Search Results: "pabs"

1 September 2022

Shirish Agarwal: Culture, Books, Friends

Culture Just before I start, I would like to point out that this post may or would probably be NSFW. Again, what is SFW (Safe at Work) and NSFW that so much depends on culture and perception of culture from wherever we are or wherever we take birth? But still, to be on the safe side I have put it as NSFW. Now there have been a few statements and ideas that gave me a pause. This will be a sort of chaotic blog post as I am in such a phase today. For e.g. while I do not know which culture or which country this comes from, somebody shared that in some cultures one can talk/comment May your poop be easy and with a straight face. I dunno which culture is this but if somebody asked me that I would just die from laughing or maybe poop there itself. While I can understand if it is a constipated person, but a whole culture? Until and unless their DNA is really screwed, I don t think so but then what do I know? I do know that we shit when we have extreme reactions of either joy or fear. And IIRC, this comes from mammal response when they were in dangerous situations and we got the same as humans evolved. I would really be interested to know which culture is that. I did come to know that the Japanese do wish that you may not experience hard work or something to that effect while ironically they themselves are becoming extinct due to hard work and not enough relaxation, toxic workplace is common in Japan according to social scientists and population experts. Another term that I couldn t figure out is The Florida Man Strikes again and this term is usually used when somebody does something stupid or something weird. While it is exclusively used in the American context, I am curious to know how that came about. Why does Florida have such people or is it an exaggeration? I have heard the term e.g. What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas . Think it is also called Sin city although why just Vegas is beyond me?

Omicron-8712 Blood pressure machine I felt so stupid. I found another site or e-commerce site called Wellness Forever. They had the blood pressure machine I wanted, an Omron-8172. I bought it online and they delivered the same within half an hour. Amazon took six days and in the end, didn t deliver it at all. I tried taking measurements from it yesterday. I have yet to figure out what it all means but I did get measurements of 109 SYS, 88 DIA and Pulse is 72. As far as the pulse is concerned, guess that is normal, the others just don t know. If only I had known this couple of months ago. I was able to register the product as well as download and use the Omron Connect app. For roughly INR 2.5k you have a sort of health monitoring system. It isn t Star Trek Tricorder in any shape or form but it will have to do while the tricorder gets invented. And while we are on the subject let s not forget Elizabeth Holmes and the scam called Theranos. It really is something to see How Elizabeth Holmes modeled so much of herself on Steve Jobs mimicking how he left college/education halfway. A part of me is sad that Theranos is not real. Joe Scott just a few days ago shared some perspectives on the same just a few days ago. The idea in itself is pretty seductive, to say the least, and that is the reason the scam went on for more than a decade and perhaps would have been longer if some people hadn t gotten the truth out. I do see potentially, something like that coming on as A.I. takes a bigger role in automating testing. Half a decade to a decade from now, who knows if there is an algorithm that is able to do what is needed? If such a product were to come to the marketplace at a decent price, it would revolutionize medicine, especially in countries like India, South Africa, and all sorts of remote places. Especially, with all sorts of off-grid technologies coming and maturing in the marketplace. Before I forget, there is a game called Cell on Android that tells or shares about the evolution of life on earth. It also shares credence to the idea that life has come 6 times on Earth and has been destroyed multiple times by asteroids. It is in the idle sort of game format, so you can see the humble beginnings from the primordial soup to various kinds of cells and bacteria to finally a mammal. This is where I am and a long way to go.

Indian Bureaucracy One of the few things that Britishers gave to India, is the bureaucracy and the bureaucracy tests us in myriad ways. It would be full 2 months on 5th September and I haven t yet got a death certificate. And I need that for a sundry number of things. The same goes for a disability certificate. What is and was interesting is my trip to the local big hospital called Sassoon Hospital. My mum had shared incidents that occurred in the 1950s when she and the family had come to Pune. According to her, when she was alive, while Sassoon was the place to be, it was big and chaotic and you never knew where you are going. That was in 1950, I had the same experience in 2022. The term/adage the more things change, the more they remain the same seems to be held true for Sassoon Hospital. Btw, those of you who think the Devil exists, he is totally a fallacy. There is a popular myth that the devil comes to deal that he/she/they come to deal with you when somebody close to you passes, I was waiting desperately for him when mum passed. Any deal that he/she/they would have offered me I would have gladly taken, but all my wait was all for nothing. While I believe evil exists, that is manifested by humans and nobody else. The whole idea and story of the devil is just to control young children and nothing beyond that

Debconf 2023, friends, JPEGOptim, and EV s Quite a number of friends had gone to Albania this year as India won the right to host Debconf for the year 2023. While I did lurk on the Debconf orga IRC channel, I m not sure how helpful I would be currently. One news that warmed my heart is some people would be coming to India to check the site way before and make sure things go smoothly. Nothing like having more eyes (in this case bodies) to throw at a problem and hopefully it will be sorted. While I have not been working for the last couple of years, one of the things that I had to do and have been doing is moving a lot of stuff online. This is in part due to the Government s own intention of having everything on the cloud. One of the things I probably may have shared it more than enough times is that the storage most of these sites give is like the 1990s. I tried jpegoptim and while it works, it degrades the quality of the image quite a bit. The whole thing seems backward, especially as newer and newer smartphones are capturing more data per picture (megapixel resolution), case in point Samsung Galaxy A04 that is being introduced. But this is not only about newer phones, even my earlier phone, Samsung J-5/500 which I bought in 2016 took images at 5 MB. So it is not a new issue but a continuous issue. And almost all Govt. sites have the upper band fixed at 1 MB. But this is not limited to Govt. sites alone, most sites in India are somewhat frozen in the 1990s. And it isn t as if resources for designing web pages using HTML5, CSS3, Javascript, Python, or Java aren t available. If worse comes to worst, one can even use amp to make his, her or their point. But this is if they want to do stuff. I would be sharing a few photos with commentary, there are still places where I can put photos apart from social media

Friends Last week, Saturday suddenly all the friends decided to show up. I have no clue one way or the other why but am glad they showed up.
Mahendra, Akshat, Shirish and Sagar Sukhose (Mangesh's friend). Mahendra, Akshat, Shirish and Sagar Sukhose (Mangesh s friend) at Bal Gandharva..
Electric scooter as shared by Akshat seen in Albania Electric scooter as shared by Akshat seen in Albania
Somebody making a  real-life replica of Wall Street on F.C. Road (Commercial, all glass)Somebody making a real-life replica of Wall Street on F.C. Road (Commercial, all glass)
Ganesh Idol near my houseGanesh Idol near my house
Wearing new clothesWearing new clothes
I will have to be a bit rapid about what I am sharing above so here goes nothing

1. The first picture shows Mahendra, Akshat, me, and Sagar Sukhose (Mangesh s friend). The picture was taken by Mangesh Diwate. We talked quite a bit of various things that could be done in Debian. A few of the things that I shared were (bringing more stuff from BSD to Debian, I am sure there s still quite a lot of security software that could be advantageous to have in Debian.) The best person to talk to or guide about this would undoubtedly be Paul Wise or as he is affectionally called Pabs. He is one of the shy ones and yet knows so much about how things work. The one and only time I met him is 2016. The other thing that we talked about is porting Debian to one of the phones. This has been done in the past and done by a Puneitie some 4-5 years back. While I don t recollect the gentleman s name, I remember that the porting was done on a Motorola phone as that was the easiest to do. He had tried some other mobile but that didn t work. Making Debian available on phone is hard work. Just to have an idea, I went to the xda developers forum and found out that while M51 has been added, my specific phone model is not there. A Samsung Galaxy M52G Android (samsung; SM-M526B; lahaina; arm64-v8a) v12 . You look at the chat and you understand how difficult the process might be. One of the other ideas that Akshat pitched was Debian Astro, this is something that is close to the heart of many, including me. I also proposed to have some kind of web app or something where we can find and share about the various astronomy and related projects done by various agencies. While there is a NASA app, nothing comes close to JSR and that site just shares stuff, no speculation. There are so many projects taken or being done by the EU, JAXA, ISRO, and even middle-east countries are trying but other than people who are following some of the developments, we hear almost nothing. Even the Chinese have made some long strides but most people know nothing about the same. And it s sad to know that those developments are not being known, shared, or even speculated about as much as say NASA or SpaceX is. How do we go about it and how do we get people to contribute or ask questions around it would be interesting. 2. The second picture was something that was shared by Akshat. Akshat was sharing how in Albania people are moving on these electric scooters . I dunno if that is the right word for it or what. I had heard from a couple of friends who had gone to Vietnam a few years ago how most people in Vietnam had modified their scooters and they were snaking lines of electric wires charging scooters. I have no clue whether they were closer to Vespa or something like above. In India, the Govt. is in partnership with the oil, gas, and coal mafia just as it was in Australia (the new Govt. in Australia is making changes) the same thing is here. With the humongous profits that the oil sector provides the petro states and others, Corruption is bound to happen. We talk and that s the extent of things. 3. The third picture is from a nearby area called F.C. Road or Fergusson College Road. The area has come up quite sharply (commercially) in the last few years. Apparently, Mr. Kushal is making a real-life replica of Wall Street which would be given to commercial tenants. Right now the real estate market is tight in India, we will know how things pan out in the next few years. 4. Number four is an image of a Ganesh idol near my house. There is a 10-day festival of the elephant god that people used to celebrate every year. For the last couple of years because of the pandemic, people were unable to celebrate the festival as it is meant to celebrate. This time some people are going overboard while others are cautious and rightfully so. 5. Last and not least, one of the things that people do at this celebration is to have new clothes, so I shared a photo of a gentleman who had bought and was wearing new clothes. While most countries around the world are similar, Latin America is very similar to India in many ways, perhaps Gunnar can share. especially about religious activities. The elephant god is known for his penchant for sweets and that can be seen from his rounded stomach, that is also how he is celebrated. He is known to make problems disappear or that is supposed to be his thing. We do have something like 4 billion gods, so each one has to be given some work or quality to justify the same

Paul Wise: FLOSS Activities August 2022

Focus This month I didn't have any particular focus. I just worked on issues in my info bubble.

Changes

Issues

Debugging
  • Did extensive debugging on a libpst issue but failed to figure out the cause of the issue. Seems to be related to a change to freopen in glibc that fixed compatibility with POSIX.

Review
  • FOSSjobs: approved postings
  • Spam: reported 5 Debian bug reports and 23 Debian mailing list posts
  • Debian packages: sponsored psi-notify (twice)
  • Debian wiki: RecentChanges for the month
  • Debian BTS usertags: changes for the month
  • Debian screenshots:
    • approved bible-kjv edb-debugger lifeograph links mu-editor unattended-upgrades
    • rejected apt-listchanges/apt-listdifferences (semi-related log file), steam-devices (package description), myspell-es/lighttpd (selfie), fraqtive (Windows), wireguard (logo), kde-telepathy-contact-list (mobile hacking app)

Administration
  • Debian BTS: unarchive/reopen/triage bugs for reintroduced packages orage, scap-security-guide, libdatetime-format-datemanip-perl
  • Debian IRC: disable anti-spam channel modes for some channels
  • Debian servers: investigate full filesystems
  • Debian wiki: unblock IP addresses, approve accounts, ping accounts with bouncing email

Communication
  • Respond to queries from Debian users and contributors on the mailing lists and IRC.

Sponsors The sptag, libpst, purple-discord, circuitbreaker work was sponsored. All other work was done on a volunteer basis.

31 July 2022

Paul Wise: FLOSS Activities July 2022

Focus This month I didn't have any particular focus. I just worked on issues in my info bubble.

Changes

Issues

Review

Administration
  • Debian BTS: unarchive/reopen/triage bugs for reintroduced packages
  • Debian servers: check full disks, ping users of excessive disk usage, restart a hung service
  • Debian wiki: approve accounts

Communication
  • Respond to queries from Debian users and contributors on the mailing lists and IRC

Sponsors The SPTAG, SIMDEverywhere, cwidget, aptitude, tldextract work was sponsored. All other work was done on a volunteer basis.

1 July 2022

Paul Wise: FLOSS Activities June 2022

Focus This month I didn't have any particular focus. I just worked on issues in my info bubble.

Changes

Issues

Review
  • Spam: reported 5 Debian bug reports and 45 Debian mailing list posts
  • Debian wiki: RecentChanges for the month
  • Debian BTS usertags: changes for the month
  • Debian screenshots:

Administration
  • Debian wiki: unblock IP addresses, assist with account recovery, approve accounts

Communication

Sponsors The sptag work was sponsored. All other work was done on a volunteer basis.

31 May 2022

Paul Wise: FLOSS Activities May 2022

Focus This month I didn't have any particular focus. I just worked on issues in my info bubble.

Changes

Issues

Review
  • Spam: reported 1 Debian bug reports and 41 Debian mailing list posts
  • Patches: reviewed gt patches
  • Debian packages: sponsored psi-notify
  • Debian wiki: RecentChanges for the month
  • Debian BTS usertags: changes for the month
  • Debian screenshots:
    • approved cppcheck-gui eta flpsed fluxbox p7zip-full pampi pyqso xboard
    • rejected p7zip (help output), openshot (photo of a physical library), clamav-daemon (movie cartoon character), aptitude (screenshot of random launchpad project), laditools (screenshot of tracker.d.o for src:hello), weboob-qt/chromium-browser/supercollider-vim ((NSFW) selfies), node-split (screenshot of screenshots site), libc6 (Chinese characters alongside a photo of man and bottle)

Administration
  • Debian servers: investigate etckeeper cron mail
  • Debian wiki: investigate account existence, approve accounts

Communication
  • Respond to queries from Debian users and contributors on the mailing lists and IRC

Sponsors The gensim and libpst work was sponsored. All other work was done on a volunteer basis.

1 May 2022

Paul Wise: FLOSS Activities April 2022

Focus This month I didn't have any particular focus. I just worked on issues in my info bubble.

Changes

Issues

Review
  • Spam: reported 33 Debian mailing list posts
  • Debian wiki: RecentChanges for the month
  • Debian BTS usertags: changes for the month
  • Debian screenshots:

Administration
  • Debian wiki: unblock IP addresses, approve accounts

Communication

Sponsors The libpst, gensim, SPTAG work was sponsored. All other work was done on a volunteer basis.

7 April 2022

Gunnar Wolf: How is the free firmware for the Raspberry progressing?

Raspberry Pi computers require a piece of non-free software to boot the infamous raspi-firmware package. But for almost as long as there has been a Raspberry Pi to talk of (this year it turns 10 years old!), there have been efforts to get it to boot using only free software. How is it progressing? Michael Bishop (IRC user clever) explained today in the #debian-raspberrypi channel in OFTC that it advances far better than what I expected: It is even possible to boot a usable system under the RPi2 family! Just There is somewhat incomplete hardware support: For his testing, he has managed to use a xfce environment but over the composite (NTSC) video output, as HDMI initialization support is not there. However, he shared with me several interesting links and videos, and I told him I d share them there are still many issues; I do not believe it is currently worth it to make Debian images with this firmware. Before anything else: Go visit the librerpi/lk-overlay repository. Its README outlines hardware support for each of the RPi families; there is a binary build available with nixos if you want to try it out, and instructions to build it. But what clever showed me that made me write this post Is the amount of stuff you can do with the RPi s VPU (why Vision Vector Processing Unit and not the more familiar GPU, Graphical Processing Unit? I don t really know But I trust clever s definitions beyond how I trust my own ) before it loads an opearting system: There s not too much I can add to this. I was just Truly amazed. And I hope to see the remaining hurdles for regular Linux booting on this range of machines with purely free software quickly go away! Packaging this for Debian? Well, not yet not so fast I first told clever we could push this firmware to experimental instead of unstable, as it is not yet ready for most production systems. However, pabs made some spot-on further questions. And yes, it requires installing three(!) different cross-compilers, one of which vc4-toolchain, for the VPU is free software, but not yet upstreamed, and hence is not available for Debian. Anyway, the talk continued long after I had to go. I have gone a bit over the backlog, but I have to leave now so that will be it as for this blog post

1 April 2022

Paul Wise: FLOSS Activities March 2022

Focus This month I didn't have any particular focus. I just worked on issues in my info bubble.

Changes

Issues

Review
  • Spam: reported 3 Debian bug reports and 53 Debian mailing list posts
  • Debian wiki: RecentChanges for the month
  • Debian BTS usertags: changes for the month
  • Debian screenshots:

Administration
  • Debian servers: investigate wiki mail delivery issue, restart backup director
  • Debian wiki: unblock IP addresses, approve accounts

Communication
  • Forward python-plac test failure issue upstream
  • Participate in Debian Project Leader election discussions
  • Respond to queries from Debian users and contributors on the mailing lists and IRC

Sponsors The oci-python-sdk and plac work was sponsored. All other work was done on a volunteer basis.

1 March 2022

Paul Wise: FLOSS Activities February 2022

Focus This month I didn't have any particular focus. I just worked on issues in my info bubble.

Changes

Issues

Review

Administration
  • Debian BTS: fix usertags for some users, unarchive/reopen/triage bugs for reintroduced packages: horae dh-haskell shutter logging-tree openstreetmap-carto gnome-commander
  • Debian servers: restore wiki data from backup, restarted bacula director for TLS cert update
  • Debian wiki: restore wiki account from backup, approve accounts

Communication
  • Respond to queries from Debian users and contributors on the mailing lists and IRC

Sponsors The purple-discord, gensim, DiskANN, SPTAG, wsproto work was sponsored by my employer. All other work was done on a volunteer basis.

1 February 2022

Paul Wise: FLOSS Activities January 2022

Focus This month I didn't have any particular focus. I just worked on issues in my info bubble.

Changes

Issues

Review

Administration
  • Debian BTS: unarchive/reopen/triage bugs for reintroduced packages
  • Debian servers: ping folks about mail forwarding issues
  • Debian wiki: unblock IP addresses, approve accounts

Communication
  • Respond to queries from Debian users and contributors on the mailing lists and IRC

Sponsors The oci-cli, oci-python-sdk, circuitbreaker, autoconf-archive, libpst, purple-discord, sptag work was sponsored. All other work was done on a volunteer basis.

3 January 2022

Paul Wise: FLOSS Activities December 2021

Focus This month I didn't have any particular focus. I just worked on issues in my info bubble.

Changes

Issues

Review
  • Spam: reported 166 Debian mailing list posts
  • Patches: reviewed libpst upstream patches
  • Debian packages: sponsored nsis, memtest86+
  • Debian wiki: RecentChanges for the month
  • Debian BTS usertags: changes for the month
  • Debian screenshots:

Administration
  • libpst: setup GitHub presence, migrate from hg to git, requested details from bug reporters
  • plac: cleaned up git repo anomalies
  • Debian BTS: unarchive/reopen/triage bugs for reintroduced packages: stardict, node-carto
  • Debian wiki: unblock IP addresses, approve accounts

Communication
  • Respond to queries from Debian users and contributors on the mailing lists and IRC

Sponsors The purple-discord, python-plac, sptag, smart-open, libpst, memtest86+, oci-python-sdk work was sponsored. All other work was done on a volunteer basis.

1 December 2021

Paul Wise: FLOSS Activities November 2021

Focus This month I didn't have any particular focus. I just worked on issues in my info bubble.

Changes

Issues

Review

Administration
  • Debian BTS: unarchive/reopen/triage bugs for reintroduced packages
  • Debian wiki: unblock IP addresses, approve accounts

Communication
  • Respond to queries from Debian users and contributors on the mailing lists and IRC

Sponsors The SPTAG, visdom, gensim, purple-discord, plac, fail2ban, uvloop work was sponsored by my employer. All other work was done on a volunteer basis.

1 November 2021

Paul Wise: FLOSS Activities October 2021

Focus This month I didn't have any particular focus. I just worked on issues in my info bubble.

Changes

Issues

Review
  • Spam: reported 2 Debian bug reports and 73 Debian mailing list posts
  • Patches: merged whohas/iotop-py/libusbgx patches
  • Debian wiki: RecentChanges for the month
  • Debian BTS usertags: changes for the month
  • Debian screenshots:

Administration
  • Debian BTS: unarchive/reopen/triage bugs for reintroduced packages
  • Debian IRC: disable anti-spam channel modes for some channels, rescue #debian-printing from retired chanop
  • Debian wiki: unblock IP addresses, approve accounts

Communication

Sponsors The valgrind bug was sponsored by my employer. All other work was done on a volunteer basis.

4 October 2021

Paul Wise: FLOSS Activities September 2021

Focus This month I didn't have any particular focus. I just worked on issues in my info bubble.

Changes

Issues

Review

Administration
  • Debian BTS: reopened bugs closed by a spammer
  • Debian wiki: unblock IP addresses, approve accounts

Communication
  • Respond to queries from Debian users and contributors on the mailing lists and IRC

Sponsors The purple-discord/harmony/pyemd/librecaptcha/esprima-python work was sponsored by my employer. All other work was done on a volunteer basis.

5 September 2021

Antoine Beaupr : Automating major Debian upgrades

It's major upgrade time again! The Debian project just published the Debian 11 "bullseye" release, and it's pretty awesome! This makes me realized that I have never written here about my peculiar upgrade process, and figured it was worth bringing that up to a wider audience. My upgrade process also has a notable changes section which includes major version changes (e.g. Inkscape 1.0!), new packages (e.g. podman!) and important behavior changes (e.g. driverless scanning and printing!). I'm particularly interested to hear about any significant change I might have missed. If you know of a cool new package that shipped with bullseye and that I forgot, do let me know! But that's for the cool new stuff. We need to talk about the problems with Debian major upgrades.

Background I have been maintaining detailed upgrade guides, on my wiki, starting with the jessie release, but I have actually written such guides for Koumbit.org as far back as Debian squeeze in 2011 (another worker wrote the older Debian lenny upgrade guide in 2009). Koumbit, since then, has kept maintaining those guides all the way to the latest bullseye upgrade, through 7 major releases! Over the years, those guides evolved from a quick "cheat-sheet" format copied from the release notes into a more or less "scripted" form that I currently use. Each guide has a procedure made of a few steps that can be basically copy-pasted to batch-upgrade a host (or multiple hosts in parallel) as quickly as possible. There is also the predict-os script which allows you to keep track of progress of the upgrades in a Puppet cluster.

Limitations of the official procedure In comparison with my procedure, the official upgrade guide is mostly designed to upgrade a single machine, typically a workstation, with a rather slow and exhaustive process. The PDF version of the upgrade guide is 14 pages long! This, obviously, does not work when you have tens or hundreds of machines to upgrade. Debian upgrades are notorious for being extremely reliable, but we have a lot of packages, and there are always corner cases where the upgrade will just fail because of a bug specific to your environment. Those will only be fixed after some back and forth in the community (and that's assuming users report those bugs, which is not always the case). There's no obvious way to deploy "hot fixes" in this context, at least not without fixing the package and publishing it on an unofficial Debian archive while the official ones catch up. This is slow and difficult. Or some packages require manual labor. Examples of this are the PostgreSQL or Ganeti packages which require you to upgrade your clusters by hand, while the old and new packages live side by side. Debian packages bring you far in the upgrade process, but sometimes not all the way. Which means every Debian install needs to be manually upgraded and inspected when a new release comes out. That's slow and error prone and we can do better.

How to automate major upgrades I have a proposal to automate this. It's been mostly dormant in the Debian wiki, for 5 years now. Fundamentally, this is a hard problem: Debian gets installed in so many different environments, from workstations to physical servers to virtual machines, embedded systems and so on, that it's extremely hard to come up with a "one size fits all" system. The (manual) procedure I'm using is mostly targeting servers, but I'm also using it on workstations. And I'll note that it's specific to my home setup: I have a different procedure at work, although it has a lot of common code. To automate this, I would factor out that common code with hooks where you could easily inject special code like "you need to upgrade ferm first", "you need an extra reboot here", or "this is how you finish the PostgreSQL upgrade". With Debian getting closer to a 2 year release cycle, with the previous release being supported basically only one year after the new stable comes out, I feel more and more strongly that this needs better automation. So I'm thinking that I should write a prototype for this. Ubuntu has do-release-upgrade that is too Ubuntu-specific to be reused. An attempt at collaborating on this has been mostly met with silence from Ubuntu's side as well. I'm thinking that using something like Fabric, Mitogen, or Transilience: anything that will allow me to write simple, portable Python code that can run transparently on a local machine (for single systems upgrades, possibly with a GUI frontend) to remote servers (for large clusters of servers, maybe with canaries and grouping using Cumin). I'll note that Koumbit started experimenting with Puppet Bolt in the bullseye upgrade process, but that feels too site-specific to be useful more broadly.

Trade-offs I am not sure where this stands in the XKCD time trade-off evaluation, because the table doesn't actually cover the time frequency of Debian release (which is basically "biennial") and the amount of time the upgrade would take across a cluster (which varies a lot, but that I estimate to be between one to 6 hours per machine). Assuming I have 80 machines to upgrade, that is 80 to 480 hours (between ~3 to 20 days) of work! It's unclear how much work such an automated system would shave off, however. Assuming things are an order of magnitude faster (say I upgrade 10 machines at a time), I would shave off between 3 and 18 days of work, which implies I might allow myself to spend a minimum of 5 days working on such a project.

The other option: never upgrade Before people mention those: I am aware of containers, Kubernetes, and other deployment mechanisms. Indeed, those may be a long-term solution, we currently can't afford to migrate everything over to containers right now: that is a huge migration and a total paradigm shift. At that point, whatever is left might not even be Debian in the first place. And besides, if you run Kubernetes, you still need to run some OS underneath and upgrade that, so that problem never completely disappears. Still, maybe that's the final answer: never upgrade. For some stateless machines like DNS replicas or load balancers, that might make a lot of sense as there's no or little data to carry to the new host. But this implies a seamless and fast provisioning process, and we don't have that either: at my work, installing a machine takes about as long as upgrading it, and that's after a significant amount of work automating that process, partly writing my own Debian installer with Fabric (!).

What is your process? I'm curious to hear what people think of those ideas. It strikes me as really odd that no one has really tackled that problem yet, considering how many clusters of Debian machines are out there. Surely people are upgrading those, and not following that slow step by step guide, right? I suspect everyone is doing the same thing: we all have our little copy-paste script we batch onto multiple machines, sometimes in parallel. That is what the Debian.org sysadmins are doing as well. There must be a better way. What is yours?

My upgrades so far So far, I have upgraded 2 out of my 3 home machines running buster -- others have been installed directly in bullseye -- with only my main, old, messy server left. Upgrades have been pretty painless so far (see another report, for example), much better than the previous buster upgrade. Obviously, for me personal use, automating this is pointless. Work-side, however, is another story: we have over 80 boxes to upgrade there and that will take a while. The last stretch to buster cycle took about two years to complete, so we might be done by the time the next release (12, "bookworm") is released, but that's actually a full year after "buster" becomes EOL, so it's actually too late... At least I fixed the installers so that new the machines we create all ship with bullseye, so we stopped accumulating new buster hosts...
Thanks to lelutin and pabs for reviewing a draft of this post.

1 September 2021

Paul Wise: FLOSS Activities August 2021

Focus This month I didn't have any particular focus. I just worked on issues in my info bubble.

Changes

Issues

Review

Administration
  • Debian servers: expand LV, fix debbugs config
  • Debian wiki: unblock IP addresses, approve accounts
  • Debian QA services: deploy changes

Communication

Sponsors The pyemd, pytest-rerunfailures, libpst, sptag, librecaptcha work was sponsored by my employer. All other work was done on a volunteer basis.

1 August 2021

Paul Wise: FLOSS Activities July 2021

Focus This month I didn't have any particular focus. I just worked on issues in my info bubble.

Changes

Issues

Review

Administration
  • libusbgx/gt: triage issues
  • Debian packages: triaged bugs for reintroduced packages
  • Debian servers: debug lists mail issue, debug lists subscription issue
  • Debian wiki: unblock IP addresses, approve accounts

Communication
  • Respond to queries from Debian users and contributors on the mailing lists and IRC

Sponsors The microsoft-authentication-library-for-python and purple-discord work was sponsored by my employer. All other work was done on a volunteer basis.

1 July 2021

Paul Wise: FLOSS Activities June 2021

Focus This month I didn't have any particular focus. I just worked on issues in my info bubble.

Changes

Issues

Review
  • Spam: reported 3 Debian bug reports and 135 Debian mailing list posts
  • Debian wiki: RecentChanges for the month
  • Debian BTS usertags: changes for the month
  • Debian screenshots:
    • approved php-horde endless-sky claws-mail memtester
    • rejected python-gdal/weboob-qt (unrelated software)

Administration
  • Debian: restart bacula director
  • Debian wiki: approve accounts

Communication
  • This month I left freenode, an IRC network I had been on for at least 16 years, for reasons that you probably all read about. I think the biggest lesson I take from this situation and ones happening around the same time is that proper governance in peer production projects is absolutely critical.
  • Respond to queries from Debian users and contributors on the mailing lists and IRC

Sponsors The purple-discord/flower work was sponsored by my employers. All other work was done on a volunteer basis.

1 June 2021

Paul Wise: FLOSS Activities May 2021

Focus This month I didn't have any particular focus. I just worked on issues in my info bubble.

Changes

Issues

Review

Administration
  • Debian wiki: unblock IP addresses, approve accounts

Communication
  • Joined the great IRC migration
  • Respond to queries from Debian users and contributors on the mailing lists and IRC

Sponsors The purple-discord, sptag and esprima-python work was sponsored by my employer. All other work was done on a volunteer basis.

9 May 2021

Norbert Preining: bash: passing around arguments with quotes

Update: I just learned on IRC that checking with shellcheck would have told me everything, including the usage of arrays, and the linked page even mentions ffmpeg how stupid to reinvent the wheel again and again Thanks to pabs for telling me! It has hit me several times, and searching the internet gives lots of suggestions: How to pass and argument containing quotes to another program from a bash program. My case was a script that automatized video processing using ffmpeg, and I needed to call ffmpeg with arguments like
ffmpeg ... --filter_complex "some arg with spaces" ...
My first (failed) shot at doing this in the shell script was:
filterarg='--filter_complex "some arg with spaces"'
...
ffmpeg $someargs $filterarg ...
which, as most bash gurus will know, will fail. Solutions are using eval that are complicated. Recently I realized a much simpler method using bash arrays: Assume the program show_arguments just prints the arguments passed in, maybe something like (again in bash):
#!/bin/bash
for i in "$@" ; do
  echo "=== $i"
done
The program under consideration would be in the broken version:
#!/bin/bash
# Variant 1 - NOT WORKING
myargs='-filter_complex "arg with space"'
show_arguments $myargs
This would give
=== -filter_complex
=== "arg
=== with
=== space"
which is not what we want. The solution is to stuff the arguments into an array, and expand that as arguments.
#!/bin/bash
# Variant 2 - WORKING
declare -a myargs
myargs=(-filter_complex "arg with space")
show_arguments "$ myargs[@] "
which, correctly, would give
=== -filter_complex
=== arg with space
Now I only need to remember that trick for the next time it bites me!

Next.