Search Results: "pollo"

16 July 2020

Louis-Philippe V ronneau: DebConf Videoteam Sprint Report -- DebConf20@Home

DebConf20 starts in about 5 weeks, and as always, the DebConf Videoteam is working hard to make sure it'll be a success. As such, we held a sprint from July 9th to 13th to work on our new infrastructure. A remote sprint certainly ain't as fun as an in-person one, but we nonetheless managed to enjoy ourselves. Many thanks to those who participated, namely: We also wish to extend our thanks to Thomas Goirand and Infomaniak for providing us with virtual machines to experiment on and host the video infrastructure for DebConf20. Advice for presenters For DebConf20, we strongly encourage presenters to record their talks in advance and send us the resulting video. We understand this is more work, but we think it'll make for a more agreeable conference for everyone. Video conferencing is still pretty wonky and there is nothing worse than a talk ruined by a flaky internet connection or hardware failures. As such, if you are giving a talk at DebConf this year, we are asking you to read and follow our guide on how to record your presentation. Fear not: we are not getting rid of the Q&A period at the end of talks. Attendees will ask their questions either on IRC or on a collaborative pad and the Talkmeister will relay them to the speaker once the pre-recorded video has finished playing. New infrastructure, who dis? Organising a virtual DebConf implies migrating from our battle-tested on-premise workflow to a completely new remote one. One of the major changes this means for us is the addition of Jitsi Meet to our infrastructure. We normally have 3 different video sources in a room: two cameras and a slides grabber. With the new online workflow, directors will be able to play pre-recorded videos as a source, will get a feed from a Jitsi room and will see the audience questions as a third source. This might seem simple at first, but is in fact a very major change to our workflow and required a lot of work to implement.
               == On-premise ==                                          == Online ==
              Camera 1                                                 Jitsi
                 v                 ---> Frontend                         v                 ---> Frontend
    Slides -> Voctomix -> Backend -+--> Frontend         Questions -> Voctomix -> Backend -+--> Frontend
                 ^                 ---> Frontend                         ^                 ---> Frontend
              Camera 2                                           Pre-recorded video
In our tests, playing back pre-recorded videos to voctomix worked well, but was sometimes unreliable due to inconsistent encoding settings. Presenters will thus upload their pre-recorded talks to SReview so we can make sure there aren't any obvious errors. Videos will then be re-encoded to ensure a consistent encoding and to normalise audio levels. This process will also let us stitch the Q&As at the end of the pre-recorded videos more easily prior to publication. Reducing the stream latency One of the pitfalls of the streaming infrastructure we have been using since 2016 is high video latency. In a worst case scenario, remote attendees could get up to 45 seconds of latency, making participation in events like BoFs arduous. In preparation for DebConf20, we added a new way to stream our talks: RTMP. Attendees will thus have the option of using either an HLS stream with higher latency or an RTMP stream with lower latency. Here is a comparative table that can help you decide between the two protocols:
  • Can be watched from a browser
  • Auto-selects a stream encoding
  • Single URL to remember
  • Lower latency (~5s)
  • Higher latency (up to 45s)
  • Requires a dedicated video player (VLC, mpv)
  • Specific URLs for each encoding setting
Live mixing from home with VoctoWeb Since DebConf16, we have been using voctomix, a live video mixer developed by the CCC VOC. voctomix is conveniently divided in two: voctocore is the backend server while voctogui is a GTK+ UI frontend directors can use to live-mix. Although voctogui can connect to a remote server, it was primarily designed to run either on the same machine as voctocore or on the same LAN. Trying to use voctogui from a machine at home to connect to a voctocore running in a datacenter proved unreliable, especially for high-latency and low bandwidth connections. Inspired by the setup FOSDEM uses, we instead decided to go with a web frontend for voctocore. We initially used FOSDEM's code as a proof of concept, but quickly reimplemented it in Python, a language we are more familiar with as a team. Compared to the FOSDEM PHP implementation, voctoweb implements A / B source selection (akin to voctogui) as well as audio control, two very useful features. In the following screen captures, you can see the old PHP UI on the left and the new shiny Python one on the right. The old PHP voctowebThe new Python3 voctoweb Voctoweb is still under development and is likely to change quite a bit until DebConf20. Still, the current version seems to works well enough to be used in production if you ever need to. Python GeoIP redirector We run multiple geographically-distributed streaming frontend servers to minimize the load on our streaming backend and to reduce overall latency. Although users can connect to the frontends directly, we typically point them to and redirect connections to the nearest server. Sadly, 6 months ago MaxMind decided to change the licence on their GeoLite2 database and left us scrambling. To fix this annoying issue, Stefano Rivera wrote a Python program that uses the new database and reworked our ansible frontend server role. Since the new database cannot be redistributed freely, you'll have to get a (free) license key from MaxMind if you to use this role. Ansible & CI improvements Infrastructure as code is a living process and needs constant care to fix bugs, follow changes in DSL and to implement new features. All that to say a large part of the sprint was spent making our ansible roles and continuous integration setup more reliable, less buggy and more featureful. All in all, we merged 26 separate ansible-related merge request during the sprint! As always, if you are good with ansible and wish to help, we accept merge requests on our ansible repository :)

11 June 2020

Louis-Philippe V ronneau: How to capture a remote IRC session live

DebConf20 will be held online this year and I've started doing some work for the DebConf videoteam to prepare what's to come. One thing I want us to do is capture a live IRC session and use it as a video input in Voctomix, the live video mixer we use. This way, at the end of a talk we could show both the attendees asking questions on IRC and the presenter replying to them side-by-side. A mockup of a side-by-side voctogui window with someone on the left and a terminal running weechat on the right Capturing a live video of an IRC client on a remote headless server is somewhat more complicated than you might think; as far as I know, neither ffmpeg nor gstreamer support recording a live ssh pseudoterminal1. Worse, neither weechat nor irssi run on X: they use ncurses... Although you can capture an X11 window with ffmpeg -f x11grab, I wasn't able to get them to run with Xvfb. Capturing the framebuffer One thing I dislike with this method is the framebuffer isn't always easy to access on remote machines. If you don't have a serial connection, you can try using a VNC server that can. I did my tests in a VM on an KVM hypervisor and used virt-manager to access the framebuffer. I had a hard time setting the framebuffer resolution to a 16:9 aspect ratio. The winning combination ended up passing the nomodeset kernel parameter at boot and setting up these parameters in /etc/default/grub2:
To make the text more readable, this is the /etc/default/console-setup file that seemed to make the most sense:
# Consult the console-setup(5) manual page.
Once that is done, the only thing left is to run the IRC client and launch ffmpeg. The magic command to record the framebuffer seems to be something like:
ffmpeg -f fbdev -framerate 60 -i /dev/fb0 -c:v libvpx -crf 10 -b:v 1M -auto-alt-ref 0 output.webm
Here is what I ended up with:

  1. We need something similarly flexible and featureful that can output to a TCP socket.
  2. Don't forget to run update-grub before rebooting!

8 April 2020

Louis-Philippe V ronneau: Using Jitsi Meet with Puppet for self-hosted video conferencing

Here's a blog post I wrote for the blog. Many thanks to Ben Ford and all their team!. With everything that is currently happening around the world, many of us IT folks have had to solve complex problems in a very short amount of time. Pretty quickly at work, I was tasked with finding a way to make virtual meetings easy, private and secure. Whereas many would have turned to a SaaS offering, we decided to use Jitsi Meet, a modern and fully on-premise FOSS videoconferencing solution. Jitsi works on all platforms by running in a browser and comes with nifty Android and iOS applications. We've been using our instance quite a bit, and so far everyone from technical to non-technical users have been pretty happy with it. Jitsi Meet is powered by WebRTC and can be broken into multiple parts across multiple machines if needed. In addition to the webserver running the Jitsi Meet JavaScript code, the base configuration uses the Videobridge to manage users' video feeds, Jicofo as a conference focus to manage media sessions and the Prosody XMPP server to tie it all together. Here's a network diagram I took from their documentation to show how those applications interact: A network diagram that shows how the different bits of jitsi meet work together Getting started with the Jitsi Puppet module First of all, you'll need a valid domain name and a server with decent bandwidth. Jitsi has published a performance evaluation of the Videobridge to help you spec your instance appropriately. You will also need to open TCP ports 443, 4443 and UDP port 10000 in your firewall. The puppetlabs/firewall module could come in handy here. Once that is done, you can use the smash/jitsimeet Puppet module on a Debian 10 (Buster) server to spin up an instance. A basic configuration would look like this:
  class   'jitsimeet':
    fqdn                 => '',
    repo_key             => puppet:///files/apt/jitsimeet.gpg,
    manage_certs         => true,
    jitsi_vhost_ssl_key  => '/etc/letsencrypt/live/'
    jitsi_vhost_ssl_cert => '/etc/letsencrypt/live/'
    auth_vhost_ssl_key   => '/etc/letsencrypt/live/'
    auth_vhost_ssl_cert  => '/etc/letsencrypt/live/'
    jvb_secret           => 'mysupersecretstring',
    focus_secret         => 'anothersupersecretstring',
    focus_user_password  => 'yetanothersecret',
    meet_custom_options  =>  
      'enableWelcomePage'         => true,
      'disableThirdPartyRequests' => true,
The jitsimeet module is still pretty young: it clearly isn't perfect and some external help would be very appreciated. If you have some time, here are a few things that would be nice to work on: If you use this module to manage your Jitsi Meet instance, please send patches and bug reports our way! Learn more

31 March 2020

Chris Lamb: Free software activities in March 2020

Here is my monthly update covering what I have been doing in the free software world during March 2020 (previous month): In addition, I did even more hacking on the Lintian static analysis tool for Debian packages, including:
Reproducible builds One of the original promises of open source software is that distributed peer review and transparency of process results in enhanced end-user security. However, whilst anyone may inspect the source code of free and open source software for malicious flaws, almost all software today is distributed as pre-compiled binaries. This allows nefarious third-parties to compromise systems by injecting malicious code into ostensibly secure software during the various compilation and distribution processes. The motivation behind the Reproducible Builds effort is to ensure no flaws have been introduced during this compilation process by promising identical results are always generated from a given source, thus allowing multiple third-parties to come to a consensus on whether a build was compromised. The initiative is proud to be a member project of the Software Freedom Conservancy, a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) charity focused on ethical technology and user freedom. Conservancy acts as a corporate umbrella allowing projects to operate as non-profit initiatives without managing their own corporate structure. If you like the work of the Conservancy or the Reproducible Builds project, please consider becoming an official supporter. This month, I: In our tooling, I also made the following changes to diffoscope, our in-depth and content-aware diff utility that can locate and diagnose reproducibility issues, including preparing and uploading version 138 to Debian: The Reproducible Builds project also operates a fully-featured and comprehensive Jenkins-based testing framework that powers This month, I reworked the web-based package rescheduling tool to:
Debian LTS This month I have worked 18 hours on Debian Long Term Support (LTS) and 8 hours on its sister Extended LTS project. You can find out more about the Debian LTS project via the following video:
Debian Uploads For the Debian Privacy Maintainers team I requested that the pyptlib package be removed from the archive (#953429) as well as uploading onionbalance (0.1.8-6) to fix test failures under Pytest 3.x (#953535) and a new upstream release of nautilus-wipe. Finally, I sponsored an upload of bilibop (0.6.1) on behalf of Yann Amar.

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.

20 March 2020

Louis-Philippe V ronneau: Today (March 20th 2020) is the day to buy music on Bandcamp

Hey folks, This is a quick blog post to tell you Bandcamp is waiving all their fees on March 20th 2020 (PST). Spread the word, as every penny spent on the platform that day will go back to the artists. COVID-19 is throwing us all a mean curveball and artists have it especially rough, particularly those who were in the middle of tours and had to cancel them. If you like Metal, Angry Metal Guy posted a very nice list of artists you might know and want to help out. If you are lucky enough to have a little coin around, now is the time to show support for the artists you like. Buy an album you liked and copied from a friend or get some merch to wear to your next virtual beer night with your (remote) friends! Stay safe and don't forget to wash your hands regularly.

22 November 2017

Louis-Philippe V ronneau: DebConf Videoteam sprint report - day 3

Erf, I'm tired and it is late so this report will be short and won't include dank memes or funny cat pictures. Come back tomorrow for that. tumbleweed Stefano worked all day long on the metadata project and on YouTube uploads. I think the DebConf7 videos have just finished being uploaded, check them out! RattusRattus Apart from the wonderful lasagna he baked for us, Andy continued working on the scraping scheme, helping tumbleweed. nattie Nattie has been with us for a few days now, but today she did some great QA work on our metadata scraping of the video archive. ivodd More tests, more bugs! Ivo worked quite a bit on the Opsis board today and it seems everything is ready for the mini-conf. \0/ olasd Nicolas built the streaming network today and wrote some Ansible roles to manage TLS cert creation through Let's Encrypt. He also talked with DSA some more about our long term requirements. wouter I forgot to mention it yesterday because he could not come to Cambridge, but Wouter has been sprinting remotely, working on the reviewing system. Everything with regards to reviewing should be in place for the mini-conf. He also generated the intro and outro slides for the videos for us. KiBi and Julien KiBi and Julien arrived late in the evening, but were nonetheless of great assistance. Neither are technically part of the videoteam, but their respective experience with Debian-Installer and general DSA systems helped us a great deal. pollo I'm about 3/4 done documenting our ansible roles. Once I'm done, I'll try to polish some obvious hacks I've seen while documenting.

21 November 2017

Louis-Philippe V ronneau: DebConf Videoteam sprint report - day 2

Another day, another videoteam report! It feels like we did a lot of work today, so let's jump right in: tumbleweed Stefano worked most of the day on the DebConf video archive metadata project. A bunch of videos already have been uploaded to YouTube. Here's some gold you might want to watch. By the end of our sprint, we should have generated metadata for most of our archive and uploaded a bunch of videos to YouTube. Don't worry though, YouTube is only a mirror and we'll keep our current archive as a video master. RattusRattus Andy joined us today! He hacked away with Stefano for most of the day, working on the metadata format for our videos and making schemes for our scraping tools. ivodd Ivo built and tested a good part of our video setup today, fixing bugs left and right in Ansible. We are prepared for the Cambridge Mini-DebConf! olasd Nicolas finished his scripts to automatically spool up and down our streaming mirrors via the DigitalOcean API today and ran our Ansible config against those machines to test our setup. pollo For my part, I completed a huge chunk of my sprint goals: we now have a website documenting our setup! It is currently hosted on Alioth pages, but olasd plans to make a request to DSA to have it hosted on the machine. The final URL will most likely be something like: The documentation is still missing the streaming section (our streaming setup is not final yet, so not point in documenting that) and a section hosting guides for the volunteers. With some luck I might write those later this week. I've now moved on documentation our various Ansible roles. Oh, and we also ate some cheese fondue: Our fondue dinner

20 November 2017

Louis-Philippe V ronneau: DebConf Videoteam sprint report - day 1

Another videoteam report! We've now been hacking for a full day and we are slowly starting to be productive. It's always hard to get back in a project when you haven't touched it in a while... Anyway, let's start this report with some important announcement: we finally have been able to snap a good picture of the airbnb's cat! The airbnb's cat No more nagging me about the placeholder image from Wikipedia I used in yesterday's report! Set up Our hacking space Here's what the team did today: tumbleweed Stefano started the day by hacking away on our video archive. We eventually want to upload all our videos to YouTube to give them exposure, but sadly our archive metadata is in a pretty poor shape. With the script tumbleweed wrote, we can scrape the archive for matches against the old DebConf's pentabarf XML we have. tumbleweed also helped Ivo with the ansible PXE setup he's working on. Some recent contributions from a collaborator implemented new features (like a nice menu to choose from) but also came with a few annoying bugs. ivodd Ivo continued working on the PXE setup today. He also tried to break our ansible setup by using fresh installs with different user cases (locales, interfaces, etc.), with some success. The reason he and Stefano are working so hard on the PXE boot is that we had a discussion about the future of our USB install method. The general consensus on this was although we would not remove it, we would not actively maintain it anymore. PXE is less trouble for multiple machines. For single machines or if you don't control the DHCP server, using ansible manually on a fresh Debian install will be the recommended way. olasd After a very long drive, olasd arrived late in the evening with all our gear. Hurray! We were thus able to set up some test boxes and start wiring the airbnb properly. Tomorrow will certainly be more productive with all this stuff at our disposition. pollo Today I mainly worked on setting up our documentation website. After some debate, we decided that sphinx was the right tool for the job. I am a few pages in and if I work well I think we'll have something to show for at the end of the sprint! I also was thrown back into ansible after witnessing a bug in the locale management. I'm still rusty, but it's slowly coming back to me. Let's end this blog post with a picture of the neon pineapple that sits on the wall of the solarium. Upside down this picture is even more troubling

19 November 2017

Louis-Philippe V ronneau: DebConf Videoteam sprint report - day 0

First day of the videoteam autumn sprint! Well, I say first day, but in reality it's more day 0. Even though most of us have arrived in Cambridge already, we are still missing a few people. Last year we decided to sprint in Paris because most of our video gear is stocked there. This year, we instead chose to sprint a few days before the Cambridge Mini-Debconf to help record the conference afterwards. Since some of us arrived very late and the ones who did arrive early are still mostly jet lagged (that includes me), I'll use this post to introduce the space we'll be working from this week and our general plan for the sprint. House Party After some deliberations, we decided to rent a house for a week in Cambridge: finding a work space to accommodate us and all our gear proved difficult and we decided mixing accommodation and work would be a good idea. I've only been here for a few hours, but I have to say I'm pretty impressed by the airbnb we got. Last time I checked (it seems every time I do, some new room magically appears), I counted 5 bedrooms, 6 beds, 5 toilets and 3 shower rooms. Heck, there's even a solarium and a training room with weights and a punching bag on the first floor. Having a whole house to ourselves also means we have access to a functional kitchen. I'd really like to cook at least a few meals during the week. There's also a cat! Picture of a black cat I took from Wikipedia. It was too dark outside to use mine It's not the house's cat per say, but it's been hanging out around the house for most of the day and makes cute faces trying to convince us to let it come inside. Nice try cat. Nice try. Here are some glamour professional photos of what the place looks like on a perfect summer day, just for the kick of it: The view from the garden The Kitchen One of the multiple bedrooms Of course, reality has trouble matching all the post-processing filters. Plan for the week Now on a more serious note; apart from enjoying the beautiful city of Cambridge, here's what the team plans to do this week: tumbleweed Stefano wants to continue refactoring our ansible setup. A lot of things have been added in the last year, but some of it are hacks we should remove and implement correctly. highvoltage Jonathan won't be able to come to Cambridge, but plans to work remotely, mainly on our desktop/xfce session implementation. Another pile of hacks waiting to be cleaned! ivodd Ivo has been working a lot of the pre-ansible part of our installation and plans to continue working on that. At the moment, creating an installation USB key is pretty complicated and he wants to make that simpler. olasd Nicolas completely reimplemented our streaming setup for DC17 and wants to continue working on that. More specifically, he wants to write scripts to automatically setup and teardown - via API calls - the distributed streaming network we now use. Finding a way to push TLS certificates to those mirrors, adding a live stream viewer on and adding a viewer to our archive are also things he wants to look at. pollo For my part, I plan to catch up with all the commits in our ansible repository I missed since last year's sprint and work on documentation. It would be very nice if we could have a static website describing our work so that others (at mini-debconfs for examples) could replicate it easily. If I have time, I'll also try to document all the ansible roles we have written. Stay tuned for more daily reports!

15 July 2017

Dirk Eddelbuettel: Rcpp 0.12.12: Rounding some corners

The twelveth update in the 0.12.* series of Rcpp landed on CRAN this morning, following two days of testing at CRAN preceded by five full reverse-depends checks we did (and which are always logged in this GitHub repo). The Debian package has been built and uploaded; Windows and macOS binaries should follow at CRAN as usual. This 0.12.12 release follows the 0.12.0 release from late July, the 0.12.1 release in September, the 0.12.2 release in November, the 0.12.3 release in January, the 0.12.4 release in March, the 0.12.5 release in May, the 0.12.6 release in July, the 0.12.7 release in September, the 0.12.8 release in November, the 0.12.9 release in January, the 0.12.10.release in March, and the 0.12.11.release in May making it the sixteenth release at the steady and predictable bi-montly release frequency. Rcpp has become the most popular way of enhancing GNU R with C or C++ code. As of today, 1097 packages (and hence 71 more since the last release in May) on CRAN depend on Rcpp for making analytical code go faster and further, along with another 91 in BioConductor. This releases contain a fairly large number of fairly small and focused pull requests most of which either correct some corner cases or improve other aspects. JJ tirelessly improved the package registration added in the previous release and following R 3.4.0. Kirill tidied up a number of small issues allowing us to run compilation in even more verbose modes---usually a good thing. Jeroen, Elias Pipping and Yo Gong all contributed as well, and we thank everybody for their contributions. All changes are listed below in some detail.

Changes in Rcpp version 0.12.12 (2017-07-13)
  • Changes in Rcpp API:
    • The tinyformat.h header now ends in a newline (#701).
    • Fixed rare protection error that occurred when fetching stack traces during the construction of an Rcpp exception (Kirill M ller in #706).
    • Compilation is now also possibly on Haiku-OS (Yo Gong in #708 addressing #707).
    • Dimension attributes are explicitly cast to int (Kirill M ller in #715).
    • Unused arguments are no longer declared (Kirill M ller in #716).
    • Visibility of exported functions is now supported via the R macro atttribute_visible (Jeroen Ooms in #720).
    • The no_init() constructor accepts R_xlen_t (Kirill M ller in #730).
    • Loop unrolling used R_xlen_t (Kirill M ller in #731).
    • Two unused-variables warnings are now avoided (Jeff Pollock in #732).
  • Changes in Rcpp Attributes:
    • Execute tools::package_native_routine_registration_skeleton within package rather than current working directory (JJ in #697).
    • The R portion no longer uses dir.exists to no require R 3.2.0 or newer (Elias Pipping in #698).
    • Fix native registration for exports with name attribute (JJ in #703 addressing #702).
    • Automatically register init functions for Rcpp Modules (JJ in #705 addressing #704).
    • Add Shield around parameters in Rcpp::interfaces (JJ in #713 addressing #712).
    • Replace dot (".") with underscore ("_") in package names when generating native routine registrations (JJ in #722 addressing #721).
    • Generate C++ native routines with underscore ("_") prefix to avoid exporting when standard exportPattern is used in NAMESPACE (JJ in #725 addressing #723).

Thanks to CRANberries, you can also look at a diff to the previous release. As always, even fuller details are on the Rcpp Changelog page and the Rcpp page which also leads to the downloads page, the browseable doxygen docs and zip files of doxygen output for the standard formats. A local directory has source and documentation too. Questions, comments etc should go to the rcpp-devel mailing list off the R-Forge page.

This post by Dirk Eddelbuettel originated on his Thinking inside the box blog. Please report excessive re-aggregation in third-party for-profit settings.

15 June 2017

Rhonda D'Vine: Apollo 440

It's been a while. And currently I shouldn't even post but rather pack my stuff because I'll get the keys to my flat in 6 days. Yay! But, for packing I need a good sound track. And today it is Apollo 440. I saw them live at the Sundance Festival here in Vienna 20 years ago. It's been a while, but their music still gives me power to pull through. So, without further ado, here are their songs: As always, enjoy!

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27 April 2017

Russ Allbery: Review: Necessity

Review: Necessity, by Jo Walton
Series: Thessaly #3
Publisher: Tor
Copyright: July 2016
ISBN: 0-7653-7902-3
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 331
Athena's experiment with a city (now civilization) modeled after Plato's Republic continues, but in a form that she would not have anticipated, and in a place rather far removed from its origins. But despite new awareness of the place and role of gods, a rather dramatic relocation, and unanticipated science-fiction complications, it continues in much the same style as in The Just City: thoughtful, questioning debate, a legal and social system that works surprisingly well, and a surprising lack of drama. At least, that is, until the displaced cities are contacted by the mainstream of humanity, and Athena goes unexpectedly missing. The latter event turns out to have much more to do with the story than the former, and I regret that. Analyzing mainline human civilization and negotiating the parameters of a very odd first contact would have, at least in my opinion, lined up a bit better with the strengths of this series. Instead, the focus is primarily on metaphysics, and the key climactic moment in those metaphysics is rather mushy and incoherent compared to the sharp-edged analysis Walton's civilization is normally capable of. Not particularly unexpected, as metaphysics of this sort are notoriously tricky to approach via dialectical logic, but it was a bit of a letdown. Much of this book deals with Athena's disappearance and its consequences (including the title), and it wasn't bad, but it wanders a bit into philosophical musings on the nature of gods. Necessity is a rather odd book, and I think anyone who started here would be baffled, but it does make a surprising amount of sense in the context of the series. Skipping ahead to here seems like a truly bad idea, but reading the entire series (relatively closely together) does show a coherent philosophical, moral, and social arc. The Just City opens with Apollo confronted by the idea of individual significance: what does it mean to treat other people as one's equals in an ethical sense, even if they aren't on measures of raw power? The Thessaly series holds to that theme throughout and follows its implications. Many of the bizarre things that happen in this series seem like matter-of-fact outcomes once you're engrossed in the premises and circumstances at the time. Necessity adds a surprising amount of more typical science fiction trappings, but they turn out to be ancillary to the story. What matters is considered action, trying to be your best self, and the earnest efforts of a society to put those principles first. And that's the strength of the whole series, including Necessity: I like these people, I like how they think, and I enjoy spending time with them, almost no matter what they're doing. As with the previous books, we get interwoven chapters from different viewpoints, this time from three primary characters plus some important "guest" chapters. As with the previous books, the viewpoint characters are different again, mostly a generation younger, and I had to overcome my initial disappointment at not hearing the same voices. But Walton is excellent at characterization. I really like this earnest, thoughtful, oddly-structured society that always teeters on the edge of being hopelessly naive and trusting but is self-aware enough to never fall in. By the end of the book, I liked this round of characters nearly as much as I liked the previous rounds (although I've still never liked a character in these books as well as I liked Simmea). I think one incomplete but important way to sum up the entire Thessaly series is that it's a trilogy of philosophical society-building on top of the premise of a universal love for and earnest, probing, thoughtful analysis of philosophy. Walton's initial cheat is to use an deus ex machina to jumpstart such a society from a complex human world that would be unlikely to provide enough time or space for it to build its own separate culture and tradition. I think the science-fiction trick is required to make this work real-world societies that try this end up having to spend so much of their energy fighting intrusion from the outside and diffusion into the surrounding culture that they don't have the same room to avoid conformity and test and argue against their own visions. Necessity is not at all the conclusion of that experiment I would expect, but it won me over, and I think it worked, even if a few bits of it felt indulgent. Most importantly for that overall project, this series is generational, and Necessity shows how it would feel to grow up deep inside it, seeing evolution on top of a base structure that is ubiquitous and ignored. Even the generation in The Philosopher Kings wasn't far enough removed to support that; Necessity is, and in a way this book shows how distinctly different and even alien human culture can become when it has space to evolve on top of different premises. I enjoyed the moments of small surprise, where characters didn't react the way that I'd expect for reasons now buried generations-deep in their philosophical foundations. This book will not win you over if you didn't already like the series, and I suspect it will lose a few people who read the previous two books. The plot structure is a little strange, the metaphysics are a touch strained, and the ending is, well, not quite the payoff that I was hoping for, although it's thematically appropriate and grew on me after a few days of thinking it over. But I got more Socrates, finally, who is as delightful as always and sorely needed to add some irreverence and contrariness to the the mix. And I got to read more about practical, thoughtful people who are trying hard to do their best, to be their best selves, and to analyze and understand the world. There's something calming, delightful, and beautifully optimistic about their approach, and I'm rather sad to not have more of it to read. Rating: 7 out of 10

16 November 2016

Russ Allbery: Review: The Philosopher Kings

Review: The Philosopher Kings, by Jo Walton
Series: Thessaly #2
Publisher: Tor
Copyright: June 2015
ISBN: 0-7653-3267-1
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 345
Despite the cliffhanger at the end of The Just City, The Philosopher Kings doesn't pick up immediately afterwards. Argh. It's a great book (as I'm about to describe), but I really wanted to also read that book that happened in between. Still, this is the conclusion to the problem posed in The Just City, and I wouldn't recommend reading this book on its own (or, really, either book separate from the other). Despite the unwanted gap, and another change at the very start of the book that I won't state explicitly since it's a spoiler but that made me quite unhappy (despite driving the rest of the plot), this is much closer to the book that I wanted to read. Walton moves away from the SF philosophical question that drove much of the second half of The Just City in favor of going back to arguments about human organization, the nature of justice, choices between different modes of life, and the nature of human relationships. Those were the best parts of The Just City, and they're elaborated here in some fascinating ways that wouldn't have been possible in the hothouse environment of the previous book. I also thought Apollo was more interesting here than in the previous book. Still somewhat infuriating, particularly near the start, but I felt like I got more of what Walton was trying for, and more of what Apollo was attempting to use this existence to understand. And, once the plot hits its stride towards the center of the book, I started really liking Apollo. I guess it took a book and a half for him to mature enough to be interesting. A new viewpoint character, Arete, gets most of the chapters in this book, rather than following the pattern of The Just City and changing viewpoint characters every chapter. Her identity is a spoiler for The Just City, so I'll leave that a mystery. She's a bit more matter-of-fact and observational than Maia, but she does that thing that I love in Walton's characters: take an unexpected, fantastic situation, analyze and experiment with it, and draw some practical and matter-of-fact conclusions about how to proceed. I think that's the best way to describe this entire series: take a bunch of honest, thoughtful, and mostly good people, put them into a fantastic situation (at first Plato's Republic, a thought experiment made real, and then some additional fantasy complexities), and watch them tackle that situation like reasonable human beings. There is some drama, of course, because humans will disagree and will occasionally do awful, or just hurtful, things to each other. But the characters try to defuse the drama, try to be thoughtful and fair and just in their approach, and encourage change, improvement, and forgiveness in others. I don't like everyone in these books, but the vast majority of them are good people (and the few who aren't stand out), and there's something satisfying in reading about them. And the philosophical debate is wonderful throughout this book (which I'm not saying entirely because the characters have a similar reaction to a newly-introduced philosophical system as I did as a reader, although that certainly helps). I'm not saying much about the plot since so much would spoil the previous book. But Walton adds some well-done complexities and complications, and while I was dubious about them at the start of the book, I definitely came around. I enjoyed watching the characters reinvent some typical human problems, but still come at them from a unique and thoughtful angle and come up with some novel solutions. And the ending took me entirely by surprise, in a very good way. It's better than the best ending I could have imagined for the book, providing some much-needed closure and quite a bit of explanation. (And, thankfully, does not end on another cliffhanger; in fact, I'm quite curious to see what the third book is going to tackle.) Recommended, including the previous book, despite the bits that irritated me. Followed by Necessity. Rating: 9 out of 10

5 November 2016

Russ Allbery: Review: The Just City

Review: The Just City, by Jo Walton
Series: Thessaly #1
Publisher: Tor
Copyright: 2014
Printing: January 2015
ISBN: 0-7653-3266-3
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 368
The premise for The Just City is easy to state: The time-traveling goddess Athene (Athena) decides to organize and aid an attempt to create the society described in Plato's Republic. She chooses Thera (modern Santorini) before the eruption, as a safe place where this experiment wouldn't alter history. The elders of the city are seeded by people throughout history who at some point prayed to Athene, wanting to live in the Republic. The children of the age of ten that Plato suggested starting with are purchased as slaves from various points in history and transported by Athene to the island. Apollo, shaken and confused by Daphne wanting to turn into a tree rather than sleep with him, finds out about this experiment as Athene tries to explain the concept of consent to him. He decides that becoming human for a while might help him learn about volition and equal significance, and that this is the perfect location. He's one of the three viewpoint characters. The others are two women: one (Maia) from Victorian times who prayed to Athene in a moment of longing for the tentative sexual equality of the Republic and was recruited as one of the elders, and another (Simmea) who is bought as a slave and becomes one of the children. I should admit up-front that I've never read Plato's Republic, or indeed much of Plato at all, just small bits for classes. The elders (and of course the gods) all have, and are attempting to stick quite closely to Plato's outline of the ideal city. The children haven't, though, so the book is quite readable for people like me who only remember a few vague aspects of Plato's vision from school. The reader learns the principles alongside Simmea. One of Walton's strengths is taking a science fiction concept, putting real people into it, and letting the quotidian mingle with the fantastic. Simmea is my favorite character here: her journey to the city is deeply traumatic, but the opportunity she gets there is incredible and unforeseen, and she comes to love the city while still understanding, and arguing about, its possible flaws. Maia is nearly as successful; Walton does a good job with committee debates and discussions, avoids coming down too heavily on the drama, and shows a believable picture of people with very different backgrounds and beliefs coming together to flesh out the outlines of something they all agree with, or at least want to try. I found Apollo less engaging as a character, partly because I never quite understood his motives or his weird failure to understand the principles of consent. Walton doesn't portray him as either hopelessly arrogant or hopelessly narcissistic, which would have been easy outs, but in avoiding those two obvious explanations for his failures of empathy, I felt like she left him with an odd and unexplained hole in his personality. He's a weirdly passive half-character for much of the book, although he does develop a bit more towards the end (which was probably the point). Half the fun of this book is working out what the Republic would be like in practice, and what breakdowns and compromises would happen as soon as you put real people in it. Athene obviously has to do a bit of cheating to make a utopia invented as an intellectual exercise work out in practice, plus a bit more for comfort (electricity and indoor plumbing, for instance). The most substantial cheat is robots to replace slaves and do quite a bit that slaves couldn't. Birth control (something Plato obviously never would have thought of) is another notable cheat; it's postulated to be an ancient method since lost, but even if that existed, there's no way it would be this reliable. But otherwise, the society mostly works, and Walton shows enough of the arguing and mechanics to make that believable, while still avoiding infodumps and boring descriptions. It's neatly done, although I'm still a bit dubious that the elders from later eras would have put up with the primitive conditions with this little complaint. The novel needs a plot, of course, and that's the other half of the fun. I can't talk about this in any detail without spoiling the book, since the plot only kicks in about halfway through once the setup and character introductions are complete. That makes it hard to explain why I found this a bit less successful, although parts of it are brilliant. What worked for me is the growth of Simmea and her friends as students and philosophers, the arguments and discussions (and their growing enthusiasm for argument and discussion), and the way Greek mythology is woven subtly and undramatically into the story. It really does feel like sitting in on ancient Greek philosophical arguments and experiments, and by that measure Walton has succeeded admirably in her goal. What didn't work for me was the driving conflict of the story, once it's introduced. I can't describe it without spoilers, but it's an old trope in science fiction and one with little scientific basis. It may seem weird to argue that point in a book with time-traveling Greek gods, a literal Lethe, and a Greek idea of souls, but those are mythological background material. The SF trope is something about which I have personal expertise and which simply doesn't work that way, and I had a harder time getting past that than alternate metaphysical properties. It threw me out of the book a bit. I see why Walton chose the conflict she did, but I felt like she could have gotten to the same place in the plot, admittedly with more difficulty, by using some of the more dubious aspects of Plato's long-term plan plus some other obstacles that were already built into the world. This more direct approach added a bit of SF-style analysis of the unknown that seemed weirdly at odds with the rest of the story (even if the delight of one of the characters is endearing). That complaint aside, I really enjoyed reading this book. Apollo didn't entirely work for me, but all of the other characters are excellent, and Walton keeps the story moving at a comfortable clip. Given the amount of description required, particularly for an audience that may not have read the Republic, a lesser writer could have easily slipped into the infodump trap. Walton never does. Fair warning, though: The Just City does end on a cliffhanger, and is in no way a standalone novel. You will probably want to have the sequel on hand. Followed by The Philosopher Kings. Rating: 7 out of 10

23 October 2016

Jaldhar Vyas: What I Did During My Summer Vacation

Thats So Raven If I could sum up the past year in one word, that word would be distraction. There have been so many strange, confusing or simply unforseen things going on I have had trouble focusing like never before. For instance, on the opposite side of the street from me is one of Jersey City's old resorvoirs. It's not used for drinking water anymore and the city eventually plans on merging it into the park on the other side. In the meantime it has become something of a wildlife refuge. Which is nice except one of the newly settled critters was a bird of prey -- the consensus is possibly some kind of hawk or raven. Starting your morning commute under the eyes of a harbinger of death is very goth and I even learned to deal with the occasional piece of deconstructed rodent on my doorstep but nighttime was a big problem. For contrary to popular belief, ravens do not quoth "nevermore" but "KRRAAAA". Very loudly. Just as soon as you have drifted of to sleep. Eventually my sleep-deprived neighbors and I appealed to the NJ division of enviromental protection to get it removed but by the time they were ready to swing into action the bird had left for somewhere more congenial like Transylvania or Newark. Or here are some more complete wastes of time: I go the doctor for my annual physical. The insurance company codes it as Adult Onset Diabetes by accident. One day I opened the lid of my laptop and there's a "ping" sound and a piece of the hinge flies off. Apparently that also severed the connection to the screen and naturally the warranty had just expired so I had to spend the next month tethered to an external monitor until I could afford to buy a new one. Mix in all the usual social, political, family and work drama and you can see that it has been a very trying time for me. Dovecot I have managed to get some Debian work done. On Dovecot, my principal package, I have gotten tremendous support from Apollon Oikonomopolous who I belatedly welcome as a member of the Dovecot maintainer team. He has been particularly helpful in fixing our systemd support and cleaning out a lot of the old and invalid bugs. We're in pretty good shape for the freeze. Upstream has released an RC of 2.2.26 and hopefully the final version will be out in the next couple of days so we can include it in Stretch. We can always use more help with the package so let me know if you're interested. Debian-IN Most of the action has been going on without me but I've been lending support and sponsoring whenever I can. We have several new DDs and DMs but still no one north of the Vindhyas I'm afraid. Debian Perl Group gregoa did a ping of inactive maintainers and I regretfully had to admit to myself that I wasn't going to be of use anytime soon so I resigned. Perl remains my favorite language and I've actually been more involved in the meetings of my local Perlmongers group so hopefully I will be back again one day. And I still maintain the Perl modules I wrote myself. Debian-Axe-Murderers* May have gained a recruit. *Stricly speaking it should be called Debian-People-Who-Dont-Think-Faults-in-One-Moral-Domain-Such-As-For-Example-Axe-Murdering-Should-Leak-Into-Another-Moral-Domain-Such-As-For-Example-Debian but come on, that's just silly.

18 August 2016

Zlatan Todori : DebConf16 - new age in Debian community gathering

DebConf16 Finally got some time to write this blog post. DebConf for me is always something special, a family gathering of weird combination of geeks (or is weird a default geek state?). To be honest, I finally can compare Debian as hacker conference to other so-called hacker conferences. With that hat on, I can say that Debian is by far the most organized and highest quality conference. Maybe I am biased, but I don't care too much about that. I simply love Debian and that is no secret. So lets dive into my view on DebConf16 which was held in Cape Town, South Africa. Cape Town This was the first time we had conference on African continent (and I now see for the first time DebConf bid for Asia, which leaves only Australia and beautiful Pacific islands to start a bid). Cape Town by itself, is pretty much Europe-like city. That was kinda a bum for me on first day, especially as we were hosted at University of Cape Town (which is quite beautiful uni) and the surrounding neighborhood was very European. Almost right after the first day I was fine because I started exploring the huge city. Cape Town is really huge, it has by stats ~4mil people, and unofficially it has ~6mil. Certainly a lot to explore and I hope one day to be back there (I actually hope as soon as possible). The good, bad and ugly I will start with bad and ugly as I want to finish with good notes. Racism down there is still HUGE. You don't have signs on the road saying that, but there is clearly separation between white and black people. The houses near uni all had fences on walls (most of them even electrical ones with sharp blades on it) with bars on windows. That just bring tensions and certainly doesn't improve anything. To be honest, if someone wants to break in they still can do easily so the fences maybe need to bring intimidation but they actually only bring tension (my personal view). Also many houses have sign of Armed Force Response (something in those lines) where in case someone would start breaking in, armed forces would come to protect the home. Also compared to workforce, white appear to hold most of profit/big business positions and fields, while black are street workers, bar workers etc etc. On the street you can feel from time to time the tension between people. Going out to bars also showed the separation - they were either almost exclusively white or exclusively black. Very sad state to see. Sharing love and mixing is something that pushes us forward and here I saw clear blockades for such things. The bad part of Cape Town is, and this is not only special to Cape Town but to almost all major cities, is that small crime is on wide scale. Pickpocketing here is something you must pay attention to it. To me, personally, nothing happened but I heard a lot of stories from my friends on whom were such activities attempted (although I am not sure did the criminals succeed). Enough of bad as my blog post will not change this and it is a topic for debate and active involvement which I can't unfortunately do at this moment. THE GOOD! There are so many great local people I met! As I mentioned, I want to visit that city again and again and again. If you don't fear of those bad things, this city has great local cuisine, a lot of great people, awesome art soul and they dance with heart (I guess when you live in rough times, you try to use free time at your best). There were difference between white and black bars/clubs - white were almost like standard European, a lot of drinking and not much dancing, and black were a lot of dancing and not much drinking (maybe the economical power has something to do with it but I certainly felt more love in black bars). Cape Town has awesome mountain, the Table Mountain. I went on hiking with my friends, and I must say (again to myself) - do the damn hiking as much as possible. After every hike I feel so inspired, that I will start thinking that I hate myself for not doing it more often! The view from Table mountain is just majestic (you can even see the Cape of Good Hope). The WOW moments are just firing up in you. Now lets transfer to DebConf itself. As always, organization was on quite high level. I loved the badge design, it had a map and nice amount of information on it. The place we stayed was kinda not that good but if you take it into account that those a old student dorms (in we all were in female student dorm :D ) it is pretty fancy by its own account. Talks were near which is always good. The general layout of talks and front desk position was perfect in my opinion. All in one place basically. Wine and Cheese this year was kinda funny story because of the cheese restrictions but Cheese cabal managed to pull out things. It was actually very well organized. Met some new people during the party/ceremony which always makes me grow as a person. Cultural mix on DebConf is just fantastic. Not only you learn a lot about Debian, hacking on it, but sheer cultural diversity makes this small con such a vibrant place and home to a lot. Debian Dinner happened in Aquarium were I had nice dinner and chat with my old friends. Aquarium by itself is a thing where you can visit and see a lot of strange creatures that live on this third rock from Sun. Speaking of old friends - I love that I Apollo again rejoined us (by missing the DebConf15), seeing Joel again (and he finally visited Banja Luka as aftermath!), mbiebl, ah, moray, Milan, santiago and tons of others. Of course we always miss a few such as zack and vorlon this year (but they had pretty okay-ish reasons I would say). Speaking of new friends, I made few local friends which makes me happy and at least one Indian/Hindu friend. Why did I mention this separately - well we had an accident during Group Photo (btw, where is our Lithuanian, German based nowdays, photographer?!) where 3 laptops of our GSoC students were stolen :( . I was luckily enough to, on behalf of Purism, donate Librem11 prototype to one of them, which ended up being the Indian friend. She is working on real time communications which is of interest also to Purism for our future projects. Regarding Debian Day Trip, Joel and me opted out and we went on our own adventure through Cape Town in pursue of meeting and talking to local people, finding out interesting things which proved to be a great decision. We found about their first Thursday of month festival and we found about Mama Africa restaurant. That restaurant is going into special memories (me playing drums with local band must always be a special memory, right?!). Huh, to be honest writing about DebConf would probably need a book by itself and I always try to keep my posts as short as possible so I will try to stop here (maybe I write few bits in future more about it but hardly). Now the notes. Although I saw the racial segregation, I also saw the hope. These things need time. I come from country that is torn apart in nationalism and religious hate so I understand this issues is hard and deep on so many levels. While the tensions are high, I see people try to talk about it, try to find solution and I feel it is slowly transforming into open society, where we will realize that there is only one race on this planet and it is called - HUMAN RACE. We are all earthlings, and as sooner we realize that, sooner we will be on path to really build society up and not fake things that actually are enslaving our minds. I just want in the end to say thank you DebConf, thank you Debian and everyone could learn from this community as a model (which can be improved!) for future societies.

8 February 2016

Lunar: Reproducible builds: week 41 in Stretch cycle

What happened in the reproducible builds effort this week:

Toolchain fixes After remarks from Guillem Jover, Lunar updated his patch adding generation of .buildinfo files in dpkg.

Packages fixed The following packages have become reproducible due to changes in their build dependencies: dracut, ent, gdcm, guilt, lazarus, magit, matita, resource-agents, rurple-ng, shadow, shorewall-doc, udiskie. The following packages became reproducible after getting fixed:
  • disque/1.0~rc1-5 by Chris Lamb, noticed by Reiner Herrmann.
  • dlm/4.0.4-2 by Ferenc W gner.
  • drbd-utils/8.9.6-1 by Apollon Oikonomopoulos.
  • java-common/0.54 by by Emmanuel Bourg.
  • libjibx1.2-java/1.2.6-1 by Emmanuel Bourg.
  • libzstd/0.4.7-1 by Kevin Murray.
  • python-releases/1.0.0-1 by Jan Dittberner.
  • redis/2:3.0.7-2 by Chris Lamb, noticed by Reiner Herrmann.
  • tetex-brev/4.22.github.20140417-3 by Petter Reinholdtsen.
Some uploads fixed some reproducibility issues, but not all of them:
  • anarchism/14.0-4 by Holger Levsen.
  • hhvm/3.11.1+dfsg-1 by Faidon Liambotis.
  • netty/1:4.0.34-1 by Emmanuel Bourg.
Patches submitted which have not made their way to the archive yet:
  • #813309 on lapack by Reiner Herrmann: removes the test log and sorts the files packed into the static library locale-independently.
  • #813345 on elastix by akira: suggest to use the $datetime placeholder in Doxygen footer.
  • #813892 on dietlibc by Reiner Herrmann: remove gzip headers, sort md5sums file, and sort object files linked in static libraries.
  • #813912 on git by Reiner Herrmann: remove timestamps from documentation generated with asciidoc, remove gzip headers, and sort md5sums and tclIndex files. For the first time, we've reached more than 20,000 packages with reproducible builds for sid on amd64 with our current test framework. Vagrant Cascadian has set up another test system for armhf. Enabling four more builder jobs to be added to Jenkins. (h01ger)

Package reviews 233 reviews have been removed, 111 added and 86 updated in the previous week. 36 new FTBFS bugs were reported by Chris Lamb and Alastair McKinstry. New issue: timestamps_in_manpages_generated_by_yat2m. The description for the blacklisted_on_jenkins issue has been improved. Some packages are also now tagged with blacklisted_on_jenkins_armhf_only.

Misc. Steven Chamberlain gave an update on the status of FreeBSD and variants after the BSD devroom at FOSDEM 16. He also discussed how jails can be used for easier and faster reproducibility tests. The video for h01ger's talk in the main track of FOSDEM 16 about the reproducible ecosystem is now available.

4 January 2016

Lunar: Reproducible builds: week 36 in Stretch cycle

What happened in the reproducible builds effort between December 27th and January 2nd: Infrastructure dak now silently accepts and discards .buildinfo files (commit 1, 2), thanks to Niels Thykier and Ansgar Burchardt. This was later confirmed as working by Mattia Rizzolo. Packages fixed The following packages have become reproducible due to changes in their build dependencies: banshee-community-extensions, javamail, mono-debugger-libs, python-avro. The following packages became reproducible after getting fixed: Some uploads fixed some reproducibility issues, but not all of them: Untested changes: The testing distribution (the upcoming stretch) is now tested on armhf. (h01ger) Four new armhf build nodes provided by Vagrant Cascandian were integrated in the infrastructer. This allowed for 9 new armhf builder jobs. (h01ger) The RPM-based build system, koji, is now in unstable and testing. (Marek Marczykowski-G recki, Ximin Luo). Package reviews 131 reviews have been removed, 71 added and 53 updated in the previous week. 58 new FTBFS reports were made by Chris Lamb and Chris West. New issues identified this week: nondeterminstic_ordering_in_gsettings_glib_enums_xml, nondeterminstic_output_in_warnings_generated_by_breathe, qt_translate_noop_nondeterminstic_ordering. Misc. Steven Chamberlain explained in length why reproducible cross-building across architectures mattered, and posted results of his tests comparing a stage1 debootstrapped chroot of linux-i386 once done from official Debian packages, the others cross-built from kfreebsd-amd64.

13 September 2015

Russ Allbery: Accumulated haul

I haven't posted one of these in a while, but now that I'm finally caught up with writing reviews (although not posting them yet), I've been feeling about reading again. And of course the backlog always grows. Let's see if I can figure out what I've picked up since the last post. Catherine Asaro The Phoenix Code (sff)
Annie Bellet Justice Calling (sff)
Annie Bellet Murder of Crows (sff)
Annie Bellet Pack of Lies (sff)
Zen Cho Sorcerer to the Crown (sff)
J.J. Gribble Steel Victory (sff)
Judith L. Herman Trauma and Recovery (non-fiction)
Janis Ian & Mike Resnick Stars: The Anthology (sff anthology)
Megg Jensen Hidden (sff)
T. Kingfisher Bryony and Roses (sff)
T. Kingfisher The Seventh Bride (sff)
Nancy Kress Crossfire (sff)
Edmond Lau The Effective Engineer (non-fiction)
Yoon Ha Lee The Fox's Tower and Other Tales (sff collection)
Lozzi Roma Rome and the Vatican (non-fiction)
Elizabeth Lynn The Dancers of Arun (sff)
Elizabeth Lynn The Northern Girl (sff)
Rhonda Mason Empress Game (sff)
Vonda N. McIntyre Starfarers (sff)
Linda Nagata Memory (sff)
Jody Lynn Nye Strong Arm Tactics (sff)
Cat Rambo Near + Far (sff)
Kristine Kathryn Rusch The Diving Bundle (sff collection)
Kristine Kathryn Rusch Recovering Apollo 8 (sff)
L. Shelby Serendipity's Tide (sff)
L. Shelby Treachery's Harbor (sff)
L. Shelby Fealty's Shore (sff)
K.B. Spangler Digital Divide (sff)
Judith Tarr Forgotten Suns (sff)
Greg van Eekhout California Bones (sff) Hm, that's quite a lot. Most of it is various ebooks I picked up from various places, including a Humble Bundle. I've been impulse-buying a lot of stuff based on James Nicoll's reviews. The travel guide was a gift from a friend from a vacation in Italy.