Dealing with the void during MiniDebConf Online #1
Between 28 and 31 May this year, we set out to create our first ever online MiniDebConf for Debian. Many people have been meaning to do something similar for a long time, but it just didn t work out yet. With many of us being in lock down due to COVID-19, and with the strong possibility looming that DebConf20 might have had to become an online event, we rushed towards organising the first ever Online MiniDebConf and put together some form of usable video stack for it.
I could go into all kinds of details on the above, but this post is about a bug that lead to a pretty nifty feature for DebConf20. The tool that we use to capture Jitsi calls is called Jibri (Jitsi Broadcasting Infrustructure). It had a bug (well, bug for us, but it s an upstream feature) where Jibri would hang up after 30s of complete silence, because it would assume that the call has ended and that the worker can be freed up again. This would result in the stream being ended at the end of every talk, so before the next talk, someone would have to remember to press play again in their media player or on the video player on the stream page. Hrmph.
Easy solution on the morning that the conference starts? I was testing a Debian Live image the night before in a KVM and thought that I might as well just start a Jitsi call from there and keep a steady stream of silence so that Jibri doesn t hang up.
It worked! But the black screen and silence on stream was a bit eery. Because this event was so experimental in nature, and because we were on such an incredibly tight timeline, we opted not to seek sponsors for this event, so there was no sponsors loop that we d usually stream during a DebConf event. Then I thought Ah! I could just show the schedule! .
The stream looked bright and colourful (and was even useful!) and Jitsi/Jibri didn t die. I thought my work was done. As usual, little did I know how untrue that was.
The silence was slightly disturbing after the talks, and people asked for some music. Playing music on my VM and capturing the desktop audio in to Jitsi was just a few pulseaudio settings away, so I spent two minutes finding some freely licensed tracks that sounded ok enough to just start playing on the stream. I came across mini-albums by Captive Portal and Cinema Noir, During the course of the MiniDebConf Online I even started enjoying those. Someone also pointed out that it would be really nice to have a UTC clock on the stream. I couldn t find a nice clock in a hurry so I just added a tmux clock in the meantime while we deal with the real-time torrent of issues that usually happens when organising events like this.
Speaking of issues, during our very first talk of the last day, our speaker had a power cut during the talk and abruptly dropped off. Oops! So, since I had a screenshare open from the VM to the stream, I thought I d just pop in a quick message in a text editor to let people know that we re aware of it and trying to figure out what s going on.
In the end, MiniDebConf Online worked out all right. Besides the power cut for our one speaker, and another who had a laptop that was way too under-powered to deal with video, everything worked out very well. Even the issues we had weren t show-stoppers and we managed to work around them.
DebConf20 Moves Online
For DebConf, we usually show a sponsors loop in between sessions. It s great that we give our sponsors visibility here, but in reality people see the sponsors loop and think Talk over! and then they look away. It s also completely silent and doesn t provide any additional useful information. I was wondering how I could take our lessons from MDCO#1 and integrate our new tricks with the sponsors loop. That is, add the schedule, time, some space to type announcements on the screen and also add some loopable music to it.
I used OBS before in making my videos, and like the flexibility it provides when working with scenes and sources. A scene is what you would think of as a screen or a document with its own collection of sources or elements. For example, a scene might contain sources such as a logo, clock, video, image, etc. A scene can also contain another scene. This is useful if you want to contain a banner or play some background music that is shared between scenes.
The above screenshots illustrate some basics of scenes and sources. First with just the DC20 banner, and then that used embedded in another scene.
For MDCO#1, I copied and pasted the schedule into a LibreOffice Impress slide that was displayed on the stream. Having to do this for all 7 days of DebConf, plus dealing with scheduling changes would be daunting. So, I started to look in to generating some schedule slides programmatically. Stefano then pointed me to the Happening Now page on the DebConf website, where the current schedule block is displayed. So all I would need to do in OBS was to display a web page. Nice!
Unfortunately the OBS in Debian doesn t have the ability to display web pages out of the box (we need to figure out CEF in Debian), but fortunately someone provides a pre-compiled version of the plugin called Linux Browser that works just fine. This allowed me to easily add the schedule page in its own scene.
Being able to display a web page solved another problem. I wasn t fond of having to type / manage the announcements in OBS. It would either be a bit prone to user error, and if you want to edit the text while the loop is running, you d have to disrupt the loop, go to the foreground scene, and edit the text before resuming the loop. That s a bit icky. Then I thought that we could probably just get that from a web page instead. We could host some nice html snippet in a repository in salsa, and then anyone could easily commit an MR to update the announcement.
But then I went a step further, use an etherpad! Then anyone in the orga team can quickly update the announcement and it would be instantly changed on the stream. Nice! So that small section of announcement text on the screen is actually a whole web browser with an added OBS filter to crop away all the pieces we don t want. Overkill? Sure, but it gave us a decent enough solution that worked in time for the start of DebConf. Also, being able to type directly on to the loop screen works out great especially in an emergency. Oh, and uhm the clock is also a website rendered in its own web browser :-P
So, I had the ability to make scenes, add elements and add all the minimal elements I wanted in there. Great! But now I had to figure out how to switch scenes automatically. It s probably worth mentioning that I only found some time to really dig into this right before DebConf started, so with all of this I was scrambling to find things that would work without too many bugs while also still being practical.
Now I needed the ability to switch between the scenes automatically / programmatically. I had never done this in OBS before. I know it has some API because there are Android apps that you can use to control OBS with from your phone. I discovered that it had an automatic scene switcher, but it s very basic. It can only switch based on active window, which can be useful in some cases, but since we won t have any windows open other than OBS, this tool was basically pointless.
After some quick searches, I found a plugin called Advanced Scene Switcher. This plugin can do a lot more, but has some weird UI choices, and is really meant for gamers and other types of professional streamers to help them automate their work flow and doesn t seem at all meant to be used for a continuous loop, but, it worked, and I could make it do something that will work for us during the DebConf.
I had a chicken and egg problem because I had to figure out a programming flow, but didn t really have any content to work with, or an idea of all the content that we would eventually have. I ve been toying with the idea in my mind and had some idea that we could add fun facts, postcards (an image with some text), time now in different timezones, Debian news (maybe procured by the press team), cards that contain the longer announcements that was sent to debconf-announce, perhaps a shout out or two and some photos from previous DebConfs like the group photos. I knew that I wouldn t be able to build anything substantial by the time DebConf starts, but adding content to OBS in between talks is relatively easy, so we could keep on building on it during DebConf.
Nattie provided the first shout out, and I made 2 video loops with the DC18/19 pictures and also two Did you know cards. So the flow I ended up with was: Sponsors -> Happening Now -> Random video (which would be any of those clips) -> Back to sponsors. This ended up working pretty well for quite a while. With the first batch of videos the sponsor loop would come up on average about every 2 minutes, but as much shorter clips like shout outs started to come in faster and faster, it made sense to play a few 2-3 shout-outs before going back to sponsors.
So here is a very brief guide on how I set up the sequencing in Advanced Scene Switcher.
If no condition was met, a video would play from the Random tab.
Then in the Random tab, I added the scenes that were part of the random mix. Annoyingly, you have to specify how long it should play for. If you don t, the no condition thingy is triggered and another video is selected. The time is also the length of the video minus one second, because
You can t just say that a random video should return back to a certain scene, you have to specify that in the sequence tab for each video. Why after 1 second? Because, at least in my early tests, and I didn t circle back to this, it seems like 0s can randomly either mean instantly, or never. Yes, this ended up being a bit confusing and tedious, and considering the late hours I worked on this, I m surprised that I didn t manage to screw it up completely at any point.
I also suspected that threads would eventually happen. That is, when people create video replies to other videos. We had 3 threads in total. There was a backups thread, beverage thread and an impersonation thread. The arrow in the screenshot above points to the backups thread. I know it doesn t look that complicated, but it was initially somewhat confusing to set up and make sense out of it.
For the next event, the Advanced Scene Switcher might just get some more taming, or even be replaced entirely. There are ways to drive OBS by API, and even the Advanced Scene Switcher tool can be driven externally to some degree, but I think we definitely want to replace it by the next full DebConf. We had the problem that when a talk ended, we would return to the loop in the middle of a clip, which felt very unnatural and sometimes even confusing. So Stefano helped me with a helper script that could read the socket from Vocto, which I used to write either Loop or Standby to a file, and then the scene switcher would watch that file and keep the sponsors loop ready for start while the talks play. Why not just switch to sponsors when the talk ends? Well, the little bit of delay in switching would mean that you would see a tiny bit of loop every time before switching to sponsors. This is also why we didn t have any loop for the ad-hoc track (that would have probably needed another OBS instance, we ll look more into solutions for this for the future).
Then for all the clips. There were over 50 of them. All of them edited by hand in kdenlive. I removed any hard clicks, tried to improve audibility, remove some sections at the beginning and the end that seemed extra and added some music that would reduce in volume when someone speaks. In the beginning, I had lots of fun with choosing music for the clips. Towards the end, I had to rush them through and just chose the same tune whether it made sense or not. For comparison of what a difference the music can make, compare the original and adapted version for Valhalla s clip above, or this original and adapted video from urbec. This part was a lot more fun than dealing with the video sequencer, but I also want to automate it a bit. When I can fully drive OBS from Python I ll likely instead want to show those cards and control music volume from Python (what could possibly go wrong ).
The loopy name happened when I requested an @debconf.org alias for this. I was initially just thinking about firstname.lastname@example.org but since I wanted to make it clear that the purpose of this loop is also to have some fun, I opted for loopy instead:
I was really surprised by how people took to loopy. I hoped it would be good and that it would have somewhat positive feedback, but the positive feedback was just immense. The idea was that people typically saw it in between talks. But a few people told me they kept it playing after the last talk of the day to watch it in the background. Some asked for the music because they want to keep listening to it while working (and even for jogging!?). Some people also asked for recordings of the loop because they want to keep it for after DebConf. The shoutouts idea proved to be very popular. Overall, I m very glad that people enjoyed it and I think it s safe to say that loopy will be back for the next event.
Also throughout this experiment Loopy Loop turned into yet another DebConf mascot. We gain one about every DebConf, some by accident and some on purpose. This one was not quite on purpose. I meant to make an image for it for salsa, and started with an infinite loop symbol. That s a loop, but by just adding two more solid circles to it, it looks like googly eyes, now it s a proper loopy loop!
I like the progress we ve made on this, but there s still a long way to go, and the ideas keep heaping up. The next event is quite soon (MDCO#2 at the end of November, and it seems that 3 other MiniDebConf events may also be planned), but over the next few events there will likely be significantly better graphics/artwork, better sequencing, better flow and more layout options. I hope to gain some additional members in the team to deal with incoming requests during DebConf. It was quite hectic this time! The new OBS also has a scripting host that supports Python, so I should be able to do some nice things even within OBS without having to drive it externally (like, display a clock without starting a web browser).
The Loopy Loop Music
The two mini albums that mostly played during the first few days were just a copy and paste from the MDCO#1 music, which was:
I have much more things to say about DebConf20, but I ll keep that for another post, and hopefully we can get all the other video stuff in a post from the video team, because I think there s been some real good work done for this DebConf. Also thanks to Infomaniak who was not only a platinum sponsor for this DebConf, but they also provided us with plenty of computing power to run all the video stuff on. Thanks again!
This month we finally announced the Debian Social project. A project that hosts a few websites with the goal to improve communication and collaboration within the Debian project, improve visibility on the work that people do and make it easier for general users to interact with the community and feel part of the project.
This has been a long time in the making. From my side I ve been looking at better ways to share/play our huge DebConf video archives for the last 3 years or so. Initially I was considering either some sort of script or small server side app that combined the archives and the metadata into a player, or using something like MediaDrop (which I was using on my highvoltage.tv website for a while). I ran into a lot of MediaDrop s limitations early on. It was fine for a very small site but I don t think it would ever be the right solution for a Debian-wide video hosting platform, and it didn t seem all that actively maintained either. Wouter went ahead and implemented a web player option for the video archives. His solution is good because it doesn t rely on any server side software, so it s easy to mirror and someone who lives on an island could download it and view it offline in that player. It still didn t solve all our problems though. Popular videos (by either views or likes) weren t easily discoverable, and the site itself isn t that easy to discover.
Then PeerTube came along. PeerTube provides a similar type of interface such as MediaDrop or YouTube that gives you likes, viewcount and comments. But what really set it apart from previous things that we looked at was that it s a federated service. Not only does it federate with other PeerTube instances, but the protocols it uses means that it can connect to all kinds of other services that makes up an interconnected platform called the Fediverse. This was especially great since independent video sites tend to become these lonely islands on the web that become isolated and forgotten. With PeerTube, video sites can subscribe to similar sites on the Fediverse, which makes videos and other video sites significantly more discoverable and attracts more eyeballs.
At DebConf19 I wanted to ramp up the efforts to make a Debian PeerTube instance a reality. I spoke to many people about this and discovered that some Debianites are already making all kinds of Debian videos in many different languages. Some were even distributing them locally on DVD and have never uploaded them. I thought that the Debian PeerTube instance could not only be a good platform for DebConf videos, but it could be a good home for many free software content creators, especially if they create Debian specific content. I spoke to Rhonda about it, who s generally interested in the Fediverse and wanted to host a instances of Pleroma (microblogging service) and PixelFed (free image hosting service that resembles the Instagram site), but needed a place to host them. We decided to combine efforts, and since a very large amount of fediverse services end with .social in their domain names, we ended up calling this project Debian Social. We re also hosting some non-fediverse services like a WordPress multisite and a Jitsi instance for video chatting.
Currently, we have a few services in a beta/testing state. I think we have most of the kinks sorted out to get them to a phase where they re ready for wider use. Authentication is a bit of a pain point right now. We don t really have a single sign-on service in Debian, that guest users can use, or that all these services integrate with. So for now, if you re a Debian Developer who wants an account on one of these services, you can request a new account by creating a ticket on salsa.debian.org and selecting the New account template. Not all services support having dashes (or even any punctuation in the username whatsoever), so to keep it consistent we re currently appending just guest to salsa usernames for guest users, and team at the end of any Debian team accounts or official accounts using these services
Stefano finished uploading all the Debconf videos to the PeerTube instance. Even though it s largely automated, it ended up being quite a big job fixing up some old videos, their metadata and adding support for PeerTube to the DebConf video scripts. This also includes some videos from sprints and MiniDebConfs that had video coverage, currently totaling 1359 videos.
This is still a very early phase for the project. Here are just some ideas that might develop over time on the Debian Social sites:
Team accounts. Some Debian teams already have accounts on a myriad of other platforms. For example, the Debian Med team has a blog on blogspot and the Debian Publicity team has an account on framapiaf.org. I d really like to make our Debian Social platforms (like our WordPress multisite instance and Pleroma) a place where Debian teams can trust to host their updates on. It would also be nice to have more teams use these that don t have a particularly big online presence right now, like Debian women or a DPL team account.
Developer demos. I enjoy the videos that the GNOME project makes that demos the new features in every release, as they ve done for the 3.36 release. I think it would be great if people in Debian could make some small videos to demo the things that they ve been working on. It doesn t have to be as flashy or elaborate as the GNOME video I ve linked to, but sometimes just a minute long demo can be really useful to convey a new idea or feature or to show progress that has been made.
User participation. YouTube is full of videos that reviewDebianordemohowtocustomiseit. It would be great if we could get users to post such videos to PeerTube. For Pixelfed, I d like to try out projects like users posting pictures of their computers with freshly installed Debian systems with a hashtag like #WeInstallDebian, then at the end of the year we could build a nice big mosaic that contains these images. Might make a cool poster for events too.
DebConf and other Debian events. We used to use a Gallery instance to host DebConf photos, but it s always been a bit cumbersome managing photos there and Gallery hasn t updated it s UI much over the years causing it to fall a bit out of favour with attendees at these events. As a result, photos end up getting lost in WhatsApp/Telegram/Signal groups, Twitter, Facebook, etc. I hope that we could get enough users signed up on the Pixelfed instance that it could become the de facto standard for posting Debian event photos to. Having a known central place to post these make them easier to find as well.
If you d like to join this initiative and help out, please join #debian-social on oftc. We re also looking for people who can help moderate posts on these sites.
I had the sense that there were fewer upstream releases this month. I suspect that everyone was busy figuring out how to cope during Covid-19 lockdowns taking place all over the world.
2020-03-02: Upload package calamares (3.2.10-1) to Debian unstable.
2020-03-10: Upload package gnome-shell-extension-dash-to-panel (29-1) to Debian unstable.
2020-03-10: Upload package gnome-shell-extension-draw-on-your-screen (5.1-1) to Debian unstable.
2020-03-28: Upload package gnome-shell-extension-dash-to-panel (31-1) to Debian unstable.
2020-03-28: Upload package gnome-shell-extension-draw-on-your-screen (6-1) to Debian unstable.
2020-03-28: Update package python3-flask-autoindexing packaging, not releasing due to licensing change that needs further clarification. (GitHub issue #55).
2020-03-28: Upload package gamemode (1.5.1-1) to Debian unstable.
2020-03-28: Upload package calamares (3.2.21-1) to Debian unstable.
2020-03-03: Sponsor package python-jaraco.functools (3.0.0-1) (Python team request).
2020-03-03: Review python-ftputil (3.4-1) (Needs some more work) (Python team request).
2020-03-04: Sponsor package pythonmagick (0.9.19-6) for Debian unstable (Python team request).
2020-03-23: Sponsor package bitwise (0.41-1) for Debian unstable (Email request).
2020-03-23: Sponsor package gpxpy (1.4.0-1) for Debian unstable (Python team request).
2020-03-28: Sponsor package gpxpy (1.4.0-2) for Debian unstable (Python team request).
2020-03-28: Sponsor package celery (4.4.2-1) for Debian unstable (Python team request).
2020-03-28: Sponsor package buildbot (2.7.0-1) for Debian unstable (Python team request).
Angela, my wife, I met daily on Jabber. Thanks for letting me go to this great DebConf17 conference
and keeping our family up and running
Andreas asking people to either impersonate his wife or adoptive daughter for a photo shooting.
You gave such a touching talk on Friday, together with Minh from Vietnam.
Holger for nagging us about stone age bugs in the Debian Blends package and the outdated
software list in Debian Edu (Kernel 2.6.32 package are finally not mentioned anymore)
Vagrant, Foetini and Alkis for there efforts on LTSP and their success in Greece with bringing
Debian into Greek schools
Tiago, Jerome and all the others from the local team, providing us with such great food and support. THANKS folks!!!
Enrico who showed my his 20 liner version of nodm aka lightdm-autologin-greeter (and also made me curious on staticsite)
Jonas Smedegaard for teaching me the solarized theme and loads of other things
Siri for being around and really having a stand for making Debian look more like a product
Dimitri John Ledkov for chiming in on Ayatana Indicators as next Indicators upstream for Ubuntu 18.04 LTS
Chrys for chiming on .desktop file proxying, meet you back in #arctica on Freenode
Sean for asking me daily, if my luggage had arrived (see below), as he shared the same fate during DebCamp
the owner of that nice shop where I bought loads of clothes while waiting for my luggage still stuck in Hamburg
Steven for looking into gcc compiler macros with me for nx-libs autotools conversion, also probably - luggage wise - the lightest traveller among us
Fabian for sharing is sadness and pain about the FLOSS non-situation in schools all over Quebec
Mario from New Zealand and Jos from the Netherlands chiming in on FLOSS and education on IRC after having watch my talk about Debian Edu / Skolelinux. Mario, we will soon ask you for opensourcing your teacher screen over WiFi solution...
Lior who thinks about bringing Debian Edu / Skolelinux to Israel. (That would be awesome!)
Rhonda for having time for my Debian Backports woes and probably having been quite forgiving ;-)
Bobby who is a font engineer during the week and (used to be) a cave explorer and mapper in his spare time
Ximin for providing deep insight in the key signing workflow and the caff approach to it
Daniel for sharing work experiences and nudging me to go with Remote Desktop stuff (out of pure personal
interest *g*, of course, but still)
Tzfarir and Gunnar for a nice chat on the last night of DebConf
Topics I have worked on
Finding my luggage
After I had arrived at Montreal Airport, I found out that my luggage stayed in Hamburg
So the first 4.5 days, I was continuously busy with calling Lufthansa for package item tracking...
Go shopping twice, to update my plastic bag of fresh clothes...
MATE 1.18 in Debian
Finalize package builds of MATE 1.18 in Debian unstable (because of some GLib2.0 regression,
thanks to Iain Lane for the prompt fix and upload)
clear up src:package debian-edu regarding the task files related to Debian Pure Blends
this work is still in progress...
Debian Blends (esp. the blends-dev part of the blends src:package)
You can now have empty Depends: / Recommends: / Suggests: fields with the list of packages
then starting in the next line.
It is now possible to have real Depends: fields in task files that become
Depends: fields in debian/control. Packages targetting Depends: that are not
in unstable get de-promoted to the Suggests: field in debian/control.
Tested with most available Debian Pure Blends meta-packages
I also pointed Daniel Pocock with his new GnuPG clean-room project towards Debian Pure Blends
Ring: A 'new' distributed video chat tool without mediating servers. Good concept, however, we
could not get it to work on the DebConf campus.
Debian Design Team (which I am now a member of, I guess)
Dive into and out of the vision of a Debian Uniform set of packages, turning
the collection of software in Debian into one thing.
Run my terminal applications now with the Base16 profile 'solarized-universal'. However, Debian Design will be much more than 16 colors in a console terminal.
Let's turn Debian into something like a potential product!
I even helped with a Debian Policy bug...
Skolab Groupware: Forking Kolab (v2) as a new project, named the Skolab Groupware. Instead of migrating my own mail server away from Kolab (v2), I chose continuing maintenance for it, at least for the core compoents:
I also looked into lightdm-webkit2-greeter, but upstream is in the middle of a transition from Gtk3 to Qt5, so this has been suspended for now.
Packages Uploaded to oldstable-/stable-proposed-updates or -security
freerdp (1.1) (actually twice, one of them a security upload)
Other Package related Stuff
Prepare upload of caja-admin by asking for release tags upstream
Talk Clint Byrums into a fresh upload of the long not touch undistract-me package
Breed on different desktop layouts for Debian MATE (like in Ubuntu MATE)
Do quite a bit of GnuPG key signing
Update my consent with NM to pick up my work on collab-maint request processing again
Thanks to Everyone Making This Event Possible
A big thanks to everyone who made it possible for me to attend this event!!!
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:
A fair amount of things happened since I last blogged something else than music. First of all we did actually hold a Debian Diversity meeting. It was quite nice, less people around than hoped for, and I account that to some extend to the trolls and haters that defaced the titanpad page for the agenda and destroyed the doodle entry for settling on a date for the meeting. They even tried to troll my blog with comments, and while I did approve controversial responses in the past, those went over the line of being acceptable and didn't carry any relevant content.
One response that I didn't approve but kept in my mailbox is even giving me strength to carry on. There is one sentence in it that speaks to me: Think you can stop us? You can't you stupid b*tch. You have ruined the Debian community for us. The rest of the message is of no further relevance, but even though I can't take credit for being responsible for that, I'm glad to be a perceived part of ruining the Debian community for intolerant and hateful people.
A lot of other things happened since too. Mostly locally here in Vienna, several queer empowering groups were founding around me, some of them existed already, some formed with the help of myself. We now have several great regular meetings for non-binary people, for queer polyamory people about which we gave an interview, a queer playfight (I might explain that concept another time), a polyamory discussion group, two bi-/pansexual groups, a queer-feminist choir, and there will be an European Lesbian* Conference in October where I help with the organization
and on June 21st I'll finally receive the keys to my flat in Que[e]rbau Seestadt. I'm sooo looking forward to it. It will be part of the Let me come Home experience that I'm currently in. Another part of that experience is that I started changing my name (and gender marker) officially. I had my first appointment in the corresponding bureau, and I hope that it won't last too long because I have to get my papers in time for booking my flight to Montreal, and somewhen along the process my current passport won't contain correct data anymore. So for the people who have it in their signing policy to see government IDs this might be your chance to finally sign my key then.
I plan to do a diversity BoF at debconf where we can speak more directly on where we want to head with the project. I hope I'll find the time to do an IRC meeting beforehand. I'm just uncertain how to coordinate that one to make it accessible for interested parties while keeping the destructive trolls out. I'm open for ideas here.
I need music to be more productive. Sitting in an open workspace it helps to shut off outside noice too. And often enough I just turn cmus into shuffle mode and let it play what comes along. Yesterday I just stumbled upon a singer again that I fell in love with her voice a long time ago. This is about Anouk.
The song was on a compilation series that I followed because it so easily brought great groups to my attention in a genre that I simply love. It was called "Crossing All Over!" and featured several groups that I digged further into and still love to listen to.
Anyway, don't want to delay the songs for you any longer, so here they are:
Nobody's Wife: The first song I heard from her, and her voice totally catched me.
Last fall I went to a Silent Disco event. You get wireless headphones, a DJane and a DJ were playing music on different channels, and you enjoy the time with people around who can't hear what you hear. It's a pretty funny experience, and it was one of the last warm sunny days. There I heard a song that was just in the mood for the moment, and made me looking up the band to listen more closely to them.
The band was Icona Pop, they have a mood enlighening pop sound that cheers you up. Here are the songs I want to present you today:
I Love It: The first song I heard from them, and I Love It!
Girlfriend: Sweet song, and probably part of the reason they are well received in the LGBTIQ community.
I guess you know by now that I simply love music. It is powerful, it can move you, change your mood in a lot of direction, make you wanna move your body to it, even unknowingly have this happen, and remind you of situations you want to keep in mind. The singer I present to you was introduce to me by a dear friend with the following words: So this hasn't happened to me in a looooong time: I hear a voice and can't stop crying. I can't decide which song I should send to you thus I send three of which the last one let me think of you.
And I have to agree, that voice is really great. Thanks a lot for sharing LP with me, dear! And given that I got sent three songs and I am not good at holding excitement back, I want to share it with you, so here are the songs:
It's not often that an artist touches you deeply, but Thomas D managed to do so to the point of that I am (only half) jokingly saying that if there would be a church of Thomas D I would absolutely join it. His lyrics always did stand out for me in the context of the band I found about him, and the way he lives his life is definitely outstanding. And additionally there are these special songs that give so much and share a lot. I feel sorry for the people who don't understand German to be able to appreciate him.
Here are three songs that I suggest you to listen to closely:
Fluss: This song gave me a lot of strengh in a difficult time of my life. And it still works wonders when I feel down to get my ass up from the floor again.
Gebet an den Planeten: This songs gives me shivers. Let the lyrics touch you. And take the time to think about it.
An alle Hinterbliebenen: This song might be a bit difficult to deal with. It's about loss and how to deal with suffering.
I have a long overdue blog entry about what happened in recent times. People that follow my tweets did catch some things. Most noteworthy there was the Trans*Inter*Congress in Munich at the start of May. It was an absolute blast. I met so many nice and great people, talked and experienced so many great things there that I'm still having a great motivational push from it every time I think back. It was also the time when I realized that I in fact do have body dysphoria even though I thought I'm fine with my body in general: Being tall is a huge issue for me. Realizing that I have a huge issue (yes, pun intended) with my length was quite relieving, even though it doesn't make it go away. It's something that makes passing and transitioning for me harder. I'm well aware that there are tall women, and that there are dedicated shops for lengthy women, but that's not the only thing that I have trouble with. What bothers me most is what people read into tall people: that they are always someone they can lean on for comfort, that tall people are always considered to be self confident and standing up for themselves (another pun, I know ... my bad).
And while I'm fine with people coming to me for leaning on to, I rarely get the chance to do so myself. And people don't even consider it. When I was there in Munich, talking with another great (... pun?) trans woman who was as tall as me I finally had the possibility to just rest my head on her shoulder and finally feel the comfort I need just as much as everyone else out there, too. Probably that's also the reason why I'm so touchy and do go Free Hugging as often as possible. But being tall also means that you are usually only the big spoon when cuddling up. Having a small mental breakdown because of realizing that didn't change the feeling directly but definitely helped with looking for what I could change to fix that for myself.
Then, at the end of may, the movie FtWTF - female to what the fuck came to cinema. It's a documentary about six people who got assigned female at birth. And it's absolutely charming, and has great food for thoughts in it. If you ever get the chance to watch it you definitely should.
And then came debconf16 in Capetown. The flight to there was canceled and we had to get rebooked. The first offer was to go through Dubai, and gladly a colleague did point out to the person behind the desk that that wouldn't be safe for myself and thus out of scope. In the end we managed to get to Capetown quite nice, and even though it was winter when the sun was shining it was quite nice. Besides the cold nights that is. Or being stuck on the way up to table mountain because a colleague had cramps in his lags and we had to call mountain rescue. Gladly the night was clear, and when the mountain rescue finally got us to top and it was night already we had one of the nicest views from up there most people probably never will experience.
And then ... I got invited to a trans meetup in Capetown. I was both excited and nervous about it, what to expect there. But it was simply great. The group there was simply outstandingly great. The host gave update information on progress on clinical support within south Africa, from what I took with me is that there is only one clinic there for SRS which manages only two people a year which is simply ... yuck. Guess you can guess how many years (yes, decades) the waiting line is ... I was blown away though by the diversity of the group, on so many levels, most notably on the age spectrum. It was a charm to meet you all there! If you ever stop by in Capetown and you are part of the LGBTIQ community, make sure you get in contact with the Triangle Project.
But, about the real reason to write this entry: I was approached at Debconf by at least two people who asked me what I thought about creating an LGBTIQA+ group within Debian, and if I'd like to push for that. Actually I think it would be a good idea to have some sort of exchange between people on the queer spectrum (and I hope I don't offend anyone with just saying queer for LGBTIQA+ people). Given that I'm quite outspoken people approach me every now and then so I'm aware that there is a fair amount of people that would fall into that category. On the other hand some of them wouldn't want to have it publicly known because it shouldn't matter and isn't really the business of others.
So I'm uncertain. If we follow that path I guess something that is closed or at least offers the possibility to have a closed communication would be needed to not out someone by just joining in the discussion. It's was easier with Debian Women where it was (somewhat) clear that male participants are allies supporting the cause and not considered being women themselves, but often enough (mostly cis hetero male) people are afraid to join a dedicated LGBTIQA+ group because they have the fear of having their identity judged. These things should be considered before creating such a place so that people can feel comfortable when joining and know what to expect beforehand.
For the time being I created #debian-diversity on irc.debian.org to discuss how to move forward. Please bear in mind that even the channel name is up for discussion. Acronyms might not be the way to go in my opinion, just read back up the discussion that lead to the Diversity Statement of Debian where the original approach was to start listing groups for inclusiveness but it was quickly clear that it can get outdated too easily.
I am willing to be part of that effort, but right now I have some personal things to deal which eat up a fair amount of my time. My kid starts school in September (yes, it's that long already, time flies ...). And it looks like I'll have to move a second time in the near future: I'll have to leave my current flat by the end of the year and the Que[e]rbau I'm moving into won't be ready by that time to host me yet ... F*ck. :(
Today was day one of the DebConf16 Open Festival and I attended
the open hardware panel,
part of the talk about Code For South Africa,
and the DebConf new folks session.
The open hardware panel was a wide ranging discussion between bdale, Andy and indiebio.
bdate talked about the experiences he has had with his rocketry hardware.
bdale said "Make concious decisions about what you are buying",
referencing a case where he investigated, found a GPL violation and didn't buy.
Various people care about openness of different layers of the hardware.
Off-the-shelf products are very strongly integrated, which is great for
makers but means that people who care about lower layers like CPU
micro-architecture aren't able to participate.
Andy said "We are just beginning to come out of the shareware stage [of open hardware]".
bdale mentioned the companies who do hardware production as a service from design files.
Later in the pub some folks mentioned j-core, an open re-implementation of SuperH processors.
I missed most of the code4sa talk unfortunately,
but it was about government services and open data.
shirish covered his journey through life to Debian.
His youth, how satellite TV and knowledge of the
outside world came to India around the time of the Iraq war.
His experience accessing the Internet for the first time,
uncensored vs the usual censorship in India's media.
His experiences of Windows 95 viruses and crashes.
He learned of PCTwist Linux through a magazine cover.
His initial install was not a success but eventually
managed to break through and install a desktop,
but experienced network and other issues.
Eventually he encountered Ubuntu and began contributing bug reports.
His experiences there led him to Debian.
He began blogging about Debian.
In the last few years he and others
have been going around the country doing
mini-DebConfs at institutes around India.
The first question was predictably about having a DebConf in India
and how shirish might like to get more involved.
DebConf in India sounds like a possibility some day
and shirish was thinking about getting involved in publicity,
marketting and the Debian installer.
The DebConf new folks session was a great intro to DebConf
for folks new to the community.
There were some quite excellent touches added to this
year's version of the event by indiebio and Rhonda.
I also got some things done.
Usual spam reporting.
Reviewed wiki RecentChanges.
Talked to the chromium-bsu/MacPorts maintainer about AX_CHECK_GL brokenness.
Filed Debian wishlist bug #829292 asking to update autoconf-archive.
Redirected a Hurd porterbox request to the exodar admin
and quickly found out I was wrong to do that, rectified.
Then we found out the LDAP sync to exodar was broken.
Replied to someone who intends to sell Debian pre-installs.
Thanked BunsenLabs folks for joining the derivatives list.
Applied reproducible builds patch for cats from Chris Lamb.
Heard about awesome new terminal-mode screensaver. Moo!
Prepared a blog post about check-all-the-things.
My monthly report covers a large part of what I have been doing in the free software world. I write it for my donators (thanks to them!) but also for the wider Debian community because it can give ideas to newcomers and it s one of the best ways to find volunteers to work with me on projects that matter to me.
Due to some departure and increased workload, I wanted to find out a few new paid contributors for Debian LTS. So I sent a mail to email@example.com and contrary to last time (where I posted the announce only here on my blog), I had plenty of replies I ended up enrolling 6 new contributors and refusing 3 persons that did not have the required profile.
All new contributors are supposed to handle at least one LTS update on their free time to get up to speed. But from the 6 new contributors only 3 managed to handle their training update in May.
During the month I spent quite some time providing guidance to the new contributors both in private mails and on the debian-lts mailing list.
I also reviewed a xen update where I had (rightfully) some doubts about the work done.
fonts-cantarell. After having diagnosed the problem last month, I got annoyed enough by the lack of a fixed package that I found a way to package a newer upstream release of fonts-cantarell without requiring a fontforge update that was likely to take some time still so I prepared and uploaded 0.0.24-1.
cpputest. Bug #823711 reported some license issues with some of the files. I immediately forwarded this upstream (issue 961) and fixed it in Debian by repacking the upstream tarball. Fortunately upstream has been quick to handle his and there s a new upstream release (3.8) where the problematic files have been dropped.
live-boot. Kali s live images were no longer booting (stuck in the initrd) and with the help of Ben Hutchings we diagnosed this back to #823069 which I fixed in live-boot 20160511.
udev. I filed #824025 to request that the rule defining the MAC-based name of USB network interfaces be isolated in its own file so that it can be easily disabled (we do that in Kali).
Misc stuff. I packaged Django 1.8.13 in jessie-backports. I filed #824165 against sbuild being broken with $apt_allow_unauthenticated = 1; in .sbuildrc. I filed a wishlist bug #824168 against apt-listchanges to suggest that it ignores news from auto-installed packages. I filed #825923 to report a regression in python-nltk (discovered in Kali first).
packages.debian.org. A few months ago, I wrote a patch for packages.debian.org so that it forwards emails to tracker.debian.org instead of packages.qa.debian.org. At that time, I was in touch with Rhonda and was hoping that she would apply it rather quickly (the patch is rather short). After a few more pings, she made it clear that she was not alone and that I should rather file a proper request so that someone else can also process it. So I filed #824085 and tried to find someone else to apply my patch. Most of the members of pkg_maint said that they were part of the group only due to generic webmaster involvement but that they did not want to touch that part. Fortunately, Martin Zobel Helas was more receptive to my request and helped me to deploy my changes. I committed my change and Martin pulled it in the live checkout on picconi.debian.org.
This update is also a first step towards the possibility to use firstname.lastname@example.org and/or email@example.com in the Maintainer field of a package. With this we can get rid of dedicated mailing lists that just duplicate the work of the package tracker. And we no longer need to care about the fact that the Maintainer is handled differently than Uploaders since all (human) co-maintainers would then be listed in Uploaders only (and the package tracker would deal appropriately with mails sent to the Maintainer).
Distro Tracker. I improved the import process to be able to force a new processing of source packages that were already imported. This was useful to let it recognize architectures which were newly added in its database (and that were ignored and thus not displayed up to now).
I also made a first review of the AppStream patch submitted by Matthias Klump in #806740.
See you next month for a new summary of my activities.
Last week we lost another great musician, song writer, artist. It's painful to realise that more and more of the people you grew up with aren't there anymore. We lost Prince, TAFKAP, Symbol, Prince. He wrote a lot of great music, even some you wouldn't attribute to him, like Sinead O'Connor's Nothing Compares To You, Bangles' Manic Monday or Chaka Khan's I Feel For You. But I actually would like to share some songs that are also performed by himself, so without further ado here are the songs:
As my readers probably are well aware, I wrote my transgender coming out poem Mermaids over 10 years ago, to make it clear to people how I define, what I am and how I would hope they could accept me. I did put it publicly into my blog so I could point people to it. And I still do so regularly. It still comes from the bottom of my heart. And I am very happy that I got the chance to present it in a Poetry Slam last year, it was even recorded and uploaded to YouTube.
There is just one thing that I was also told over the time every now and then by some people that I would have liked to understand what's going on: Why is it in English, my English isn't that good. My usual response was along the lines of that the events that triggered me writing it were in an international context and I wanted to make sure that they understood what I wrote. At that time I didn't realize that I am cutting out a different group of people from being able to understand what's going on inside me.
So this year there was a similar event: the Flawless Poetry Slam which touched the topics of Feminist? Queer? Gender? Rolemodels? - Let's talk about it. I took that as motivation to finally write another text on the topic, and this time in German. Unfortunately though I wasn't able to present it that evening, I wasn't drawn for the lineup. But, I was told that there was another slam going on just last wednesday, so I went there ... and made it onto the stage! And this is the text that I presented there. I am uncertain how well online translators work for you, but I hope you get the core points if you don't understand German:
Ich bin was ich bin
F nf Worte mit wahrem Sinn:
Ich bin was ich bin
Du denkst: "Mann im Rock?
Das ist ja wohl l cherlich,
der ist sicher schwul."
Na da schau ich nicht mehr hin,
wer will das schon seh'n."
Jedoch liegst du falsch,
Mit all deinen Punkten, denn:
Ich bin was ich bin.
Ich bin Transgender
Und erlebe mich selber,
ich bin eine Frau.
"Haha, eine Frau?
Wem willst du das weismachen?
Heb mal den Rock hoch!"
Und wie ist's bei dir?
Was ist zwischen den Beinen?
Geht mich das nichts an?
Warum fragst du mich?
Da ist's dann in Ordnung?
Oder vielleicht nicht?
Ich bin was ich bin
F nf Worte mit ernstem Sinn:
Ich bin was ich bin
Ich steh weiblich hier
Und das hier ist mein K rper
Mein Geschlecht ist's auch
Das ist mein gr tes Problem
Schl gt mir entgegen
Wenn ich mich ffne
Verst ndnis fast berall
Es wird akzeptiert
und das schmerzt mich am meisten
sagt doch mal wer "er"
Von Fremden? Egal
Doch hab ich mich ge ffnet
Ist es eine Qual
"Ich seh dich als Mann"
Da ist, was es transportiert
Wenn ihr ber mich redet
sind sie, ihr, ihres
Ich leb was ich leb
F nf Worte mit tiefem Sinn:
Ich bin was ich bin
"Doch, wie der erst spricht!
Ich meinte, wie sie denn spricht!
Das ist nicht normal."
Ich schreib hier Haikus:
Mit fixem Versmars
Sind f nf, sieben, f nf
Silben in jeder Zeile
Haikus sind simpel
Probier es mal aus
Transportier eine Message
Es macht auch viel Spa
Wortwahl ist wichtig
Ein guter Thesaurus hilft
Sei kurz und pr gnant
Ich sag was ich sag
F nf Worte mit klugem Sinn:
Ich bin was ich bin
Doch ich schweife ab
Verst ndnis fast berall?
Wird es akzeptiert?
Doch ich bin auch was and'res
Und hier geht's bergab
Eine Sache gibt's
Die erw h'n ich besser nicht
f r die steck ich ein
"Deshalb bin ich hier"
So der Titel eines Lieds
verfasst von Thomas D
"Wenn ich erkl re
warum ich mich wie ern hr"
So weit komm ich nicht
Man erw hnt Vegan
Die Intoleranz ist da
Man ist unten durch
"Das Essen meines Essens!"
Hab 'ne Theorie:
Vegan sein: 'ne Entscheidung
Transgender sein nicht
Mensch f hlt sich dann schlecht
dass bei sich selbst die Kraft fehlt
und greift damit an
"Ich k nnte das nicht"
Ich verurteile dich nicht
Iss doch was du willst
Ich zwing es nicht auf
Aber R cksicht w r schon fein
Statt nur Hohn und Schm h
Ich ess was ich ess
F nf Worte zum nachdenken:
Ich bin was ich bin
Hope you get the idea. The audience definitely liked it, the jury wasn't so much on board but that's fine, it's five random people and it's mostly for fun anyway. Later that night though some things happened that didn't make me feel so comfortable anymore. I went to the loo, waiting in line with the other ladies, a bit later the waitress came along telling me "the men's room is over there". I told her that I'm aware of that and thanked her, which got her confused and said something along the lines of "so you are both, or what?" but went away after that. Her tone and response wasn't really giving me much comfort, though none of the other ladies in the line did look strangely.
But the most disturbing event after that was to find out about North Carolina signed the bathroom bill making it illegal for trans people to use the bathroom for their gender and insisting on using the one for the gender they were assigned at birth. So men like James Sheffield are now forced to go to the lady's restroom, or face getting arrested. Brave new world. :/
So, enjoy the text and don't get too wound up by stupid laws and hope for time to fix people's discriminatory minds for fixing issues that already are regulated: Assaults are assaults and are already banned. Arguing with people might get assaulted and thus discriminating trans people is totally missing the point, by miles.
Just a quick reply to Rhonda about Moby. You can t introduce him without telling about Go, which is the title who made him famous, very early in the age of electronic music (November 1990, according to wikipedia). Many attempted to remix this song (and Moby himself), but nothing s as good as the original version.
Today is one of these moods. And sometimes one needs certain artists/music to foster it. Music is powerful. There are certain bands I know that I have to stay away from when feeling down to not get too deep into it. Knowing that already helps a lot. The following is an artist that is not completely in that area, but he got powerful songs and powerful messages nevertheless; and there was this situation today that one of his songs came to my mind. That's the reason why I present you today Moby. These are the songs:
James McCoy uploaded subversion/1.9.3-2 which removes -Wdate-time from CPPFLAGS passed to swig enabling several packages to build again.
The switch made in binutils/2.25-6 to use deterministic archives by default had the unfortunate effect of breaking a seldom used feature of make. Manoj Srivastava asked on debian-devel the best way to communicate the changes to Debian users. Lunar quickly came up with a patch that displays a warning when Make encounters deterministic archives. Manoj made it available in make/4.1-2 together with a NEWS file advertising the change.
Following Guillem Jover's comment on the latest patch to make mtimes of packaged files deterministic, Daniel Kahn Gillmor updated and extended the patch adding the --clamp-mtime option to GNU Tar.
Mattia Rizzolo updated texlive-bin in the reproducible experimental repository.
The following packages became reproducible after getting fixed:
Transition from reproducible.debian.net to the more general tests.reproducible-builds.org has started. More visual changes are coming. (h01ger)
A plan on how to run tests for F-Droid has been worked out. (hc, mvdan, h01ger) A first step has been made by adding a Jenkins job to setup an F-Droid build environment. (h01ger)
diffoscope 46 has been released on January 19th, followed-up by
version 47 made available on January
23rd. Try it online at try.diffoscope.org!
The biggest visible change is the improvement to ELF file handling.
Comparisons are now done section by section, using the most appropriate
tool and options to get meaningful results, thanks to Dhole's work and Mike
Hommey's suggestions. Also suggested by Mike, symbols for IP-relative ops
are now filtered out to remove clutter.
Understanding differences in ELF files belonging to Debian packages should also be
much easier as diffoscope will now try to extract debug information from the
matching dbgsym package. This means objdump disassembler should output line
numbers for packages built with recent
debhelper as long as the associated
debug package is in the same directory.
As diff tends to consume huge amount of memory on large inputs, diffoscope
has a limit in place to prevent crashes. diffoscope used to display a difference
every time the limit was hit. Because this was confusing in case there were
actually no differences, a hash is now internally computed to only report
a difference when one exists.
Files in archives and other container members are now compared in the original
order. This should not matter in most case but overall give more predictable
Amongst other minor fixes and improvements, diffoscope will now properly compare
symlinks in directories. Thanks Tuomas Tynkkynen for reporting the problem.
70 reviews have been removed, 125 added and 33 updated in the previous week, gcc-5 amongst others.
25 FTBFS issues have been filled by Chris Lamb, Daniel Stender, Martin Michlmayr.
Benjamin Drung uploaded mozilla-devscripts/0.43 which sorts the file list in preferences files. Original patch by Reiner Herrmann.
Lunar submitted an updated patch series to make timestamps in packages created by dpkg deterministic. To ensure that the mtimes in data.tar are reproducible, with the patches, dpkg-deb uses the --clamp-mtime option added in tar/1.28-1 when available. An updated package has been uploaded to the experimental repository. This removed the need for a modified debhelper as all required changes for reproducibility have been merged or are now covered by dpkg.
Once again, Vagrant Cascadian is providing another armhf build system, allowing to run 6 more armhf builder jobs, right there. (h01ger)
Stop requiring a modified debhelper and adapt to the latest dpkg experimental version by providing a predetermined identifier for the .buildinfo filename. (Mattia Rizzolo, h01ger)
New X.509 certificates were set up for jenkins.debian.net and reproducible.debian.net using Let's Encrypt!. Thanks to GlobalSign for providing certificates for the last year free of charge. (h01ger)
Patches submitted which have not made their way to the archive yet:
#809780 on flask-restful by Chris Lamb: implement support for SOURCE_DATE_EPOCH in the build system.
#810259 on avfs by Chris Lamb: implement support for SOURCE_DATE_EPOCH in the build system.
#810509 on apt by Mattia Rizzolo: ensure a stable file order is given to the linker.
Add 2 more armhf build nodes provided by Vagrant Cascadian. This added 7 more armhf builder jobs. We now run around 900 tests of armhf packages each day. (h01ger)
The footer of each page now indicates by which Jenkins jobs build it. (h01ger)
diffoscope 45 has been released on January 4th. It features huge memory improvements when comparing large files, several fixes of squashfs related issues that prevented comparing two Tails images, and improve the file list of tar and cpio archive to be more precise and consistent over time. It also fixes a typo that prevented the Mach-O to work (Rainer M ller), improves comparisons of ELF files when specified on the command line, and solves a few more encoding issues.
134 reviews have been removed, 30 added and 37 updated in the previous week.
20 new fail to build from source issues were reported by Chris Lamb and Chris West.
prebuilder will now skip installing diffoscope to save time if the build results are identical. (Reiner Herrmann)