babies (when will they make the transition from "babies" to "kids"? No idea... We will find out as it comes) is more than beautiful, more than great. Our life has changed in every possible aspect. And yes, I admire my loved Regina for all of the energy and love she puts on the babies... Life is asymetric, I am out for most of the day... Mommy is always there. As I said, happier than ever before.

29 May 2016

Kevin Avignon: Interesting project : Render stereoscopic 3D images using Kinect 2.0

Hi guys, Last summer, I got into an interesting course entitled Emerging topics in information technologies . During the first part of the course, we focused more on 3D computer vision techniques and how to manipulate 3D images.Issues such as depth-image-based rendering were obscure and captivating enough to get me motivated throughout the summer semester. In order Continue reading Interesting project : Render stereoscopic 3D images using Kinect 2.0

12 January 2016

Gunnar Wolf: Readying up for the second "Embedded Linux" diploma course

I am happy to share here a project I was a part of during last year, that ended up being a complete success and now stands to be repeated: The diploma course on embedded Linux, taught at Facultad de Ingenier a, UNAM, where I'm teaching my regular classes as well. Back in November, we held the graduation for our first 10 students. This photo shows only seven, as the remaining three have already relocated to Guadalajara, where they were hired by Continental, a company that promoted the creation of this specialization program. After this first excercise, we went over the program and made some adequations; future generations will have a shorter and more focused program (240 instead of 288 hours, leaving out several topics that were not deemed related to the topic or were thoroughly understood by students to begin with); we intend to start the semester-long course in early February. I will soon update here with the full program and promotional material, as soon as I receive it. update (01-19): You can download the promotional information, or go to an (unofficial) URL with the full information. We are close to starting the program, so hurry! I am specially glad that this course is taught by people I admire and recognize, and a very interesting mix between long-time academic and stemming from my free-software-related friends: From the academic side, Facultad de Ingenier a's professors Laura Sandoval, Karen S enz and Oscar Valdez, and from the free-software side, Sandino Araico, Iv n Chavero, C sar Y ez and Gabriel Salda a (and myself on both camps, of course )
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14 November 2015

Juliana Louback: PaperTrail - Powered by IBM Watson

On the final semester of my MSc program at Columbia SEAS, I was lucky enough to be able to attend a seminar course taught by Alfio Gliozzo entitled Q&A with IBM Watson. A significant part of the course is dedicated to learning how to leverage the services and resources available on the Watson Developer Cloud. This post describes the course project my team developed, the PaperTrail application.

Project Proposal Create an application to assist in the development of future academic papers. Based on a paper s initial proposal, Paper Trail predicts publications to be used as references or acknowledgement of prior art and provides a trend analysis of major topics and methods. The objective is to speed the discovery of relevant papers early in the research process, and allow for early assessment of the depth of prior research concerning the initial proposal.

Meet the Team Wesley Bruning, Software Engineer, MSc. in Computer Science Xavier Gonzalez, Industrial Engineer, MSc. in Data Science Juliana Louback, Software Engineer, MSc. in Computer Science Aaron Zakem, Patent Attorney, MSc. in Computer Science

Prior Art A significant amount of attention has been given to this topic over the past few decades. The table below shows the work the team deemed most relevant due to recency, accuracy and similarity of functionality. priorArt The variation in accuracy displayed is a result of experimentation with different dataset sizes and algorithm variations. More information and details can be found in the prior art report. The main differential of PaperTrail is providing a form of access to the citation prediciton and trend analysis algorithm. With the exception of the project by McNee et al., these algorithmns aren t currently available for general use. The application on is open to use but its objective is to rank publications and authors for given topics.

Algorithm Citation Prediction: PaperTrail builds on the work done by Wolski s team in Fall 2014. This algorithmn builds a reference graph used to define research communities, with an associated vector of topic scores generated by an LDA model. The papers in each research community are then ranked by importance within the community with a custom ranking algorithm. When a target document is given to algorithm as input, the LDA model is used to generate a vector of topics that are present in the document. The communities with the most similar topic vectors are selected and the publications within these communities with highest rank and greatest similarity to the input document are recommended as references. A more detailed description can be found here. Trend Analysis: Initially, the idea was to use the AlchemyData News API to obtain statistics pertaining to the amount of publications on a given topic over time. However, with the exception of buzz-words (i.e. big data ), many more specialized topics appeared very infrequently in news articles, if at all. This isn t entirely surprising given the target audience of PaperTrail. As a work around, we use the Alchemy Language API to extract keywords from the abstracts in the dataset, in addition to relevance scores. The PaperTrail database could then be queried for entry counts for a given year and keyword to provide an indication of publication trends in academia. Note that the Alchemy Language API extracts multiple-word keywords as well as single words.

Data To maintain consistency with Wolski s project, we are using the DBLP data as made available on The DBLP-Citation-network V5 dataset contains 1,572,277 entries; we are limited to the use of entries that contain both abstracts and citations, bringing the dataset size down to 265,865 entries.

Architecture A high-level visualization of the project architecture is displayed below. Before launching PaperTrail, it s necessary to train Wolski s algorithm offline. Currently any documentation with regard to the performance of said algorithm is unavailable; the PaperTrail project will include an evaluation phase and report the findings made. The PaperTrail app and database will be hosted on the Bluemix Platform. ptArchitecture

Status Report Phases completed:
  • Project design
  • Prior art research
  • Data cleansing
  • Development and deployment of an alpha version of the PaperTrail app
Phases under development:
  • Algorithm training and evaluation
  • Keyword extraction
  • MapReduce of publication frequency by year and topic
  • Data visualization component

17 August 2015

Gunnar Wolf: report @mx (that means, sadly, gwolf DebConf15)

<Sigh/> For the second time since I joined Debian, I missed DebConf. This time, mostly for two completely happy reasons (which have, of course, grown up quite significatively): But adding to that very important factor, early-to-mid August is possibly the worst date for me to attend DebConf As that's when we start classes at UNAM, and I really don't want to delegate introducing my class to somebody else (besides it being or not possible). Life has been quite busy here. Besides starting my seventh semester as a teacher (finally being able to present my book on operating systems to the students!), I also took on teaching two modules for a diploma-course on embedded Linux. I'm co- teaching the "User-space Linux" module together with Gabriel Salda a, and will teach the "Boot process" module with Sandino Araico. There are many things that should be improved about the covered program, but we are having good fun working our way on it; Gabriel and I have given two (out of six) 6hr sessions each, and have reached the point where it is actually becoming fun :) As for Debian... I have been doing minimal maintenance work. Answering to some keyring tickets, or taking care of only high-profile important issues. I do not have time to do much. I have been wanting to do some interesting analysis on the evolution of our keyring for several months, but have not had the time to follow it up. Will do at some point, /mehopes. Anyway... This post is probably just because I need to somehow be there at our community's highest social, technical exchange period in the year. That is, there's not much to report, it's only me waving from home!

20 March 2015

Zlatan Todori : My journey into Debian

Notice: There were several requests for me to more elaborate on my path to Debian and impact on life so here it is. It's going to be a bit long so anyone who isn't interested in my personal Debian journey should skip it. :) In 2007. I enrolled into Faculty of Mechanical Engineering (at first at Department of Industrial Management and later transfered to Department of Mechatronics - this was possible because first 3 semesters are same for both departments). By the end of same year I was finishing my tasks (consisting primarily of calculations, some small graphical designs and write-ups) when famous virus, called by users "RECYCLER", sent my Windows XP machine into oblivion. Not only it took control over machine and just spawned so many processes that system would crash itself, it actually deleted all from hard-disk before it killed the system entirely. I raged - my month old work, full of precise calculations and a lot of design details, was just gone. I started cursing which was always continued with weeping: "Why isn't there an OS that can whithstand all of viruses, even if it looks like old DOS!". At that time, my roommate was my cousin who had used Kubuntu in past and currently was having SUSE dual-booted on his laptop. He called me over, started talking about this thing called Linux and how it's different but de facto has no viruses. Well, show me this Linux and my thought was, it's probably so ancient and not used that it probably looks like from pre Windows 3.1 era, but when SUSE booted up it had so much more beautiful UI look (it was KDE, and compared to XP it looked like the most professional OS ever). So I was thrilled, installed openSUSE, found some rough edges (I knew immediately that my work with professional CAD systems will not be possible on Linux machines) but overall I was bought. After that he even talked to me about distros. Wait, WTF distros?! So, he showed me I was amazed. There is not only a better OS then Windows - there where dozens, hundreds of them. After some poking around I installed Debian KDE - and it felt great, working better then openSUSE but now I was as most newbies, on fire to try more distros. So I was going around with Fedora, Mandriva, CentOS, Ubuntu, Mint, PCLinuxOS and in beginning of 2008 I stumbled upon Debian docs which where talking about GNU and GNU Manifesto. To be clear, I was always as a high-school kid very much attached to idea of freedom but started loosing faith by faculty time (Internet was still not taking too much of time here, youth still spent most of the day outside). So the GNU Manifesto was really a big thing for me and Debian is a social bastion of freedom. Debian (now with GNOME2) was being installed on my machine. As all that hackerdom in Debian was around I started trying to dig up some code. I never ever read a book on coding (until this day I still didn't start and finish one) so after a few days I decided to code tetris in C++ with thought that I will finish it in two days at most (the feeling that you are powerful and very bright person) - I ended it after one month in much pain. So instead I learned about keeping Debian system going on, and exploring some new packages. I got thrilled over radiotray, slimvolley (even held a tournament in my dorm room), started helping on #debian, was very active in conversation with others about Debian and even installed it on few laptops (I became de facto technical support for users of those laptops :D ). Then came 2010 which with negative flow that came in second half of 2009, started to crush me badly. I was promised to go to Norway, getting my studies on robotics and professor lied (that same professor is still on faculty even after he was caught in big corruption scandal over buying robots - he bought 15 years old robots from UK, although he got money from Norway to buy new ones). My relationship came to hard end and had big emotional impact on me. I fell a year on faculty. My father stopped financing me and stopped talking to me. My depression came back. Alcohol took over me. I was drunk every day just not to feel anything. Then came the end of 2010, I somehow got to the information that DebConf will be in Banja Luka. WHAT?! DebConf in city where I live. I got into #debconf and in December 2010/January 2011 I became part of the famous "local local organizers". I was still getting hammered by alcohol but at least I was getting out of depression. IIRC I met Holger and Moray in May, had a great day (a drop of rakia that was too much for all of us) and by their way of behaving there was something strange. Beatiful but strange. Both were sending unique energy of liberty although I am not sure they were aware of it. Later, during DebConf I felt that energy from almost all Debian people, which I can't explain. I don't feel it today - not because it's not there, it's because I think I integrated so much into Debian community that it's now a natural feeling which people here, that are close to me are saying that they feel it when I talk about Debian. DebConf time in Banja Luka was awesome - firstly I met Phil Hands and Andrew McMillan which were a crazy team, local local team was working hard (I even threw up during the work in Banski Dvor because of all heat and probably not much of sleep due to excitement), met also crazy Mexican Gunnar (aren't all Mexicans crazy?), played Mao (never again, thank you), was hanging around smart but crazy people (love all) from which I must notice Nattie (a bastion of positive energy), Christian Perrier (which had coordinated our Serbian translation effort), Steve Langasek (which asked me to find physiotherapist for his co-worker Mathias Klose, IIRC), Zach (not at all important guy at that time), Luca Capello (who gifted me a swirl on my birthday) and so many others that this would be a post for itself just naming them. During DebConf it was also a bit of hard time - my grandfather died on 6th July and I couldn't attend the funeral so I was still having that sadness in my heart, and Darjan Prtic, a local team member that came from Vienna, committed suicide on my birthday (23 July). But DebConf as conference was great, but more importantly the Debian community felt like a family and Meike Reichle told me that it was. The night it finished, me and Vedran Novakovic cried. A lot. Even days after, I was getting up in the morning having the feeling I need something to do for DebConf. After a long time I felt alive. By the end of year, I adopted package from Clint Adams and Moray became my sponsor. In last quarter of 2011 and beginning of 2012, I (as part of LUG) held talks about Linux, had Linux installation in Computer Center for the first time ever, and installed Debian on more machines. Now fast forwarding with some details - I was also on DebConf13 in Switzerland, met some great new friends such as Tincho and Santiago (and many many more), Santiago was also my roommate in Portland on the previous DebConf. In Switzerland I had really great and awesome time. Year 2014 - I was also at DebConf14, maintain a bit more packages and have applied for DD, met some new friends among which I must put out Apollon Oikonomopoulos and Costas Drogos which friendship is already deep for such a short time and I already know that they are life-long friends. Also thanks to Steve Langasek, because without his help I wouldn't be in Portland with my family and he also gave me Arduino. :) 2015. - I am currently at my village residence, have a 5 years of working experince as developer due to Debian and still a lot to go, learn and do but my love towards Debian community is by magnitude bigger then when I thought I love it at most. I am also going through my personal evolution and people from Debian showed me to fight for what you care, so I plan to do so. I can't write all and name all the people that I met, and believe me when I say that I remember most and all of you impacted my life for which I am eternally grateful. Debian, and it's community effect literally saved my life, spring new energy into me and changed me for better. Debian social impact is far bigger then technical, and when you know that Debian is a bastion of technical excellence - you can maybe picture the greatness of Debian. Some of greatest minds are in Debian but most important isn't the sheer amount of knowledge but the enormous empathy. I just hope I can in future show to more people what Debian is and to find all lost souls as me to give them the hope, to show them that we can make world a better place and that everyone is capable to live and do what they love. P.S. I am still hoping and waiting to see Bdale writing a book about Debian's history to this day - in which I think many of us would admire the work done by project members, laugh about many situations and have fun reading a book about project that was having nothing to do but fail and yet it stands stronger then ever with roots deep into our minds.